Heaven and Earth, by Nora Roberts

>> Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Heaven and Earth is the second in Nora Roberts' Three Sisters Island trilogy, coming after Dance Upon the Air and before Face The Fire.

Ripley Todd just wants to live a quiet, peaceful kind of life. Her job as a sheriff's deputy keeps her busy and happy, and she has no trouble finding men when she wants them-which, lately, isn't all that often. She's perfectly content, except for one thing: she has special powers that both frighten and confuse her-and though she tries hard to hide them, she can't get them under control....

Distraction soon arrives in the handsome form of MacAllister Booke-a researcher who's come to investigate the rumors of witchcraft that haunt Three Sisters Island. Right from the start, he knows there's something extraordinary about Ripley Todd. It's not just her blazing green eyes and her sultry smile. There's something else. Something he can detect, but she'll never admit. Fascinated by her struggle with her amazing abilities, he becomes determined to help her accept who she is-and find the courage to open her heart.

But before Ripley and Mac can dream of what lies in the future, they must confront the pain of the past. For Three Sisters shelters centuries of secrets-and a legacy of danger that plagues them still....
I'm probably alone here, but this one's my favourite in the trilogy. a B+.

Most people will agree with me that Mac is a really yummy hero. He's a genuinely nice guy, highly intelligent, with a touch of the nerd in him, but also built and confident and strong.

Ripley I'm sure is much more problematic. I liked her very much myself, but I'm sure her crankiness and insistence on denying her powers will have turned off many people. It didn't really bother me. I mean, she's rude and quick to become angry, but she's rarely cruel or mean. I very much enjoyed her sparring with Mac, and I loved the way both were so baffled by the chemistry between them. I also liked her attitude towards sex. When reading the first book in the trilogy I wondered if Roberts was really going to write a character who was... not promiscuous, really, but a bit more casual than usual towards sex. I was afraid she'd tone it down; not make her a secret virgin, because I know Roberts' books enough to know she wouldn't do that (I hope!), but more uptight than she seemed. She didn't. Ripley is just as promised, and I liked it.

The best part of the book was the development of the romance. Mac was, of course, the one to fall first, and he was so endearing when he did. I loved that guy!

The subplot about the evil forces attacking the island and the playing out in the present of the 16th century legend about the three witches wasn't as good, though I did like it much more than I expected. I actually enjoyed the way all of them, Ripley and Mac, together with Mia, Nell and Zach, worked together.

All in all, a really enjoyable book.


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