Review

Blood Magick Nora Roberts

Blood Magick
Nora Roberts
Published: Brilliance Audio
Date: 2014
Narrator: Susan Eriksen
Length: 11hrs 48 min
Genre: Contemporary romance
Source: Own audiobook
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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.

Dark Witch completes the Cousins O’Dwyer trilogy.  I enjoyed it, just as I did the first two in the trilogy.
This time it is mainly the story of Fin and Branna, but of course the other couples are included.
There was a couple of surprises along the way, and of course the dark is eventually overcome, but how, I’m not saying, apart from lots of magic!
Susan Eriksen was a very good narrator, I like her very much.  I liked the narrator too from the first book.
4 stars
Review

Shadow Spell. Nora Roberts

Book Cover

Shadow Spell
Nora Roberts
Published: Piatkus
Date: 2014
Format: Trade Paperback
Pages: 319
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: Own book
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With the legends and lore of Ireland running through his blood, falconer Connor O’Dwyer is proud to call County Mayo home. It’s where his sister, Branna, lives and works, where his cousin, Iona, has found true love, and where his childhood friends form a circle that can’t be broken…

A circle that is about to be stretched out of shape—by a long-awaited kiss.

Meara Quinn is Branna’s best friend, a sister in all but blood. Her and Connor’s paths cross almost daily, as Connor takes tourists on hawk walks and Meara guides them on horseback across the lush countryside. She has the eyes of a gypsy and the body of a goddess…things Connor has always taken for granted—until his brush with death propels them into a quick, hot tangle.

Plenty of women have found their way to Connor’s bed, but none to his heart until now. Frustratingly, Meara is okay with just the heat, afraid to lose herself—and their friendship—to something more. But soon, Connor will see the full force and fury of what runs in his blood. And he will need his family and friends around him when his past rolls in like the fog, threatening an end to all he loves…

My thoughts banner
Shadow Spell is the second in a trilogy – the Cousins O’Dwyer.  It is set in the west of Ireland very near Castle Ashford.  It’s full of magic, family, love and danger.
This second book is mostly the story of Connor and Meara, and how they find their way towards each other.  They have always been good friends, but now something more is opening up between them. It’s wonderful and beautiful, however it also opens up Meara to danger, as Cabhan – the evil sorcerer they wage war against, turns his evil darkness towards her.
Meara believes she is not worthy of love, she holds the shame of her father leaving their family and going off, as her own.  Cabhan preys on this and suggests all kinds of things to her that make her doubt even more.  Can she welcome love and all that Connor is beginning to offer her, or will she be sucked under?
As in the first book, it is the circle of three that is powerful – Iona, Connor and Branna, and the three encircling them, Blake, Finn nad and Meara.  Of course there are the loyal, magical horse, hound and hawk as well.  To say nothing of a little cutie, Bugs who I hope we’ll meet a little more of in the final book.
I also liked the linking of Connor back to the original three, especially with Eamon.  It was a nice touch. 
The dialogue is fun, if you live or have lived around Irish people for any length of time you’ll recognise it as exactly how they talk.  The setting around Castle Ashford has me wanting to visit. There is plenty of action and suspense and weaving of spells.  The greatest spell for me was the warmth of friendship and love between these people and for their animals. 
Do they finally beat Cabhan? Well there is another book in the trilogy, and if they had, what would that be about now?  If you enjoy the inimitable Nora Roberts writing, then you will find this trilogy to your taste.
4 stars
March 2015 Take Control of Your TBR Pile
Review

Dark Witch: The Cousins O’Dwyer trilogy #1 Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts Dark Witch book cover

Dark Witch
Nora Roberts
Published: Brilliance Audio 2013
Format: Audiobook
Length: 10hrs 40 min
Narrator: Katherine Kellgren
Source: Own book
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With indifferent parents, Iona Sheehan grew up craving devotion and acceptance. From her maternal grandmother, she learned where to find both: a land of lush forests, dazzling lakes, and centuries-old legends. Ireland. County Mayo, to be exact. Where her ancestors’ blood and magic have flowed through generations – and where her destiny awaits.

Iona arrives in Ireland with nothing but her Nan’s directions, an unfailingly optimistic attitude, and an innate talent with horses. Not far from the luxurious castle where she is spending a week, she finds her cousins, Branna and Connor O’Dwyer. And since family is family, they invite her into their home and their lives. When Iona lands a job at the local stables, she meets the owner, Boyle McGrath. Cowboy, pirate, wild tribal horsemen, he’s three of her biggest fantasy weaknesses all in one big, bold package.

Iona realizes that here she can make a home for herself – and live her life as she wants, even if that means falling head over heels for Boyle. But nothing is as it seems. An ancient evil has wound its way around Iona’s family tree and must be defeated. Family and friends will fight with each other and for each other to keep the promise of hope – and love – alive.…

My thoughts banner
Dark Witch the first in the Cousins O’Dwyer trilogy has sat in my library for a couple of years.  I was put off my the bad reviews that the narrator was given.  It goes to show I should sometimes be cautious about narrator reviews, because on the whole they were unfounded from my point of view. Too dramatic some said, another bad narrator said others and again over narrated!  Give me a break! She was totally adequate for this book and in fact really narrated the dramatic parts very well.  She certainly did not detract from my enjoyment of this book.  She added to it in fact. While I do have the second one on audio, there is a different narrator, but in any case I have this in paperback as well and I read faster than I listen!
The story is a pretty typical Nora Robert’s trilogy that involves three cousins and their partners. There is the battle between good and evil, it’s set in the west of Ireland near a beautiful castle.  Each of the three Iona, Connor and Branna have their own gifts and animals that work with them.  Iona is given a beautiful horse – she has the gift with horses and can sense what they want, where they hurt etc. Branna has a hound and Connor a hawk.
This story is about Iona learning her craft, meeting her relations and fighting against the dark Cabhan. The story opened back in the seventeenth century and gives the history of Cabhan and the O’Dwyer cousins ancestors and how their story links to the present.
A very enjoyable and easy listen.
4 stars