The first book in the Sisters of Magic series, published 2008.
With a past soaked in sin and darkness slowly closing in around him to claim his soul, Drogan only wants to live his life in solitude. Years in the king’s service and his numerous deeds directed by the crown have left Drogan with horrendous nightmares and immeasurable guilt…
Serena is a witch, cursed and forever alone. She accepts her future. Until she meets Drogan. With Drogan a passion deep and unyielding awakens inside her. She is willing to sacrifice herself for his love, but can he put his past to rest and embrace the future?
Lord Drogan of Wolfglynn has come to Hawthorne Castle to visit with his friends Lord Gerard and his wife Maris, and their new babydaughter Jocelyn. Then, among the throng of people, he sees a beautiful woman at the other end of the room, watching him. And he is intrigued, something that hasn’t happened in a long time. But even though he is looking, it takes a while to spot her again.
To his surprise, the Lady Serena is asked by Gerard to bless his daughter. Why is that? Gerard is a faithful man, and now he believes in a witch? But he can’t help to observe there is something more to Serena.
When Serena sees Drogan, she is attracted to him, something that has not happened before. She has been careful in guarding her heart, as her mother told her. She does not want to fall victim to the curse on her people, after seeing her mother suffer for years.
Drogan is finally convinced by Gerard that witchcraft does excist, as he sees how Serena suffers from it. He wants to protect her, even from his own friend. But what she has seen in the future of the child, is not good.
There is a great evil coming to Hawthorne, intent on killing Gerard, his wife and his child. And if they don’t feel to safety, Drogan will also die. This she sees, and this she believes. They cannot flee by horse, they will have to sneak out of their own castle, as commoners. Serena prefers they run that same night, but that is not possible, as they do have some organizing to do first. No one can know that their lord and lady are gone. And so they leave, humble in a cart. But evil finds them faster than they hoped for, and they will have to split up. Gerard and his family will travel along with some gypsies, and Drogan and Serena will commence on foot, of the roads, to his Castle at the sea, Wolfglynn. Serena has never seen the ocean, and is looking forward to it. But can she keep her attraction to Drogan hidden from him? Drogan is warned away from Serena, but he would not handle upon his attraction, he is too filled with the darkness due to the many sins he has committed over the years. He is not worthy of Serena.
I’ve been doing my best to like this book, but I just could not get a feeling for the hero nor the heroine. The story stayed flat and slow. I was expecting magic, as the heroine, Serena, is a witch. She could see the past and the future, she was extremely sensitive to cold and heat and is wounded very easily, large bruises if she only get touched. But that is it. No witch craft at all. So I’d rather call her a psychic then a witch. She knows things.
We get little to know personal back ground on both Drogan and Serena, so no chance to get to like them or dislike them. Serena is extremely loyal, and instantly willing to sacrifice herself to her friends because what she has seen. And that is it, kind of.
Serena is constantly thinking about the curse upon her people, and it takes a long time for her to tell Drogan, who does not believe in it. He will not leave her!
And Drogan is totally absorbed by his past sins, and his darkness. Really tiresome after a while. And when finally told, well, not that big a thing in my opinion. He could not prevent it from happening, and he was not the man who made it happen, or do the deed.
The evil is strange though, supposedly the man has sold his soul to the devil, and cannot be killed.
This story is supposed to take place in 1127, so when the hero is thinking: Irony is a bitch, well that really hits me wrong. I am not really a stickler for historical accuracy in a historical romance novel, as I am not a scholar myself, but this really doesn’t fit.
Also I found myself skipping the lovescenes. The constant use of the word “rod” was just not to my liking.
I am a little bit intrigued to find out more about the evil, but not enough to read more of this series. To me, a very disappointing series, but I kept reading on, hoping it would get better. Still, the writing style is nice, fluent, and perhaps it is just my mood that I do not like the book. Also, this is the first issue, the book has been re-issued two months ago. Perhaps it has been edited, improved.