And now it is time for the romance novel. I won’t bother breaking down the various tropes of romance novels, for Mrs. Julien did an amazing job of bringing it all into focus in her review. I will only say that sometimes, and really it is only sometimes, my brain craves formulaic writing.
In my opinion Nora Roberts’ is not a bad writer, simply a formulaic one. Actually, the vocabulary used is of a decent quality, there is a thankful lack of heaving bosoms, and Ms. Roberts’ has a fantastic ability to describe scenery. I know scenery is not what one is generally reading for when romance novels are the topic, but I’m actually here for the story. Often skipping completely over the sexy parts of the narrative. Yes, the characters always fall in love. So what? Sometimes I want for my characters to fall in love. ‘Shippers all over the world are looking for their favorite characters to fall in love and in Three Fates there are three couples bound by – you guessed it – the fates to be together.
We meet the Sullivan clan, brothers Malachi, Gideon and their sister Rebecca based out of Cobh, Ireland. Their great-great grandfather, Felix Greenfield, survived the sinking of the Lusitania and it changed him from a thief to a family man. But only after he stole a small silver statue of Clotho from a Mr. Wyley, a rich antiques dealer. We fast forward ninety years to Malachi who through naivety and arousal has lost the statue. No! Now the family is on a quest to retrieve what was theirs’ and unites it with the other two fates.
From this point each sibling gets caught up in the story, the statues, and their appropriate other halves including Tia Marsh a historian specializing in myths, Cleo Tolliver a dancer who has found herself on the seedy side of Prague, and Jack Burdett a security specialist. I appreciate in this book that the female characters are given several dimensions, although the misunderstandings with their love interests are obvious. One is sure she can never be loved/found attractive, one is sure she is seen simply as a sex object, and the other doesn’t trust her gut since she doesn’t believe in love at first sight.
Things that bend the formula in this case include a truly nasty female villain and a murder of a secondary character. These things are not unheard of in the Roberts universe, but not generally expected. Of course the couples, the fates, and the story is wrapped up in a nice bow at the end, but sometimes a nice bow is totally worth the ride.