A lush bouquet of romance novels

"Dark Witch" by Nora Roberts
"Dark Witch" by Nora Roberts
Posted: January 06, 2014

Recent romance releases include the start of a trilogy by prolific author Nora Roberts; a story about a smart, funny, and curvy heroine who has decided to embrace who she is; and a heartwarming Christmas tale from Debbie Macomber.

By Nora Roberts.

Berkley. $17.

Best-selling author Nora Roberts has written more than 200 books, including the "In Death" series under the name J.D. Robb. Her latest is the beginning of the Cousins O'Dwyer trilogy, about the descendants of an Irish witch. Iona Sheehan has sold all her possessions and moved to Ireland to get to know her cousins and her family's heritage. She learns more about the ancient blood and the magic they share. Seven centuries earlier, the Dark Witch Sorscha fought off the sorcerer Cabhan to save her three young children. Cabhan was not destroyed, however, and has waited until he is once again powerful enough to try to take the power that has been passed down through Sorscha's blood. Iona teams up with her cousins, Branna and Conner O'Dwyer, to fight him. A misfit all her life, Iona finds herself finally at home in Ireland, as she learns to control her magical powers. She also jumps headfirst into love with Boyle McGrath, who initially acts like a "right gobdaw" until he accepts his own feelings. The deep bonds the plucky Iona has forged in her new home will help them all in their ongoing battle against the evil Cabhan.

By Sugar Jamison.

St. Martin's. $8.

After a brutal breakup with her critical boyfriend, Ellis Garrett has decided to overhaul her life. She leaves her law career, moves back to her hometown, opens a plus-size clothing store, and starts a hilarious and outspoken blog. She is surprised and shaken by a chance encounter with her crush from years ago. Michael Edwards used to date her sister, and he doesn't recognize Ellis when they meet again. But he is instantly intrigued by this beautiful, witty woman with a lush body. And Ellis finds him just as sexy as ever. But for all her newfound determination to live her life to the fullest and embrace her curves, Ellis is still sensitive about her appearance. Adding complication to their courtship are the appearances of Ellis' beautiful, self-centered sister, and Ellis' ex, who says he wants her to "stop being stupid" and come back. Michael has matured in the years since Ellis last saw him, and he helps Ellis believe a big girl can have her happily-ever-after with a hunk.

By Christine Feehan.

Berkley. $27.

Christine Feehan is the grande dame of paranormal romance. Her long-running Carpathian series features a powerful and long-lived race of night dwellers who feed on blood and have special abilities, such as telepathy and shape-shifting. The male Carpathian eventually loses his emotions and ability to see colors until he finds his life mate. She is the one woman who can keep him from becoming a vampire, a male Carpathian who has turned evil by giving in to the thrill of killing while feeding. With more than 20 books and novellas in Feehan's series, Dark Lycan features cameos by many characters from previous works. The book can be enjoyed by a novice, but familiarity with the series makes it an easier and richer experience. Dark Lycan tells the story of Tatijana of the Dragonseekers, a female Carpathian who had been imprisoned for centuries deep in an ice cave with her sister, held by their evil father, a mage. Recently rescued, Tatijana is still finding her way as a free woman. She meets Fenris Dalka, and they are instantly attracted to each other. They come to realize they are life mates, but Fenris has a secret. He is part Carpathian and part Lycan. He is an abomination, especially to the Lycans, who would kill him if they found out, so he lives as an outcast. The growing love between Tatijana and Fenris helps them work through their trust issues as they battle alongside the others against a powerful vampire force threatening all Carpathians.

By Valerie Bowman.

St. Martin's. $8.

Kate Townsende has been mistakenly imprisoned on charges that she murdered her husband, the duke of Markingham. Theirs was a loveless marriage, and she had been seeking a divorce. In prison, Kate is visited by James Bancroft (he has the title Viscount Medford), who makes her an offer: He will pay her to write her side of the story in a pamphlet for his publishing company. Kate accepts the offer on the conditions that he hire a barrister to take her case and that he get her out of prison on house arrest under his supervision. Their partnership gets complicated by their growing attraction to each other and by Kate's tarnished reputation in the eyes of society. Even after an investigator finds her husband's real killer and Kate is cleared, the couple face obstacles placed by society and their own insecurities.

By Debbie Macomber.

Ballentine. $18.

Carrie Slayton moved to Chicago to be a reporter, but she's been stuck in a dead-end job covering society events. She decides to quit, but her editor offers her a chance at promotion if she can get an interview with reclusive writer Finn Dalton. The only thing known about his whereabouts is that he lives in a remote cabin in the Alaskan wilderness. Carrie gets a lead on Finn and gets a pilot to fly her to his cabin just before a snowstorm moves in. Finn is furious that he will be stuck with a nosy reporter until the storm clears. Carrie finds herself drawn to the gruff and stubborn man. Finn soon opens up to the charming and pretty Carrie, and they forge a connection during their short time together. As she leaves, Finn asks Carrie not to write her article. Carrie is torn, knowing the article will make her career. When she gets back to Chicago, she and Finn remain in contact, and their attraction deepens to love. But after an argument during which Finn accuses Carrie of pursuing the relationship just for the article, Carrie realizes Finn is pushing her away because of his insecurities. She refuses to write the article, knowing it will be the only way to prove her love. Finn also comes to the realization that his isolation is his way of not dealing with his painful past, when his mother left him as a child, and he seeks to reconcile with his mother and with Carrie on Christmas Day.


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