Three Sisters Island Trilogy by Nora Roberts
Basis for the trilogy - Synopsis: Three Sisters is an enchanted island off the coast of Massachusetts that, through magic, was formed as a sanctuary by three frightened witches fleeing the Salem witch-hunts and persecution. Although the witches found love and security on the island for themselves and their offspring, each of them entered into an ill-fated relationship and died tragically after ultimately making the wrong decisions. Three thousand years later, their descendants Nell Channing, Ripley Todd and Mia Devlin have to break the grim pattern set by their ancestors, or the magic will cease to work and the island will sink into the ocean.
Known as the Circle of Three, each one of the present day witches has the same powers as their foremothers -- Air, Earth and Fire. Nell Channing is Air, Ripley Todd is Earth and Mia Devlin is Fire, representing three of the four elements. By using their collective powers and holding the Circle, each one of these three women will face a situation similar to what their foremothers faced, and each must make a choice. They'll battle evil and through love and magic will either win or lose it all.
Dance Upon the Air (Three Sisters Island Trilogy, Book 1)
I liked Nell and Zack as a couple. Nell is the "earth mother" type, who cooks and bakes flawlessly and takes care of others. She's also frightened and fragile because she has been abused, but slowly regains her self-respect and strength throughout the story. Zack is the tender and passionate protector to both Nell and his community. A lot of time is spent going over Nell's abusive relationship with Evan, the backstory for the Three Sisters and building up to the climax, but frankly that climax was over in the blink of an eye and fell flat for me.
Heaven and Earth (Three Sisters Island Trilogy, Book 2)
Ripley Todd (Earth) is happy with her life, protecting the island and working with her brother Zack as the island's sheriff deputy. A tough woman, not much frightens Ripley, except for her powers. She can't control them when she's angry and won't use them or admit they exist. This creates a conflict with ex-best friend Mia and for the Circle of Three. When gorgeous MacAllister Booke comes to the island research and investigate rumors of witchcraft, Ripley is suspicious of his motives, but soon can't resist his charming, geeky ways. To her surprise, soon there's magic flowing between Mac and Ripley in more ways than one. But, will she accept her powers, control her anger, and make the right choice before it's too late?
In Heaven and Earth, I really liked Mac who's a gorgeous, hot and sweet beta geek. He's an intelligent man who goes after his woman relentlessly. Mac knows how to handle Ripley and is tougher than she is, in a quiet and subtle way -- very sexy. Ripley however is not a favorite for me. While reading, I thought she needed a good dunking in the freezing ocean a couple of times until she came to her senses. Personality-wise, she is supposed to be tough but comes off as very angry throughout much of the book and that gets old and frustrating after a while. The evil Ripley fights is a combination human/intangible evil from the darkness. Although the climax is exciting, it contains some lack of judgment moments (TSTL), and that intangible evil is left unexplained.
Face the Fire (Three Sisters Island, Book 3)
Mia and Sam as a couple were frustrating even though their intimate moments sizzled and their second chance at love story initially caught my attention. Sam is hot, arrogant, protective, a straight shooter and sorry for his actions. As part of the curse, Mia ultimately has to make a choice: give her love to Sam again or lose the island. This part of the story drags until the very end as she goes back and forth for too long. Mia is arrogant about her powers and as much as she talks about the Circle of Three sticking together, she is too cocky about doing it all on her own -- this contradiction drove me nuts. Sam is also a witch and very powerful. He is the fourth element, Water, and Mia refuses his help even though she knows he has to be part of it all -- TSTL moves all around. Besides having to make a choice, at the end of this trilogy Mia has to fight an evil force. Unlike the evil Nell had to fight and similar to Ripley's, this evil is not physical but intangible. This would've been fine, except that even though its purpose is known, where IT comes from and what IT is, is never really explained. IT was just a dark, powerful, sticky, gooey eveeeilll... hmmm...
Conclusion: Well, definitely not my favorite Nora Roberts trilogy. I can see why I gave it up -- although this time I'll be keeping it for my collection. Dance Upon the Air has a lovely couple, sets up a trilogy that sounds interesting, but dwells too much on Nell's abused past and has an anticlimactic ending. Heaven and Earth has a sexy-geeky hero with an ever-angry heroine, and although there are some TSTL moments, I think it has the best plot and ending of the three books. And, Face the Fire was a frustrating read for me, with a romance that sizzled at moments but dragged with indecision until the end, and a disappointing end to the overall storyarc -- making this an overall average read as a trilogy for me.
Genre: Contemporary Romance w/Paranormal elements
Series: Three Sisters Island Trilogy
Released: June 2001, December 2001, June 2002
Grade for Trilogy: C
Nath's 2010 Re-read Challenge - April Review