Category Archives: Nora Roberts

Author Spotlight: Nora Roberts

nora roberts

The Best Selling Romance Author Alive

Anyone familiar with the romance genre knows about Nora Roberts. She is the best-selling author of romance novels alive. Roberts has been at the top for a long time, as Barbara Cartland–who sold over 1 billion books–has been deceased for almost twenty years.

She started out writing short series romance, then branched out into single-title works of fiction, then exploded on the futuristic scene with her “In Death” series.

Roberts writes as J.D. Robb for the aforementioned series. In addition, she has also written books under the pseudonyms Jill March and–in the U.K.–Sarah Hardesty.

promise me tomorrow

Nora Roberts: Early Life and Career

Superstar author Nora Roberts was born Eleanor Marie Robertson on October 10, 1950, in Silver Spring, Maryland. She was the youngest of five children.

After her Catholic school education, she married soon after high school. Roberts had two sons from that marriage which ended in divorce.

She worked briefly as a legal secretary. That would not be her calling, however. “I could type fast but couldn’t spell; I was the worst legal secretary ever,” Roberts has said.

After her sons were born, she stayed home and tried her hand at crafts.

A blizzard in February 1979 forced her hand to try another creative outlet. She was snowed in with a three and six-year-old with no kindergarten respite in sight and a dwindling supply of chocolate.

After achieving success as a category romance author, Roberts branched into other romance genres. Her skillfully writing and prodigious output would garner a massive following of fans.

Roberts met her second husband, Bruce Wilder when she hired him to build bookshelves. They were married in July 1985. Since then, they’ve expanded their home, traveled the world, and opened a bookstore together.

A Silhouette Sensation

Born into a family of readers, Nora had never known a time that she wasn’t reading or making up stories. During the now-famous blizzard, she pulled out a pencil and notebook and began to write down one of those stories. It was there that a career was born.

She was able to churn out several romantic manuscripts. Then she sent them out to publishers and was soundly rejected by most of them.

Roberts was famously rebuffed by Harlequin, Ltd, as they already had one American author in their stables: Janet Dailey. Dailey would eventually leave Harlequin and join Roberts to write for their rival, Silhouette, the Simon and Schuster imprint.

Decades later, Dailey would be involved in a plagiarism scandal, where she copied parts of Roberts’ works and passed them off as her own.

Nora Roberts’ first book, Irish Thoroughbred, was published by Silhouette in 1981.

La Nora

The first writer inducted into the Romance Writer of America Hall of Fame, Nora Roberts, is known as the queen of romance fiction. She writes under other pen names, such as J.D. Robb. She is also known as “La Nora.”

Through the years, Nora has always been surrounded by men. Not only was she the youngest in her family, but she was also the only girl. She has raised two sons.

Thus having spent her life surrounded by men, Ms. Roberts has a reasonably good view of the workings of the male mind. This is a constant delight to her readers. She’s been quoted as saying, “It was a choice between figuring men out or running away screaming.”

Nora is a member of several writers’ groups and has won countless awards from her colleagues and the publishing industry. The New Yorker called her “America’s favorite novelist.”

“I know they say write what you know,” Roberts told a Publishers Weekly interviewer in 1998, “But I write about what I want to know.”

Indeed, her category romances rely less on realism and fully fleshed-out plots than on idealized characters and romanticized settings. Roberts views her works as appealing to readers on an emotional level. The books evoke feelings of first love, regrettable loss, and tender, fulfilling romance.

“That’s what people want to learn about,” the superstar author says.

once more with feeling nora roberts

Beyond Category Romance

After a decade of writing category romances, Nora Roberts released many single-issue full-length romance novels, from historicals to romantic suspense.

Then in 1995, using the pseudonym J.D. Robb, Roberts released Naked in Death. This was the first in a futuristic procedural series about police-woman Eve Dallas and the handsome Irish billionaire, Roarke.

The long-running series has been an astonishing success, with 67 books out so far.

naked in death nora roberts

Roberts is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than 200 novels, including HideawayUnder CurrentsCome SundownThe AwakeningLegacy, and The Becoming.

There are more than 500 million copies of her books in print with no end in sight.

nora roberts
once more with feeling nora roberts

Category Romance Review: Once More With Feeling by Nora Roberts

once more with feeling
Once More With Feeling by Nora Roberts
Rating: four-stars
Published: 1983
Illustrator: George H. Jones
Imprint or Line: Silhouette Intimate Moments #2
Published by: Silhouette
Genres: Category Romance, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 250
Format: eBook, Paperback
Buy on: AmazonAbeBooks
Reviewed by: Introvert Reader

Category Romance Review: Once More With Feeling by Nora Roberts

The Book

Once More With Feeling is the second outing from the Silhouette Intimate Moments line. Nora Roberts‘ category romance tells the love story between two musicians, one a rising star and the other an established musician, who previously knew each other.

Now they must try to make beautiful music together again–literally. Only later does the situation take a turn for the metaphorical.

The Plot

Five years prior to the opening of Once More With Feeling, a teenaged, black-haired Raven Williams was a fledgling artist. (Just once, I’d like to read a book where a blonde or redhead has that name. Or a brunette or a blonde named Flame to subvert expectations.) Raven and a seasoned Irish-British musician named Brandon Carstairs garnered great success together before her star went on the ascendency.

Their working relationship had made it to the front pages of the gossip columns. Was there more to the two beautiful musicians than music? There was, but alas, it came to an abrupt end. Raven had kept herself at a distance from Brandon, and he was unwilling to put up with her reticence.

Heartbroken, Raven immersed herself in music, putting her career above love. Now Brandon has a gig to score a potential blockbuster musical film—and he wants Raven to co-write it with him.

I enjoyed watching Raven and Brandon’s new relationship unfold. Now in her mid-twenties, Raven was still a young woman but more sure of herself, although just as close-guarded. Brandon is a sexy character with longish back hair, blue-green eyes, and Irish-British charm (it seems Roberts has a type). However, he runs roughshod over Raven, vowing to break through her inner resolve.

Before these two can have their happy ending, there are big misunderstandings–because the characters refuse to say what they have to!–and the heroine has to rush to her dying mother’s bedside in a dramatic scene.

Back cover of Once More With Feeling, Nora Roberts, Silhouette, 1983, George H. Jones cover art.

Final Analysis of Once More With Feeling

Five years before the start of Once More with Feeling Brandon broke Raven’s heart when he left her. Now Brandon is back and asks her to co-write the music for an upcoming, much-anticipated movie. Can these two learn to trust and love again? 

Written in the early 1980s, this book feels like part of that era, especially with how cruel Brandon can be to Raven. Other readers may be more discriminating and have difficulty digesting the caveman antics of the “hero,” but not me.

One of my favorite moments in the book is near the conclusion when our couple finally reveals their feelings for one another, and they have this exchange:

“You can’t own me Brandon.”

A quick flash of fury shot into his eyes. “Damn it, I don’t want to own you, but I want you to belong to me. Don’t you know there’s a difference?”


Once More With Feeling was a solid romance, although Nora Roberts is capable of much better. This was only Robert’s 13th book, which sounds like a big deal. Considering that she’s written hundreds, it’s obviously created in the formative years of her career. Roberts’ writing has gotten sharper with age.

I had a fun time with Once More With Feeling, even if it was flawed in some respects. The heroine was a tad weak-willed, and the hero was too bossy.

This could have been lackluster in the hands of a less skillful author. One never knows how the wind will blow with a new series or writer.

Ultimately, I was satisfied with Raven and Brandon’s love story. Roberts always had the instinct to be a superb writer. She simply needed time to perfect her craft.

Rating Report Card
Fun Factor
Overall: 3.9



RAVEN WILLIAMS was a singer who had an overwhelming need to love and be loved, and whose voice had catapulted her to fame.

BRANDON CARSTAIRS was a musician in whom the charming Irish dreamer warred with a practical British reserve.

The music they made together was exciting, disturbing, erotic. Soon it would reach a dangerous crescendo.

Night Shift

Category Romance Review: Night Shift by Nora Roberts

Night Shift, Nora Roberts, Silhouette, 1991, cover artist unknown

“I’m in love with you, Cilla.” Slowly, his eyes steady on hers, he pulled her closer. “With every part of you.” Soft, persuasive, his lips cruised over hers. “I only want fifty or sixty years to show you.”


Silhouette Intimate Moments #365


4 stars

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Night Shift Memories

If you follow my reviews, you may notice I inject some personal vignettes or anecdotes into them. If it’s TMI, apologies for oversharing. But like music or scents, each book I read is imprinted with a certain memory. When I hear “Wonderful Tonight” by Eric Clapton, it takes me back to Junior Prom and my supposedly platonic date getting all clingy with me. I’ll think about a different man whether it’s Brut, Joop!, Davidoff Cool Water, or Grey Flannel cologne I smell. (Brut is my dad; the rest…are not.) If I have no memory of the book, there’s because there is no recollection to go with it.

Nora Robert’s Night Shift is vividly memorable because I recall sitting in the cancer ward at Mather Hospital waiting with my mother while my grandmother got her chemo treatments. In hindsight, perhaps it was rude of me to sit there and read rather than comfort my mom, who was worried about her dying mother. Still, I helped translate to doctors for my mom, who spoke broken English when she had questions. There’s a memory of going to the cafeteria and eating Utz potato chips for the first time. This book was released in January of 1991. My Mamá would be dead by December 23 of that year.

So many books I read that year are filled with remembrances.

The Plot

Cilla O’Roarke, short for Priscilla–but don’t dare call her that–is a nighttime disk jockey whose silky smooth voice enthralls legions of fans, including policeman Boyd Fletcher. He’s arrived on the scene with his partner Althea to investigate the increasingly threatening calls that Cilla’s been receiving.

Boyd has a major crush on her from hearing her voice on the radio. It’s no surprise he’s instantly smitten upon seeing her in person. Cilla tries her best to keep her distance, even as the police do their best to stay close to her and find who’s her stalker. Boyd is extremely protective and a great hero.

Cilla is a prickly character. She’s not a very open person, and all she cares about is her younger sister, Deborah. And keeping her radio program. She refuses any course of action to defend herself, so Boyd is determined to be there to save her if need be. Cilla wants nothing to do with cops, as one of her parents was one, and Cilla secretly fears getting hurt by letting him in her life.

But that Boyd is a charmer. Slowly, but slowly, he’s able to get her to admit her attraction to him. They become friends and then lovers.

However, as usual in these romantic suspense plots when you let your guard down that’s when the villain strikes.

Who is Cilla’s deranged fan? Will Boyd be able to get there before it’s too late?

Final Analysis of Night Shift

Night Shift was a satisfying romance, even though you knew pretty much what was going to happen. Nora Roberts’ writing was of fine quality, and Boyd was a great, protective hero. It was thoroughly believable that he was able to get Cilla to fall for him despite her fears.