BLACK HILLS by NORA ROBERTS.
Black Hills is set in the dramatic hills of South Dakota, where the narrative begins in 1989, before moving to 1997 and then 2009.
Cooper 'Coop' Sullivan and Lil Chance's relationship is at the heart of this book: Robert initially describes how a chance encounter with a cougar cements the youngster's burgeoning friendship and ignites a lifelong passion for big cats in Lil, before they fall in love as teenagers and grow apart ad adults. When ex-cop and criminal investigator Coop returns to South Dakota in 2009, he that Lil is now Dr Lillian Chance and has opened a successful big cat reserve.
Black Hills is very much a coming of age tale, which is diversified with the added danger of a hunter who is lurking in the Black Hills. Who is he and why is he prowling the hills? Lil and Coop begin a new journey as they fight to not only to protect the animals in the reserve, but to stay safe themselves as they struggle to also safeguard their increasingly fragile relationship. Can things ever return to the way they were before they feel in love?
Power and nature are huge themes throughout Black Hills. from the might of Coop's Harley Davison motorbike to the natural intensity of the hills and creeks surrounding the Chance Reserve, Roberts uses continuous symbolism to create huge impact throughout the story.
I enjoy reading crime books and felt that the cover of Black Hills may attract attention and encourage those who don't read regularly to give it a go. I do, however, personally feel that despite Black Hills being portrayed as a crime thriller, I would feel that its genre is actually a modern romance. Despite this, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and it will certainly encourage me to read more of Nora Roberts' offerings in the future.