Heaven And Earth
by Nora Roberts, paranormal (2001)
Jove, $7.99, ISBN 0-515-13202-0

It is not easy writing this review. The last time I did a rather decently graded review of Nora Roberts' book, I got flooded with Nora Roberts fans who gleefully asked me if the world is coming to end because - gasp! - I like a Nora Roberts book. I don't want to see what will happen after this. Then again, since I adore Heaven And Earth, chances are they will hate this one, heh heh, so I'll just wait and see.

On the surface, Heaven And Earth is standard Nora Roberts stuff. Three sisters in some idyllic island embroiled in some paranormal back-history curse/magic thing that they can break only by marrying. But I don't know, maybe it's the air. Maybe I'm in denial. Maybe it's that sexy, nerdy geek psychic paranormal researcher guy MacAllister Booke. Hated that name though - Mac. Ugh. Why not Michael Weatherly? Or David Duchovny? Ahem.

This book is book two in the Three Sisters Island trilogy. The first book is Dance Upon The Air. The back story is long, long ago, three witches - Earth, Air, and Fire - escaped the witch burning party to Three Sisters Island only to go down most tragically. It's a love gone awry thing, and now three descendents of the three losers in love must break the Love Gone Tragic spell thing by falling in love. This is Ms Earth's grand-grand-grand-grand-plus-daughter's story. Ripley Todd wants to move to a nice cottage because she doesn't feel like crashing in on her sister (heroine of Dancing On The Air) and sis' new hubby in the newlywed's shag-a-leg parties all over the house. The cottage is owned by Mia, who alas has rented the cottage to Mac first. Mac is here to investigate the Three Losers In Love myth, and when he learns that Ripley is a reluctant novice witch, zoing! He must find out more. He must spy on her more. He must stick to her day and night. It's love, people.

There's scenery, and there's the usual strong-heroine-plays-hard-to-catch-as-hero-falls-for-her motive. Been there, done that, trampled to death already. But what's lovely is Mac. His personal writings and his musings about Ripley? He makes a corny statement like "She's beautiful when she smiles" seems like the sweetest, more heartfelt thing a man can say to a woman ever. He makes good geek sex. I'm in love. I still think Michael Weatherly's a much nicer name than MacAllister Booke though.

On the plus side too, the heroine isn't annoying, the romance doesn't sag even if it moves on a snail's pace, and the whole story is like a nice, long relaxing vacation at some health spa. Mac makes beautiful music out of words and magic, and the whole romantic notion of love changing fate and all works like charm. Technically, there's nothing original or outstanding about Heaven And Earth, but I am touched by the unabashed romanticism of the whole thing that I don't care. Heaven And Earth is exquisite magic.

Rating: 86

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