Donovan trilogy, by Nora Roberts

>> Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The Donovan trilogy, by Nora Roberts was published by Silhouette in the early 90s. It tells the stories of three cousins, modern-day witches and wizards. It was a nice series, but definitely not up to her newest ones.

The first, Captivated, about Morgana, who has a gift for.... I guess I'd say, conjuring and the more spectacular side of magic, was the one I liked best of all. My grade: a B.

His interest in her was purely professional . . . Or so he told himself. Nash Kirkland had sought out the alluring Morgana Dovovan to help him research his latest screenplay, though the hardheaded skeptic didn't believe for a minute she was what she professed to be. But, as Morgana revealed herself to him, Nash found himself falling under her bewitching spell. Nash had never trusted his feelings and always kept them in check. So how could he be sure the irresistible passion he felt for Morgana was real and not just some conjurer's trick?
There's not much external plot in this story, just Nash and Morgana falling in love and dealing with their issues, but it was still quite engaging.

I very much enjoyed both Nash and Morgana. I loved Morgana's self-assurance and in-your-face sexiness, and the way she never hid exactly who she was. And Nash was an endearing hero, with his enthusiasm and his very, very open mind. He was a bit of a cross between Gray, from Born in Ice, with his difficult childhood and the way it affected him in adulthood, and his horror writing, and Mac, from Heaven and Earth, with his geekiness and his fascination with the occult.

There were some very nice moments here, like the moment Nash finally manages to convince himself that Morgana has very real powers, and the final confrontation between them, back in Donovan castle. This one's an excellent start to the series.

Entranced told the story of Sebastian, who has a gift for seeing. I remember liking this one more than I did this time. My grade: a B-.

He was certainly a fraud, and she wasn't about to let him exploit her friend's vulnerability. But fiercely protective Mary Ellen Sutherland was desperate to find a missing baby and had run out of leads. So, reluctantly, the dubious private investigator agreed to enlist Sebastian Donovan's help. Soon she had to admit -- grudgingly -- that this beguiling mystery man had some pretty remarkable gifts, including his extraordinary ability to penetrate her tough façade and awaken her heart.
Strangely enough, while this one had much more external plot than Captivated, I found it parts of it duller. The first half especially, strangely enough: the one which should have been the more interesting, while they're following Sebastian's visions after the missing baby. I had a hard time being too interested.

Luckily, the second part was more interesting, but it's weird, because this one was something that's much more common. It was simply our two protagonists going under cover, trying to get the baby-stealing ring to focus on them so they could catch them in the act. This part was fun, and I really liked the romance there. Sebastian and Mel were interesting together, with her rough-and-ready personality and his old-world charm. In fact, I'd probably grade this section a B+. Unfortunately, the first one really was a loss.

Charmed is about Anastasia, the third cousin, who has a gift for healing. It's not really a very good end to the series. I'd give it a C+.

When a new neighbor, Boone Sawyer, moves next door to her with his young motherless daughter, Anastsia proves not only to be a good neighbor but wins the hearts of both Boone and his daughter. As time goes on Boone is drawn more and more into Anastasia's spell and begins to fall in love with her. Ana, though, worries how she will ever tell him the truth about herself and her family.
My main problem with this one was that I just didn't warm up to Boone. I thought he was an ass, a judgemental, narrow-minded ass. I wasn't too crazy about him throughout most of the book, but the kicker was the ending, once he found out about Ana's powers. Oooh, I wanted to kick him! Considering the way he found out, he should have been on his knees, kissing Ana's feet, not looking at her as if he was afraid of what she could do to him and his daughter. But instead of thanking her, he accused and hurt her. Bastard.

The rest of the book.... ehh. All that innocence and purity and cute little kids bored me, though I did like the Hallowe'en scene, with the Donovans out in force and Morgana giving birth upstairs. That was fun. Too bad the rest of the book wasn't.

There was a spin-off of this series released years later, Enchanted, which I remember liking. I can't recall exactly how these books are related (there's no mention here of the Liam Donovan who's the hero of Enchanted), but I'm going to find out!


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