Come Sundown by Nora Roberts

Come Sundown by Nora Roberts

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  11,727 Ratings  ·  1,574 Reviews
A saga of love, family ties, and twisted passions from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Obsession…

Come Sundown by Nora Roberts
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.
 “Mothers do, every day. It’s funny, Bo, how a woman can bring two children into the world, raise them up the same way—the same rules and values, indulgences and disciplines. And still two separate people come out of it all.”
“There's just no love like the love of a mother for a child, no matter how that child comes into their life, and no loss or grief to match it.”


I haven’t read a book written by Nora Roberts in several years. When this one cropped up on my radar, due to some pretty heavy marketing, I stopped to check out the synopsis and realized it was a romantic suspense novel, and it was not a part of a series, so I added it to the TBR pile.

For some reason, I have struggled with this review. I wrote down some thoughts, then scrapped them, at least three times.

I dawdled so long the book was automatically returned to the library, along with all the notes I’d saved. GRRR.

But, the long and short of it is this - the book would have been amazing if it had been written as a straight up thriller.

However, my attention was divided between two different threads for most of the book. One thread involved the long- ago disappearance of Bodine Longbow’s, Aunt Alice, and the current day murders of two women.

The second thread spotlights the challenges of Bo’s job as the manager of the family’s Montana resort, and the arrival of her brother’s best friend, Cal Striker. Bo and Cal would like to see where their attraction to one another might lead, but there are a few heavy complications they must resolve first.

To make matters more precarious, Cal’s return happened to coincide with the recent murders, which puts him on the hot seat.

The romantic elements, to be honest, felt forced. Bo’s ‘sex doesn’t have to be complicated’ act sucked all the passion out of the equation for me, as well as her pragmatism in other areas of her life. She was a little bland to me, despite her quick retorts and comebacks.

I just didn’t feel as though the couple had a real bond other than being hot for each other physically, and the only reason they jumped through all the hoops, was so they could hook up without ruffling anyone’s feathers. As a result, the angst was too low key and the last- minute attachment of the HEA, fell flat.

However, the suspense elements were outstanding! In fact, I wondered if Roberts’ alter-ego, J.D. Robb, had begun to completely take over her personality, because this novel was so much darker than her usual fare, becoming downright gritty, as a matter of fact. The atmosphere was so tense and the situation so dire, it made me squirm a little, and I’m a veteran reader of the most dark and twisted thrillers out there.

Then there is the story of Aunt Alice, which deals with the familial bonds and resentments that have festered so long, finally coming to a head, and the resulting fallout.

The drama is absorbing and heartbreaking, but ultimately inspiring. It is also multi-generational, which gave the story more depth, with the added appeal of a family saga, which I am always a sucker for.

Despite Roberts' reputation as the queen of romance, she can write a thriller right up there with the best of them, if she so desired. This set up, though, was a little rough around the edges.

Romantic suspense can be a tricky blend, but this approach, while original, seemed to keep the two threads separated, so that they didn’t feel like they belonged in the same book together, until the final few chapters, that is, where everything does wrap up nicely, I must admit.

Overall, Alice’s story is very, very good, as is the murder mystery, which kept me guessing until the bitter end. So, even though the romance was a dud, in my opinion, I still recommend this one to fans of RS or to those who enjoy tense, edgy thrillers.
I finally popped my Nora Roberts cherry! :) 
I'm not sure why it's taken me so many years to pick up one of her books, but I'm sure glad I won this one, otherwise I may never have gotten around to reading it. Come Sundown is a perfect way to ease into her books; it's a standalone, so no worrying about committing to a series with 92 entries to date, and it is completely captivating with a fast pace alongside a dark, mysterious overtone. The thing that set this book apart from others of romantic suspense was the life she breathed into these deep, realistic characters. Roberts clearly knows how to produce a novel that is full of everything you want in domestic suspense, but her characters are what stole the show in my humble opinion. There were a few spots that felt a little fluffed up and I felt maybe 50 pages or so could have been shaved off, but otherwise this was a near perfect read. Highly recommended for fans of romantic suspense that don't want to sacrifice on characterization!
Come Sundown is a powerful, compelling story showcasing the healing power of love and the amazing ability of the human soul and spirit to survive and recover from unimaginable, mind altering pain and sadistic evil.  It’s also the story of family doing what family does . . . loving unconditionally, making and cherishing memories, surviving loss and pain, building a future on hopes and dreams.   
Nora Roberts is a master at writing about close-knit families bound by strong emotional ties whether related by blood, friendship, or romance, and we see that once again in this book.  Four generations of Bodine women, working together with the heart, gut, and grit of the pioneer women who first came west, lay the foundation for this story.  A strong, rich support cast including family, friends, and co-workers cements this epic saga of perseverance and triumph, with the added bonus of a friends to lovers romance (times 3).

Two stories play out in Come Sundown with one revealed through a series of flashbacks up until the point where the stories and timelines merge.  Two stories - One family - A span of twenty-five years.  The stories become one later in the book when prayers are finally answered, but is it too little, too late?  Alice Bodine was only eighteen the night she slipped away from home heading toward California.  After brief, spotty correspondence, she vanished like a ghost in the night and was later presumed dead.  But readers know that after three long years away, a weary, homesick Alice was homeward bound toting a backpack full of broken dreams when she made a fatal mistake.  Now she fears she'll never go home again as there's no escape route from hell.

I won't reveal any spoilers, but I have to say that Alice's story was the big draw for me in Come Sundown.  Brilliantly written, her plight is what takes this story to another level as it unfolds in tragic bits and pieces - so horrific, so raw and graphic, so physically and mentally devastating that it left me reeling time and time again.  Roberts's villains are often sadistically evil and cruel and this one is no exception, ranking high on the depraved, psychotic killer list. The theme of nature vs. nurture often used by this author is prevalent as true identities are revealed near the end.

After the opening flashback introducing Alice and cueing readers into her fate, the story moves to the present where we meet Bodine Longbow who runs the upscale Bodine Resort and her brothers who operate the Bodine Ranch - both offering guests an exclusive western cowboy experience.  This part of the story moved a little slow for me as it centers on the day to day operations while introducing readers to all the players.  It took me awhile to settle in and feel the connection between Bodine and Callen (her childhood crush and now love interest) who has returned home to work at Bodine Ranch.  The pace is slow and easy as the couple flirts around each other, exploring the sparks flying between them while figuring out where they're headed in the future.  The discovery of two brutally murdered women raises the stakes and intensity as the town now knows there's a serial killer in their midst.  From this point forward, I was on the edge of my seat, flipping pages trying to figure out the "who" and "why".  And after a connection is made to Alice - I couldn't put the book down.

Come Sundown is a heart-wrenching story of devastating loss and unbearable pain, but at the same time it's a story of hope, perseverance, unlimited love and faith and like the awe-inspiring sundown that appears again and again - the promise of another day.  The vast western Montana landscape, rich in gorgeous sunsets and cold, snowy winters adds a beautiful yet harsh element vital to this story.  Like a curvy backroad, Come Sundown unfolds through a series of twists and bends before ending on a shocking reveal that I didn't see coming.  Another intense, spellbinding Romance/Suspense story by Nora Roberts.  A Must Read!
I listened to this story without reading the book blurb and highly recommend doing it this way as I think too much is revealed in the setup. It's enough to know that this story involves the Bodine family of Western Montana, which includes four generations of women. The main character is Bodine Longbow, the youngest who runs the family's high-end resort. Her older brother runs the adjacent family ranch. Her childhood crush, Callen (Cal) Skinner returns back to the area following a stint in Hollywood and begins working for the family.

The span of the story begins in 1991 and transitions to the present day for the first half of the book. It begins with the 1991 disappearance of Alice Bodine, Bodine's maternal aunt. It is a terrifying event and readers should be forewarned that there is a sexual assault though not graphic. In the present day, the bodies of two young women are discovered right around the time Cal returns so suspicion is cast his way. Therein lies the main conflict of the story.

This was more of a mystery than suspense as I was challenged to figure out how the past influences the present, which I found more compelling. Even though my main hypothesis was correct, there were still some details I didn't get right. And, the characters were so well developed, typical of a Nora Roberts story, my early discovery didn't lessen my pleasure. The romances (there were a couple) took a back seat to the mystery element but were pleasant enough, also fine by me.

What I found outstanding was the narration. This was my first time listening to Elisabeth Rodgers and I was extremely pleased. There were a LOT of characters, accents and ages she had to accommodate and I always knew who was talking. The voices of the primary characters were so distinctive and consistent. Well done!

I liked this story and decided some time ago that I'd only listen to Nora's single titles, which are all romantic suspense. Best decision I ever made as her narrators are always really, really good and elevate the reading experience. That was definitely the case with this story, one that I very much enjoyed.
For years, Nora Roberts has been my feel-good author. If I’m sick or depressed or just stressed, she’s my go-to fiction author. She’s my literary popcorn. Her books are a bubblebath for my brain. 
There’s something about her writing that just absorbs me from the first page, and her characters always feel like family. The work ethic of Nora Roberts astounds me. Every year, she puts out at least three (often four) new books. These are books that have never before been published. And no, she doesn’t have a team of writers working under her name. If a book says it’s written by Nora Roberts or her pen name, J.D. Robb, then she wrote it herself. And she’s not doing this for money; with over two hundred books published, the woman is set for life. No, she writes because it’s her passion, and I respect her immensely. Yes, her work is formulaic, but it’s supposed to be!! I don’t pick up her books to be surprised; I pick them up for their familiarity and the comfort that brings.

Okay, end my gush-session over Nora. On to this actual book!

Come Sundown is, like all of Nora’s books, a story with family at its core. Whether borne of blood or forged by friendship, family is always the central theme of Nora’s novels. This book takes place on the Bodine Ranch and Resort in the heart of Big Sky Country, otherwise known as Montana. Bodine Longbow is our female main character and manager of the resort side of her namesake. Callen Skinner, her brother’s best friend and her own childhood crush, has returned home after leaving at eighteen to make a name for himself in Hollywood. He’s the best horseman around, and owner of the most unique horse around, Sundown. This trick horse is more than just a horse to Cal; he’s Cal’s brother and friend. The relationship between the two is so sweet to read about, but the relationship between Cal and Bo is even more fun to watch blossom. As always, Nora is the queen of romance, and in this book we have one central romance, with two more budding romances on the periphery.

But as stated previously, the core of this book isn’t romance; it’s family. And this family has a skeleton in their closet, one that reasserts itself in a brutal and heartbreaking way as the story progresses. I won’t get into what this skeleton is, as it’s a central plot point that I don’t want to spoil, but it was harsh. I know terrible things happen in life, and that those terrible things can (and should) make their way into fiction. But at times, the experiences of one character were incredibly hard to read about. There should be a couple of trigger warnings with this book (especially for rape). But, though there were aspects of this book that were uncomfortably realistic, I knew that everything was going to be okay. The best part of Nora’s books are the happy endings, and this book definitely delivered that.

All in all, this was a great standalone offering from one of my favorite authors. It had romance and horse and gorgeous sunsets and family dinners filled with laughter. It had love conquering all and good triumphing over evil. If you’re in the market for a romance with a surprising amount of substance but a guaranteed happy ending, I highly recommend this book.
Nora Roberts’ books are like cookies made with Grandma’s recipe: sweet, satisfying, and positively foolproof. There is no more surefire pick-me-up or slump buster. Her books sell like hotcakes because she knows how to give people what they want, and she somehow manages to crank out more than one a year. I guess it’s no wonder she’s so good, with that much practice under her belt.

Come Sundown is the perfect escapist read, set on a Montana ranch and resort owned by the kind of family you wish you were a part of. Multiple generations live and work on the grounds, and everybody has a role that fits their nature perfectly. They’re joined by a handful of outsiders who quickly become like family as well. Sound like too much of a lovefest to be believable? Enter the second storyline: Aunt Alice left home years ago in a fit of teenage rebellion, but ends up being held captive by a kidnapping sadist just a few miles away from the family that alternately misses and resents her. The descriptions of Alice’s captivity and her treatment at the hands of her tormentor are hard to read (trigger warning for sure), but I could deal with it because I knew Roberts wouldn’t leave a girl hanging. That bastard would get what was coming to him, and I couldn’t wait to see it happen. In the meantime, there are delightful, gentlemanly cowboys to swoon over, the tough but feminine gals they fall for, and one very talented horse who steals the show.

This was my first time trying Nora Roberts in audio, and I highly recommend it, with one caveat: the family only has about three or four ideas as far as names for their children, and they just keep using those names over and over, generation after generation. Thus you get multiple characters (I counted at least three) named Rory, some characters for whom Bodine is a last name and another for whom it’s a first name, etc. It’s confusing, but if you focus up a little bit when each character is introduced, you’ll be fine.

As an aside, I never thought I’d find a barfight sexy, but Nora Roberts knows there’s something deeply attractive about righteous anger. Right on, girl.
It's been a long time since I read a Nora Roberts book. I have no excuses as to why, just too many books to read I suppose. Once I started COME SUNDOWN I was kicking myself for waiting so long to revisit one of my longtime favorite authors.

COME SUNDOWN is a stand alone which is rare nowadays so no long term commitment! The story starts in 1991. Alice Bodine ran away to Hollywood a few years ago and after a few postcards, her family never heard from her again. That was twenty five years ago and her family doesn't really talk about her. It's too painful and too much for her Momma to talk about. But not a day goes by when her mom doesn't think about her.

COME SUNDOWN is written outlining two different times in the Bodine family. The past and the present. Once I started reading, it was hard to put this heart pounding story down. Alice Bodine ran away from Montana in 1989 and three years later, she is making her way home. She never makes it because she takes a ride from a stranger and life as she knew it is now over. What she endures at the hands of this monster broke my heart over and over again.

In the present day, you meet Bodine Longbow who runs the Bodine resort. She is always busy and always on the go, but always has time for her friends and employees. She had a child hood crush on Callen Skinner but that was years ago. He moved away years ago to go to California as well. Well, guess who is back at the ranch/resort? That's right, Callen! When two young women are found dead, his arch enemy from when he was a kid thinks right away that Cal is the suspect! Oh his accuser is also a deputy! Oh yeah, it doesn't get any better than that right?

COME SUNDOWN is filled with love, patience, healing, and just the right amount of suspense. Without giving the whole story away, Alice comes back after 26 years and her family rallies around her to help her heal. You can't even begin to imagine all that she went through and wonder if her mind can ever begin to heal. Your heart will break over and over again for Alice and all that she dealt with from the man she called Sir. Hold on to your seats my reading friends........this is one hell of a wild ride!
On a cold, snowy day in 1991 Alice Bodine decided to return home, after upping and leaving three years earlier. Making a decision between cutting across the wildness in the snow, or going the longer way round, Alice decided to stick to the road, which seemed like the safer option of the two. How wrong could Alice have been?

Back in present-day Montana, Bodine Longbow (Alice’s niece), is the manager of her family’s, four-generation run holiday ranch. She is hard-working and has little time for herself. So when an ex-lover, Callum, comes back into her life, taking up work on the ranch, she decides she doesn’t have time for a relationships.

At the same time as Callum re-appears, women start being murdered. Is this just a coincidence or is Callum involved? Events take an even darker twist when Alice suddenly makes an appearance in a distressed state, 25 years after she disappeared.

Firstly time for a confession. Although I have known about Nora Robert’s work for a long time, this is the first book that I have read by her, and I can assure you, it won’t be the last.

This book is dark, sinister at times. There are some brutal scenes, and horrifying events, especially regarding Alice, who has been kept as a slave/baby-maker for the last 25 years, repeatedly battered, and raped by her captor.

We as readers are taken back and forth between Alice’s horrific world and present-day Montana. The characters, and there are quite a few of them, are all well thought out, and wonderfully-constructed. The family has such a strong bond between them, that it’s hard not to like each and everyone of them.

There are some lighter, more at ease scenes, including a few romances and fun events occurring between the family members, so it’s not all heart-wrenching.

I love a good book that absorbs me into the plot and hooks me to the page, gets my pulse racing, and my emotions in a tither. This book did all of those things.

Ms. Roberts keeps us guessing as to what is going to happen next. With plenty of twists, turns and mystery, this book is a definite 2017 must-read.
4.5 stars. All I can say is Nora Roberts does it again with Come Sundown. There is mystery and crime, strong women, a beautiful ranch and resort in Montana, family and friends, romance - all of which combine into making a downright good read.

Bodine - the heroine is a strong, feisty woman and boss, she runs the resort side of the family business really well. She comes from a strong line of women - there's Miss Fancy her great grandmother of 89 years, Cora her grandmother and Maureen her mother. And don't think Miss Fancy sits all day in a rocking chair, don't offend her with that. She can still ride out when she wants over the ranch. One of the laughs I got from this book was a tee shirt she turned out in one time with a really apt and clever slogan on the front. Not going to spoil it for you though, you just need to come across it.

There is darkness in this novel, Bodine's Aunt Alice went missing, she was a little of the black sheep of the family and had left home to do her thing. However she is taken hostage by a very bad guy and lost to the family. Bodine and her two brothers have never met her or seen her. At times we get the viewpoint of this evil, ugly man and for some that could be off putting. But so far one thing I can say is, Nora Roberts never lets the bad guy win - so hang in there.

These dark spots are juxtaposed against family, life on the ranch and resort. Family bonds are so strong and when Callen rides in on his amazing horse life gets even better. He is a long time friend of Bodine's brother Chase, returning to his place of birth after time in Hollywood training horses. Soon he is very much involved in life on the ranch and resort. And dang it. That horse of his, there is something magical about it.

I love the title of this book and how it relates to the story, won't give it away, but its perfect. At times during the reading I shied away from the ugly, caught my breath at the very emotional points and chuckled at some of the humour that sprang out in places.

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