Dark Witch ~ Nora Roberts

"With indifferent parents, Iona Sheehan grew up craving devotion and acceptance. From her maternal grandmother, she learned where to find both: a land of lush forests, dazzling lakes, and centuries-old legends. Ireland. County Mayo, to be exact. Where her ancestors’ blood and magic have flowed through generations—and where her destiny awaits. Iona arrives in Ireland with nothing but her Nan’s directions, an unfailingly optimistic attitude, and an innate talent with horses. Not far from the luxurious castle where she is spending a week, she finds her cousins, Branna and Connor O’Dwyer. And since family is family, they invite her into their home and their lives. When Iona lands a job at the local stables, she meets the owner, Boyle McGrath. Cowboy, pirate, wild tribal horsemen, he’s three of her biggest fantasy weaknesses all in one big, bold package. Iona realizes that here she can make a home for herself—and live her life as she wants, even if that means falling head over heels for Boyle. But nothing is as it seems. An ancient evil has wound its way around Iona’s family tree and must be defeated. Family and friends will fight with each other and for each other to keep the promise of hope—and love—alive…"  ~Amazon Description

Brittney Joy's Review ~ So, this is the actually the first Nora Roberts book I have read. "Dark Witch" is a combination of witches, magic & horses set in Ireland -- how could I resist?! And, look at the cover ... it just pulls you right into the cozy, mystical story. My favorite parts of this book included Nora's descriptions of the settings -- cozy pubs, roaring fireplaces, crumbling castles.

However, the story itself was very repetitive and, frankly, predictable. The characters were one-dimensional and I had a hard time connecting with them. Actually, I connected most with Branna - the darker, more cynical cousin. The main character, Iona, tended to annoy me with her constant babble.

Iona (a witch herself) is able to read the minds of horses AND she works at a stable in Ireland .... I was really looking forward to this aspect of the story - how magic & horses would intertwine. However, the story is pretty skimpy on the horse parts and is written more for the general public than a die-hard-horse-person ... I was disappointed.

I actually gave up on this book at about page 220. I just kept waiting for the story to get good and I couldn't wait any longer. Sigh ... maybe I missed out on the best part of the story in the last 100 pages?? Anyhow, I will definitely give Nora Roberts another try. I've read lots of good reviews on her books -- this one just wasn't for me.