Book Review: Shadow Spell (Nora Roberts)

ShadowSpell

#2 of Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy

After being unable to destroy Cabhan, Iona and her cousins, Connor and Branna, still fight him. He has been wounded, but not diminished. As his strength slowly returns, Connor O’Dwyer is feeling restless to go search for his nemesis and kill him once and for all.

After seeing Connor nearly die, Meara reacts by kissing him, confusing their relationship of lifelong friendship. As her relationship with Connor intensifies, Cabhan starts stalking her. A fight with Connor makes Meara take off the protection he gave her, and she nearly dies from oversight. Connor is hurt and furious when he realises what she did, and she needs to fix her relationship with him before she loses her friend and the man she has come to love.

Can Meara trust Connor and overcome her emotional insecurities? Can Connor forgive her for her foolish act? Is it possible to destroy Cabhan this time around?

Rating: 6/10

I liked this book way more than its predecessor, Dark Witch. It is better written, the story is more intense and the characters are better explored. I thought that Meara was a much better female lead than Iona, and that Connor wasn’t such a douche bag like Boyle. The forced Irish pronunciation still irritated me quite a bit though, I won’t lie. I think it is used excessively to underline the difference between Americans and the Irish, and it seemed so fake and silly. This book also included the 40 page introduction that irritated me so much in the first book as well, although I have to confess I skipped it this time. The books are still well written but lack the enthusiasm I have always sensed in Robert’s writing.

Definitely not the best Roberts have ever written, by far not the worst and really not something I will rush to read again.

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.