Author: Nora Roberts
Publisher: Harlequin Books
Copyright: 2004 (two-in-one edition)
The Donovans have a legacy that appears to be as much curse as blessing. Their magic is a gift, but with it come responsibilities and obligations, and obstacles unique to each witch.
Anastasia Donovan learned the hard way that her secret was best left that way - and she thought she learned that it's not possible for her to ever find real love. But when Boone Sawyer moves next door, along with his charming little girl, Ana can't control the way events unfold. Learning to trust Boone is hard, but when fate intervenes and she is outed as a witch in front of Boone, Ana learns the most important lesson - that "there is no greater magic than love."
Liam Donovan wants to be left alone. He doesn't want to deal with the responsibilities inherent to his family's position. But when Rowan Murray invades his space as she desperately tries to escape her suffocating, boring life, everything changes. As both find out things about themselves, each other, and fate, they are set on a sure path to love.
Again, I read the last two books of a quartet before reading the first two, but that doesn't matter. The characters from the first two books feature in the last two, but they are introduced well enough that there is no confusion.
I want to talk about things that are part of all of Nora Roberts's books, but I noticed them a lot in these two books, especially in Charmed.
The first thing that struck me as I started Charmed was that the tone of the book reflects the characters' personalities. In all her books, Nora lets the reader into both the guy's and the girl's minds. But what I noticed is that the entire book, whether we're actually seeing a character's thoughts at the time or not, stays in the tone that fits the characters. This is really amazing, considering that there are two characters involved, and they are not exactly the same in personality and temperament, so conveying both within the same text is genius.
I also noticed the imagery in these books. There is a lot of description, and aside from helping set the scene and establish character, the passages of description are beautiful in and of themselves. There's sometimes a lyrical quality to these passages, and I felt like I was in a fairy tale myself at some points.
The arc of the relationship is something that Nora Roberts tackles extremely well (in my humble opinion). In some romance novels, the whole story is about getting to the point where the two main characters sleep with each other, and shortly after that happens, the story ends. But in Nora's books, that's when the real intricacies of the relationship begin. I love it that her stories represent real relationships and follow real problems and issues that come up once the two people are serious about caring for each other/being in love. (Yes, even in a story where one of the lovers is a witch, reality shines through!)
It's a Nora Roberts book - do I really need to sum up what I thought of it?