Unfinished Business - Nora Roberts This was merely okay. I like the setting; I always like it when NR sets her books in MD, VA, or DC since I enjoy seeing my home area get some love. I love romance novels set in idyllic small towns. Vanessa Sexton was a realistic female character, living in a situation that many could relate to. Brady Tucker is also okay, but he wasn't very fleshed out. It was alluded to that he was a troublemaker and that somewhere down the line, he calmed down and became a doctor. But given that he's only around 30 in the novel, his career timeline doesn't make sense. He wasn't described as being any sort of a prodigy, so he would have graduated from undergrad at 21, med school at 25, and finishing at least 3 years of residency at 28. That would not leave anywhere near enough time to become chief medical resident at a NYC hospital for any significant period of time before deciding to go back to his MD hometown.

Also, Brady started annoying me near the end of the book. He asks Vanessa to marry him, after they've only just rekindled a romance that was put on hold for 12 years, and has a temper tantrum when she doesn't immediately acquiesce. This is a woman whose entire life was decided for her by her father. Any time the opportunity for her to make a choice regarding her life, her father made sure that it was taken away and leave her no choice but to do what he wanted her to do. This includes filing false statutory rape claims on Brady 12 years prior so Vanessa would leave with her father to begin her professional music career.

So after all that, with Vanessa developing ulcers due to the stress put on her for over a decade, why is Brady now trying to pressure Vanessa into doing what he wants her to do and not allowing her to make any choice other than the one he wants her to make? NR put a lot of emphasis on Brady not trying to make Vanessa give up her career in order to play Doctor's Wife and bear his children, but when Vanessa decides to do a one-time engagement in Cordina to play for a benefit by personal request from the Princess, this begins Brady's tantrum because he interprets this as Vanessa leaving him after saying no to his proposal. Mind you, she didn't say no, she said she needed time to figure shit out, which is reasonable given that she's had everything she thought she knew flipped. Brady didn't stand her up at prom, he got arrested. Her mother didn't abandon her to her father, her father disallowed her mother any contact as punishment for her mother's infidelity. Her mother just got married to Brady's father (by the way, I've noticed that NR sometimes has vague incestuous relationships in some of her books). Vanessa has only been able to make conscious decisions in her life after her father's death less than a year ago. I think the bitch deserves some time to figure out who she is and what she wants before agreeing to a lifetime commitment. She also makes a valid point about whether this newly rekindled romance between her and Brady is real or just a memory of what they had 12 years ago.

And goddammit, not every couple needs to have fucking kids after they marry. Why are good childfree romance novels so hard to find?