Series: The Cousin O'Dwyer Trilogy #2
Published by Berkley on March 25th 2014
Genres: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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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.
When we finished Dark Witch, the three O’Dwyer cousins, Branna, Connor and Iona along with their friends, Meara, Boyle and Fin, had cause the evil Cabhan a great deal of pain, but they were not successful in killing him.
A few months have past and Cabhan is back and wielding a shadow spell which keeps him lurking and protected in the shadows and where he has started making sneak attacks on our witches in an attempt to destroy their circle. When he almost succeeds in dealing a death blow to Connor, Meara and Connor realized that they have stronger feelings toward each other which have been lurking beneath the surface for some time. As Connor’s interest in Meara grows, Cabhan takes more a notice of her as both a weaker target of attack (since Meara has no magic) and also as a way to destroy Connor.
After several attacks are directed at Meara, the group decide that they need to stop waiting around to defend against Cabhan’s attacks and prepare their own offensive. After they manage to wound Cabhan in one of his shadow attacks, they have his blood to use against him in a spell of their own. But will it finally be enough to destroy the evil which gives Cabhan his power?
This was of course my favorite type of story – friends to lovers. Can’t help it. Love them! There no shocker that since this is book 2 of a trilogy, we will not defeat Cabhan in this book, and although I am interested to see how they defeat him (and I believe there is a strong hint how they will ultimately succeed), what I am really, really dying to find out the story behind Branna and Fin.
We have had hints that they fell in love as teenagers and many hints that they still hold strong feelings for each other (especially poor Fin) but that once Branna learned that Fin was a blood descendant of Cabhan, she turned him away. She is still resentful of the fact that they became lovers before Fin allowed her to see the mark on his body showing his was Cabhan’s descendant. So she felt deceived and she has been slightly untrusting of him and allowing him to participate in their circle. I think Fin was just hoping that if Branna loved him enough, she wouldn’t turn on him once he told her, but it didn’t work out for poor Fin. Personally, I can’t wait to see the sparks fly between them in Book 3.
If you are reading this series, come back when you are done and we’ll talk about the possibilities of how to defeat Cabhan.
Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
“And what are you going to do about Alice?”
“Alice Keenan, who’s signaling her churning lust across the pub like one of those flag people.” She waved her arms to demonstrate.
“A pretty face, for certain. But not for me.”
Meara put on a look of amazement, sent it around the table. “Are you hearing that? Connor O’Dwyer saying a pretty face isn’t for him.”
“Wants a ring on her finger, does she then?” Finn asked, amused.
“That she does, and as that’s more than I can give, she’s not for me to play with. But it is a pretty face.”
He leaned toward Meara. “Now, if you were to snuggle up here, and give me a kiss, she’d think, ah, well he’s taken, and stop pining for me.”
“She’ll have to pine, as other foolish women do.” She scooped up more chicken. “My mouth’s occupied at the moment.”
“You put it on mine once.”
“Really?” Iona pushed her plate aside, leaned in. “Tell all.”
“I was but twelve.”
“Just shy of thirteen.”
“Just shy of thirteen is twelve.” she feigned stabbing him with her fork. “And I was curious.”
“It was nice.”
“How could I tell?” Meara countered. “It was my first kiss.”
“Aw.” Iona drew in a sighing breath. “You never forget your first.”
“It wasn’t his.”
Connor laughed, gave Meara’s braid a tug. “It wasn’t, no, but I haven’t forgotten it, have I?”
“I was eleven. Precocious,” Iona claimed. “His name was Jessie Lattimer. It was sweet. I decided we’d get married one day, live on a farm, and I’d ride horses all day.”
“And what happened to this Jessie Lattimer?” Boyle wanted to know.
“He kissed someone else, broke my heart. Then his family moved to Tuscon, or Toledo. Something with a T. Now I’m going to marry an Irishman.” She angled over, kissed Boyle. “And ride horses all day.”
Her eyes sparkled when Boyle linked his fingers with hers.
“Who as your first, Branna?”
The minute the words were out, the sparkle changed to regret. She knew. Of course she knew even before Branna flicked a glance a Fin.
“I was twelve as well. I couldn’t let my best friend get ahead of me, could I? And like Connor for Meara, Fin was handy.”
“That he was,” Connor agreed cheerfully, “for he made sure he was where you were ever possible waking minute.”
“Not every, because it wasn’t wasn’t his first kiss.”
“I practiced a bit.” Fin tipped back in his chair with his pint. “As I wanted your first to be memorable. In the shadows of the woods,” he murmured, “on a soft summer day. With the air smelling of the rain and the river. And of you.”
She didn’t look at him now, nor he at her. “Then the lightning struck, a bolt from the sky straight into the ground.” She remembered. Oh, she remembered. “The air shook with it, and the thunder that followed. We should have known.”
“We were children”
“Not for long.”