Series: The Cousins O'Dwyer #2
Narrator: Alan Smyth
Published by Brilliance Audio on March 25, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance
Length: 11 hours, 20 minutes
Audio | Goodreads
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…
As with the first story in this trilogy, Dark Witch, it begins in the past with the three children of the first dark witch, Sorcha. I love this aspect as it’s entrenched in the underlying mythology. Each time we learn a little bit more about Cabhan, the dark sorcerer, which helps the six friends figure out a way to defeat him.
Connor’s my favorite of all the characters. His breezy, fun-loving spirit is infectious and endears him to friends and family. He’s the kind of guy that is popular with the ladies but doesn’t leave a trail of broken hearts. They all seem to know it’s just for fun. Even with Meara, who he’s known all his life, their friendship has never wavered.
After a particularly nasty encounter with Cahban, Connor and Meara’s relationship takes a turn toward romance. Both are a bit unnerved but Meara especially so. Abandoned by her father, she’s pretty resistant to starting something with Connor. Him? Not so much. It’s a nice, new direction for him.
The strength of this story, however, is the friendship of the six. Some of the best moments are when they’re all together. This is a familiar theme of Nora’s trilogies, especially to me now as I recently finished the Sign of Seven series.
I have mixed feelings about the narration. Alan Smyth’s Irish accent certainly helped keep me in the setting, especially during the scenes with Sorcha’s children. However, I couldn’t distinguish any of the male characters from one another. When you’re reading Nora’s stories, particularly where there’s dialogue, the transitions don’t always bear the character names. It’s not an issue when reading print or eBooks but it was a huge one for me with this performance. I struggled knowing who was talking.
Bottom line, it’s an enjoyable friends to lovers romance with a strong and interesting underlying mythology. I welcome the final chapter of the trilogy and already bought the audiobook, which is narrated by the fabulous Susan Ericksen!
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