The Mirror (The Lost Bride Trilogy #2) by Nora Roberts

The Mirror (The Lost Bride Trilogy #2) by Nora Roberts

The Mirror by Nora Roberts
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received an advance digital copy of this novel from the publisher, St. Martin’s Press, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Inheritance was one of my favorite books of 2023, and it ended on a major cliffhanger. So when I was offered an advance digital copy of The Mirror, which was quite possibly my most anticipated read of 2024, I couldn’t hit the download button fast enough. And I loved every single page. There’s not a single thing I would change about The Mirror, except for the fact that I have to wait over a year to see how the story ends.

Thankfully, our story picks up exactly where Inheritance left off. Because of that, there’s not a ton I can say about the plot. What I can do is offer a brief synopsis of Inheritance. Our main character, Sonja, is watching her life unravel. Right after we meet her, she finds her fiancé in bed with one of her bridesmaids—who also happens to be her cousin. From there, she has to deal with throwing him out, cancelling the wedding, and drama at her job, as both she and the ex-fiancé work for the same graphic design firm. In the wake of all of this, an additional piece of drama completely upends her life. It turns out her deceased father was a twin, and that the uncle she never knew has left her Lost Bride Manor, a massive mansion on the coast. She takes a chance and moves in, only to find that the house isn’t empty. It’s insanely haunted. Most of the ghosts are helpful and friendly, but there’s one that will stop at nothing to drive Sonja away. There’s a mystery to solve, a romance to be had, and some truly fantastic friendships to be found within the book, as well.

There’s not a ton of forward momentum to the plot in The Mirror, but I didn’t care. It was never, ever boring. Nora weaves a spell in her portrayal of the everyday; even the mundane is magical in her hands. This is one of the best examples of a slice-of-life story I’ve read in recent years. It gives us a ton of character development in Sonja, as well as in her best friend Cleo, who I absolutely adore; Trey, Sonja’s love interest on of the steadiest, sweetest men in Nora’s vast back catalogue of romantic leads; and Owen, Trey’s best friend and Sonja’s cousin she didn’t know about until moving to the Manor. I love every single member of this inner circle of the cast with all my heart. They’re just a wonderful group, and I love the many bonds between them. (Also, can I just say that Cleo, Owen, and Cleo’s grandma are some of the most naturally, effortlessly sexy characters I’ve encountered in any book?) Then there are the other two main groups of characters: the pets, who all somehow resemble their humans in personality; and the ghosts, who are an eclectic and by-and-large charming bunch, with one glaring exception.

I’m not a big crier as I read, but I had to put this book down multiple times because I couldn’t see the words. Sometimes the tears were from sorrow, shared with one of the characters. But more, they were from sheer sweetness, from scenes that made my heart ache in the best of ways. Nora has a way of bringing out the emotions in me, and I’m not sure she’s ever exemplified that more than in the last 10% of this book.

Let’s talk about the bookends of the story: the prologue and the final chapter. Nora’s prologues are always exceptional. They plunge us into the tone and atmosphere of the story to come, but they’re also different stylistically than the rest of the book. This one in particular was musical, moody, darkly whimsical. I was instantly transported and drawn in. And then there’s the last chapter. That ending, man. What is up with Nora’s endings in recent years?! They leave you desperate for the next book. Which is all well and good when you actually have the next book in hand. But when you have to wait a year? It’s torture! But it’s torture of the best kind. It guarantees that I’ll be thinking about this book for months to come, and will be reading the last installment as soon as I can get my hands on it.

One of my dreams when I first started reviewing books in 2016 was to, someday, be able to read Nora Roberts books before they were published. It seemed like such a lofty goal to me, but she’s one of my absolute favorite authors, a favorite I share with my mom, my grandma, and my brother. If I could get anything out of reviewing books, that’s what I hoped for. Lo and behold, my dream has become reality. Every time I get one of her books early, it feels like the best Christmas ever. I’m so thankful to have gotten to read The Mirror early, and am even more thankful that I loved it so much. Nora Roberts is a master of her craft, and I can’t wait to see how she brings this story to a close in 2025!

Expected publication: November 19th, 2024

You can pre-order this book from: Blackwell’s | (Support independent bookstores!) | (Another way to support independent bookstores!)

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