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I liked the first in the series quite well, but the second I found draggy and slow, with the romance really taking a back seat to the overall story. Given that I expect romance when I read your books, this was a bit of a disappointment to me. Nonetheless, I bought the third in the trilogy, Blood Magick, the day it released and opened it with the hope that it would provide a more solid focus on romance.
She is a healer and powerful witch. Fin is a good friend, and he and Branna had a passionate love affair when they were young, right up until Fin confessed that he bore the mark of Cabhan.
It was then that the lovers knew that they could never be fully together. Branna, being young, sent Fin from her, and they have loved each other from afar ever since. Fin has gone on to make a success of himself, but he rarely is home, preferring to travel and not inflict the pain of seeing Branna daily on either himself, or her.
He and Branna have come to a peace of sorts, but both are suffering from being so close, yet so unable to be together. Branna and Fin circle around each other constantly, and spent most of the first two books bickering and sniping at each other. When Blood Magick opens, they seem to have come to some sort of detente and are interacting more peacefully. Throughout the book, the reader is given glimpses of their feelings for each other, but you never really raised the stakes for us.
On top of that, much of the book is focused on preparing for the final battle. And the preparations are described in intricate and LONG detail. So much so that if I had an ounce of magic in me, I think I could compose a spell.
While normally, paranormals featuring witches really do it for me, this book was slow. When I say slow, I mean, a lot like wading through really boring molasses. And the detail was so much that you barely left time to grow a romance that had a lot of interesting potential. While I maintain that you still have a truly deft and gifted hand at creating a sense of place, and this series is no exception.
Sadly, I think you were so busy writing a primer on magic, you forgot to create an interesting plot. Final grade: C-. I've been reading romance for more than 30 years and reviewing regularly for the last five.
I read most subgenres of romance except inspirational and steampunk but focus mostly on contemporary and paranormal, with a sprinkling of historical thrown in for flavor.
I am an avid sports fan, so I have a special place in my heart for sports themed romances. I'm a sucker for old skool romance, which is probably most evident in the fact that The Windflower is my favorite romance of all time. I liked the first book in this trilogy, felt the second was missing that elusive something, but I really liked the final book.
Then again Branna and Fin were my favorite characters in books 1 and 2, so maybe I was predisposed to like it. I am about a quarter of the way through this and am really struggling. I love NR books — but this seems to fall in the same category as The Circle trilogy for me — I am trudging through it and it takes forever.
I liked the first book in the series, but it was similar in set-up to Jewels of the Sun American comes to stay in small Irish village… and the second book was ok — but also curiously similar to the second book in The Irish trilogy, Tears of the Moon a pair of friends becoming something more, and then the third now feels like the last book in the 3 sisters when it comes to the romance. I have this one in the TBR pile. As a series it has been heavy on the magick and less concentrated on the romance.
I am almost scared to crack it open!! Sounds like neither 2 or 3 live up to 1. Your review echoes my feelings on the 3rd book. I enjoyed the first two books — especially 1 — but it took effort for me to finish 3.
I have liked many of the paraNora trilogies, but the later ones seem to have more space dedicated to the magic than to the characters or the romance. Too much magic, very little focus on the characters or the relationships.
I actually enjoyed this book quite a bit! The only gripe I have is that Branna kept the wall between her and Finn up so long—too long. Just BE with him already! I really enjoyed Nora Roberts when I first started reading romance, especially her para-noras, but I found after a while that I would start skimming them.
They all start to feel the same after a while though. Like eating too much of your favorite food, you do eventually get tired of it and want something else. I remember when her books were in the auto-buy category for me. Then they devolved into the auto-read-but-not-buy category. Now they are lodged firmly in the if-nothing-else-strikes-my-fancy-and-I-see-it-at-the-library.
I actually stopped reading Nora for about 5 years — and then I went back to her single titles and then picked up her trilogies. I really enjoyed them after the break and overall she is still a great voice in romance for me. Man, this book is hot. Right now there are holds at our library. Check the availability from your local library Blood Magick. We do not purchase all the books we review here. Some we receive from the authors, some we receive from the publisher, and some we receive through a third party service like Net Galley.
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The Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy Series
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REVIEW: Blood Magick: Book Three of the Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy by Nora Roberts