Cold Spring, Bernadette Walsh
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
Genre: Contemporary Romance
I loved Bernadette’s Devlin series so was eager to read this novel, even though its not paranormal. Its a sad story, full of secrets, lots of emotion that made me a bit tearful at times – and I do like that. I want a story that can move me, characters that feel real, a puzzle I need to work out and this novel delivered all of those.
Poor Maura, we only get to see what happened to her from the past in small dribbles, little flashbacks to her fifteen year old self, and its only in the last quarter all gets revealed. What a sad story, and I really felt for her. She wasn’t able to let go of the past, seeming to drift through life, head down, not letting herself feel pleasure or get involved with anyone. She’s so scared of the press raking things up again. Even though she was just a child her family seemed to hold her to blame for everything, and still blamed her for the effects of the drama on them. It would be good to think all families support their children, but only her aunt and uncle were supportive, her parents and sisters seemed to just want her hidden away out of sight. Now the 20 year anniversary of the scandal is coming up and the press are sniffing round once again, her mum is dying and the bulk of the care falls on her, and her recent patient seems to want more from her than just being his nurse. Scott is attractive and one of those men who want their own way, and he wants Maura. They soon slide into a torrid romance, and with the press sniffing round her family are terrified she’ll bring down more scandal. They seem to care more about that than Maura’s happiness.
Its a sad novel, and shows what happens when money and prestige are involved in scandal. Deepest pockets win usually. Maura is made a scapegoat and yet she’s just a child, that doesn’t seem to matter though for those out for her blood, and some have long memories and long term plans. Its a very bittersweet novel at times, and although the clues are there I didn’t see what was in the big reveal til it happened. Once the secrets are out it moves quite fast, and we do get a HEA – I want those, I hate a romance that isn’t, where things happen and everything falls apart and stays that way. Here we get all the drama and sadness but some happy times too – that’s what I need.
Stars: Five, a great emotional read.
ARC supplied by author
Arc supplied by publisher.
I’d thought the last book was the end for the series but thankfully Bernadette has given us more from the Devlin family. I loved the past books, and the characters were such strong people. It grew more on me as the series went on and reading this I was trying to fit the new characters into the past I knew. It came together in time and the link ups were there. The magic too was something different, not just sweet sparkles and magic wands, fairies daintily casting spells but something much darker, with elemental creatures claiming people to their hidden lives, and the Devlin Legacy being one of dark magic and tragedy.
As always the magic comes at a cost, and here Bernadette makes magic and the search for power have strong repercussions. We’ve seen in past books how the Devlin Legacy impacts upon families, sometimes with tragic ends. And the magic it contains on the mountain and the elementals within has a very strong, dark influence taking over people’s lived and wants. This time it begins in US with Anne Marie and Rita’s granny whose linked to the Legacy dying, but rather than old age she’s attacked in her own house. Rita is desperate for a baby, Anne Marie wants love, and both so far have been unsuccessful. In the midst of what seem like ordinary lives with everyday problems their grans’ death changes everything. Sorting out gran’s home they find the ancestral Book of Magic and it takes them to Ireland, to the Mountain and enmeshes them in all the danger from past books once more. We meet Simon Gardiner again, still on his quest for power, find out about Oral and Rosemary her and Simons’ daughter, meet some of the aunts and cousins, and Rita and Anne Marie get woven into another web of deceit and conspiracy in the search for power. Being a Devlin witch carries a high price and brings danger – is it worth it?
Bernadette weaves a tale of Magic and mayhem, creatures from the supernatural, murders, attacks, and constant danger. Is being the next Devlin witch worth that? Rita is certainly interested as are the Irish cousins, Anne Marie doesn’t think so but gets caught up by Slaithenoair, ( I think that’s right) a type of mud elemental, and all the weird and dangerous things associated with him. Whether she wants him or not she faces a hard battle to escape. Its a welcome change from the fluffy, light, sparkling magic we so often see, and good to remind readers that any sort of power can carry a heavy cost to it – whether magical or not. Magic and the search for the power it wields can bring out the worst in people, and we certainly see that here.
Its a great wrap up to the series – but who knows when the Devlin powers are going to come over Bernadette once more and bring her into writing more stories 🙂 They’re certainly something interesting and a welcome difference to what we so often read. There’s no sweet, sickly romances, no loving, protective shape shifters, witches or sorcerers, but just dark, deep, dangerous magic wrought hard from people, and carrying a sometimes tragic cost. I haven’t pricing info yet, and its quite a short novel at just 123 pages but its packed full with only words relevant to the story, no side ventures into fillers and padding.
Stars: Loved this series and the way its so different – the edge of darkness it contains is so realistic and certainly keeps reader on the edge of knowing what will happen, holding breath to see who escapes and who is trapped. I’m going for the full five.
Please note: I’ve had an email from Bernadette to say this is not the final book in the series. There is one more, The Devlin Witch, that will be released in September. My apologies for getting it wrong and saying this was the last – but good news is we’ve another book to look forward to!
Devil’s Daughter Bernadette Walsh
I received this from the publishers in return for an honest review. I don’t gush and give false praise – I don’t believe that helps readers or authors so what you read is what I truly feel about a book.
Book three in an unusual series – its fantasy/paranormal with elements of horror thrown in – not too deep though thankfully……! regular readers will recall my weak head for horror…..
Well, Orla and her family are back on the mountain – and life is relatively normal. Her husband seems a bit distant but then I felt he didn’t really understand Orla right from the start and in this book he still is trying to ignore her talent as a witch and protector. Orla meets Fiona – a slightly strange girl, who seems very like her mother to look at, and things develop from there. Simon is back – that was good, though he was really evil to Orla much of it was under dark magical influence and he’s a great “bad boy” hero, too good not to be resurrected in some way. He knows Rosemary is really his daughter and not Orla’s husbands and has come back to take part in her upbringing. Last time Orla saw him he was in a wheelchair and without power but somehow he’s gained strong magic back. He persuades her she needs his help to fight what’s happening in the mountain.
Once again we’ve a tale of mystery and intrigue, magic and mayhem and danger to the inhabitants of the mountain. Bernadette carefully weaves together innocuous incidents until they become part of the wider story. I enjoyed meeting Orla again, still felt her husband wasn’t supportive and wondered what they ever had in common and was so glad to see Simon was back – need a few bad guys in a story, except this time the bad guys aren’t who you first think. I loved the way the tale unfolds, drawing the reader in slowly and making us wonder where its going next. I really didn’t expect the ending that Bernadette gave us – and loved it, it wrapped everything up in a very satisfying way. Its been a great series, very different from the vampires and shifters that make up so much of the fantasy/paranormal genre (even though I love those its good to have variety)
as always its well written and edited and at £2.04 for 192kb its not a bad price. Its quite a short novel – I don’t have the number of pages but I’d guess at around 100-120. I prefer longer books usually but as part of a series to read back to back I’m happy to read shorter ones a s much of the world and character building is already done so we can get straight into the story. This like the others is definitely in my keepers file.
Stars: well deserved four stars – if it was longer I’d have gone for five, that’s my personal preference – a good long book to get stuck into, but lots of readers prefer shorter reads that they can fit into their daily routine and still have time to finish the book.