2020 Book 427: THE AWAKENING by Nora Roberts

The Awakening, The Dragon Heart Legacy #1, by Nora Roberts 
ISBN: 9781250272614 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9781250272607 (ebook)
ISBN: 9781250770301 (digital audiobook)
ISBN: 9781250770295 (audiobook on CD)
ASIN: B083LMBNFL  (Audible audiobook)
ASIN: B082RS9D42  (Kindle edition)
Publication date: November 24, 2020 
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

In the realm of Talamh, a teenage warrior named Keegan emerges from a lake holding a sword—representing both power and the terrifying responsibility to protect the Fey. In another realm known as Philadelphia, a young woman has just discovered she possesses a treasure of her own…


When Breen Kelly was a girl, her father would tell her stories of magical places. Now she’s an anxious twentysomething mired in student debt and working a job she hates. But one day she stumbles upon a shocking discovery: her mother has been hiding an investment account in her name. It has been funded by her long-lost father—and it’s worth nearly four million dollars.


This newfound fortune would be life-changing for anyone. But little does Breen know that when she uses some of the money to journey to Ireland, it will unlock mysteries she couldn’t have imagined. Here, she will begin to understand why she kept seeing that silver-haired, elusive man, why she imagined his voice in her head saying Come home, Breen Siobhan. It’s time you came home. Why she dreamed of dragons. And where her true destiny lies—through a portal in Galway that takes her to a land of faeries and mermaids, to a man named Keegan, and to the courage in her own heart that will guide her through a powerful, dangerous destiny…


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Book Review

Breen Kelly is young, healthy, and employed, but she is not happy. She’s not happy with her full-time teaching job. She’s not happy with the amount of student loan debt she has. She’s not happy that she has had to work several part-time jobs just to help pay off her debts. In addition, she has a horrible relationship with her mother, Jennifer Wilcox. The only part of her life that she is happy with is her friendships with her roommate — Marco Olsen, one of Marco’s bosses and Breen’s surrogate mother, Salvador “Sally” Travino — drag queen extraordinaire and bar owner, as well as Derrick Lacross — Sally’s lover. So when Breen learns that her father hadn’t simply abandoned her, had been sending money all these years he’s been gone, and the account held close to four million dollars AND that her mother had never said a word to her about it, Breen blew up. She quickly took control of the account, quit her teaching job at the end of the current school year, and made arrangements to travel first class with Marco to Ireland. That would have been enough if it weren’t for the unusual dreams involving dragons, horses, a gorgeous man with a sword and staff, as well as an impending sense of evil and doom. Although Breen’s mother did everything she could to keep Breen “average and ordinary” she was something much, much more, born of the Fey, a demigod, and of the modern world. Breen has finally awakened to her gifts and the possibilities of being more. As she awakened to her Fey talents, she also discovered her talents for writing. With the push from Marco and others, she began to write a travel blog and then fiction She ultimately finds that she can make a living at something other than teaching when she not only finds a literary agent but sells not one but three books to a publisher. While in Ireland, Breen also discovers the reason why her father never returned for any visits, meets her paternal grandmother, and uncovers much more than she could ever imagine when she falls (literally) into the multiverse land of Talamh. Will Breen embrace the true legacy left by her father and his people and fight against evil in Talamh or turn her back on them and try to live her life quietly in the modern world?


If you follow my blog, you’ve probably noticed via my GoodReads feed that I’ve read and re-read quite a number of Nora Roberts books over the years. Okay, I’ve re-read quite a few in just the past few months. What can I say other than I enjoy reading Nora Roberts’ books! The Awakening is somewhat reminiscent of several of her previous fantasy trilogies, namely “The Cousins O’Dwyer” and “Chronicles of The One” series where someone is “awakened” and discovers their magical talents, and then must accept their duty that comes with their awakening, namely to fight against evil. The difference with The Awakening is that Breen must accept that if she doesn’t fight against evil, namely her paternal grandfather Odran, the land of Talamh, as well as her modern world might be lost. All her life, Breen has tried to be unobtrusive and fit in, and now she has to not only stand out and stand up but be exceptional and fight to protect all that she loves. I enjoyed the self-discovery portion of this story, as well as the friendship/found-family relationships between Breen, Marco, and Sally. I loved reading about Talamh and all of the Fey as well. Hey dragons, elves, witches, and trolls, what’s not to love?! I enjoyed the way Ms. Roberts melded the two halves of Breen’s life as Breen became more comfortable with the two worlds that she straddles. Of course, there are bad guys in the story, namely Breen’s paternal grandfather Odran and his followers, but there are also good guys and a romance interest guy, namely Keegan Byrne — the current taoiseach or leader of Talamh and the Fey. There are also old friendships renewed, new powers discovered as well as new talents uncovered. There’s a lot happening in The Awakening, but Ms. Roberts, as always, does an excellent job of creating the world of Talamh, introducing us to the evil that threatens that world and ours, as well as crafting the beginning of a fine romance. I can’t wait to see what happens next. If you enjoy reading about fantasy, magic, dragons, the fey, or a romance with a little something different, then I suggest you grab a copy of The Awakening to read. For now, I’ll be patiently waiting for the next installment in this series by re-reading a few more stories by Ms. Roberts.


Happy Reading, y’all!


Disclaimer: I received a free digital review copy from the publisher via Edelweiss+. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

2019 Book 344: THE RISE OF MAGICKS by Nora Roberts

The Rise of Magicks, Chronicles of the One #3,  by Nora Roberts 
ISBN: 9781250123039 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9781250123060 (ebook)
ISBN: 9781531834630 (audiobook)
ASIN: B07L2QR5WD (Kindle edition)
Publication date: November 26, 2019 
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press


After the sickness known as the Doom destroyed civilization, magick has become commonplace, and Fallon Swift has spent her young years learning its ways. Fallon cannot live in peace until she frees those who have been preyed upon by the government or the fanatical Purity Warriors, endlessly hunted or locked up in laboratories, brutalized for years on end. She is determined to save even those who have been complicit with this evil out of fear or weakness—if, indeed, they can be saved. 

Strengthened by the bond she shares with her fellow warrior, Duncan, Fallon has already succeeded in rescuing countless shifters and elves and ordinary humans. Now she must help them heal—and rediscover the light and faith within themselves. For although from the time of her birth, she has been The One, she is still only one. And as she faces down an old nemesis, sets her sights on the enemy’s stronghold, and pursues her destiny—to finally restore the mystical shield that once protected them all—she will need an army behind her…





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Book one of The Chronicles of the One, Year One, introduced the Doom and the apocalypse that caused a catastrophic change in humanity and reintroduced magick, both light and dark, to the world. The virus known as “the Doom” wiped out over 80% of the population in just months and caused at least half of the remaining population to manifest various magickal properties, either faerie, elfin, witch, shifter, etc. Most could handle this change and became aligned with light or white magick but many couldn’t handle the change and lost their grip with reality or became overwhelmed with their powers and became aligned with dark magick. Many unaffected by the virus became aligned with a group known as the “Purity Warriors” that blamed the “magickal” folk for the “Doom” and wanted to kill or enslave them all. 

Max Fallon, an acclaimed author, and Lana Bingham, a chef, were both witches before the apocalypse with mild powers. Afterwards, their powers blossomed and they both became much stronger and along with numerous others, they survived and made it safely to begin a new life in New Haven. Max died protecting Lana and their unborn child in an epic battle against his brother and dark magick and Lana safely escaped from those seeking to do her unborn child harm. In the second book, Of Blood and Bone, 13 years have passed and Lana has made a new life for herself with a new husband and more children. Her eldest child and only daughter, Fallon aka “the Chosen One,” is preparing to go off with a magickal warrior to be taught what she needs to prepare for the ultimate battle between good and evil. Fast forward a few years and Fallon has returned to her family and is ready to not only do battle but take back Washington D.C. and New York from dark magicians and the “purity warriors” but also retrieve magickal beings that have been incarcerated, experimented upon, and taken as slaves. Fallon, her family, and those at New Haven are prepared for the worst and hoping for the best in book three, The Rise of Magicks.

The Rise of Magicks was a fast-paced read and much like both the Harry Potter and Hunger Games series, a story of young people, with the help of their elders, fighting to overcome evil and overthrow a corrupt regime. This series is definitely post-apocalyptic and dystopian in nature and the second and third books have all the hallmarks of being YA or NA in nature, with the The Rise of Magicks adding some romance to the equation. I’ve read and enjoyed almost every Nora Roberts and J.D. Robb book out there, but I’m somewhat torn about this series. I thoroughly enjoyed the first book, Year One which set everything up and heavy on the surviving the apocalypse. The second book, Of Blood and Bone was a bit heavier on the magick and describing the post-apocalyptic world but still enjoyable. The Rise of Magicks had to have the epic battle of good versus evil but there was just something about it that felt a bit off for this reader. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy reading it and liked the conclusion well enough but it felt a bit contrived or forced. I felt I knew what was going to happen well before I read about it and therefore wasn’t very surprised with too much of the action. Was it a good read? Yes, it was still a good read and it nicely tied up the loose ends from the previous books. I enjoyed getting to read about the characters we were introduced to in the previous books, especially Arlys, Fred, Rachel, Jonah, Katie, etc. Perhaps I expected a little too much from this final book, although I enjoyed reading it I was just expecting to be blown away by the conclusion and I wasn’t. That didn’t detract from my overall enjoyment, but it didn’t rank as high as I had hoped. If you’ve read the first two books in this series, then I recommend you read The Rise of Magicks so you’ll know how things end. If you’re a Nora Roberts fan and enjoy reading her paranormal writings, then you’ll definitely want to add this trilogy to your TBR list. I’m happy I read all three books. Who knows, I may reread this trilogy in a few months and be pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoy all three books. 


Disclaimer: I received a free digital review copy from the publisher via Edelweiss+. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

2019 Book 201: UNDER CURRENTS by Nora Roberts

Under Currents by Nora Roberts 
ISBN: 9781250207098 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9781250213273 (ebook)
ISBN: 9781250219336 (audiobook)
ASIN: B07JBQTL3W (Kindle edition)
Publication date: July 9, 2019 
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press


For both Zane and Darby, their small town roots hold a terrible secret. Now, decades later, they’ve come together to build a new life. But will the past set them free or pull them under?

Zane Bigelow grew up in a beautiful, perfectly kept house in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Strangers―and even Zane’s own aunt across the lake―see his parents as a successful surgeon and his stylish wife, making appearances at their children’s ballet recitals and baseball games. Only Zane and his sister know the truth, until one brutal night finally reveals cracks in the facade, and Zane escapes for college without a thought of looking back…

Years later, Zane returns to his hometown determined to reconnect with the place and people that mean so much to him, despite the painful memories. As he resumes life in the colorful town, he meets a gifted landscape artist named Darby, who is on the run from ghosts of her own. 

Together they will have to teach each other what it means to face the past, and stand up for the ones they love.





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Zane and Britt Bigelow seemed to have an idyllic childhood with the perfect home and parents, but appearances are often deceiving. Their parents, the esteemed Dr. Graham Bigelow and Mrs. Eliza Bigelow, had what can only be perceived as a toxic relationship. Superficially they were perfect and doting parents, but Dr. Bigelow often belittled and demeaned his children in public and private as well as physically abused them along with his wife. He never hit them anywhere where it might show, until one particularly bad beating that ends up with Zane suffering multiple broken bones and being arrested and charged with beating up his sister and assaulting his mother. Fortunately for both Zane and Britt, Britt escapes the hospital, contacts her aunt, gets law enforcement outside of the city of Lakeview involved and Zane is not only exonerated but his parents are arrested for assault, child abuse, and a host of other charges. Zane and Britt are adopted by their loving aunt, change their last name from Bigelow to Walker and move on from their sordid childhood with their father imprisoned for the next 18 years.

Fast forward 18 years, Darby McCray is a divorcee who has recently lost her mother. Without any familial ties to hold her down, she sells her landscaping business and home, and decides to relocate down South. She ends up in Lakeview, North Carolina, immediately feels at home in this small town, establishes her business credentials by landscaping one of the vacation cottages owned by Emily Walker Keller (Zane and Britt’s adoptive aunt/mother) and makes this town her new home. Darby is new to Lakeview, but Zane is newly returned to his hometown and the two meet and sparks fly. Zane is a retired prosecutor and new small-town lawyer and Darby is his first client. Turn about seems fair play, so Darby takes on Zane as a client and provides him with plants and landscaping ideas for his new office. Before he knows what hits him, she’s talked him into buying the house he’s been thinking about and even has him agreeing to all of her landscaping ideas. Just when it seems as if things are smooth sailing for this newly minted relationship, Darby is attacked, then Zane’s house and law offices are targets of vandalism. Even though they know why they were the targets of both of these incidents, it seems as if there might be another party out there targeting them and neither of them knows why? Can they identify the culprit before someone else is injured or worse?

For those of you that don’t know much about me and my reading habits, let me confess now that I Love reading Nora Roberts and J.D. Robb books. How much do I love reading these books? Well, I generally reread the entire “In Death” series at least once every other year and I’ll re-re-read numerous Nora Roberts titles every other year (there are so many, so I try to rotate them). Having said all of that, I was ecstatic when I learned that I was going to be able to read Under Currents by Nora Roberts, thank you St. Martin’s Press and Edelweiss+. I sat and read this book in one afternoon yesterday even with an increasingly painful migraine headache looking to spoil the afternoon (hey, that’s what pain medication is for and I could still see and if I could still see I could still read!). I enjoyed reading about Zane and Britt’s childhood and the background was needed to provided context on their monster parents. And yes, their parents were indeed monsters. I loved Darby and her energy, think the Energizer Bunny without the drum but with plants and charisma galore. There are plenty of characters to love in this story, including Zane, Britt, Emily, Lee (Emily’s husband and former Asheville police detective), Roy (Darby’s first landscaping hire), and General Zod (Darby’s dog). And yes, there are bad guys, Dr. Graham Bigelow, Eliza Bigelow, and more. This story weaves in child abuse, spousal abuse, mental abuse, and much more along with the uplifting stories of love, acceptance, helping your neighbor, and standing up for what’s right no matter what. I enjoyed the characters, the action, and the romance. Although there’s a certain amount of formula to romance and romantic-suspense novels, as a reader you’re never quite sure what twists and turns the writer is going to take to get you to that HEA ending. Nora Roberts is a maestro at romantic suspense, in my opinion at least, and I found Under Currents to be topical, well-crafted, and a pleasure to read. (Can you tell I enjoyed this book?) If you don’t already have Under Currents on your TBR list and you’re a romance or romantic-suspense reader, I strongly encourage you to do so ASAP! If you’re not a romance or romantic-suspense reader, then here’s your opportunity to begin. I look forward to reading and re-reading more Nora Roberts in the future. 



Disclaimer: I received a free digital review copy from the publisher via Edelweiss+. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

2017 Book 142: COME SUNDOWN by Nora Roberts

Come Sundown by Nora Roberts 
ISBN: 9781250123077 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9781250123107 (ebook)
ASIN: B01M4GE64D (Kindle edition)
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press 
Publication Date: May 30, 2017


A saga of love, family ties, and twisted passions from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Obsession

The Bodine ranch and resort in western Montana is a family business, an idyllic spot for vacationers. A little over thirty thousand acres and home to four generations, it’s kept running by Bodine Longbow with the help of a large staff, including new hire Callen Skinner. There was another member of the family once: Bodine’s aunt, Alice, who ran off before Bodine was born. She never returned, and the Longbows don’t talk about her much. The younger ones, who never met her, quietly presume she’s dead. But she isn’t. She is not far away, part of a new family, one she never chose—and her mind has been shattered…

When a bartender leaves the resort late one night, and Bo and Cal discover her battered body in the snow, it’s the first sign that danger lurks in the mountains that surround them. The police suspect Cal, but Bo finds herself trusting him—and turning to him as another woman is murdered and the Longbows are stunned by Alice’s sudden reappearance. The twisted story she has to tell about the past—and the threat that follows in her wake—will test the bonds of this strong family, and thrust Bodine into a darkness she could never have imagined. 



Alice Bodine left home at age eighteen determined to see the world on her own terms. A little more than a year later, she decided to return home to the Bodine Ranch and disappeared. Her family presumes she simply never wanted to return home or maintain contact with the family. Fast-forward twenty-five years and there’s a new generation operating the Bodine Ranch, now a posh resort and ranch. Bodine “Bo” Longbow never knew her aunt and, like her brothers, presumes that her aunt is most likely dead. Bo’s current focus, along with her parents and brothers, is on continuing to operate the Bodine Ranch to the best of her abilities. Not long after a  childhood friend returns home and is hired to help manage the horses on the ranch, the body of a Bodine ranch employee is found dead and the new hire, Callan “Cal” Skinner, is considered a person-of-interest by some on the local police force. As time passes, Bo rekindles her friendship with Cal, begins to trust and rely upon him as illness causes a long-term family employee to take a leave of absence. Bo’s friendship with Cal quickly evolves into a romantic relationship. As their relationship heats up, more women disappear, and then a woman that has been gone and presumed dead turns up, Alice Bodine. No longer the free-spirited wild child of the past, this Alice has been broken. Afraid of men and one man in particular (her abductor/”husband”), the Bodines and Longbows come together to do whatever it takes to help Alice recuperate and regain some sense of self-worth and freedom. But darker forces are working in the background as the abducted women keep turning up dead, Alice’s abductor may still be at-large, and at least one law enforcement officer is willing to take the law into his own hands to see that his version of justice is done.

I found Come Sundown to be a fast-paced and engrossing read that melded the dark and twisted with the more traditional ideas of family, love, and justice. Yes, as with most Nora Roberts books, Come Sundown blends romance and suspense, but I found this story to be just a touch darker than some of her previous books (okay, it wasn’t as dark as some of the books from the In Death series). Don’t get me wrong, the dark and twisted works and works well. Come Sundown features dark themes such as abduction, serial rape, mental and physical torture, twisted ideas of marriage, family and justice, along with the more traditional notions of family, love, and romance. I could tell you more about what happens in the book, but if I did you wouldn’t need to read the book so I won’t. I will say that if you’re a Nora Roberts fan like me, you’ll definitely want to grab a copy of Come Sundown to read. If you’re a romantic-suspense fan, you’ll want to grab a copy of Come Sundown to read. If you’re looking for something a little different to read and you enjoy romance and/or suspense, then you’ll probably want to grab a copy of Come Sundown to read as well. I read Come Sundown almost two weeks ago and it’s still packing a punch. Thank you, Ms. Roberts, for another enjoyable read.


Disclaimer: I received a free print copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



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