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    Review of REMEMBER WHEN by Nora Roberts and J. D. Robb (see her website)

    G. P. Putnam's Sons, September 2003

    When her father and three partners is responsible for a multimillion dollar jewel heist, Laine Tavish is torn. She's put her con-man father in her past but she still loves him. She can't just turn him over to private investigator Max Gannon. On the other hand, her father's life is in danger because one of the partners has decided to keep all of the diamonds for himself. Keeping herself, and her father alive become the challenges. It doesn't hurt, though, that Laine has fallen in love with the hunky Max. And Max will do anything he can to help her. Anything except give up on the diamonds.

    In the second portion of the story, Laine and Max's granddaughter has written a best-selling book about the diamond heist and her grandparents' role in its solution. When she returns from a publicity trip, she finds her house has been ransacked and her housesitter murdered. Police Lieutenant Eve Dallas and significant other billionaire Roarke discover that the murder is connected to the now-ancient diamond confidence scam. Someone thinks that the granddaughter knows the secret to the share of the diamonds that went missing and will stop at nothing to get them for himself.

    Author Nora Roberts (see more reviews of romance by Roberts) and Roberts using her pen name of J.D. Robb (see more reviews of mysteries by Robb) combines sizzling sensual attraction with exciting adventure and a pair of women who refuse to back down and let the men in their lives handle the rescuing. Roberts' writing is strong and compelling, dragging the reader into the action. The story of the missing diamonds and the way that they are hidden is clever and believable, but the real strength of the story is in the strong female leads and their romances with the men in their lives.

    I'm not sure I buy into letting the final quarter of the diamonds alone at the end of the first half the novel--for me, the justification seemed weak and I don't see how Max would have gone for it. But without it, we wouldn't have the second half the novel so I can't complain too much. I found Roberts/Robb's descriptions of mid-twenty-first century police work interesting and largely convincing. Advanced computer technology, hyper-extensive databases, and sophisticated pattern matching algorithms are reasonable extensions to current research and continued traffic problems are a no-brainer. Roberts assumes that diamonds will still be precious and rare in 2059. I'm betting on dirt-cheap diamonds thanks to synthetic production, but my forecasts are far from perfect.

    The attraction of REMEMBER WHEN isn't the futuristic insights or clever cons, though. It's in the romantic entanglements between complex men and women, and the sensuous bonds that bring them together and allow them to overcome the wounds that damaged them and threatened to cut them off from humanity. In Nora Roberts' world, love really does work miracles and she makes us buy into the myth. (See more reviews of books by Nora Roberts).

    Very nice indeed.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 12/16/03

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