Blue Smoke

Blue Smoke

by Nora Roberts

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reprint)

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Incomparable #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts delivers a tale of gut-level fear, human triumph, and the bonds that carry us through our darkest times…

Reena Hale’s destiny was shaped in the destructive—yet fascinatingly beautiful—fire that leveled her family’s pizzeria when she was young. Now an arson investigator, she finds her strength and wits constantly tested, although sometimes the job seems like a snap compared to her love life. But she can’t always blame the men. After all, a soot-caked woman barking orders and smelling of smoke isn’t the biggest turn-on in the world. Then she meets Bo Goodnight, who seems different. He’s been trying to find Reena for years, and now that she’s close enough to touch, he has no intention of letting go.

Nor does the man who has begun to haunt Reena’s life—with taunting phone calls and a string of horrifying crimes. And as Reena tries desperately to trace the origins—of the calls, the fires, the hatred aimed in her direction—she will step into the worst inferno she has ever faced...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780515141399
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/30/2006
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 336,583
Product dimensions: 4.19(w) x 6.81(h) x 1.19(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Nora Roberts is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than 200 novels. She is also the author of the bestselling In Death series written under the pen name J. D. Robb. There are more than 500 million copies of her books in print.


Keedysville, Maryland

Date of Birth:


Place of Birth:

Silver Spring, Maryland

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher




“CLASSIC ROBERTS.”—Library Journal

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Blue Smoke 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 190 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
When Catarina "Reena" Hale was eleven years old, she watched with her family--father Gib, mother Bianca, sister Francesca, sister Isabella, and brother Xander--as their family business, Sirico's, burned to the ground. The case came to a swift conclusion, when the father of a boy who had attempted to assault Reena is picked up for arson. The family rebuilds their business, their family ties stay strong, and their love and respect in the neighborhood grows.

We fast-forward to Reena in college, where she's finally decided to lose her virginity to Josh, a fellow student who yearns to be a writer. After her sister Bella's dream wedding, Reena has sex with her boyfriend, returns home, and later discovers that Josh has died during a horrific apartment fire--after supposedly falling asleep in bed with a lit cigarette.

Again, fast-forward. Reena is still in training to become an arson investigator, her life-long dream. She's a member of the police force, has worked actual fires with her fellow firefighters, and now needs to finish her training. A firefighter she was thinking of dating dies in an apparent robbery, shot and left in his burning truck.

Still farther into the future, Reena is a full-fledged arson investigator, and tragedy finds her once again. Only days after earning her gold shield, Luke, a boyfriend whose marriage proposal she turned down, has his Mercedes burned sky-high, and of course Reena is the main suspect. After she's cleared, she's only more determined than ever to make fire her job--to find out who sets it, and why, and to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Then she meets Bowen "Bo" Goodnight, her new next-door-neighbor, and feelings and emotions get jumbled up with the fires that seem to dog her every step. Because someone has made her their vendetta, and will stop at nothing to make sure that his own brand of justice is served.

I loved BLUE SMOKE! Although it took me four days to read, weighing in at 437 pages and spanning twenty years, the book is a wonderful mix of engaging family saga, taut police/arson procedural, and down and out thriller. I don't agree with the other reviewers who said this book was "horror" or that Ms. Roberts delved too deeply into the mind of the killer--most romantic suspense (and this is definitely one of those books) these days go more into the who, how, and why and less on the fluff. I commend Ms. Roberts for another winning story, one which I was sad to see end. I loved reading about the Hale family and their extended relations, and I'm sure you'll be as enthralled by them as I was.

**I have to also say that BLUE SMOKE reads a lot like Nora Robert's alter-ego, J.D. Robb, in a lot of instances. Some of the short sentences, rapid-pace dialogue, and out-loud ruminating are reminiscent of Eve Dallas, but that only adds to the allure of BLUE SMOKE, instead of taking away from it. Kudos on another winner!
Beadgal64 More than 1 year ago
I have read this book when it first came out and I really enjoyed it very much and had me keep on reading. Nora Roberts is the best. I agree with other is a GREAT book and I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone!
Readaholic101 More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I've read of Nora Roberts and was thrilled. The storyline I thought was great. I've never read a book with the main character as a woman fire dectective. I loved how she was so strong and determined and never backed down of becoming what she's always wanted to be since the fire at her parents Italian resturaunt when she was young. The love scenes are excellent and I enjoyed how Nora thought of making the male character fall in love from "afar". This is absolutely a book to read of Nora Roberts.
gnashj More than 1 year ago
The characters were phenominal. Was actually able to grow up with the main character. The change in text for the villain helped to give a different voice to that character. Nora Roberts hit it out of the park again with another number one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a very good book. I loved Bo, he was the perfect love interest. The characters were very likeable and the chemistry was great once the two got together. The killer is not kept a secret so if you like to figure out the killer in books, then this book is not for you. Overall, enjoyable read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I don't always read these kinds of books, but this one was steady reading, all the way through. I didn't want to put it down. Nice job.
JW58 More than 1 year ago
Nora Roberts' at her best. Intriquing and attention grabbing from the beginnng to the end.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had quit reading Nora Roberts for a while because it seemed they were getting to be just trashy romance novels. I am glad I picked this up off the sale rack. It was good and definitely a page turner!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was my first Nora Roberts Novel, but definately not the last. Her attention to detail was outstanding. The characters were so alive it was almost like watching a movie. I knew who the suspect was pretty much the whole way through, but the ending still had me on the edge of my chair!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is classic Roberts style, with one pleasant exception: her heroine is Italian. The cop that the heroine becomes seems familiar to me, and that's because she is the Roberts female cop archetype. So she's strong, and independent, all are all the others, but she's an individual, and as different from the others as the others are from her and from each other. I've grown accustomed to seeing Roberts' women as Irish or of Irish ancestry, and I liked the fact that she shook things up a bit here. The story itself was good. There's very little mystery, because we know who the baddies are, but the tension, the passion, the drama, the characterization, the emotion -- all of these are classic Nora Roberts and, therefore, they're superbly done.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book is just awesome and I could not put it down....i even lost sleep by reading this but it was well worth it! I even gave it to a friend of mine to read it. I highly recommend this book. If you see other people saying it's dull, it's not. take my word for it! I enjoy nora roberts and she is a great writer!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved it from beginning to end. I would reccomend this book to anybody and everybody. The ending was definitely my favorite part. It isnt possible to be dissapointed by this book, if anything u might love it...
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hi,i'm a huge supporter and fan of Nora Roberts. She's the best. This book, Blue Smoke, was the first book i read of hers. Words can't describe how amazing this single book is.No, it's not a's a masterpiece! If you read this masterpiece you WILL cry, aw, jump,and never take your eyes off it. This book is full of romance, action, mystery, and adventure. Please, if you are a reader and you're looking for a masterpiece by Ms. Nora Roberts, you got to read this book. Note this piece of information, exclusively from me...DO NOT EVER UNDER ESTIMATE OR PUT DOWN NORA AND HER BOOKS..thank you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Blue Smoke was a good read. A little slow to get to the punch and the 'villian' was a little too obvious, BUT, the book itself was really good. The writing was more along Nora's JD Robb books, but since I like those, this was right up my alley!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a classic Nora Roberts book, but even better! Suspense builds toward the ending, but getting there made me laugh, gasp, boo, and want to cry.
GailCooke More than 1 year ago
Pyromania - an impulse/control desire or need to set things on fire. Where there's smoke there's fire, and where there's fire there's often a pyromaniac. But few pyromaniacs are also sadists intent on killing. Such is the terror faced by arson investigator Reena Hale. As a child she had seen her family's restaurant go up in flames, and as she watched the devastation she determined to learn more about fires and some day become an investigator. She went through the arduous years of study, and as our story opens Reena is an attractive woman, an arson investigator for the Baltimore Police Department. She loves her work, finds it thrilling and satisfying. The same can't be said for any romance in her life. She's had some possibles but so far none of the men have been willing to put up with the danger she faces or her unpredictable work hours. At last, she seems to have found the right one - neighbor Bo Goodnight. He not only accepts her, but wants her. He easily adapts to her extended Italian family and the perils she faces. Just as it seems her life is what she dreamed it would be she begins receiving threatening phone calls from someone who sounds like a sociopath determined to do away with Reena and those she loves. Joyce Bean delivers a tension filled reading of this suspense/romance from the prolific pen of Nora Roberts. Bean never succumbs to dramatizing the danger but mesmerizes listeners with a steady, articulate voice performance letting the narrative speak for itself. - Gail Cooke
Anonymous 10 months ago
Keeps you riveted. Nora Roberts seriously knows how to develop characters, and can tell a story like no one else.
LibGirl28 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Loved, loved, loved this book!! I'm an avid Nora Roberts reader and Blue Smoke is a top 5 Nora favorite! Gripping suspense, complex characters, and as always, riveting romance! A must read!!!
Dadbrazelton on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Idealized characters. A bit 'sappy', but could not put it down.
bookwormteri on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
You can always count on Nora Roberts for a great read.
miyurose on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this. I liked how Reena and Bo circled around each other for years. It did seem that it took Reena a bit too long to connect all the fires together. I mean, who has fire touch their life *that* much? And the ending seemed a little rushed. But all in all, it was romantic and suspenseful, as any good Nora Roberts should be.
BackyardHorse on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This one made it on TV as a movie on Lifetime, but television version was disappointing after reading Robert's skillfully crafted story of a female arson inspector who keeps loosing the men in her life.
AuthorMarion on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
While I haven't read every one of Ms. Roberts works I must state that I have read quite a few. I absolutely adore her way with words and the way she moves a story along without being obvious. Since many other reviewers have given a synopsis of this book I will limit myself to comments on the whole. Fully rounded characters were what first grabbed my attention. It is through the central character's interaction with those around her that we learn of the events that have brought her to the present day and why she is so fiercely independent. Ms. Roberts attention to details is one of the many things I love about her writing. Not too wordy, not too sparse, just enough to give you a perfect picture of the who or where she is describing. In Blue Smoke she is absolutely eloquent in her descriptions of fire, especially how it is perceived by some as a living thing. Her heroine, Reena, and the nemesis, Joey, are actually cut from a bit of the same cloth but the fine line between madness and sanity is what sets them apart. Both are drawn to fire because of its power but one is drawn to its capacity to harm while the other is searching for a way to quench the powerful beast. The Hale family is down to earth as they rally to protect their own. The Pastorelli family is as dysfunctional as they come. Thrown into the mix is a wonderful leading man named Bo Goodnight (with a name like that you know he rides the white horse). Suspense piled up as this reader tried to figure out where the arsonist would set his next, premeditated fire. I literally held my breath when Reena and Joey finally confronted each other. I truly enjoyed this book. The final couple of chapters are definitely not for the squeamish but I didn't think they were too gruesome. I've seen plenty worse on the TV set. I give Blue Smoke five stars for keeping me up way past my bedtime on way too many nights.
shelleyraec on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A good easy read with interesting characters and taut myetery and plot. Definately one of her better novels.
rolletm on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Reena has a dream of becoming an arson investigator after her parents' pizzeria is burned when she was a little kid. Along the way she meets some men who tickle her fancy but they meet unfortunate endings and Reena suspects it's the same boy who attacked her and burned her parents' business. Now it's just a matter of proving it.Nora Roberts, from the majority I have read, has a usual "feel-good" quality to her novels. But this one has a lot of tragedy and heartbreak that gives it an extra emotional factor. There were actually a few times where I cried and I felt that it would be hard to make this story into a positive one after what Reena had been through. A theme that really hit me, whether it was intentional or not through Nora, was the female empowerment. I felt that this is what really kept the ending a classic Nora Roberts ending. If Reena wouldn't have been such a strong female character, I wouldn't have enjoyed anywhere near as much as I did. Another factor I really enjoyed was that the main male character, Bo Goodnight, had fallen for Reena the first time he saw her, which happened to be at the beginning of the novel. They don't end up finding one another until much later but I thought it was so cute that his love-at-first-sight endured many years until they finally found one another.Also for those who like movies, this was made into a Lifetime movie. It wasn't anything epic but it was a cute little movie for one of those snowy or rainy days.