Published: October 29, 2013
Number of pages: 342
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Genre: witchcraft, romance, family, erotica
Rating: older adults
Iona Sheehan travels to Ireland searching for her roots. From her maternal grandmother she learned about her ancestor, the Dark Witch Sorcha and decides to explore Count Mayo where her ancestor’s blood and magick grows stronger every generation. Iona finds her cousins, Branna and Connor O’Dwyer who are more than happy to invite her to their home and teach her magick. Her lessons are necessary, as all three of their strength is needed to defeat the dark demon, Cabhan who has been plotting to destroy them for centuries.
This is my first Nora Roberts book. The news may shock you, as she is one of America’s bestselling authors who wrote over 200 books, and is called “America’s favorite writer” by The New Yorker. I’ve never picked up one of her books as I don’t often read true romance/erotica. But last year I heard that she was writing a new fantasy trilogy about witchcraft, demons, and blood magick, and I thought that this was a great excuse to read her new book, Dark Witch.
Unfortunately I didn’t like the book as I was bored with it after reading 10 chapters. I was expecting the fight between witches and demons to develop, instead I ended up reading a story that focused more on the romance and relationships with family and friends than on the fated battle of good vs. evil between the O’Conners and Cabhan. I had to wait until the last two chapters for the real fight to begin. For a powerful sorcerer who’s curse but still strong enough to shape shift into a large wolf spends a lot of time lurking in the shadows, even though he had several chances to attack the O’Conners.
Iona Sheehan is the strongest of the female cast, as she is brave, bold, and yearns for acceptance from her family and the only man she admires. She struggles to strengthen her powers but eventually learns to reach her full potential until her cousins decide that it’s time to include her into their circle. And as Iona’s magick evolves so does her character from the timid, fragile girl to the daring, stubborn witch willing to put herself first before her family and friends, and proves that she’s much stronger than they took her for. She finds a stable job with Boyle, her new boss and admirer.
Boyle is a stubborn, pig-headed, and difficult man to come to terms with. But he can also be the white knight when he wants, as he’s protective of Iona and her feelings. But I found their relationship wishy-washy at first after their string of love affairs and the couple not deciding which direction their romance was turning to.
Overall, this wasn’t the greatest fantasy novel I’ve read but I’m sure Nora Roberts fans will beg to differ. As a first time reader of the author’s books, I’ll give her credit for writing a gripping romance story between a mortal and a witch (some erotic sex scenes are included). I just wished that she gave Cabhan a much larger appearance in the present time or else I’ll be persuaded to read the next book. I also felt the dialogue of the characters was awful.
My verdict: 2 hoots out of 5.