Series: The Cousins O'Dwyer, #1
Release Date: October 29, 2013
Page Count: 342 pages
Find it on Goodreads
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.REVIEW:
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…
I think we can all agree that Nora Roberts has a very... predictable storytelling style. Her trilogies always feature three friends, or brothers, or sisters, or in this case, cousins... There's always the different personalities, one bubbly, one caring and sensitive, one broody... its always the same set up with just a different plot put in behind it.
But for some reason, I've always loved Nora Roberts, not in spite of, but because of her predictability. Yes, sometimes things can get old, but reading a Roberts book (trilogies especially) makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. The relationships she develops within the story makes you feel like you're sitting down with a few good friends - in other words, she draws you in.
I was kind of annoyed by the fact that the Ireland natives in the story sounded like they were talking in circles. Instead of simple yes, no, maybe, etc., It took an entire ridiculous sounding dialogue for them to get their points across. By the end of the book, whenever it wasn't Iona, the American, talking, I wanted to roll my eyes a bit.
However, regardless of the redundancy and the cheesy dialogue, her novels, as always, are masterfully put together. Nora Roberts is the queen of descriptive passages in modern writing, and I admire her for that. I can always picture a scene perfectly, right down to the little bee buzzing near a flower, and I love that.
In skimming through some other reviews, I noticed a comment about how Boyle, the romantic interest in this one, was a harder male character than Roberts has written in a long time, and the relationship lacked a little chemistry. I agree 100%. Boyle didn't have many soft spots and I remember some situations where he'd say something and I'd think, 'gee, I'm glad I'm not dating that guy,' or 'wow, Sean would never say that to me.' I mean, men aren't perfect, but usually Roberts gives her token rough male character a little flexibility.
I really don't think I read Nora Roberts for a romance fix anymore, because her books are more about the relationships and dynamic among the entire group than one couple. Also, I love a good, sensible, strong female character. I admire Roberts for always, always giving us heroines we can look up to. Maybe Iona was a little too sensible for me, cause I know I'm nowhere near that sensible, but I love that the women are always kick-ass chicks.
All in all, no matter how predictable her novels are getting, Nora Roberts never fails to capture me with her amazing characters, their development and relationships, and there's always an interesting back story with surprising twists and turns along the way. For romance fans, for Nora fans, this is one that you should definitely read!
Have any of you read this yet? What did you think? Let me know!