Key of Light by Nora Roberts - This book starts with a mysterious invitation and 3 strangers traveling to a creepy and palatial house overlooking a small town. We quickly learn that the 3 strangers are Malory - art gallery manager, Dana - librarian, and Zoe - hairstylist. All 3 are of similar age and are in similar situations regarding employment status and they all very much want to own their own place. Shortly after, mysterious and gorgeous Rowena and Pitte, enter the scene and the choice for an adventurous quest is offered. Malory, Dana, and Zoe can choose to search for 3 keys to unlock the souls of the 3 Daughters of Glass and claim 1 million dollars if they succeed or lose a year of their lives if they fail. If they agree to the choice they will receive $25,000 immediately. A lot of the book is spent figuring out what is real and what is myth as well as getting to know the main characters. The three women are shortly joined by Dana's brother Flynn and his two best friends, Jordan and Brad, who both have an unexpected connection to Rowena and Pitte and the Daughters of Glass. I enjoyed seeing the relationship between the men and watching the friendship grow between the women. While the focus of this book is on Malory and Flynn and Malory's search for the key there is some setup for the next two romantic relationships. This is a fun read. Watching the characters scramble to get a handle on just what is going on and what they can believe is entertaining and kept me turning pages. As soon as I finished this one I wanted to immediately pick up the 2nd in the trilogy!
Key of Knowledge - While I enjoyed the first book in this trilogy it was the second book that earned a place on my keeper shelf. The first part of the quest is complete and now it's time for Dana to take center stage along with her ex-boyfriend Jordan. There's enough unresolved issues between them to sink a ship and Dana's not so sure that she wants Jordan in her life again, much less taking part in this all important quest. There are a lot of things that I absolutely love in this book. I loved the fact that both characters are very bookish and that this is very much a second chance romance. Both Jordan and Dana are huge readers and both have built their careers in book related fields. Dana is a librarian with aspirations to own a bookstore and Jordan is a successful author. There discussions about books and reading were wonderful and just feel like they were written by someone who actually reads which adds a little pocket of delight. The quest itself was a fun read - different enough from Malory's to be entertaining but still similar enough that they all fit together. I enjoyed seeing more of Malory and Flynn and seeing Zoe and Brad start to form a relationship. And Moe is just awesome. I mean I don't want to own him but I want to know the person who does! Now I can't wait to jump into the third book which is a sign of a good trilogy!
Key of Valor - Finally we come to Zoe's journey. Zoe is a single mother from a hard background who has worked incredibly hard to get where is today. She's smart, talented, and not exactly sure how to accept help from anyone - especially not heir to the Vane fortune and a home improvement retail empire. But Brad isn't a spoiled rich boy but a hard worker in his own regard. He has a vision for what he wants professionally and as soon as he meets Zoe and her son, 9 year old Simon, he has a vision of what he was in his personal life. This book was less about Kane, the villain, and the quest in general and more about Zoe herself. How she got to where she is now, her feelings, her decisions, and finally what she wants. I liked the relationship between Zoe and Brad. He's always there for her and completely believes in her but he isn't always calm and patient. If she pokes at him he has no problem poking back which was fun. The relationship between Brad and Simon was very special and was a nice element of the book. The conclusion tied up all the threads from the trilogy in a very nice way and left me smiling and maybe a little teary eyed.
This was a strong trilogy where each book really held its own. There was no story to suffer through to get to the next one and I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know each couple. This is a trilogy that I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting and would really love to check back in with the characters. Maybe Simon can get his own story one day? I really think Nora Roberts' books from the late 1990s and early 2000s are some of her best and this trilogy is one of my favorites.