Shadow Spell by Nora Roberts
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I've read most (perhaps, all) of Roberts' trilogies (though my GR shelves fail to indicate the same) and it's been my experience that where the first couple usually have the sad tragic past (woman on the run, or woman to discover self, or some variation of the same;) and where the final couple have even more a tragic romantic history, it's usually the second pair that offer up most of the laughs given a scenario of friends turning into something more or the two seeing what's so obvious to all else.
This set up worked when I read Three Sister's, Ardmore, Chesapeak, Born In, Key of, and most recently those Wedding books. In reading all those, it has never failed that I'd fall in love the most with the middle couple (I have reread Ardmore's Shane how many times now? and James in Chesapeake... I swoon a little each time I recall him and the girl he grew up with. Swooning right now, in fact.)
Yet it's not the case here: it's slow going; slower than I've come to expect from NR! There's a lot of back story; Her past trilogies kept the back story just that; but here backdrop became more and more integral to the events that were unfolding. It's heavy on the paranormal which I do not have a problem with - at least not normally. Only here, NR going back time again to where it all started would pull me back from the enjoyment of why I was reading this--- where's the chemistry? where's the connection? where's the pairing off that would make me
laugh then sigh? All that's given eventually, but in the meantime we have all the 'We are Three; Witches are We' that's a throwback to TV's Charmed. And just like that series, it was cute and fascinating at first, but the longer it went the more I felt like saying, 'Way to beat a dead horse.. deader, folks!'
I wanted to love this. (I truly wanted to love this!) Because it's normally the middle couple with the lighthearted (not so serious at first but much more serious later) pair that have me loving them as individuals as well as cheering for them becoming a 'them.' Except here. And there were moments for sure... but moments don't make up for a whole lot of nothing really going on.
That said, I am much excited for Book Three. All those glimpses into their past make Fin and Branna a much more believable pair. Because at least with them there's a starting point; which brings me to my biggest issue: Connor and Meara coming together felt like a foregone conclusion yet neither was aware of the fact. It's like spares pairing up in romantic comedies which is all well and good for the side kicks, but Meara and Connor aren't the sidekicks in this one!
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