Shadow Spell (The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy Book 2) by Nora Roberts

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Shadow Spell (The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy Book 2) by Nora Roberts

Category: Women's Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Ani Johnson
Reviewed by Ani Johnson
Summary: Book 2 in the Cousins O'Dwyer supernatural romance series brings the 21st century cousins and friends closer to the 13th century and the evil Cabhan. A comfy read in an escapist, danger-laced kind of way.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 400 Date: November 2015
Publisher: Piatkus
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 978-0749958619

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Spoilers ahead for Book 1, Dark Witch.

Life goes on for the O'Dwyer cousins but that doesn’t mean they've given up on Cabahn, the evil one who has stalked their family for centuries. He hasn't given up on them either unfortunately. As the cousins' resolve increases so do their links to their 13th century ancestors from whence their powers – as well as their problems – originated. Meanwhile the problem of their friend Meara Quinn may seem paltry by comparison but it's still a problem. She's desperate not to fall in love with Connor O'Dwyer. Good luck with that Meara!

Nora Roberts certainly turns out the novels and, to prove it, the first chapter of her 200th comes as an extra at the end of this novel. There is much discussion over whether she writes them all or whether there's an artist-like ghost writing school of Nora Roberts. I'll tactfully step away from that debate and look at Shadow Spell's ghostly goings on of another sort.

Ok, they aren't strictly speaking ghosts but Irish witches whom we first met in Dark Witch, when we also came across the evil Cabahn and what the 13th century's Sorcha O'Dwyer had to do to kill him. Unfortunately she was the one who died, leaving her children Eammon, Brannaugh and Teagan her powers as well as Cabahn's continued presence. Now, across the centuries, they're in touch with the modern day O'Dwyers and friends: Fin (who is actually a descendant of Cabahn – awkward!), Connor, Iona, Branna, her non-adept other half Boyle and the equally powerless Meara.

Cabahn is the ideal baddie: ethereal, powerful and unpredictable with an extreme line in sadism. (If you let your children or younger teens read this, be prepared for some embarrassing questions!)

It's surprising that these cousins/friends/lovers have any time and concentration for anything other than the big C but this is a supernatural romance rather than supernatural with a touch of romance. Once again it may be light reading when compared to others of this genre like A Discovery of Witches (the supernatural romance by which I measure all others) it's comfily satisfying in its undemandingness. (Yes, that's a word… now.) Ok, the rhyming spells sometimes sound a little corny but we have plenty to distract us from that.

Boyle and Branna are preparing for their wedding while Meara is fighting her attraction to the dark, brooding loyal Connor, the bird of prey whisperer as hard as she can. There are also some interesting questions raised as to whether non-witches Boyle and Meara are treated as if an underclass with a disability as well as a demonstration of how past experiences affect future plans.

Between the love and the fantasy we also see glimpses of Ireland: the craic, the music, the food and the drink. (Although it's disappointing that everyone seems to drink lager rather than the black stuff which makes its only appearance in a pie but I shan't dock star ratings for it!)

If you fancy a complex plot with deep meanings and much to ponder, this may not match your mood. If, on the other hand, you crave escape from the cares of your day and the darkening winter afternoons, step inside.

(Thank you, Piatkus, for providing us with a copy for review.)

Further Reading: If this appeals, do please read Dark Witch first. If you have read it and would like to continue the love and magic combination, we would definitely point you towards A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. If you'd rather drop the magic, stick with the romance and go seasonal, then Boyfriend by Christmas by Jenny Stallard awaits.

Buy Shadow Spell (The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy Book 2) by Nora Roberts at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Shadow Spell (The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy Book 2) by Nora Roberts at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Shadow Spell (The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy Book 2) by Nora Roberts at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Shadow Spell (The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy Book 2) by Nora Roberts at Amazon.com.


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