Book Review: DARK WITCH by Nora Roberts

Series: The Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy, #1
Publisher: Berkley
Released: October 29, 2013
Source: Purchased by me

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…


Why was this book momentous? Because it was the first one by Nora Roberts I’ve read! *woots* It took long enough, didn’t it? Unfortunately, it turned out to be just an okay read. Not bad, but not great. Admittedly, I set the bar pretty high. Magic, witches, Ireland, a romance with a sexy Irishman. This story had all my favorite things, and there were parts I enjoyed, and parts that could have been better.

I loved the first couple of chapters that gave readers the history of the Dark Witch, a woman named Sorcha. Sorcha’s story took place in the 13th century, and we learn that an evil sorcerer is pursuing her and threatening her three children. Fast-forward to present day County Mayo. Three of Sorcha’s descendants are preparing to do battle with the sorcerer, who has returned to seek revenge for what happened to him 700 years ago.

I definitely enjoyed the secondary characters in this book more than the hero and heroine. The heroine is Iona, and she’s come to Ireland to find her cousins, find a home, find love, be loved… She was kind of desperate and needy. I felt like I was missing a big chunk of her back story to understand her. Unfortunately there wasn’t much remarkable about the hero, Boyle, and I couldn’t feel much chemistry between him and Iona. Now, the secondary characters I loved, in particular Cousin Branna and Fin. Branna is a talented witch and one of Sorcha’s descendants, and Finn has his own connection to the Dark Witch, too. They were once a couple until something went horribly wrong, but the passion between them is still there.

The setting was gorgeous, the magic was intriguing, and even though the romance fizzled between Iona and Boyle, I plan to read the rest of the trilogy. Branna and Fin!

Rating: 3 Stars