Review of Sullivan’s Woman by Nora Roberts

This is my second book in the Bibliophilic Books Challenge. It qualifies because it features a writer as the heroine. Her writing is very important to her and the narrative frequently shows her writing, working out scenes or joking about her manuscript and its journey from publisher to publisher. Technically speaking, it could go in the Global Challenge as well, but I am trying to read all new (to me) authors in that one, so I’m not counting it in.

Year published: 1984
Genre: Romance
Setting & time: San Francisco, contemporary (modern timeless)

Struggling writer Cassidy St. John can’t keep any job for long, so being offered a steady one sitting for celebrated painter Colin Sullivan is a blessing... to begin with. Colin is a hard taskmaster, egotistical, passionate and extremely sexy and it isn’t long before Cassidy has fallen in love with him. But Colin is known for not sticking to any one woman for long, and Cassidy is not the kind of woman who likes being discarded like yesterday’s newspaper. She knows her heart is going to get broken, but she can’t help being attracted to him.

This is an early Nora Roberts novel, with the typical larger-than-life hero and a heroine who can’t keep away from him even if she knows he’s trouble. There are none of the thriller or fantasy elements of Robert’s later romances, just a basic, tempestuous love story with all the doubts, hesitations, passion, kisses and misunderstandings you can expect from a good romance novel. And, interestingly enough, no sex. This was rather a surprise, as Roberts is known for writing scorching love/sex scenes, but in this case it just makes the book better because the suggestion of sex hangs between the heroine and hero through the whole book but the lack of actual between-the-sheets action builds up to an almost frenzied tension between them which drives much of the plot.
3 stars.


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