Shadow Spell by Nora Robert, Book Review

Book Summary: (per the author's webpage)
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 forma  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 Conoor 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 gquick, hot tangle.

Plenty of women have found their way into Connor's bed, but none to his heart until now.  Frustratingly, Meara is okay with just the head, afraid to loser 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...

My Thoughts:
This is a book that you could read as a stand alone, but there would be quite a few questions or potential confusion from references to the first book in the trilogy and actions that took place between the characters.  Other than knowing that, this book is superb.  I enjoy Nora Roberts books, but they are not my favorite because many times I feel what is the point as we know there will be a lady, there will be distress and there will be a man..somehow the three will intertwine, the distress will go away and the lady and man will remain happy ever after.  But this trilogy has a bit of a spin on that!

Yes there is obviously a lady, distress and a man..hello world of romance stories, but there is also intrigue, thrills, friendships, family dynamics, history, culture references, a wee bit of the sci-fi all mashed together to create a fun new trilogy world where readers can get immersed.  By the end of the book I want to go ride horses, try to talk to animals, learn more about hawking, go visit Ireland, know more about my family history, etc.  I loved that this book takes on the idea of a friendship expanding from being platonic and kind of sibling ideas to realizing their true emotions toward each other, but fighting that and then showing how adversity affects the idea of love and loss.

After reading this book I immediately wanted the next one to see how and if they triumph (I do believe they will because it is a romance...but I still want to see how!)  I also enjoy the entwining of the characters in all the books.  Yes the focus is on the main couple for the story, but there still is information and anecdotes regarding the other characters and their relationships that have already been told fully or are still only being hinted at.

Important Links:

Links where you can purchase book:
Turn the Page Bookstore
Barnes & Noble

Disclaimer:  I am an avid reader and borrowed this from the library.  I did not receive any book for this review.  As always though all opinions and thoughts are my own.