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Risky Business

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From #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts comes a fan favorite story of danger and mystery. Dive shop owner Liz Palmer has made an idyllic life for herself in Cozumel. But everything changes when her employee is murdered and his grieving twin brother storms into Liz’s life with revenge in his heart. Suddenly Liz is plunged into the dangerous world of drug From #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts comes a fan favorite story of danger and mystery. Dive shop owner Liz Palmer has made an idyllic life for herself in Cozumel. But everything changes when her employee is murdered and his grieving twin brother storms into Liz’s life with revenge in his heart. Suddenly Liz is plunged into the dangerous world of drug smugglers, and she discovers how impossible it is to resist both the mystery…and the passionate man trying to solve it.


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From #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts comes a fan favorite story of danger and mystery. Dive shop owner Liz Palmer has made an idyllic life for herself in Cozumel. But everything changes when her employee is murdered and his grieving twin brother storms into Liz’s life with revenge in his heart. Suddenly Liz is plunged into the dangerous world of drug From #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts comes a fan favorite story of danger and mystery. Dive shop owner Liz Palmer has made an idyllic life for herself in Cozumel. But everything changes when her employee is murdered and his grieving twin brother storms into Liz’s life with revenge in his heart. Suddenly Liz is plunged into the dangerous world of drug smugglers, and she discovers how impossible it is to resist both the mystery…and the passionate man trying to solve it.

30 review for Risky Business

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Kay

    Well narrated by Gabra Zackman. Difficult to rate this book NR wrote way back in 1986. Twenty-five years ago! Parts of it definitely dipped down to 3 stars, but others were excellent. At certain times the pacing is off. Neat to see the romantic suspense writer she will become, but hard not to compare it to the best of to her current work. I love a good treasure hunt and a diving story, so I’m going with four stars. ★★★★✩Well narrated by Gabra Zackman. Difficult to rate this book NR wrote way back in 1986. Twenty-five years ago! Parts of it definitely dipped down to 3 stars, but others were excellent. At certain times the pacing is off. Neat to see the romantic suspense writer she will become, but hard not to compare it to the best of to her current work. I love a good treasure hunt and a diving story, so I’m going with four stars.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Dee

    Review haiku: Murder brings lawyer To diving business owner. Love in Cozumel.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mojca

    Another good NR oldie. Wonderful suspense with the drug-trafficking ring, great pacing, and wonderful hero. The heroine bugged me, though, which came as a huge surprise. And it’s because of her indecision, her insecurity, and her inability to face the truth about herself, that lowered the rating for this story. I could’ve done without all her “angst”. Still, it was a pleasurable, quick, exciting, and intriguing read.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Steelwhisper

    Okay, so now I've read a Nora Roberts. I'm rather thankful that this was a library lend and not something I bought. ---------- spoilershed ---------- The book is dated, severely dated in fact. The hero is smoking without any comment by anyone around him, he simply goes ahead and not only visits the parents of the heroine without her knowledge, he even takes her ten-year-old daughter alone out to the zoo and buys her stuff. Today this comes over as rather skeevy, just as his comments about said Okay, so now I've read a Nora Roberts. I'm rather thankful that this was a library lend and not something I bought. ---------- spoilershed ---------- The book is dated, severely dated in fact. The hero is smoking without any comment by anyone around him, he simply goes ahead and not only visits the parents of the heroine without her knowledge, he even takes her ten-year-old daughter alone out to the zoo and buys her stuff. Today this comes over as rather skeevy, just as his comments about said daughter. The writing was so incredibly facile that I ended up being very astonished about the success of this author. The plot was harebrained and thin, the prose nothing to positively notice, headhopping occurred by the paragraph, even sentence at times, and the romance was none. Just "plop" and suddenly they were kissing. No emotional journey at all. This is less than what I'd expect a teenaged girl to write these days. Some reviewers commented on the "arseholish hero". That amuses me a bit right there, because yes, the hero is overbearing. But. But he doesn't even come near the horrid antisocial bad-boy alphamales the rage in contemporary romance at the moment! He's a stupid idiot, but relatively benign compared. Not that anyone mistakes this and thinks he is an acceptably normal guy. Just that he is mild-mannered compared to the idiot alpha hunks populating romance right now. I don't recommend this book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Melodie

    Risky Business is another one of Nora Roberts earlier books,circa 1986. And she combines mystery and romance very well.Her focus character, Liz Palmer,was easy to relate to. Single mom, jilted by rich boyfriend while pregnant, starts over in Cozumel.Works her way up from hotel maid to owning her own business. Fiercely independent and determined not to expose herself to the hurt of romantic involvement again. I liked her. A murder mystery begins almost immediately, so this is a page turner for Risky Business is another one of Nora Roberts earlier books,circa 1986. And she combines mystery and romance very well.Her focus character, Liz Palmer,was easy to relate to. Single mom, jilted by rich boyfriend while pregnant, starts over in Cozumel.Works her way up from hotel maid to owning her own business. Fiercely independent and determined not to expose herself to the hurt of romantic involvement again. I liked her. A murder mystery begins almost immediately, so this is a page turner for that reason alone. The love interest, twin brother to the murder victim, comes on the scene.Jonas Sharpe is the responsible twin,who has played the straight man for his adventurous, womanizing brother all his adult life. A lawyer(of course) he is determined to find his brother's killer and mete out his own brand of justice. While not the most likable man, he and Liz do the romance dance as the mystery unfolds and eventually find themselves having an island romance. When the mystery is solved and Liz decides to send Jonas on his way, it gets creepy.Having been told no thank you by Liz and sent packing back to the States, he takes it upon himself to contact her parents and said parents allow an unaccompanied visit to Liz's ten year old daughter to the local zoo! And when the daughter and parents come for their summer visit with Mr Creepy tagging along with an engagement rock, Liz is flabbergasted and says yes! I don't care what decade this was written in, that kind of creepazoid behavior would not fly with any mother I know of! Fortunately, the mystery was engaging enough to keep me interested. The romance was controlling b.s. and I was sorry that Liz fell for it.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Alexis-Morgan Roark

    These were some REALLY DUMB villains! Aside from that, it was a good read for what it was: an 80s romance. You know what to expect and you get it...although, the hero wasn't NEARLY as big a jerk as I've read from other books in the same time period.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Cindi

    Loved the setting, Carribbean. Again, some romance, a d some mystery. Good combination !!!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Judy Churchill

    Cozumel, a dive shop, drug running and murder. And of course romance. The story was compelling and very believable. Again Roberts’ characters just jump off the page.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Yvonne

    An interesting mystery.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Zubee

    3.5 stars Interesting read; the mystery about H's brother is well written, h is strong while H is suitably tortured ... made for an engrossing read ...

  11. 4 out of 5

    Natalie

    I've read so many Nora Roberts books over the years, I'm really out of compliments on her work. However, I'll give it a shot. *LOL* This is a typical Nora Roberts book. A little different in my opinion than her usual stuff, but nevertheless excellent. You have a heroine who became pregnant in college and for reasons explained in the book, she leaves her home and even her country to start a new life with her daughter. She winds up creating a successful business and a comfortable life for her and I've read so many Nora Roberts books over the years, I'm really out of compliments on her work. However, I'll give it a shot. *LOL* This is a typical Nora Roberts book. A little different in my opinion than her usual stuff, but nevertheless excellent. You have a heroine who became pregnant in college and for reasons explained in the book, she leaves her home and even her country to start a new life with her daughter. She winds up creating a successful business and a comfortable life for her and her child. The book starts when the glass-bottomed boat she is captaining comes across a horrrific scene. The passengers spy through the bottom of the boat a man with an anchor around his neck, obviously murdered. Police investigations and the arrival of the murdered man's brother causes the heroine's life to be temporarily chaotic. Overall, I would recommend this book. It's definitely one of those books to pack in your bag or download to your e-reader and take on a plane, a bus or best yet, to the beach and have a light, enjoyable read. So go for it!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Maloney

    To a point, I can understand why this story is so offensively patriarchal; the book is from the late 80s - things were different then. However, a weak-willed heroine plus an over-bearing-to-the-point-of-ridiculousness hero with a completely unrealistic masculine pov, multiplied by an unbelievable (in a bad way) love story, equaled lots of skipped pages. I enjoyed the mystery/suspense portions so much more than the 'romance,' as the latter had me stopping multiple times to groan or roll my eyes. To a point, I can understand why this story is so offensively patriarchal; the book is from the late 80s - things were different then. However, a weak-willed heroine plus an over-bearing-to-the-point-of-ridiculousness hero with a completely unrealistic masculine pov, multiplied by an unbelievable (in a bad way) love story, equaled lots of skipped pages. I enjoyed the mystery/suspense portions so much more than the 'romance,' as the latter had me stopping multiple times to groan or roll my eyes. It sucked, because if the romance part had been better the book would be a really fun read. From now on, I will endeavor to check the decade of first publication the next time I check out a Nora Roberts book, even if it's on sale for kindle. Lesson learned.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Mirjam

    Risky Business is one of Nora Roberts' earlier works, which shows. It's a nice book with lots of suspense, but it lacks the superb quality of her later works. I find it difficult to refrain myself from comparing it to her current works, which would not be fair. The characters are likeable, the suspense is well-done and the mystery well thought out. I enjoyed reading it, but I don't think I will re-read this book as I often do her other works.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ash

    Re-read

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    I actually think I wanted this to be shorter, which is not something I say about a category length title very often.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jo

    Just before reading this book, I read The Reef by Nora Roberts. I hadn't realized that this too would be a book that revolved heavily around scuba diving and the ocean (with both female protagonists have a passion for both). I'd describe both of them as romantic suspense. It was interesting to see the contrasts between the two books. Despite having a very large similar aspect, the two were very different books in content. They took place in places on opposite sides of the ocean, featured Just before reading this book, I read The Reef by Nora Roberts. I hadn't realized that this too would be a book that revolved heavily around scuba diving and the ocean (with both female protagonists have a passion for both). I'd describe both of them as romantic suspense. It was interesting to see the contrasts between the two books. Despite having a very large similar aspect, the two were very different books in content. They took place in places on opposite sides of the ocean, featured different and unique characters, and had different story lines and scenarios (though they both did involve the female protagonist being held at gunpoint on a boat). Liz left the US ten years ago during her freshmen year in college after a particularly negative romantic experience. Since then, life has been about her daughter and succeeding in her business (largely for her daughter). She has kept herself closed off and protected and believes herself to be happy. She worked hard and he life was relatively straight-forward. That is until she finds one of her employees at the bottom of the ocean having met an unfortunate demise. The employee, Jerry, has a twin brother, Jonas, who is a lawyer with his own practice in Philadelphia. He, like Liz, is a work-a-holic. He is also now out to avenge his brother's murder. He doesn't care what he has to do or who he has to use to get the justice he seeks. The murder of Jerry Sharpe quickly throws the lives of two orderly, self-sufficient, stubborn people into chaos. Where Liz wants nothing to do with the mystery, Jonas is determined to have her help in finding his brother's killer. By the time he starts feeling guilty over this, Liz's life has been threatened and he realizes she's in it now, whether or not either of them likes it, and determines to protect her. The book includes danger and suspense and romance and all ends with a HEA ending (which I absolutely adored) and no cliffhanger. As with any of Roberts' books, I would definitely recommend this one.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Marcia Haskell

    Typical Nora Roberts, excellent twist-filled mystery and plenty ofromance A single mother who gives everything for her child, even letting her be away for months to get a better education. A successful business, a dive shop, she created from nothing. A murder of one of her employees starts a chain of events that tangle her up with drug dealers. The arrival of the brother of her murdered employee not only creates more mystery to untangle, but also makes her feel emotions she closed off when she Typical Nora Roberts, excellent twist-filled mystery and plenty ofromance A single mother who gives everything for her child, even letting her be away for months to get a better education. A successful business, a dive shop, she created from nothing. A murder of one of her employees starts a chain of events that tangle her up with drug dealers. The arrival of the brother of her murdered employee not only creates more mystery to untangle, but also makes her feel emotions she closed off when she made the decision to raise her daughter alone. A great read which has everything I’ve come to expect from Nora Roberts. The setting, coast of Mexico, fits everything you need from this story. I love the characters who populate this book and the emotion is perfect. Not too gooey, just enough that it feels right and the mystery is not obvious and is resolved perfectly.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Sonja

    I've had this one on my TBR list for months and just haven't had the enthusiasm for it. I was skeptical since it was published many years ago and might be outdated, though not usually an issue when reading. I just wasn't sure. Well. I'm glad I did read it as I really enjoyed this book! I liked that the whole book was written to have occurred any time in the last 20 years and was very interesting. I really liked Liz's character and, while Jonas' smoking and sometimes high-handedness annoyed me, I I've had this one on my TBR list for months and just haven't had the enthusiasm for it. I was skeptical since it was published many years ago and might be outdated, though not usually an issue when reading. I just wasn't sure. Well. I'm glad I did read it as I really enjoyed this book! I liked that the whole book was written to have occurred any time in the last 20 years and was very interesting. I really liked Liz's character and, while Jonas' smoking and sometimes high-handedness annoyed me, I did ultimately like him for Liz. The mystery and the plot were also well-written and just enough suspense to keep my attention. (despite being on a roller-coaster vacation week!) I actually hated having to put the book down because we had plans or I needed to sleep to survive the next day. Overall good story!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Diana Gagliardi

    Smooth sailing Single mother Liz, has worked, scrimped, and saved to make a successful living for herself and her daughter, Faith, and has the best, most reputable dive shop in Cancun, Mexico. When a part-time employer is murdered and his twin brother arrives to identify and claim the body, Liz is thrust into the middle of a smuggling ring, her life is threatened, and her heart is stolen by the bereft brother. Liz must help the police, the brother, and herself in order to live her life or welcome Smooth sailing Single mother Liz, has worked, scrimped, and saved to make a successful living for herself and her daughter, Faith, and has the best, most reputable dive shop in Cancun, Mexico. When a part-time employer is murdered and his twin brother arrives to identify and claim the body, Liz is thrust into the middle of a smuggling ring, her life is threatened, and her heart is stolen by the bereft brother. Liz must help the police, the brother, and herself in order to live her life or welcome change.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Moira

    Diving for love Not sure how I missed reading this when it was first released as I've been reading Nora Roberts for more than 30 years. The ending surprised me and I loved Jonas and Liz together. Having been alone and pregnant at 18, Liz has always been independent. Jonas provides the support and encouragement she needs to face her past to have the future she can only imagine. Perfect Nora Roberts story with suspense and romance to keep the reader on the edge of their seat!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Walker

    Wow! This is the first Nora Roberts book I have read. Now I am hooked. I was so wrapped up in the story that when I took a nap, I dreamt I was in it. Her characters are so human. The plot was believable. I couldn't stop reading it. A page-turner filled with drama, murder, intrigue, suspense, thrills, heated romance. I could go on and on. I highly recommend this book.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Debra

    This one was great. Everything I read Nora Roberts for. Mystery, intrigue, danger, and sexy men. Liz’s employee is murdered. Liz doesn’t know what Jerry was involved in, but she is about to find out whether she wants to or not. Jonas is Jerry’s brother. He will find out what Jerry was involved in, and he’s going to use Liz to do it.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Nancy D. Cruz

    Business as usual Nora Roberts never seems to fail me she keeps me enthralled even if I've read it before they're still details when you do a second we pick up line . She is the only writer that I don't have a problem with reading two and three times over and over because that's how good she is don't ever change your style stick to what you do best don't veer off the path.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte Griggs

    For something that was written quite some time ago, it really held onto itself. It's not one of the best novels done by Nora Roberts, but I enjoyed it for the most part. There were several parts that I found myself disinterested in and did a little skipping over. Luckily, that didn't falter the read any.

  25. 4 out of 5

    John Niles

    Enjoyable mystery by Nora Roberts Quick and easy read with romance and mystery mixing together in Cozumel. Having never dived in deep waters, I enjoyed seeing what life is like underneath the sea.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Suze

    RISKY BUSINESS Nora Roberts is one of my favorite authors, regardless of whether it is a new book or old. This is one of her older books, and it was great. Good suspense, nice romance.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Crane

    It was a great story. Captivated me and kept me interested. It would have gotten 4 or 5 stars but the love story really rubbed me the wrong way and the circumstances that the main characters got together intimately felt very wrong. Overall, it would have been a great story if not for that.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Margaret Shumaker

    Good early Nora Roberts It's fun to read an early Nora Roberts to compare to more recent books which are more complex. I enjoyed this story and characters and it was fun to see the seeds of her more mature work.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Charlene Rowe

    Wonderful Really enjoyed this story. Nora is masterful at her craft, both in characterization as well as plot development. Yes this is an older story but it holds up in this age too. Loved it as I love almost all Nora Roberts' books.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Lois Buck

    Great as always I always enjoy Nora Roberts' books. I was sorry to see this one end. A young woman is caught up in Risky Business not of her own making. I loved the interesting twist at the end. Some romance and a lot of mystery and suspense. Can't ask for anything more!

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