by Nora Roberts
'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.
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…'
*** MIGHT CONTAIN SPOILERS ***
I wanted this book so bad when it came out last fall but because my birthday and Christmas were coming, I didn't buy it, and hoped I would get it as a gift. It was pretty funny when I got TWO copies of it for Christmas! But ohhhhh was a disappointment this book was.
Ok, I've never read a Nora Roberts book and had no clue what to expect. I've always sort of assumed her books are the cheesy, dime-a-dozen romance types that I don't bother with. When I saw this was about witches, I was like 'Hmmm, is she venturing into darker worlds?' and was really curious. And that cover is gorgeous! The book also has 'deckle' edges, where it looks like they're sort of torn and uneven, giving it an old-time feel.
The first 30-something pages of the book goes back to the year 1263, where the original Dark Witch battles the evil Cabhan and sort of sets the stage for what this book is about. I struggled just to get through these first pages because I hated the writing style. Once it got into the present day, things seemed easier to tolerate but it was always there, the annoying writing style. I tried to keep in mind that some of the phrasing was because these were Irish people in Ireland but even so, who talks like what she had these people saying??
There wasn't much to the story either. There are six main characters. Well, Iona is the *main* character but the other five are always involved in the story. Even with their constant presence, I never felt a connection with any of them. You never really get to know them. Iona comes across as an air-headed slut and the man she's hot for, the 'moody and brooding' Boyle, just comes across as an arrogant, snotty . . . stupid, even . . . ass.
Things are never explained in this book. You just keep being reminded that these people have been preparing their whole lives for this impending battle with Cabhan, but you never learn what started this battle even way back in the 1200s, or why he's still trying to battle them. The group has all these meetings and planning sessions, and it often talks about how complicated and dangerous this will be, but there are never any details. And then this huge, end of the world battle takes place and is over in about ten seconds, after they break a vial of something and chant a spell three times. What??? Everything about the witchcraft seems very weak and skimmed over.
Very weak is how I'd describe this whole book. I actually quit reading it three times, and finally just soldiered through to the end just to get it off my mind. This is the first book in a trilogy but I have no desire to read the others . . . or anything by Nora Roberts for that matter. What a huge bummer.