Carolina Moon

Carolina Moon - Nora Roberts Tory Bodeen had a pretty miserable childhood, growing up with a religiously fantatic father who physically beat her and a mother who didn't protect her. Her father tried to drive away Tory's gift, which was a psychic sense about people and their circumstances. She had one childhood friend, Hope Lavelle, who helped her escape her unhappy home each day as they did what children do...use their imagination freely and have fun. Unfortunately, at the age of eight, Hope was brutally murdered and Tory experienced the event psychically and was forever defined by her involvement. The murder remained unsolved and, after many years, Tory has returned home to Progress, South Carolina to make peace with her past and come to terms with herself.This is one of Nora's best romantic suspense stories I've read to date. It has a good, complex mystery, strong main characters in Tory and Cade Lavelle (Hope's older brother), interesting secondary characters and a Southern backdrop. While there are a few quirky people in the town of Progress, they aren't stereotypically diminshed and are central to the main story and Tory's life. And, there are a few other romances in the works in addition to Tory and Cade, who is a real dream. Sometimes I thought he had psychic abilities in the way he knew how to just "be" for Tory, knowing exactly what she needed and when to dispense it.The descriptions in this story are vividly brought to life without the usual metaphors. There were occasions where I had to just stop and think about them, letting the words roll around in my head. This is a fine piece of writing.While I figured out the killer fairly early on, no way was I certain about my choice throughout the story and kept considering other possibilities. It's a good story, extremely well written and kept my interest real lulls here. This one ranks in my top five of Nora's standalone titles.