Title: Dark Witch
Author: Nora Roberts
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Opening lines: “…Near the shadow of the castle, deep in the green woods, Sorcha led her children through the gloom towards home…”
Blurb: 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: To be perfectly honest this just didn’t work for me – which is a bit of a worry because I am a huge fan of Nora Roberts’ fantasy trilogies. For the first time ever it just fell a bit flat for me. The plot never developed for me and there were huge gaps in the storyline as If Nora Roberts assumed the reader would know what was going on. I didn’t. In fact none of the characters really came totally alive for me, although they each had their moments when I thought I felt a spark. My biggest concern was the profanity used – I certainly don’t remember so much profanity in one of her books – I felt like grabbing some of them and washing their mouths out with soap. My children don’t use language like that so I certainly don’t expect a Nora Roberts character to do it, or if they have in the past it wasn’t so much in your face as this lot. I am not prudish – it is just something I didn’t expect – and certainly not the ‘F’ word!!!
The book started out GREAT, then boom just fell apart so that by the time DARK WITCH ended I still wasn’t really clear of why they’re fighting this ancient evil, who it is they’re really they are fighting against; like where he came from and why he was bad, there was just no back story for him. I don’t really know what his crime was, other than being a bit sleazy and lusting after a common ancestor and threatening to kill her and her children. This is bad I must admit; but seemed such an overreaction to be trying to kill the descendants 400 years later. I also wasn’t really sure the most immature witch who had just arrived and knew less about the situation than this reader was the one who had to have the first fight. Was the ancient evil a threat to the world? Just these three? No the plot just didn’t gel for me at all. There was no real lead in just bam – here we are let’s start fighting this ancient evil. Maybe the 3 cousins are the nasty ones – picking on a poor little demon and he’s only trying to protect himself. And the romance – sorry that wasn’t a romance – that was…well I am not sure but it didn’t seem right – very contrived.
I almost wonder (shhhhh – looking over my shoulder) if Nora Robert actually wrote it. There I said it! I’m Sorry Ms Roberts – there were moments in the book that I loved and your usual brilliance shone out; then the other writer appeared and all magic flew out the window. I am going to read the next one in the series to see if you were just having a bad day when you wrote this, but it had better be darn good!
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D – Average – it was OK, a bit of a struggle to finish whatever redeemable aspects there were to this book, they were not fleshed out enough for me to truly enjoy it.