Nora Roberts’ “Dark Witch”

61Iq0pxTOTL__SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_When I found out about Nora Roberts’ Dark Witch, book one in the new The Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy, I rushed to put it on hold at my library. I was sixth in line for the hold but I I’m used to having to wait so I’ve learned patience even when I’m practically jumping in place from eager anticipation. When the hold came in, it took me by surprise and I was so excited I made an extra trip to the library to pick it up rather than wait another day. It didn’t take long to finish it nor did I expect to take long.

If you’re not acquainted with Nora Roberts’ work, she’s a romance novelist. As most of us know, romances don’t take a lot of brain work to read and they’re mostly filled with fluff. I’m only familiar with Nora Roberts’ romances but some others I’ve read can’t really be compared to hers. While hers are filled with sex (some of her books more than others), she creates the romance as well and her writing is top-quality. Of course, this is only my opinion but I’m sure plenty of others agree with me considering how popular her work is.

That being said, I was rather disappointed with Dark Witch. It’s filled with magic (cool), romance (sigh), friendship (wonderful), and steamy sex scenes (sweeeeeet). It ended happily and everything was pretty straightforward. I knew it all would be so what’s my problem?

It was all too easy and too predictable. I know romances aren’t difficult or complex but this was just too much.

Our heroine, Iona, travels to Ireland and is fully accepted at the barest glance. No time is wasted before she has her dream job, her dream family, the closest friends imaginable, her dream horse, and the love of her life in her bed. She’s blissfully happy pretty much the moment her story begins. The first chapter is interesting back story and promises us much conflict and excitement…which the rest of the book doesn’t deliver. I very much enjoyed reading about everything going right in Iona’s life but it gets a little dull after a while.

It’s true, there were moments of conflict but they were whisked away rather quickly as if Roberts or Iona was pretending the darkness didn’t exist.

Then it was all so predictable. In the other trilogies of hers that I’ve read, not all of the characters are introduced within the first couple chapters and you’re given time to play matchmaker. But in Dark Witch your main characters are immediately thrown at you after that first prologue chapter and it’s remarkably easy to tell whom will be paired with whom. Iona even comments on it. So much for having a little fun spent wondering who might end up with each other.

I’d say I’m about to give a SPOILER but the ending is so incredibly predictable that I can’t really call it a spoiler. Still…

*SPOILER ALERT*

……………………………….

………………

…….

Iona’s love proposing to her at the end was so clear I didn’t even need a crystal ball. It was the exact same set-up that she used in the Three Sisters Island Trilogy and The Key Trilogy.

I bet I can even call the order of the books and more of the details that come out in them too. The second book will likely be centered on Connor who will finally get together with Maera or however you spell her name. They’ll have some slight conflict (probably focused around Connor being a flirt with any pretty available lady in town) but in the end – after they all face Cabhan once more and come out all right – he’ll propose to her and she’ll accept. By this point Iona might be married already to her guy like in Three Sisters or they’ll continue on as an item like in The Key Trilogy. The third book will be about the eldest cousin (Connor’s sister…whose name I’ve forgotten). There will be much more emotional conflict for her (just like with those other two trilogies) but she’ll come to realize the guy with the F name (my brain is full of holes right now) really is on their side. This realization will come at the last minute before they fight Cabhan. Without this knowledge, they can’t possibly win against Cabhan but because the six of them are fully united at last, the bad guy loses and peace and happiness reigns supreme. They too will decide to marry at the end of the book.

Where’s the originality? Where’s the creativity? Where’s the conflict? I know it’s romance but Roberts has written some awesome conflict in her past work. I love her work not for the sex scenes (which I do love) but for the creativity and originality, the actual romance that builds and the conflict that makes you hold your breath or strains your brain to think. This…this just fizzled.

*image from Amazon.com*

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About Katie St. John-Shin

I believe in living life and not letting it pass you by. I mean, come on, if you really want to do something but don't have the courage to do it so you let the opportunity disappear, you may regret it for the rest of your life. How can you know what you're capable of unless you go for it? Like every writer, I naturally plan on becoming a world-famous writer. I love reading, writing, fitness, coffee, watching my favorite movies/shows, listening to music, and trying new things even if they're sometimes terrifying. I'm a stay-at-home mom, a writer, and a POP Pilates instructor. I didn't think I'd succeed at that last one but I did it! I confronted my fears, dealt with things I didn't want to deal with, and completed the training! POP Pilates classes are coming soon to mid-Nebraska!
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3 Responses to Nora Roberts’ “Dark Witch”

  1. ShadowDancer says:

    This is exactly why I stopped reading her books. Well, that and I’m not much into romance most of the time. Still, I LOVED her Three Sisters trilogy and ate up the Key trilogy. And Midnight Bayou is one of my favorite books EVER. But I’ve had one of her trilogies…titles are about flowers, I think…sitting on my shelf on loan from my mom for…er…since before the kiddo was born. I just can’t do it. For the same reasons you listed – they’re predictable. Characters match. Plots are slight alterations on older stories – “Oh, look! This model is BLUE! It’s TOTALLY different!” I also submit that her endings are way too short. Sometimes, they’re a whole page long! *gasp* That bugs me, but it’s not a put-downable offense. Plot and characters, though? Bleh.

    I think finishing the Key trilogy was when I realized I could never write straight-up romance for the same reasons. I like departures from the norm. I like surprise endings. Mostly, I don’t think I could ever come up with enough different plots and characters to not fall into this same void. Of course, Nora’s written a zillion books so she gets a little more leeway. And she’s AMAZING when the story holds up.

    • Yeah, I know it’s difficult not to fall into the trap of sameness and she’s written so many books so she does have a really good excuse for doing so. But to make everything happen so easily? There was 0 conflict. It was like she was under a deadline to get something to her agent. Actually, she probably was. I’ve moved on though…to another of her books. hehehe Not a trilogy. River’s End. I just started it but it’s oodles better so far. MAJOR conflict! Good and interesting. I can see why she moved to write as JD Robb. This book starts with a murder. The blurb about it makes it sound as if it’ll be investigating the murder blah blah blah. But, of course, with more romance than the crime because it’s a romance. Maybe she liked the murder mystery aspect though because I hear her JD Robb books are murder mystery with romance/sex mixed in. Not sure as I haven’t read any yet.

      • ShadowDancer says:

        I’m glad RIver’s End is better! I read her Robb/Roberts crossover book and liked it. The characters were fun. I don’t remember anything else, though, ’cause it was a looooong time ago.

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