When I first started this blog I can honestly say I thought it would be a fairly solitary past-time. Instead I found a bunch of people who love to talk about my favourite subject … books! And then I met Brie who’s not only a fellow book-blogger but fellow archaeologist as well. Let’s be honest, the actual job of being an archaeologist is NOTHING like what most books and movies portray. The closest I’ve ever seen is in Nora Roberts book Birthright, so that’s the book I’ve asked Brie to review today. And as always, she’s done an amazing job. Make sure you head over to check her out at:
It turns out that Tania and I have more things in common than just books and blogs. We are both archaeologist as well. We found out about it thanks to a review she wrote and that’s why she invited me to do this guest review of a book set in an archeological dig. It also turns out that I have more than one thing in common with this book because the heroine is an archaeologist, and I’ve been working on that field for a long time, but the hero is an anthropologist and that’s what I majored in.
If you are a fan of romance novels then you probably know who Nora Roberts is. It was one of her books that turned me into a huge contemporary romance fan and she is one of those authors who actually lives up to her reputation.
In Birthright there’s a lot going on. First, our heroine gets a couple of bad news, for starters she is about to supervise a very important archaeological project in Antietam Creek when she’s told that the anthropologist that will advise the dig is her ex-husband Jacob Greystone. And then, as if things weren’t bad enough, this random woman shows up claiming that she is her birth-mother and that Callie is the baby someone stole from her years ago. So now she has to juggle all this stressful situations while supervising the site and fighting the smoldering attraction that remains between her and Jake. But wait, there’s more. Bad things start to happen because apparently the townsfolk don’t want the archaeologist there, or so it may seem.
As you can see Callie has her hands full, which is why she hires a local lawyer named Lana Campbell, to help her sort things out, but they have to battle against Doug Cullen, who happens to be Callie’s brother and who is dealing with a serious case of survivor’s guilt whilst trying to protect his mother because he can’t believe that Callie is his sister. Thankfully Lana and Doug hit it off immediately and thus begins a lovely secondary romance between those two.
This book has a lot of characters and they were all appealing in different ways. Callie was your typical tough Roberts’ heroine (I must admit that Roberts is a bit formulaic and her characters usually reflect this) and she was well-balanced by a more laid-back hero. This is an author with a great eye for chemistry and fantastic couples and this book is no exception. I enjoyed the love story a lot and I was happy to see them overcome their issues and move on as a more stable and mature couple. The secondary romance was just as good and it didn’t hurt the main couple or took away the spotlight, but it was just as sweet and fulfilling as Callie and Jake’s was albeit in a whole different way because Doug and Lana couldn’t be more different couple.
This book is quite long but is an effortless read. There are many things going on, including murder attempts, actual murders, arson, secondary love stories that are just as engaging as the main one, lots of relationship drama, and a very charming main love story.
The archaeological aspect of the plot was fairly well done, obviously in a real dig -and you don’t need to have a degree to realize this- no one has time for that many intrigues, the work isn’t as romantic as popular culture often portrays it, there’s a lot of hard and detailed work involved, and by the end of the day everyone is so tired that there’s no time for machinations, murder plots and rekindling a flame between lovers (well, unless you have a bunch of students then there’s always time for that).
This is a story about second chances. Callie and Jacob love each other very much but they rushed into things and their relationship suffered from it, now they need to overcome those issues and figure out how to make it work. Then there’s Lana’s second chance at love, she never thought that she would be able to find love again after losing her husband but fate brings her Doug. And finally we have Suzanne’s second chance at having a relationship with her long lost daughter. So as you can see the theme of second chances and missed opportunities is present throughout the story and in each one of the main characters.
In my humble opinion this is one of Roberts’ best books, it isn’t my favorite, but I think that every fan of romance would love it and if you are new to the genre or unfamiliar with this author, Birthright is a good place to start.
Birthright by Nora Roberts
Jove. March 30, 2004.