Review: Night Shift (Night Tales, No. 1)

Night Shift
Night Shift by Nora Roberts
Genre: Romance – Suspense, Series
Received: Used copy (omnibus edition), have owned for years
Read: June 23, 2013
Reviewed: July 5, 2013
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Short synopsis: A deejay, Cilla O’Roarke, in Denver starts getting calls from some creepazoid whose threats intensify with every phone call. The police enter the scene, one of which is Boyd Fletcher, who immediately falls for Cilla. So begins the romance.

Written for Silhouette’s Intimate Moments line, Night Shift is an early Nora Roberts’ romance and the first in the Night Tales series. While I didn’t expect to be blown away by the story, I was hoping to be passably entertained. Unfortunately, those hopes were dashed fairly early on. I got a little taste of what was to come in the second paragraph of the first page:

“Her voice was like hot whiskey, smooth and potent. Rich, throaty, touched with the barest whisper of the South, it might have been fashioned for the airwaves. Any man in Denver who was tuned in to her frequency would believe she was speaking only to him.”

Commence internal groaning and eye-rolling. So yeah, that didn’t bode well. Still, I surged on, believing that Nora Roberts could make something out of the formulaic plot. Again, I was disappointed. If the focus had been more on the suspense part and less on the “romance,” it could have been an okay read. Instead I had to suffer through Cilla’s lame hang-ups and excuses for why she can’t be in a relationship. All of which could be remedied if she’d just take the time to see a therapist. The only thing that bothered me more was her utter stupidity. She continually left out much-needed information that could help the cops figure out who was behind the threats to her life. Instead, her constant excuses were, “I didn’t think of it” or “I didn’t think it was important” or other such bullcrap that made me want to slap her silly (if she wasn’t already that way). Boyd wasn’t bad but he didn’t really make a lasting impression either. From the physical description, it sounds like he might have been molded after Clint Eastwood in an homage to Play Misty for Me, but maybe I’m seeing things that aren’t there.

Needless to say, the romance wasn’t very interesting and bored me more often than not. Boyd pursues and Cilla wiffle-waffles throughout the whole book. She’s healed after one night in Boyd’s bed and then remembers her “reasons” for not getting serious. He’s in love with her after one day (I exaggerate, but only slightly), when they hadn’t even had very many conversations to get to know each other, which I suppose isn’t very important if, I don’t know, you want to spend the rest of your lives together. Not to mention, I never got the impression that Cilla was ever in love with him, even at the end. So much tell and no show. The only thing of note were two secondary characters, Althea Grayson and Natalie Fletcher, partner and sister of Boyd, respectively. I’m hoping, if I decide to read them, that their books will be better. Otherwise, this is wholly forgettable and makes me wish for my time back.

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