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.1
I’ve never read anything by Nora Roberts, although I know her name very well. Having written over 200 novels she is world renown and probably a bit odd that this would be the first time I have picked up anything by her. Despite being a well known name I can’t say I have ever met anyone who has said to me “You have to read this book by Nora Roberts.” To be honest I assumed she was the Harlequin Romance type and some may say I’m not far off on that mark.
I started reading Dark Witch before I had to put it down and catch up on some reading for the book club. The funny thing is that I had read the beginning of the book which is set in 1263. This section was a bit difficult to grasp jumping in blindly and without realizing I had stopped right before things started to get really good.
Iona Sheehan has quit her job, sold all her possessions and has taken a trip to Ireland with the intention of staying. Having booked a few nights at the fairy tale-esque Ashford Castle in Mayo, Iona sets off to meet her cousins. Iona has known she was different all her life, but her parents never encouraged it. The only person to allow it was her grandmother. When Iona meets her cousin Branna and Connor, it’s like pushing open a door that was always stuck ajar. Branna and Connor have known their whole lives of their powers, and of the legends and their place in those legends. A powerful witch named Sorcha had three children and a husband. An evil witch named Cabhan, who thirsted for her power, stalked them and hunted them. Using all her power Sorcha tries to defeat Cabhan, sacrificing herself and turning him into a shadow of his former self. Sorcha’s power transferred to her three children, the three dark witches of Mayo whose blood will one day destroy Cabhan. The two witches, Branna and Connor have been preparing and doing what they can to keep Cabhan away, but when Iona, the third dark witch completes their circle legends become realities.
I was pretty much sold on the title Dark Witch and was thrilled that Nora Roberts is able to pump out volumes so quickly to have the trilogy at my fingertips as I pleased.
What can I say, despite any preconceived notions of Nora Roberts I really enjoyed this novel. It was an easy read, well written, with a touch of reality and a flash of fantasy and even includes some hunky men along the way. What’s not to like? I decided to get the audiobooks to go along with the ebook to be able to race through them. My only negative is the women’s voice who reads the audiobook but thats only because in the next book Shadowspell it is read by a man with an accent (++++).
1. Book Summary Courtesy of Nora Roberts Webpage