Friday, September 11, 2015

Reading Off The Bookshelves: The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy by Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts pretty much takes up a huge area in the romance section of my bookstore.  This is a woman who has written so many books that all her new titles have to have a "NR" on the front to indicate the first time they've been in print.  Years ago, I would have customers complain that they'd purchased a book, only to find they'd already read it before.  Publishers like to re-issue titles when an author gets popular, and pretty much always change the format from mass market to trade paperback and of course change the cover art.  If you're ever unsure, just read the publication information and you'll see the original publication date.  That has saved me from re-reading many books over the years.  If it's a favorite author, and I've read most everything they've written, looking at the publisher date assures me that yes, I probably did read it ten years ago, and eventually I'll remember the plot--but move on to a new book!

Sorry for the digression--let's get to the meat of this review.  I asked for this trilogy for Christmas and am pretty proud of myself for actually reading it within a year of receiving it.  Plucking books off my bookcase is a lot of fun and helps me not only make space for new books, but helps me rediscover books I've completely forgotten about.  I've read a few Nora Roberts books over the years; enough to know they're enjoyable and have a pretty good story line.  I've never had any qualms recommending her to customers looking for a contemporary romance that is enjoyable, well written, and satisfying.  

 Ireland, magick, romance.  Not a bad combination, in my mind.  Good vs. evil, the power of light over dark.  Sign me up.  

I was disappointed, dang it!  What the heck, Nora Roberts?  What happened to you?  

This trilogy wasn't horrible, and there were elements that I did enjoy.  The three O'Dwyer Cousins:  Iona, Connor, and Branna, as well as their love interests:  Boyle, Meara, and Finbar are lovely people.  Connor and Branna are brother and sister; Iona comes from America in search of her cousins and her roots.  Her grandmother has told her that she is a witch, and must join forces with her cousins in order to defeat Cabhan, an evil witch who has stalked the O'Dwyer family for centuries. Iona has a connection with horses, Connor's gift is with hawks, and Branna shares a gift with her dog.  These three are all descended from the Dark Witch, Sorcha.  In this trilogy, the dark witch isn't evil but a witch that uses the power of light to help others.  Sorcha and her three children live in 1263 in the same place as the modern day O'Dwyers.  Each battles Cabhan, who wants all of their magick in order to create havoc and bring darkness to the world.  Quite frankly, Cabhan is a pain in the ass.  Now the time has come for the three to finally come together to defeat him once and for all.  But they will need the help of the other three.  Oh, and did I mention that Finbar is also a witch, and has the blood of Cabhan running through him? 

So what didn't I like about these stories?  They seemed to go around and around with the same lines; I got tired of reading about how much they all loved each other, and how defeating Cabhan depended on all of them staying strong together.  And Branna cooks a lot.  And isn't happy about it, either.  Each of them are ridiculously beautiful and handsome, and I found the dialogue written as such to be stilted and irksome:   "Sure like Branna and me, for they're as close as brother and sister and never been otherwise."  Usually this stuff I can overlook, but that, as well as repeated references to Iona's "shining cap of hair" had me annoyed at fictional people.  I get that I'm in Ireland, and I appreciate Nora Roberts not sprinkling the writing with "Americanisms", but golly I got tired of the awkward dialogue.  

I have to say there isn't much romance.  Enough to satisfy, but mostly these are light on what a typical romance has loads off:  hot and heavy love scenes.  I've read some other reviews that say this whole trilogy feels like a repeat of another Nora Roberts trilogy (the Three Sisters Island Trilogy), but since I haven't read them, I can't verify that at all.  Somehow the Cousins O'Dwyer lead a perfectly perfect life, with the exception of the evil Cabhan.  And I guess I got weary of that.  

Rating:  6/10 for characters that keep you reading all three stories, but too much awkward dialogue and what felt like too many repeated reassurances of the power of magick between the three witches and the power of family and friends.  A bit of a yawn fest for me.  Too picture perfect. 


  1. Hi there, I am also a fellow bibliophile and your blog literally blew my mind. I am a 19 year old and a blogger too and I am hoping to become a blogger like you.
    Thankyou :)

  2. This was very real. I can appreciate that. The honesty you expressed about this book is refreshing. Thank you.