Come Sundown (Roberts)

Come Sundown 
Nora Roberts, 2017
St. Martin's Press
480 pp.

A novel of suspense, family ties, and twisted passions from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Obsession...

The Bodine ranch and resort in western Montana is a family business, an idyllic spot for vacationers. A little over thirty thousand acres and home to four generations, it’s kept running by Bodine Longbow with the help of a large staff, including new hire Callen Skinner.

There was another member of the family once: Bodine’s aunt, Alice, who ran off before Bodine was born. She never returned, and the Longbows don’t talk about her much. The younger ones, who never met her, quietly presume she’s dead. But she isn’t. She is not far away, part of a new family, one she never chose—and her mind has been shattered…

When a bartender leaves the resort late one night, and Bo and Cal discover her battered body in the snow, it’s the first sign that danger lurks in the mountains that surround them. The police suspect Cal, but Bo finds herself trusting him—and turning to him as another woman is murdered and the Longbows are stunned by Alice’s sudden reappearance.

The twisted story she has to tell about the past—and the threat that follows in her wake—will test the bonds of this strong family, and thrust Bodine into a darkness she could never have imagined. (From the publisher.)

Author Bio
Also known as—J.D. Robb; Sarah Hardesty; Jill March
Birth—October 10, 1950
Where—Silver Spring, Maryland, USA
Awards—Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame (more below)
Currently—lives in Keedysville, Maryland

Nora Roberts (born Eleanor Marie Robertson) is an American bestselling author of some 215 romance novels. She writes as J. D. Robb for the In Death series, and has also written under the pseudonyms Jill March and for publications in the U.K. as Sarah Hardesty.

Nora Roberts was the first author to be inducted into the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame. As of 2011, her novels had spent a combined 861 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list, including 176 weeks in the number-one spot.

Early years
Robertson was the youngest of five children in a family of avid readers. From the time she was little, reading books and making up her own stories were a favorite outlet. Her years at a Catholic school, she says, instilled a sense of discipline, through she transferred during her sophomore year to a public school. It was there, at Montgomery Blair High School, that she met her first husband, Ronald Aufdem-Brinke, and the two married — against her parents wishes — after graduation.

They settled in Blumpkin, Maryland, where Roberts gave birth to two sons, Dan and Jason. She later referred to this period as her "Earth Mother" years, spending much of her time doing crafts, including ceramics, and sewing her children's clothes. She also began writing. In 1983, after 15 years, the marriage ended in divorce.

Two years later, Roberts hired a carpenter to build a set of bookshelves. His name was Bruce Wilder, and Roberts fell in love. The two got married. Wilder owns and operates a bookstore in Boonsboro, Maryland, called Turn the Page Books. He also works as a photographer and videographer.

The Wilders own the nearby historic Inn BoonsBoro. Once known as the Boone Hotel, it was renovated following a 2008 fire, reopening in 2009. During the makeover, Roberts decided to name the inn's suites for literary romantic couples (but only those with happy endings).

Beginning to write
Roberts' career as an author began inauspiciously enough when a blizzard hit Maryland in early 1979. Roberts had been immersed in Harlequin romances, and that day, housebound with her small boys, she decided to try her hand at writing her own stories. She picked up a pen and began jotting down ideas for a romance. She was hooked on writing and kept at it. Despite rejections, one of her manuscripts was eventually accepted by Silhouette, a new imprint created specifically to scoop up Harlequin rejections.

In 1981 Roberts' first book, Irish Thoroughbred, was released. Twenty-two more romance novels followed under the Silhouette imprint, all using the pseudonym Nora Roberts. After switching to Putnam in 1992, the publishers told her they couldn't keep up with her output and suggested she write under another pseudonym. And so she began writing suspense romances under the name J.D. Robb (J and D are her sons' first initials).

Success and Awards
Since 1999, every one of Roberts's novels has been a New York Times bestseller, and 124 of her novels have ranked on the Times bestseller list, including 29 that debuted in the number-one spot. As of January 24, 2013, her novels spent a combined 948 weeks on the Times list, including 148 weeks in the number-one spot. Over 400 million copies of her books are in print, published in 35 countries.

Roberts is a founding member of the Romance Writers of America (RWA) and was the first inductee in the organization's Hall of Fame. In 1997 she was awarded the RWA Lifetime Achievement Award, which in 2008 was renamed the RWA Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award. As of 2012, she has won an unprecedented 21 of the RWA's RITA Awards, the highest honor given in the romance genre.

Two of Roberts' novels, Sanctuary and Magic Moments, have been made into TV movies. In 2007, Lifetime Television adapted four Roberts novels into TV movies: Angels Fall starring Heather Locklear, Montana Sky starring Ashley Williams, Blue Smoke starring Alicia Witt, and Carolina Moon starring Claire Forlani. This was the first time that Lifetime had adapted multiple works by the same author. Four more films were released on four consecutive Saturdays in March and April, 2009. The 2009 collection included Northern Lights starring LeAnn Rimes and Eddie Cibrian, Midnight Bayou starring Jerry O'Connell, High Noon starring Emilie de Ravin, and Tribute starring Brittany Murphy.

Time magazine named Roberts one of their 100 Most Influential People in 2007, noting that she "has inspected, dissected, deconstructed, explored, explained and extolled the passions of the human heart." Roberts was one of only two authors on the list, the other was David Mitchell. (Adapted from Wikipedia. Retrieved 6/19/2017.)

Book Reviews
The resort sections — complete with family banter and cozy meals — showcase the kind of writing in which Roberts shines.… Admittedly, some of the writing can be inane: descriptions of someone's red lipstick, which matches her boots, which match her dress…. But the punch to the gut are those scenes with Alice in captivity and, later, surrounded by her family. They impart a depth not normally found in standard romance. The question we're left with is this: Is Alice … still Alice? Can she ever be?  READ MORE ……
Molly Lundquist - LitLovers

Roberts takes the reader on a journey to western Montana to a family ranch and the story of how one of their own disappeared.… [W]hat makes this novel most engaging is Roberts’s ability to suffuse her story with rich details of one family’s life, as well as sizzling doses of romance and mystery.
Publishers Weekly

Years before Bodine Longbow was born, her rebellious Aunt Alice left home to seek her fortune and…has not been heard from since.… Drawing on current events, Roberts has penned a horrifying tale of abduction, abuse, and resilience intertwined with a sweet romance that will keep the night-lights burning.
Library Journal

(Rave review.) With its take-no-guff heroine, who understands the importance of family and friends, and a compelling plot peppered with domestic details and composed of equal measures of spine-tingling suspense and sexy romance, this is quintessential Roberts

(Starred review.)  Roberts always tells a good story that balances romance and suspense, but in this title, the narrative is deeper, the mystery is more layered, and with Alice, Roberts moves into another level of exploring physical and emotional trauma…into more complex and darker storytelling, to terrific effect.
Kirkus Reviews

Discussion Questions
We'll add publisher questions if and when they're available; in the meantime, use our LitLovers talking points to start a discussion for Come Sundown…then take off on your own:

SPOILER ALERT: If you've not read the book, proceed at your own risk.

1.. Come Sundown has two plotlines: Alice's ordeal and that of the present day Bodine Ranch. Did you find one story more engaging than the other?

2. Is Bo typical of a romantic heroine? Why or why not? What do you think of her response to Cal when he proposes?

3. How would you describe the Bodine Family, all four generations? Do you have a favorite? What makes them click and work together so successfully? Want to hazard any comparisons to your own family!

4. Some readers find the detailed descriptions of the ranch operations tiresome. Others appreciated the inside view of a family business fascinating. Where do you stand?

5. When the first dead woman turns up, the police turn their suspicions on Cal. Why? Were you suspicious?

6. Alice's ordeal is horrific. Talk about her abduction and imprisonment, and especially the man who captured and raped her. What was your experience reading Alice's chapters?

7. How does the book's title relate to the story?

8. Did you see the end coming? Had you figured out the identity of the villain? Or were you taken by surprise?

(Questions by LitLovers. Please feel free to use them, online or off, with attribution. Thanks.)

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