As a professional house-sitter and freelance writer, nothing ties Lila Emerson down-not her work, not a home, and definitely not a relationship. She spends her life moving from one job to the next, sometimes crashing at a friend’s Manhattan apartment. And though she can appreciate her client’s extraordinary homes, their expensive collections, and their adorable pets, Lila has never longed for possessions of her own. Everything she has, including her heart, is portable.
But when she witnesses a possible murder-suicide from her current apartment-sitting job, life as Lila knows it takes a dramatic turn.
Artist Ashton Archer knows his charming, clever, and impulsive brother couldn’t have killed his girlfriend-or taken his own life. His hope of unraveling what happened lies with Lila, the only eyewitness. And even buried in grief, Ash longs to paint the woman whose deep, dark eyes seem to hold endless reserves of strength and a fiery passion.
Chalking up their intense attraction to the heat of the moment, Lila agrees to help Ash in trying to find out who murdered his brother and why. From the penthouses of Manhattan to grand Italian villas, their investigation draws them into a rarefied circle where priceless antiques are bought, sold, gambled away, and stolen, where what you posses is who you are, and where what you desire becomes a deadly obsession.
I knew I was going to love The Collector before I even opened it. An assumption I made solely on the fact that it is written by Nora Roberts. After reading the first couple of pages, I was hooked. There were so many things I love about this book, but I’ll start with Roberts’ writing style. She always gives the reader several different points of view. Every few chapters or so a new character is introduced with their point of view. Although we don’t always know who the character is when they’re introduced, the many points of view give us readers a much better picture of the whole story rather than just what one character is experiencing. This is something I really love that Nora Roberts does with many of her books. I love being able to see the big picture, getting to know things that the characters are oblivious to. Another thing I love about the way Nora Roberts writes is her attention to detail. Each new character that is introduced to the story has their own history and Roberts’ is never shy with her supporting character’s backgrounds. This is something I really enjoy because I feel like too many authors focus on the main characters and the plot rather than the details. While reading The Collector there were so many times that I just had to stop reading and say, “Holy shit, what just happened?” This book just had so much depth and detail to it. There were so many little connections between characters that I never saw coming. Which brings me to the next thing I really liked about The Collector. I never once correctly predicted anything that happened in this book. Every page had some new shock or surprise that just blew my mind. This book was just wonderful, like most of her novels.
I immediately fell in love with the main character, Lila Emerson. I decided I needed to have her life. Every page I read made me like Lila more and more. I think that’s because she was a really relatable character. She reminded me very much of myself with some of the things she did and said. Enter Julie, Lila’s best friend. These two girls together reminded me so much of myself and Antonia it was almost unreal. Relatable characters are something I think is necessary for a good book. There were so many moments when I stopped and read something aloud to Antonia so that we could both laugh and agree that we would do the same or say the same thing as the characters. The relationship between Julie and Lila was, I think, my favorite part about this book. Lila was an amazing female lead character. She was very intelligent and independent, she stood up for her beliefs. Julie was an excellent supporting character. Like Lila, she’s smart and funny and always said the right thing. The two had a really great relationship together.
Now, to talk about the handsome men in The Collector. I’ll mention Luke first. Ashton Archer’s best friend. He’s handsome, smart, determined, everything you could want in a man. He was another wonderfully detailed supporting character. He was just a really genuine person and that’s not something you see too much anymore. He made me laugh and squeal excitedly every page he was on, especially once he reunites with Julie. Luke definitely shared some qualities with people in my everyday life which I enjoyed immensely. Onto Ashton Archer. The rich and handsome artist who we learn is so much more than that. The first thing I loved about Ash was the way that he sees things. As an artist, the way he looks at the world is significantly different from the normal person and I’m not sure I know how to explain what I mean. Which means that you all need to go read this book and love it as much as I did. Ash is part of a very large, dysfunctional family, another thing that I related to. He’s very family oriented and sees himself as the problem solver of the family. He’s a very strong and opinionated person, which is where he and Lila clashed. The relationship between these two was a very amusing one. They were always going back and forth about one thing or another. They’re both passionate about their beliefs. I loved the fire their relationship had and following them as the grew together in that relationship was a wonderful experience.
The Collector, overall, was an amazing book. There was everything that I require for a really good book. It was suspenseful and exciting. There were excellent character dynamics and so much depth to the story itself. I would suggest Nora Roberts to any reader, but The Collector specifically. I’d love to hear some thoughts from anyone else who’s read this.
Keep on reading lovelys, Amanda.