Title: Dark Witch
Author: Nora Roberts
Format: Trade paperback
Year Published: 2013
I enjoy romances. The happily-ever-after, the sure-fire knowledge that my heart is not going to be yanked from y chest and stomped on… (and then sometimes I’m WRONG, book-that-I-have-blocked-the-title-from-my-mind-but-am-still-mad-at).
When I was heavy in my romance-reading ways, I devoured Nora Roberts’ books. (Unlike what I first tried to type, I did not devour Nora Roberts.) Going back to them, however, the books are very heavily formulaic. I do enjoy reading them, still – they’re totally brain candy – however, I’ve found that once I’ve read them, I very rarely want to reread them. (And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why the library is my friend.)
This book was the first in a classic Nora Roberts trilogy – girl, who has never really fit in where she was, arrives at a new place and immediately feels like she’s at home. There she meets her cousins – usually a brother/sister combo, but occasionally they’re also cousins to each other), and immediately connects to them. She also meets and falls for a friend of the male cousin. In addition, the female cousin will have a close female friend that will eventually end up linked to the male cousin, and there will be another friend of the male cousin that she once had a torrid affair with that ended badly. There’s some sort of supernatural problem that requires all six involved to resolve. Occasionally one of the women will be a mother, but the father will either be dead or uninterested and the male interested int eh mother will eventually adopt the child/ren as his own.
So obviously I knew what I was getting into with this series. Here’s the specifics: Iona is coming from America, and already knows and can use her magic in small ways (this was a welcome change from other series, as the woman moving into town usually had no idea she was magical). She also knows the story of the Dark Witch, her ancestor, who gave her life and passed her powers on to her three children. (As a side note, the names of the children threw me. They were far too contemporary for 1263.) Iona arrives in Ireland (another big theme) and meets her cousins, Branna and Connor. They immediately make a connection and then the trouble starts – the dark force that their ancestor gave her life to defeat is back, and they’re the three that must stop him.
I enjoyed as Iona learned to control her powers, and I liked that she wasn’t the typical ‘fish-out-pond’ heroine that appears in these trilogies. She’s new to the land, yes, and somewhat new to her power, but she owns in. (I also really enjoyed that when she got nervous she babbled, as that made her seem less like a typical romance heroine and more like an actual human.)
The big fight of the book felt a little bleh. You knew going in that they weren’t going to win (how could this be a trilogy if they did, after all?) but it was missing something.
Still looking forward to the next two (waiting on my couch now), so I’ll give this a 2.5/5 – not going to win any awards, not going to wow anybody, but perfect for when you want to shut your mind off.