Desert Isle Keeper Review

The MacGregor Series
(This DIK review was written by a reader)

Nora Roberts
1999 reissue of 1987 release, Series Romance
Silhouette, $6.99, 384 pages, Amazon ASIN 0373483880
Part of a series

Grade: A
Sensuality: Warm

This review encompasses the first five titles in the MacGregor series. The first five books were the original series and were reissues as two-in-ones in 1998/1999. The ISBN and price above are for the final volume Daniel-Ian. Ian's story, In from the Cold, was a novella first published in 1990.

Nora Roberts is the premiere author today of family sagas. We've met royalty in the Cordinia series, met a wonderfully eccentric family in Those Wild Ukrainians series, have gotten to know the O'Hurley triplets in their books. Don't forget the MacKades, the Calhouns, the Concannons and the Templetons. She's also kept us mesmerized with spinoffs. Time Was and Times Change introduced us to the Hornblower brothers, men from the future who fall in love with twentieth century sisters. The Night series is a good example of interconnecting spinoffs. Often Nora will reintroduce characters we've met, giving us a chance to visit with them again. She did just that in Waiting for Nick with the O'Hurley sisters. The list is literally too long to mention.

What she does with an extended family is unparalleled. Nowhere is it more apparent than in the MacGregor series, which introduces us to characters in Book one that we encounter throughout the series. When the five books are finished, we've come to love the MacGregor family and friends. We've come to want more. She's doing that in The MacGregor Brides, which allows Daniel MacGregor to do what he does best, meddle in the lives of his children and grandchildren.

Daniel is the one constant in all five contemporary books. His part is pivotal, that of the loving, crusty, cantankerous patriarch of the Clan MacGregor. Anna, his wife, is also present in each book, but Daniel is the glue that holds it together. He deep love and caring for his family is evident from book one and never wavers.

Playing the Odds introduces us to the youngest MacGregor child and only daughter, Serena. Working as a blackjack dealer on a cruise ship, she meets Justin Blade, a savvy gambler. Thinking that he is an itinerant gambler who only wants a shipboard dalliance, she tries to avoid him. What neither of them knows is that Rena's father, the wealthy, influential and eccentric Daniel MacGregor, is matchmaking behind the scenes in hopes that the two will meet and fall in love.

In Tempting Fate we first glimpse the intricate threads that Nora is using to weave the series together. Caine MacGregor, the middle sibling, is a Boston attorney. He has been sent to the airport to meet the flight of his sister-in-law, Diana. Diana is reluctant to meet her new in-laws. She and her brother Justin haven't seen each other for almost twenty years. Diana, also an attorney, wants to concentrate on building her law practice. But fate and Daniel have a way of pushing Diana in the right direction, straight into Caine's arms.

Book three, my all-time favorite romance, is All the Possibilities, set in Washington, D.C. Alan MacGregor, the firstborn, is a senator from Massachusetts. At thirty-five, his father despairs that he will ever marry. Daniel has married off his daughter and second son and now only has Alan on which to concentrate. Alan meets Shelby Campbell at a Washington dinner party. Shelby, the daughter of a senator who was assassinated while running for president when she was eleven, is understandably disturbed at Alan's occupation and his interest in the highest office. Daniel is in rare comic form when he meets Alan's lady love, a woman he dubs as a thieving, murdering, low-life Campbell. This book is incredible because it demonstrates Nora's ability to bring to life heroes who let no obstacle deter them from their life's mate.

One Man's Art pairs Gennie Grandeau, Justin and Diana's cousin, with Grant Campbell, Shelby's brother. Both are successful artists, but Gennie is internationally known and Grant is a reclusive cartoonist who values his anonymity. Superficially, they appear to be polar opposites, the social butterfly and the curmudgeon. As the layers are peeled away, we discover two people with the same values, fears, and aspirations. Again, we see Daniel's fine hand at work as he invites Gennie and Grant to spend the weekend at the MacGregor fortress in Hyannis Port.

The series ends with Daniel and Anna's story in For Now, Forever. We go back some thirty-six years to Daniel and Anna's first meeting. Daniel is an arrogant, self-made millionaire who is looking for a meek, subservient wife. He thinks that gentle Anna will do. While Anna is indeed gentle, she is neither meek nor malleable. She's a fourth year medical student who plans to be a surgeon, not a rich man's wife. Finally, Daniel has met his match. And his forever love.

I have never read a series with characters that are so realistic, so three-dimensional, so likable. These people are interesting, funny, and clearly drawn. This five-book saga has five totally satisfying love stories. Together the series is magnificent. It's Nora at her finest.

LLB: I was introduced a couple of months ago to the MacGregors with an advance copy of The MacGregor Brides (a 1997 release) and the first of several new books in this series. I fell in love with Daniel and his match-making method, always blaming his beloved wife Anna for "being worried" about his granddaughters. I was able to read the entire series shortly thereafter and fell in love even more, not only with Daniel, but his entire family. It seems all the children born to he and Anna were gifted as special people, and each of their mates were very lucky to have been loved by MacGregors.

Here is a listing of all the contemporary titles in this series (we've reviewed several of the new ones as well):

  • Playing the Odds
  • Tempting Fate
  • All the Possibilities
  • One Man's Art
  • For Now, Forever
  • The MacGregor Brides
  • The Winning Hand
  • The MacGregor Grooms
  • The Perfect Neighbor

-- Linda Mowery

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