Book Review: Blood Magick (Nora Roberts)

blood magick

Plot: (via Goodreads)  County Mayo is rich in the traditions of Ireland, legends that Branna O’Dwyer fully embraces in her life and in her work as the proprietor of The Dark Witch shop, which carries soaps, lotions, and candles for tourists, made with Branna’s special touch.

Branna’s strength and selflessness hold together a close circle of friends and family—along with their horses and hawks and her beloved hound. But there’s a single missing link in the chain of her life: love…

She had it once—for a moment—with Finbar Burke, but a shared future is forbidden by history and blood. Which is why Fin has spent his life traveling the world to fill the abyss left in him by Branna, focusing on work rather than passion.

Branna and Fin’s relationship offers them both comfort and torment. And though they succumb to the heat between them, there can be no promises for tomorrow. A storm of shadows threatens everything that their circle holds dear. It will be Fin’s power, loyalty, and heart that will make all the difference in an age-old battle between the bonds that hold their friends together and the evil that has haunted their families for centuries.

Rating: 5/10

Well then, another Nora Roberts trilogy has been completed. The only accomplishment finishing the Cousins O’Dwyer trilogy brings is relief that the excruciating pain can come to an end. As the last book of the three, Blood Magick is exactly what I thought it would be: A woman and a man really love each other, but something (his need for space, her need for independence, some ancient branding) forces them to break up as teenagers. Years later they realise that wow, they can do whatever they want as they are both adults and end up banging each other. Shortly thereafter they find a way to beat unspeakable odds and stay happy forever. (The plot for Face the Fire is shockingly the same)

Even though it was formulaic in the worst sense, I did enjoy finishing the series. Cabhan gets destroyed, just as he deserves, and all the happy couples can be together forever – Iona and Boyd, Meara and Connor, Branna and Finbar.

I did like Branna. She is arguably the strongest of all the ladies and the most comfortable with her power. I enjoyed Finbar too – I don’t usually like odd names in romance books because it seems so forced, but I thought Finbar a very unique name. I loved his barely controlled anger at his fate and determination to get done what needs to be done.

Sadly, I think as it is time for Peter Jackson to stay out of Middle Earth, it is time for Nora Roberts to stay out of Ireland. She is harping on their magic and ancestry too much than needs be and it is her go to material when she has nothing else. I love the author, really I do, but there are plenty of countries around the globe with enough mysticism that she can rather go there and work on something with that information. Her books used to be very unique and fun but now I can’t help just wishing the book would get done already.

Recommendation: This would work if you were in the mood for some fun, but not much else.

Book Review: Dark Witch (Nora Roberts)

dark witch

Background:

Iona Sheehan had detached parents as a child, never completely receiving their undivided attention and care, but had her grandmother, a woman who not only loved her the way her parents should have, but taught her about her magical ancestry.

As an adult, Iona finally responds to the call she has been feeling her entire life – visiting her cousins in County Mayo, Ireland.

Branna and Connor O’Dwyer are both extremely powerful witches. They are quite keen to train Iona, but know that the arrival of the third Dark Witch would not go unnoticed by the enemy that has stalked their family for generations – Cabhan, the evil force that was forced into half existence by their ancestor. Cabhan is an abhorrent force that preys on the weak and innocent, and hates the entire O’Dwyer clain because their ancestor banished him.

Iona meets Boyle McGrath when she applies for work at his stables. Boyle has known Branna and Connor his entire life, and thus accepts witches as a day to day thing. He and Iona has a spark, but he feels that colleagues shouldn’t be bed mates. Eventually, Iona works around his opinion, and they start up a relationship, which isn’t easy because Boyle seems to discriminate only against one witch’s powers – hers. When Iona overhears Boyle in a rage suggesting that she put a spell on him, she is righteously offended and very hurt. He immediately takes back his words, but it is too late. Will Iona be able to forgive Boyle? Can she help stop Cabhan?

Rating: 5.5/10

Disappointment: the feeling of sadness or displeasure caused by the nonfulfillment of one’s hopes or expectations

A disappointment is when you have been itching to read a series from the second you saw it was on sale. A disappointment is when you thought something written by your favourite (and generally excellent dispite a few blunders to her name) author would produce her usual funny, witty, sweet, interesting books. Disappointment is when a book feels like it was written for obligation and not love.

My first problem came two pages in reading the book: there are nearly FORTY pages of preface.  Ten pages, maybe. Twenty pages, if you must. FORTY?

Iona Sheenan was an unsatisfactory character. She came across as vacant and silly, on the hunt for some fun but not really caring if it happened either way. The babbling, the constant apologising irritated me to no end.

The ways the Irish people speak in the books are so forced. I am very sure that no one ever speaks like that, and it was such an “Oh, a foreigner!” act that became old very quickly. The dark force Cabhan wasn’t scary at all, didn’t give me a moments jump or anything like that. I’ve read many other Roberts books that had horrifying antagonists and gave me chills, but this evil man felt forced and not very powerful.

Nora Robers has many outstanding books to her name but this, like her book just before this, Whiskey Beach, is too long, too forced and unoriginal to boot.