Monday, June 10, 2013

June's Vintage Romance Review - Honest Illusions by Nora Roberts

It is with great pleasure that I write a vintage romance review for Nora Roberts's Honest Illusions. 

Roxanne Nouvelle & Luke Callahan's story

Honest Illusions

By Nora Roberts

Book Blurb:
The daughter of a world-renowned magician, Roxy Nouvelle has inherited her father’s talents—and his penchant for jewel thievery. Into this colorful world comes Luke Callahan, an escape artist who captures her heart—and keeps secrets that could shatter all her illusions…

Originally published 1992

I picked up this beat up old paperback at a used book store about a year ago. It is certainly a well used loved copy but my friends kept encouraging me to read Nora's earlier stuff. I have to say, Honest Illusions was absolutely fantastic. It was a lengthy paperback at 499 pages and worth every last word. 

Honest Illusions spans over the years of Roxy and Luke's life. My favourite type of romances are always when the protagonist's have a deep-seated history and Roxy and Luke's history starts right from childhood. I was memorized with the story and there was no tearing me away from the magic of Honest Illusions. This story is timeless and can be easily read fresh today as if it was newly published. Even with the mention of VCR tapes, it fits with the time period when it was wrote. That is always one of my goals of Another Look Book Reviews; to take another look at previously published stories. 

Because Honest Illusions takes the reader on a journey with the entire Nouvelle family, it is one of those books that when it's over you feel sad that that you aren't going to visit with them anymore. That's me right now. I'm going through a bit of a withdrawal. Honest Illusions isn't just about Roxy and Luke's life; Roxy's father and step-mom (Max and Lily) are a centralized core to the story. I came to love their family and admire their love for one another. 

Roxy's magician father Max was a special man and his beautiful wife, Lily were role models and it was refreshing to read about such parental love and respect. Now it is amusing that I am using words like "role models" and "respect" to describe Max when he is an international jewel thief and Lily completely supported him. It was interesting that Max used the guise of being a talented international and highly renowned magician to cover his double life. When you think about it, David Copperfield or Chris Angel would be spectacular criminals. What a genius story line Nora Roberts created. 

Max saved a young Luke's life by practically adopting him when he was a lowly twelve year old pick pocket and Lily falls instantly in love with him as her maternal instincts kick in. Of course Roxy had different ideas and the pair start their relationship like any other would be brother and sister by bickering and pestering each other. However throughout their young life and their awkward teenage years, they're fiercely protective of each other and through eventual maturity recognize that their feelings aren't exactly normal sibling love. 

There is so much story in Honest Illusions. You have almost a lifetime with Max, Lily, Roxy and Luke. You experience adrenaline rushes with the burglaries, you are in awe of the spectacular magical shows (although no secrets are revealed) and more often than not you want to knock Roxy and Luke's heads together when they fight their feelings toward one another. That is until you finally feel all warm and fuzzy when they once and for all succumb to their feelings.  

Oh and there is anger and lots of it when the sociopathic villain of the story causes pain and despair to the Nouvelles. I wanted to reach into the book and harm Sam Wyatt myself. I fell so in love with this family that I found myself being protective of them. 

The most upsetting emotion I experienced with Honest Illusion was the heavy sadness when the horrid alzheimer's disease is draped over the Nouvelles. Such heartache. It is such a wicked disease. The lump in my throat has been there for days and I'm sure it will be for awhile. 

What an adventure. I am glad I decided to give an old tired paperback a try. 

Teasers: free lesson, carnival life, the love a true father and mother, blackmail, framing, redemption 

1 comment:

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