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  • Tara Sonin 3:00 pm on 2018/04/26 Permalink
    Tags: , a swift purse cry, broken harbor, Brooklyn, circle of friends, , , dark witch, darkfever, donna jo napoli, duchess of sin, edward rutherfurd, , , forbidden love, golden surrender, , hush, irish born, irish lady, irish warrior, jeanette baker, , karen harper, , , kathleen grissom, lady of conquest, laurel mckee, , luck magic & mystery, maeve binchy, , robin maxwell, , santa montefiere, scandalous desires, seduce me at sunrise, siobhan dowd, talk sweetly to me, , , the girl in the castle, the irish princess, the kitchen house, the lost duke of wyndham, the princes of ireland, the wild irish, the wonder   

    24 Swoonworthy Novels Inspired by Ireland 

    Here are twenty-five novels with stories, settings, and characters inspired by Ireland. Sláinte!

    Dark Witch, by Nora Roberts
    Set in County Mayo, Ireland, the place Iona Sheehan has come to learn about her ancestors thanks to the stories from her grandmother—this romance is as spellbinding as its setting. Iona meets family she never knew, and a handsome stable owner, Boyle McGrath. But falling for her homeland and for him become more complicated when secrets from the past are revealed.

    Darkfever, by Karen Marie Moning
    The start to this bestselling paranormal romance series begins with a murder. When Mac’s sister is murdered, she goes to Ireland, determined to track down the evil that took her family away. But soon she realizes the journey to the truth involves another world, living amidst her own: the world of the Fae. Can she find the truth, defeat evil forces, and find love—and get out alive?

    Seduce Me at Sunrise, by Lisa Kleypas
    Kev Merripan is half Roma, half Irish…so he knows can never have the woman he wants. His background, and a dangerous past, would prevent it forever. That is, until Winnifred Hathaway returns home and another suitor begins to compete for her affection.

    Scandalous Desires, by Elizabeth Hoyt
    Mickey O’Connor, an Irish man raised in London, is a self-made man on the wrong side of society. He has everything he wants, except one thing: a woman. Silence Hollingbrook has wedged her way into his heart after one night…and now, he has another chance to make her his.

    The Lost Duke of Wyndham, by Julia Quinn
    Jack Audley is a soldier, a lone-wolf…and now, unfortunately, named the Duke of Wyndham. A title he never asked for, in a society he reviles. But there is a chance that his claim is illegitimate…if his parents married in Ireland, before he was born. And then he meets Grace Eversleigh, and everything Jack thought he wanted is suddenly secondary to loving her.

    The Princes of Ireland, by Edward Rutherfurd
    An epic historical saga of the entirety of Irish history from Ireland in A.D. pre-Christian society through the founding of the Free Irish State, this novel follows fictional families through eras of Irish triumph and travails.

    Brooklyn, by Colm Toibin
    The coming of age story of a girl caught between homes: the one she left behind, in Ireland, and the one she might have to leave when family tragedy strikes, in Brooklyn. Eilis wanted a chance at a new life, but never imagined she would find love with an Italian man in America. But will she give it up, to honor her homeland?

    The Girl in the Castle, by Santa Montefiore
    Kitty Deverill has a lovely life living in Castle Deverill in beautiful Ireland. She and Jack O’Leary fall in love…a love threatened by a jealous friend, a war between the Irish and the British, and the destruction of her home. Downton Abbey fans will love this dramatic portrayal of upstairs-downstairs hope and heartbreak.

    The Irish Princess, by Karen Harper
    If you love historical narratives from outside perspectives, you will love the story of Elizabeth Fitzgerald, a girl born to Irish royalty…and a girl who knew the wrath of Henry VIII almost as much as his wives. The King imprisons her father, destroying her family, she must seek allegiances and avoid enemies in the perilous English court.

    A Swift Pure Cry, by Siobhan Dowd
    The death of Shell’s mother sends her religious father into a tailspin. As Shell tries to mourn while helping her brother and sister, her best friend Declan drops another bombshell: he’s leaving Ireland for America. Scandal, love, betrayal, and more can be found in this beautiful story of grief and growing up.

    The Wild Irish, by Robin Maxwell
    Elizabeth is Queen in England, having just proved victorious against the Spanish Armaada. But across the sea, Ireland is brewing with conflict. Grace O’Malley is more than just a pirate—she is the protector of her homeland against English invaders. And the only way to protect them now is to meet Elizabeth face-to-face.

    Broken Harbor, by Tana French
    The Dublin Murder Squad is back, with Mick Kennedy investigating cases other detectives couldn’t handle. When a man and his children are murdered and his wife ends up in the hospital, Mick is ready with the answers…until evidence arises that he cannot explain, and his own past begins to dangerously mingle with the present.

    Circle of Friends, by Maeve Binchy
    In the beginning, it was Benny and Eve. They grew up in Knockglen with different circumstances, but always had one another. In Dublin, their circle widens to include Nan and Jack. But happiness in this circle of friends is not meant to be, as friendships new and old are tested when secrets from the past are unearthed.

    Hush, by Donna Jo Napoli
    A young adult novel by celebrated author Donna Jo Napoli stars an Irish princess who is kidnapped by her kingdom’s enemies. She vows to remain silent in order to save herself—and the secrets of her kingdom—while her captors take her to a world she never thought she would see.

    The Kitchen House, by Kathleen Grissom
    Lavinia arrives on a Virginia plantation in the years before the Civil War traumatized by her journey from Ireland, that left her parentless and alone. But her loneliness only increases, because even as she is invited into the good gracious of her masters, she is still apart from them—and even more apart from the slaves on the plantation, including Belle, the master’s illegitimate daughter.

    Duchess of Sin, by Laurel McKee
    Dublin is no match for Conlan McTeer, the Duke of Adair…but he is no match for Lady Anna Blacknall. When they meet in a nefarious location and succumb to a moment of temptation, nothing is ever the same…but years later, when they reunite, their passion certainly is.

    The Wonder, by Emma Donoghue
    From the author of Room comes a haunting tale of a nurse visiting an Irish village to witness a mystery…a girl no older than eleven, living alone in a cabin, who believes she is living off manna from heaven. As in, has survived months without food. Part mystery, part thriller, but all heart, this novel is not to be missed.

    Forbidden Love, by Karen Robards
    Exactly what the title suggests! Once, Megan was a student at Maam’s Cross Court. Justin—the sixth Earl of Weston—was her guardian. But she is no longer than young girl she once was, and now she wants him in her heart, and her bed. One catch? He’s married.

    Lady of Conquest, by Teresa Medeiros
    Conn is a fearless warrior of Ireland, commander to the Fianna, his soldiers. But one enemy he never thought he’d meet is a beautiful woman named Gelina—and she wants his life as payment for the ones he ruined. But instead of killing one another, they find themselves falling in love, instead…

    Irish Lady, by Jeanette Baker
    Meghann McCarthy has a new life It looks nothing like the one she had before, in Belfast, poor, and desperately in love with Michael Devlin—until he broke her heart. But then he gets accused of murder, and since she’s a lawyer…well, she’ll put it all on the line to save him.

    Golden Surrender, by Heather Graham
    Princess Erin is the beautiful heir to the Irish throne—a throne of vengeance, if she has anything to say about it, against one man: Prince Olaf of Norway, the one who destroyed her kingdom. But her father has other plans…such as marrying her off to the prince himself, thus uniting once warring kingdoms. Can she learn to love a man she hates?

    Talk Sweetly to Me, by Courtney Milan
    A romance between a British wallflower and an Irish rake is complicated by the fact that she has no interest in romance, or scandal, or anything he can offer…except, perhaps, his heart.

    Irish Born, by Nora Roberts
    All of the Concannon sisters are found in this trilogy bind-up! Maggie, the free-spirited girl who carves her own path; Brianna, the loving caretaker; and Shannon, the American who yearns to find her home in Ireland.

    Irish Warrior, by Kris Kennedy
    A captive Irish warrior, Finian finds help in the most unlikely of places…a beautiful woman, Senna de Valery, who wants out just as much as he does. Despite their attraction, they must focus on the difficult journey to come…including what it means for Senna, and the secret she holds that many men would kill for.

    The post 24 Swoonworthy Novels Inspired by Ireland appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Tara Sonin 7:00 pm on 2018/01/10 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , breath of magic, crystal cove, dark witch, daughter of the blood, , erika mailman, , , , , , , , , naomi novik, , , paula brackson, practical magic, , , , , the witches of east end, the witching hour, the witchs daughter, the witchs trinity, toil and trouble, uprooted, , wicked deeds on a winters night, witch and wizard   

    16 Witchy Books You Need This Winter 

    You may think Autumn is the only time for witchery, but we say winter and witches go together like snowflakes and hot cocoa! If January has been keeping you cold, here are some witchy reads that will excite…and maybe even scare you a bit, too.

    A Discovery of Witches, by Deborah Harkness
    When factions of supernatural creatures set their sights on a document that could give them the upper hand in a war, a reluctant witch must seek the protection of an equally reluctant vampire, her supposed mortal enemy. Witch stories have a tendency to emphasize the importance of family…but in this case, it could be her own family that wants her dead. Can true love between two warring beings prevail?

    Practical Magic, by Alice Hoffman
    The Owens sisters are cursed: the men that they love will always die. But with that curse comes unique abilities—magic—that on more than one occasion, they have used to try and prevent others that they love from falling prey to the same fate. Gillian and Sally grew up as outsiders, always trying to escape the rumors about their family. One of them married, and the other ran away, determined never to do so. But when tragedy brings them together again, the curse is always there to welcome them home…

    Dark Witch, by Nora Roberts
    In this witchy trilogy, Iona Sheehan travels to Ireland to connect with family she has always yearned to know. Reunited with her cousins in the home of her ancestors, Iona is hopeful she’s found everything she’s been looking for. And then she meets Boyle MacGrath: a cowboy with no ties, except the one winding its way around her heart.

    Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night, by Kresley Cole
    In the fourth installment in this paranormal romance series, Mariketa the witch has been stripped of her magic, leaving her with no choice but to seek the protection of her greatest enemy, Bowen MacRieve. Bowen is a tortured werewolf determined never to let his heart belong to another—especially Mari—but soon enough, they cannot deny the passion between them. Forbidden love, evil forces, and magic combine for a riveting tale.

    Breath of Magic, by Teresa Medeiros
    Arian Whitewood is a witch from the seventeenth century…which means she does not belong three hundred years in the future, but alas, that’s where a mysterious amulet takes her. She meets Tristan Lennox, a billionaire with no faith in magic…and so he never expected his reward of 1 million dollars to the person who could prove its existence to ever come true. Outlander fans will love this reverse-time-travel billionaire romance.

    Crystal Cove, by Lisa Kleypas
    Friday Harbor has been a good home to Justine; here she’s found the stability she never had with her untamable mother, Marigold, and she enjoys the safety in her mundane life of running a small hotel. But then, her world is rocked by the truth that her lack of love is the result of a dark curse cast on her at birth.

    The Witch’s Daughter, by Paula Brackston
    One of the most fascinating and engrossing witch tales I’ve ever read: you will not be able to look away from the tale of Elizabeth Hawksmith, a witch who has survived over three-hundred years in loneliness, only to discover a Witchfinder from her past has been stalking her through time, determined to collect on a debt. But this time, Elizabeth can’t run: she has a teenage girl under her care, and something more important than her own immortality to protect.

    The Witches of East End, by Melissa De La Cruz
    The Beauchamp witches try to live a normal life; the fact that they are forbidden to practice magic makes that slightly easier. But when murder and mystery find them in their solitude, they decide the time has come to defy the rules and do what must be done to defeat the evil in their midst.

    Daughter of the Blood, by Anne Bishop
    This high fantasy in which power is manifested through magical gems stars a mysterious Queen who will rise to a power stronger even than Hell itself. Three men seek to find and control the girl who is destined to ascend the throne in a ruthless quest of corruption, greed, and lust.

    Wicked, by Gregory Maguire
    The story of the Wicked Witch of the West begins at birth—born green, an outcast in society, she is nonetheless destined to wield a magic that will make her infamous. This villain origin story is action-packed, beautiful, and romantic.

    The Witch’s Trinity, by Erika Mailman
    This fascinating tale of witchcraft, fear, and history begins in 1507 when a German town is struck by a famine…which one friar believes is the result of witchcraft. Güde Müller has been tormented by visions that she cannot explain…and soon she realizes that her position in the town is compromised, perhaps even by her own family.

    The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman
    This unique story is difficult to describe, but incredibly ethereal, dark, and haunting. A man comes home to Sussex for a funeral, and is drawn to the mysterious house at the end of the road where, as a child, he met a mysterious girl and something magical and dangerous happened to him as a child.

    The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, by Katherine Howe
    Connie’s summer is full to the brim with research for her PhD. But when her mother asks her to help handle the sale of her grandmother’s house, Connie finds herself pulled into a dark mystery involving a family bible, an old key, and a name: Deliverance Dane. Who was she? And why is Connie suddenly having visions of the Salem Witch Trials?

    Uprooted, by Naomi Novik
    A terrifying wizard known as The Dragon kidnaps girls in a small town every ten years—and soon, Agnieszka’s best friend will be chosen. That is, until a twist of fate results in her being chosen instead.

    Witch and Wizard, by James Patterson
    In a dystopian world of governmental control, Wisty and Whit Allgood are siblings accused of being a witch and wizard. Young people everywhere have been torn from their homes and forced to face judgment for this “crime” of magic.

    The Witching Hour, by Anne Rice
    This lush, dark, and gorgeously gory paranormal series introduces readers to the Mayfair witches, whose stories have been told for centuries by the Talamasca. This time, Rowan Mayfair is a neurosurgeon who never knew of her abilities until one day when she brings a man back from the dead. Cursed (or gifted, or both) with the ability to see the dark realm and the evil spirit who wants to come through to the mortal realm, Rowan must find a way to defeat him and protect the world—and people—she loves.

    What witchy books do you love?

    The post 16 Witchy Books You Need This Winter appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
  • Cristina Merrill 5:00 pm on 2017/02/17 Permalink
    Tags: blood magick, blood romance sex magick, cousins o'dwyer trilogy, dark witch, , , romance travel and magick, shadow spell   

    Nora Roberts’ Dark Witch Features Adventure, Family, and Smoldering Romance 

    Romance readers who have always dreamed of abandoning everything in order to move to a new country and have adventures will have a serious case of envy when they read Dark Witch, the first book in Nora Roberts’ Cousins O’Dwyer trilogy. The book combines adventure, fantasy, familial love, and, of course, romance. The result is an entertaining read that gives readers a good dose of both otherworldly situations and matters that are more grounded in reality.

    The book opens in the thirteenth century with Sorcha, who is known as the Dark Witch and is guarding her home and her three children while her husband is away at war. She is defending herself and her family against their enemy, Cabhan, a dark sorcerer who wants Sorcha’s power—and Sorcha—for himself. Sorcha does her best to fend him off, but to no avail, and her children’s fates are ultimately left hanging in the balance.

    Readers are then transported to the present day. Our modern-day heroine, Iona Sheehan, is no ordinary woman. Acting on a hunch that she’s got some otherworldly powers, she moves to Ireland and seeks out distant relations who are not so different from her.

    When we first meet Iona, she’s already in Ireland and she’s gotten rid of the vast majority of her possessions, including, tragically, her designer shoe collection. She treats herself to a proper mini vacation, one that includes spending a week at a local castle-turned-hotel, but then wastes no time finding her relations. She meets her distant cousins, Branna and Connor O’Dwyer, both of whom are also descendants of Sorcha. Connor gives her the warmer welcome, while Branna is a tad more reserved, but they are both ultimately happy to have her there, and Iona quickly forms a bond with both of them. Branna becomes Iona’s primary magick instructor, and teaches Iona how to use and control her abilities.

    Of course, there’s day-to-day life to focus on, because this magick business isn’t going to pay for itself. Iona finds a job at a local stable, which is owned by Boyle McGrath. Within minutes, she’s got him pinned down, looks-wise, and finds him to be a mix of “Cowboy, pirate, wild tribal horseman,” which immediately has her feeling all “Sign me up!” Personality-wise, Boyle’s got that whole “strong and silent” thing down pat. In fact, “strong and silent” is probably a milder way of putting it. He’s not the most emotional guy, at least not outwardly, but even he cannot deny the attraction he feels for our girl.

    Iona and Boyle are pretty much immediately attracted to each other, but he is not one for having open, flowery emotions. That said, he wants to take things slow with Iona, and he’s old-fashioned about being the one to ask women out. In the age of infinite dating websites and mobile apps, Boyle’s ideas almost seem brand-new. He generously gives Iona a “We’ll go have dinner sometime,” which Branna, who has known Boyle for many years, hilariously notes to Iona that, coming from him, “It’s all but a proposal of marriage.” When Boyle and Iona finally do get to know each other in the biblical way, it’s quite awesome. He may play the big, giant protector when they’re out and about, and keep his emotions in check, but he certainly knows who he is in the bedroom.

    While Iona settles into her new life, everyone prepares to confront Cabhan, who has managed to stick around over the centuries and never truly disappear. What’s neat about all of the magick-related stuff is that Roberts doesn’t bog things down with too many details. We’re not tortured with long scenes detailing all there is to know about the magick these people create. That said, when there is a magick scene, it’s actually kind of fun, almost like a “Harry Potter” lesson, but one that’s for adults and ends with everyone drinking lots of wine and beer and eating comfort foods that they’ve cooked for each other.

    Of course, no Nora Roberts book would be complete without memorable supporting characters, and this one is blessed with two other couples, Connor and Meara, and Branna and Finbar. Connor and Meara, whose story is explored in the second book in the trilogy, Shadow Spell, have known each other for many years, and are now inches away from finally getting it on.

    As for Branna and Finbar, who we get to focus on in Blood Magick, we learn that they were sweethearts in their teen years. They separated due to magick-related drama, but, as we learn very quickly, that old loving feeling has never gone away. It makes sense that their story will be last in the trilogy, as they’ve really got that whole delicious, intense desire thing going on for each other.

    Dark Witch is an excellent start to an exciting trilogy. The combination of magick, family, humor, and, of course, romance, make for a real page-turner. Iona’s pluckiness is to be admired, and her new, close-knit circle of family and friends would make anyone wish they could follow in her footsteps— magick abilities not required.

    Have you read the Cousins O’Dwyer trilogy?

    The post Nora Roberts’ Dark Witch Features Adventure, Family, and Smoldering Romance appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

     
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