Three hundred years ago, in the countryside that would become the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, panic and terror reigned! It was a time when the merest whisper of the “Evil One’s” name could send a woman to a ghastly death. And the Evil One was out there – tormenting those who had no idea what witchcraft was, let alone how to practice the art. Those who were witches sought each other’s support – and three powerful elemental sisters, Earth, Air and Fire, were especially sensitive to the fact that their lives would be forfeited in order to save those they loved. “Do no harm to others” was their credo – they could not do anything else but sacrifice themselves, and in doing so, they created Three Sisters Island – a small piece of land literally wrenched from the coastline and sent safely out into the sea. Their protection would last for generations – but it was not everlasting. Three more witches would be needed to finally vanquish the old Evil – and three hundred years would pass before they came together again.
In "Dance Upon The Air", Nell Channing isn’t sure what brought her to Three Sisters Island, but she’s glad to be there. Having spent many months on the run from a horribly abusive husband, Nell has built a new life and a new identity – and finally finds the chance to explore just who this new woman can be when she finds security, hope and a future on the Island. She also finds Mia Devlin, bookstore owner, and Ripley Todd, Deputy Sheriff – two women who take a strong and warm interest in Nell and with whom she feels strangely compatible. She also meets Ripley’s brother Zack, Sheriff Todd.
It’s pretty clear to see that Nell is the “Air” sister – her life has followed her ancestor’s path – an appalling marriage, and a refusal to accept who she can be! It’s now up to her to break the first pattern – legend predicts the total destruction of Three Sisters Island if each of the three fail to meet and break the patterns laid down three hundred years before.
The “Earth” sister is Ripley Todd who gets her own novel - "Heaven and Earth". Anguished by, and no little afraid of, her powers, she has turned her back on them, ruining much of her friendship with Mia Devlin in the process. The arrival of paranormal researcher Dr. MacKenzie Booke on the Island really gets Ripley’s knickers in a twist – until she perceives that there’s a great deal more to the bookish Dr. Booke than appears on the surface!
She learns to accept her powers, and choose the path of justice rather than revenge, even as she is tumbling headlong into love with Mac. I think this was my favorite of the three novels – Ripley is an exciting, passionate, and very real character, who is able to find the strength to confront and defeat her “demons”!
And last, in "Face the Fire", comes Mia Devlin. Red-headed "Fire" sister, Mia is very attuned to her powers and has somewhat of a reputation as the local witch. Many years before, she had grown up alongside Sam Logan – their childhood friendship had deepened into an overwhelming passion that had Mia convinced he was “the one”. Sam, however, being a guy, ran hard and fast off-island!
So when Sam returns, the Island is agog with gossip and curiosity. Sam has his own power – controlled and managed by a very strong personality. Both psychic and psychological strengths are going to be needed as his water element supports and defends the other three – the ultimate battle lies ahead – and although Sam may feel it’s a fight for Mia’s heart, it’s also a fight for much more!
All three of these tales are classic Nora Roberts. The heroines are courageous, feisty, intelligent and independent, and each is matched with a perfect mate. Ms. Roberts writes the best guys – they’re all alpha but have this disarming tenderness which crops up now and again to send the heroine (and us) swooning! Zack, Mac and Sam have no doubts about their feelings for their women – it happens fast, it happens strong, and when they get their girls between the sheets, it happens hot!
If you’re going to read these books, I heartily recommend reading them in order – the plots will make much more sense. I have to confess that I was somewhat disappointed in Mia’s tale, “Face the Fire”. Mia is painted throughout as an exotically sexual and sensual woman, and Sam is the love of her life – but when these two are finally reunited in passion, I didn’t find the explosive love scenes I’d expected! For some reason, Mia’s story fell a little flat for me, when compared to the marvelously complex and loving sensuality of Nell and Ripley.
However, all three are excellent reads – they contain all the elements that are so important to great romances. They certainly explain Nora Roberts’ well-deserved reputation as one of the best selling romance novelists of all time!! Please pick up these books – for a romance lover they are a delicious treat – read singly or together, you’ll be spellbound by the magic of Three Sisters Island, and the three women who protect it so well.