Today’s passionate love story routine is going on an odyssey of sorts. We’re going right to the book shelves to an author you might have heard of: J.D. Robb and her in Death series. I count this series among my all time favorites for the pacing, the plotting, the scenes and the characters. Oh, the characters, the wonderful, vibrant characters who leap off the page and into our hearts.
In November, J.D. Robb or as she is known to the rest of the world Nora Roberts, will release her 30th ‘in Death’ book. What makes in Death stand out so much for me? It’s the ongoing, serialized storytelling of the main characters, particularly one Eve Dallas and her husband Roarke.
Passionate in Death
Eve Dallas is a New York City homicide detective in 2058. She’s tough, she’s smart and she’s tenacious. She’s called in as the Primary when a Senator’s granddaughter is murdered. The murder is brutal and the girl is shot with an antique bullet based weapon. During the course of her investigation she meets the powerful and the enigmatic Roarke.
When the very wealthy, very mysterious man puts in an appearance at the funeral. Eve sets her sights on him as a possible suspect. She doesn’t just drop him into a category though, she investigates him. Then much to her own chagrin, just as she’s ready to clear him as a suspect, they end up falling into bed together.
Roarke is challenged by the savvy detective, an irony for the reformed thief who spent his entire life dodging the law. Eve is fascinated by the man who literally has everything and doesn’t live his life by the same rule book that provides her with such security. When Roarke courts her, it’s with hot, real coffee – a true delicacy in a world based on soy and faux products.
By the end of their first book Naked in Death Roarke confesses that he loves her and Eve confesses her own dark, tortured past.
Love Affair in Death
Roarke and Eve fall in love, get engaged and eventually marry during the early books in the series. Readers are treated to watching their relationship evolve. They are passionately in love with each other and need each other desperately. Eve is haunted by nightmares of her childhood — a childhood that is becoming clearer as she creates more security for herself in the present.
Eve, ever the loner, takes a small handful of friendships and begins to develop a very tight circle of friends from Dr. Mira the psychologist who works with her to Peabody (first the aide and eventually her partner) to Feeney, her pseudo-father on the force. Through it all, Roarke and Eve struggle to not consume each other in their need.
Early on in the relationship explosive fights were the norm, particularly when Roarke came in as a civilian consultant on her cases. Eve is very protective of her husband, but she is equally protective of her work as a Detective. Over time, they’ve developed a rhythm and Eve has finally begun to let go of the fear that she will allow herself to just let Roarke take care of everything.
Roarke used to spend his holidays jetting to exotic locations with exotic women. Now he spends his holidays at home with his wife because:
“I was alone because there was no one who mattered enough to keep me here.” Of her, he says, “But I needed her. The one thing, the only thing that could make this place home.”
This couple has confronted their negative pasts, they have overcome them and become powerful individuals in their own right, but they are stronger together and they both know it. Romantically, they remain one of the most passionate love stories in current fiction.
I’ll definitely raise a cup of fresh, brewed coffee to that. If you haven’t read the in Death series, begin with the first novel: Naked in Death and let yourself become invested with the wonderful world of mid-21st century New York, Eve Dallas and her delicious Irish husband: Roarke.
Note to J.D. Robb: If they ever make this series into a movie, hire Stana Katic from Castle. She’d be perfect as Eve: