Night Shield is the newest book in the Night Tales series. It was published in September of 2000 by Silhouette Intimate Moments. It is a short book, only 250 pages, but it is a good, entertaining book. The book wass set in Denver. The daughter of Boyd and Cilla, from Night Shift, was one of the main characters. Other characters from the first four books also made appearances.
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The book began by telling some background information about Jonah Blackhawk. He had been a pickpocket by the time he was twelve. He then started his own gambling operation that was very successful. His operation was so successful that he was beaten up by someone else that had a gambling operation. They felt that Jonah was invading their turf. Not long after this, he was busted by a cop that got him off the streets and helped him turn his life around. The cop was Boyd Fletcher. Jonah owned a very successful sports bar and just opened a nightclub that was doing very well.
Boyd was now the police commissioner. He asked Jonah to come to his office. There have been several burglaries recently. The only common factor was that the owners of the homes burglarized were at a nightclub on the night of the crimes. In almost every case, the nightclub the victims were at was the new club Jonah opened, Blackhawks. Jonah was very upset that his club was being used in relation to the crimes. Boyd wanted Jonah to work with the officer in charge of the investigation. Jonah agreed only because it was Boyd asking. Jonah didsnt want a cop bothering him employees, but he felt he owed Boyd.
The detective in charge of the case was Boyds daughter, Allison. She didnt trust Jonah because of his past. She didnt seem to think that people could change. Allison talked about the case some, mentioning that two employees of Blackhawks have records and were suspects. Jonah didnt like that at all, and immediately defended his employees. Allison was going to work at the nightclub undercover as a waitress. Jonah didnt like that idea, but he agreed. Allison planed on having some other officers undercover at the club as customers for backup. She assumed that being a waitress would be easy. She started working at the club that evening.
Allison started bussing tables at the club that night so she could see how things were done. She wrongly assumed that Frannie, one of the bartenders, and Jonah were involved. Frannie was one of the employees with a record and was high on Allisons suspect list because of that. Allison met several of the other employees that night. She realized that she was wrong when she thought it would be easy to be a waitress once she started doing that instead of bussing tables. She continued to think someone working at the club is involved. She and Jonah ended up spending a lot of time together. They got to know each other better and become involved. Allison continued to work at Blackhawks, trying to find who was responsible for the burglaries.
That was pretty much the plot of the Night Shield, Allison working on the case, and her developing relationship with Jonah. They did continued to clash over some things, but they worked through that. Allison had to deal with a vengeful ex-boyfriend who wouldnt leave her alone. He kept popping up, begging her to take him back. Then he got nasty when she refused. He did more a little later in the book.
Jonah had to work through some problems too, mainly how he didnt think he was good enough for Allison because of his past. Jonah even felt like he wasnt good enough to go to Boyd and Cillas house. He and Boyd became close after Boyd busted him and helped him turn his life around, but Jonah always kept his distance from Boyds home, always making up excuses when he was invited. He and Boyd had a talk relating to that at one point in the book. Boyd and Cilla had a reunion and all the characters from the first four books, along with their children showed up. I really liked that part of the book, getting to see the characters again.
Night Shield was a good, enjoyable book. There was romance, mystery, and some suspense in this book. It was a little predictable at times, but that was expected from a romance. Overall, this was a very good book that was worth reading. It was well written and very descriptive, like all of Nora Roberts books. It was easy for me to picture the characters and events that were taking place in the book.
The mystery part of Night Shield was provided by the case Allison was working on. She was working undercover to try to discover who was robing customers from Blackhawks. Several things related to the case and her investigation were described. There was some violence in a few scenes. It wasnt extremely violent, but it could be upsetting to some people. There was a little bit of action in the book, and some suspense in a few scenes. Since this was a shorter book, the mystery wasnt as strong or complex as the mysteries in longer books by Nora Roberts. People who have only read longer books by her could be disappointed by the mystery in this book.
Allison and Jonah were became involved in a relationship during the course of the book. Their relationship provided the romance for Night Shield. Allison was working undercover in Jonahs nightclub and she was there every night. Jonah also helped her with some parts of the investigation, so they spent a lot of time together. They had met years before after Boyd helped Jonah turn his life around, but the two hadnt spent any time together. There were some sexual acts and situations in some of the scenes in the book. The scenes were descriptive, but not really explicit. There werent that many of those scenes either. Nora Roberts had those types of scenes in her longer books too, and they are more descriptive and explicit in the longer books. Anyone who had read one of those books and wasnt offended by the sexual references and acts shouldnt have a problem with this book.
I noticed a few similarities between this book and the In Death series of books, mainly between the characters of Allison and Eve. Before I get into that, let me just mention something else for anyone that may not know. J.D. Robb, the author of the In Death series, and Nora Roberts are the same person. Ok, now on to the comparison. Both women were on the police force, though they had different ranks. Both were dedicated to their jobs. Both were by the book, intent on following procedure. Both had to fire their weapon and then deal with their feelings about that after it was over. Both women were independent and use to taking care of themselves. Both women could be stubborn. In Night Shield, Allison became involved with Jonah, who was related to the case she was working on. His club was being used to target victims for burglaries. Eve met Roarke and became involved with him when he was a suspect in the case she was working on. In all the other books in the series, Roarke was somehow tied in to the cases Eve was working on. Sometimes he knew the victims, he owned buildings where the crimes were committed, he was a witness, or his employees were victims. There were differences between the women. Allison was not a carbon copy of Eve, there were just some similarities that I noticed. People who read and enjoyed any of the In Death series should also enjoy this book, and the other books in the Night Tales series.
The characters of Allison and Jonah, the main characters of Night Shield were fairly well developed, especially since the book was so short. Allison did show up in a few of the other books as a child, so if the first books had been read, then the reader already knew some things about her childhood. More was told about Jonahs past in this book because this was the first book he had been in. The minor characters arent developed as well, but they arent in very much of the book. The characters from the other books that showed up a few times really werent developed any more.
Alison Fletcher - Detective on the Denver police force. She was recently promoted. She was working on a burglary case. She was the daughter of Boyd and Cilla from Night Shift. She was focused on her career. She believed in following procedure. She could be stubborn at times. She wanted to handle everything herself. She was a huge sports fan, and played several well. She didnt trust Jonah at first because of his past. She got really annoyed at him when he opened doors for her - and that irritated me about her a little. Jonah was being polite, a gentleman, and she about bit his head off.
Jonah Blackhawk - He owned a sports bar and nightclub. He was in trouble with the law when he was younger. Boyd helped to get him off the streets and turn his life around. Jonah still doesnt trust cops though. He had a problem with authority. He was very protective of his friends and employees. He was loyal to them. He did all kinds of things to help them. He liked and respected Boyd, but never accepted one of Boyds invitations to his house. Jonah didnt think he is good enough for Allison.
Boyd Fletcher - Allisons father. He was the police commissioner. He busted Jonah and helped him turn his life around. Boyd showed up a few times in the book.
William Sloan - Friend of Jonah and employee of Blackhawks. He worked as a floater (not sure if that is the correct term) in the club, going around checking on things. He had a police record, but he turned his life around, with help from Jonah. William was one of Allisons suspects because of his past trouble. He had feelings for Frannie, another employee, but he kept those feelings to himself.
Frances Cummings - Frannie. She was a bartender at Blackhawks. She was a former hooker. Jonah helped her get off the streets and start a new life. She had a police record, courtesy of her former occupation. She was one of Allisons suspects because of her record.
Dennis Overton - Allisons former boyfriend. He wont take no for an answer. He kept showing up because he wanted her back. He turned violent when Allison refuseed to take him back.
There were a few other characters that show up briefly, but Im not going to mention them here since they werent in much of the book. Also, characters from the first books in the series showed up again, but since I talked about them in the reviews of those books, Im not going to do so again. Those characters were only in one or two scenes of this book anyway.
This was a good, entertaining book. It was part of the Night Tales series, but there was no continuing storyline. This book could be read by someone who had not read any of the others in the series and they wont be lost by what was going on. I do think the books should be read in order so you know more about the background of the characters. Anyone who liked books by Nora Roberts should enjoy this book, especially if they have read the other books in the Night Tales series. Fans of the In Death series should also like this book. If you hate romances, mysteries, or both, you should probably avoid this book.
Books in the Night Tales series
Here is some information on Night Shield for anyone who is interested in getting a copy.
Silhouette Intimate Moments, # 1027
Published in 2000
ISBN # - 0-373-27097-6
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