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Dark Witch

(The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy #1)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  56,617 ratings  ·  4,475 reviews
With indifferent parents, Iona Sheehan grew up craving devotion and acceptance. From her maternal grandmother, she learned where to find both: a land of lush forests, dazzling lakes, and centuries-old legends.


County Mayo, to be exact. Where her ancestors’ blood and magic have flowed through generations—and where her destiny awaits.

Iona arrives in Ireland with nothi
Paperback, 342 pages
Published October 29th 2013 by Berkley
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Caitlyn "Books Are My Life" Baker I love Nora Roberts. She's kind of an escape from the natural and normal. While her books keep things tied to reality enough so that it doesn't get to…moreI love Nora Roberts. She's kind of an escape from the natural and normal. While her books keep things tied to reality enough so that it doesn't get too outlandish, she delves into magic in this series and a couple of others. I love her writing because she's so great at characterization and description. Yes, her books are very predictable in terms of who gets with who, but the unexpected twists in her novels and her surprises in her trilogies keep me entertained. But I think it's kind of nice to have that predictability in books. It's in life where we get thrown all the hurdles and I find it comforting to know that some things never change. (less)

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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  56,617 ratings  ·  4,475 reviews

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Oct 30, 2013 rated it liked it
Well, as a Nora Roberts fan, this is going to be really painful to write…

When I found out that the new work of one of my favorite authors of all time was a trilogy placed in the magic green mountains of of Erin (Ireland), I was sooo excited! My favorite trilogy by Nora is “Gallaghers of Ardmore” where I first met the amazing Ireland setting, and those who know Nora’s work can tell that she have a talent for portraying scenarios. Obviously I was anxious to get my hands on “Dark Witch”. But the No
I'm clearly not with the majority on this. I thought this book was boring as hell. I've never struggled so much to get through a Nora Roberts book before in my life, but this took me a week to finish. The beginning was awesome...when we looked back at Sorcha and her children and their life together, I loved that part. It was different, and had high hopes for the rest of it. But, after we got back to the present time, and met Iona and all the rest of the gang, I just kept feeling that I'd read it ...more
Nov 12, 2013 rated it did not like it
This book was a mess, in my opinion. The writing was sloppy, there was barely any plot, and the characters were all flat.

Iona, the female lead, literally says anything and everything she thinks! She has no inner thoughts, no personality of her own. She seems to exist solely to provide exposition and is not very good at that either. The male lead is... who knows? He has no characters traits other than he seems to be the silent brooding type, but even that is never really shown or understood. He h
Ashley Christensen
Aug 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: all-the-nora
The first book of the cousins O'Dwyer series, Dark Witch, reminded me a lot of two other "firsts" of her trilogies- the Gallaghers of Ardmore, and the Three Sisters Island. If you've read both, you know they both involve "outsiders" coming into a life already in progress for the others, but quickly being accepted into the fold. In the Gallaghers, it's Jude going to Ireland to reevaluate herself. And in the Three Sisters Island, it's Nell fleeing an abusive husband, and unlocking her witch powers ...more
Full review can be found here:


My Review:

5 Magickal Stars!

There is just something so enchanting about Nora Roberts' writing. The way she weaves together a story always has me captivated. It'd been awhile since I read one of her books, but nothing had changed about her writing style. It, and the magical story-line, still had the power to enchant me.

The prologue excellently brought me into the story, and I was immediately intrigued to see where this m
Deb Moran
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
♡Karlyn P♡
Jan 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2014
4 stars. Great world-building, weak romance, but still worth the read.

I hesitate to describe this book as a 'romance' novel simply because the book spent little time actually exploring the romance between Iona and Boyle. Sure, there IS a romance in this novel. Sprinkled throughout the book are a few scenes where Iona and Boyle meet, chat, wink at each, flirt some more, sleep together, have a misunderstanding, make up, and then profess their undying love. Very formulaic stuff, and all woven arou
3.5 Stars

There’s just something about reading a magic themed story by Nora Roberts that always makes me want to dance naked under a full moon chanting ‘as we will, so mote it be.’ I just can’t help myself.

If I’ve learned anything in my years reading Nora, it’s that I tend to enjoy her fantasy/PNR themed stories more than their contemporary counterparts, and my experience was no different here. However, if I’m comparing this series starter against other witch-y tales by the queen of romance, the
Oct 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
One word describes this book. WEAK. The characters were weak, the storyline was weak. The book started out GREAT, then boom just fell apart and reading it was like watching paint dry! I've always been a huge fan of the authors trilogies but wow, this book was just a mess. It seemed rushed and just a rewritten version of 2 other trilogies shes written. Never read a Nora Roberts book where I didn't connect with the characters, UNTIL NOW. Sad this book was such a let down after waiting months for i ...more
Emsy Van Wyck
Oct 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed-at-fff
Five magickal stars for Dark Witch, the first book in Nora Roberts' The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy
Curling up with a Nora Roberts' novel has the same effect on me as nibbling on a chocolate bar: I go into a state of bliss. This summer I read through all of her series titles and fell in love with her writing once again. Now Ms. Roberts has released the first book, Dark Witch, in a new series, The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy, and I feel like someone just gave me a bar of fabulous and sinfully rich French
The set up
Iona Sheehan risks everything when she quits her job, sells everything she owns and moves from Baltimore, Maryland to County Mayo, Ireland, her ancestral homeland. She seeks out her cousins, Branna, a Dark Witch, and Connor O'Dwyer, who her grandmother has told her so much about, determined to find that connection she's craved all her life. Iona gets more than she ever hoped for when her cousins embrace her and help her get a job with their friend Boyle McGrath, doing what she loves...
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: books-i-own, series
Dear Aunt Nora, what happened? You take me to the beautiful Ireland which you're basically obsessed with in so many of your series and while the first two chapters are AMAZING---- the rest of your story was just okay. Now one cannot expect an author who has written over 200 books to be absolute perfection each time, but I feel bitten by the blahs. The chemistry between Iona and Boyle was a bit forgettable. However, I still plan on continuing with the remaining two books in the series. ...more
Dec 09, 2013 rated it it was ok

Ughhh... where do I begin...
I am actually a "Nora fan" but this book was - pretty ridiculous when compared to her other stuff!

The plot started off really well with an interesting prologue, but as the story went on so much was left unexplained and the rest was silly. For example:

- Why did the "evil" wait for 800 years to resurface? Why wasn't he attacking the older generations of the O'Dwyers?!

- Then, Iona's witchcraft seems just soooo simple and - out of nowhere! She comes to Ireland as a
Whitney Millirons
Nov 28, 2013 rated it did not like it
Currently, I have at least 40 Nora Roberts books. (I'm a re-reader of books I love). I was eagerly looking forward to Dark Witch, and though there have been hints that her writing is slipping, I can't believe how bad this book is.

Truly, there is nothing new here. The characters are very poor imitations of those in her Three Sisters trilogy, with Kane from the Key trilogy thrown in as the evil Cabhan. I agree with the many reviewers that the characters have no depth, Iona is annoying, Boyle almo
Amber J
Sep 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
I try to express only my most honest opinion in a spoiler-free way. Unfortunately, there is still always a risk of slight spoilers despite my best efforts. If you feel something in my review is a spoiler please let me know. Thank you.

Iona is a witch one of three. The descendants of the Dark Witch. After leaving her home, family, and country. Iona goes to Ireland, back to the place of her ancestors. There she finds her two cousins Branna and Connor. Together they make the three, they are meant to
Sep 15, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mf-contemp-pnr
Maybe I've reached a time where Nora Roberts and I will part company. We've been companions for many years now but for me, especially with the PNR books, there's a staleness to the formula that I can't get past anymore. Perhaps I'd be in a more forgiving mood if I didn't feel like I paid for and read this story already as part of the Three Sisters trilogy Dance Upon the Air. This is very much a condensed version of that one.

Why bother with providing the MC with anymore than a cursory back story
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
May 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle-books
Let's face it, Roberts is a master at telling a good romantic tale but what she is even better at, is taking that romance and putting a very real feeling, very dark supernatural spin on it and meshing it together until they are some of the most standout paranormal romances out there. And that, my friends is why I love her stories.

They never cease to give me chills, leave me looking behind my shoulder, shuddering, and yet simultaneously melting at all the sweet tender and sometimes, heated, momen
Amy Norris
Apr 09, 2018 rated it did not like it
Wow, this was really bad. I was expecting to love this first of all because I love most things Irish and secondly because Nora Roberts is so well known and popular. Well, it was just a train-wreck of a book. I probably should have just DNF-ed it cause I hated it pretty much from the get-go.

First of all, there is barely a plot. The main character moves from America to Ireland where everything conveniently falls into place – she is straight away offered a place to live, a job she loves and meets a
Lakshmi C
Sep 04, 2015 rated it it was ok
I'm an avid Nora Roberts fan, but it was a struggle to complete this book. The prologue was promising, but the rest of the book disappointed on several levels. The characters are flat with exaggerated traits and the lack of backstory makes it even more difficult to care. It is difficult to decide who was more annoying, Iona or Branna. Iona has no filters when she interacts with others, while Branna is locked in her rigid views of the past. Maybe Branna was meant to be portrayed as cautious but ...more
Jami Montgomery
Apr 15, 2013 marked it as to-read
Finally! Nora Roberts' paranormal trilogies are my favorite books of hers. I've been waiting for another. ...more
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
I received a free copy of this book from Piatkus in exchange for an honest review, thank you! I also want to thank Piatkus for inviting me to participate in the "The Dark Witch blog tour"! 

There lived a witch called The Dark Witch many centuries ago who gave her life in a bid to stop an evil witch called Cabhan. But she gave her powers to her three children before she died.  Now in the present time, Iona Sheehan, Connor and Branna O'Dwyer, descendants of the Dark Witch must try to stop the evil
May 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
Well, this was my first Nora Roberts book that I've ever read. Which is something considering that she's written 200 books! In the end, I just found this to be ok. I enjoyed the beginning with the past and the set-up of good vs. evil. I liked the magical element to the story, it's different to other books I normally read. However, I really didn't care for the main character, Iona. She kind of grated on my nerves a little with her immaturity. Roberts never did mention how old she is but I just di ...more
The Window Seat
Nov 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
As a Nora Roberts fan, this review was extremely challenging to write. I fell in love with reading romance by reading my mom’s Nora Roberts’ books in my early teens and pretty much stayed faithful to her though the years. I actually prefer her trilogies to her yearly hardbacks she releases. However, I decided I was done reading her with the Inn Boonsboro series, which was basically an advertisement for the bed and breakfast she opened in her hometown. Well, when I saw she had a new trilogy comin ...more
Nov 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It had it all - location, family, friends, romance, magick, and a fight against evil. The story is set up in the first two chapters, where we have Sorcha, the original Dark Witch, and her three children. Her husband is off fighting and Sorcha is fighting illness. She is also fighting against an evil sorcerer, Cabhan, who wants her and her powers and is willing to do anything to get them. As the chapter ends she has split her powers among her three children and sent them away t ...more
Dec 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
I had taken a break from Nora Roberts' trilogies. I think this is what allowed me to so enjoy Dark Witch.Too much of the same writing style eventually turns me against an author. So I have found that taking a calculated break,reading other styles then eventually coming back has kept me interested and the reading fresh and entertaining.
I enjoyed Dark Witch.A wonderful Halloween month read with all the requisite witches,spells,romance, and family drama.The only thing standing in the way of a fiv
Rounding up to 3 stars.

When Nora Roberts is good, she's very, very good. And I think that once upon a time she had a quarter of a million** different ideas and ways to present them. The problem is that we're way past that now and the ideas and ways to present them continuously seem to be recycled.

Let me count the ways in just this book/series: there are witches (see also the Three Sisters Island trilogy, and the Key and Circle Trilogies, actually), and Ireland (see also the Born In Trilogy, and
Ashley Daviau
Nov 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
I always thoroughly enjoy anything by Nora Roberts and this book was no different. I loved that it was set in Ireland, it really was the perfect setting for this story. Add in some magic, witches and a cute love story and I'm sold! I also really loved the beginning that was set in the past and set up the rest of the story for us. And with the way it ended, I'm itching to start the second in the series because I need to know how it all plays out! ...more
Nov 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: nora-roberts
Second time reading: I do enjoy a Nora Roberts trilogy and a good magick story and this is the beginning of a good one. Iona is charming and bubbly, Boyle is stoic and funny. Watching their relationship develop brings on the chuckles and seeing Iona come into her power is a good tale. However; I'm standing by the review I wrote the first time I read this book.

First time reading: Let me just say Nora Roberts has written some of my absolute favorite books and her trilogies are usually the best of
Mar 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance, magical
"Dark Witch" is the first book in a new series The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy by Nora Roberts. "Dark Witch" is about Iona Sheehan who wanted to learn more about her family history gave up her job and family in Baltimore to travel to Ireland. Also, Boyle McGrath who owns the local riding school. Readers of "Dark Witch" will continue to follow Iona Sheehan rollercoaster ride to discover the truth about the family secret and on the way found love with Boyle McGrath.

Readers of "Dark Witch" will enjoy t
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Nora Roberts is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than 200 novels, including Hideaway, Under Currents, Come Sundown, The Awakening, Legacy, and coming in November 2021 -- The Becoming -- the second book in The Dragon Heart Legacy. She is also the author of the futuristic suspense In Death series written under the pen name J.D. Robb. There are more than 500 million copies of her book ...more

Other books in the series

The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy (3 books)
  • Shadow Spell (The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy, #2)
  • Blood Magick (The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy, #3)

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