I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Shadow Spell by Nora Roberts
Series: The Cousins O'Dwyer #2
Published by Berkley Publishing Group, Penguin on 2014-03-25
Reviewed by Shayna
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts comes a trilogy about the land we’re drawn to, the family we learn to cherish, and the people we long to love... Book Two of The Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy Shadow Spell With the legends and lore of Ireland running through his blood, falconer Connor O’Dwyer is proud to call County Mayo home. It’s where his sister, Branna, lives and works, where his cousin, Iona, has found true love, and where his childhood friends form a circle that can’t be broken... A circle that is about to be stretched out of shape—by a long-awaited kiss. Meara Quinn is Branna’s best friend, a sister in all but blood. Her and Connor’s paths cross almost daily, as Connor takes tourists on hawk walks and Meara guides them on horseback across the lush countryside. She has the eyes of a gypsy and the body of a goddess...things Connor has always taken for granted—until his brush with death propels them into a quick, hot tangle. Plenty of women have found their way to Connor’s bed, but none to his heart until now. Frustratingly, Meara is okay with just the heat, afraid to lose herself—and their friendship—to something more. But soon, Connor will see the full force and fury of what runs in his blood. And he will need his family and friends around him when his past rolls in like the fog, threatening an end to all he loves... Don’t miss Book One in the Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy Dark Witch And the final book in the trilogy Blood Magick This Book Is Bound with
Long ago, the Dark Witch Sorcha fought to destroy the evil sorcerer Cabhan, a man obsessed with her and the power he wanted to take from her. Though Sorcha perished trying to destroy Cabhan, her legacy lives on. Centuries have passed, and now three cousins have taken up the fight.
As the best friend of Branna O’Dwyer, Meara Quinn has run tame in the O’Dwyer household for years. To Connor, she’s a close friend and a loved one, but nothing more than that. Until the battle against Cabhan begins in earnest. When Connor is attacked by the dark sorcerer one night, everything changes for him and Meara. Sparks fly between them, leading to a romance neither expected. But will their newfound relationship make them stronger in the days ahead, or will it give their enemy the opening he needs to destroy everything and everyone Connor and Meara hold dear?
Return to the mist-covered lands of County Mayo, where magick both good and ill lie in wait in Shadow Spell. The second Cousins O’Dwyer book is even better than the first as the three Dark Witches and the three who love them raise the stakes in the battle against Cabhan.
Though Shadow Spell truly has six heroes (as the overarching storyline involves all six), Connor and Meara are at the center of it all this time around. I adore a good friends-to-lovers story, and in my opinion Ms. Roberts writes some of the best. Connor and Meara have been friends all their lives, and there’s something about them that just works on every level. I liked how they were both a bit stymied by their mutual attraction – it’d be a pity and unrealistic if things were too easy – but ultimately theirs was an organic transition from lifelong friends to a romantic relationship. Even with its ups and downs thanks to internal and external obstacles, their journey to happily ever after was beautiful to watch.
As much as I adored the romance between Connor and Meara, I can’t write about Shadow Spell without talking about the ongoing magickal battle. Connor, Meara, Branna, Fin, Iona, and Boyle have learned much since Dark Witch and their power continues to grow even as the book’s central two are targeted by Cabhan. Though Shadow Spell is in many ways a bridge book and you know Cabhan won’t be defeated until Blood Magick, the action in this particularly story was no less compelling for it being a middle book.
Some truly charming moments between family and friends round out Shadow Spell, adding further emotion and moments of levity to the story. All in all, I loved Shadow Spell. It swept me off to another world for a few hours, and I loved getting lost in the lyricism of Ms. Roberts’s writing. Joyfully Recommended!