[REVIEW] Dance Upon the Air (Three Sister Island #1) by Nora Roberts

Hello, lovelies! 🌿 A few days ago I finished Dance Upon the Air by Nora Roberts. You’re all probably tired of my Nora Roberts reviews but what can I do~ So, without further ado, here is my review!

When Nell Channing arrives on charming Three Sisters Island, she believes that she’s finally found refuge from her abusive husband—and from the terrifying life she fled so desperately eight months ago.

But even in this quiet, peaceful place, Nell never feels entirely at ease. Careful to conceal her true identity, she takes a job as a cook at the local bookstore café—and begins to explore her feelings for the island sheriff, Zack Todd.

But there is a part of herself she can never reveal to him—for she must continue to guard her secrets if she wants to keep the past at bay. One careless word, one misplaced confidence, and the new life she’s so carefully created could shatter completely.

Just as Nell starts to wonder if she’ll ever be able to break free of her fear, she realizes that the island suffers from a terrible curse—one that can only be broken by the descendants of the Three Sisters, the witches who settled the island back in 1692.

Now, with the help of two other strong, gifted women—and the nightmares of the past haunting her every step—she must find the power to save her home, her love… and herself. 

Synopsis from Goodreads

What I loved;

  • The main love interest Zack was an amazing character. I have noticed a pattern in Nora Roberts’ main love interests: they are noble, patient, loving, and family oriented. Zack is handsome, loving, doesn’t push, and is loyal to the bone.
  • Nell is soft and gorgeous – she has been through so much but that doesn’t make her any less. She found a way to escape and build a life. She is skittish at best, very evasive, and doesn’t like troubling anyone.
  • The friendship: Nell connects with Mia – the owner of the bookshop/cafe where she works and is wonderful. I love how Mia calls her ‘little sister’, doesn’t push, offers her the opportunity to work for her without asking questions. She also connects with Ripley – who is the sister of Zack and who while it is a bit tougher to make friendships with, opens up to Nell and forms a bond.

“She’s in love, and that makes her strong. She’ll need to be.” 

“What makes you strong, Mia?” 

“Purpose. Love never worked for me.”

  • The magic: this book has magic which I loved. I loved how it started mysteriously, three women forming a bond in order to escape persecution and in so, creating an island ‘Three Sisters Island’ where having witches is very normal. The normalcy of the witches is something that attracts tourists. Now, is not as if witches walk around – in fact, only Mia is the island resident witch – only one person from each witch lives on the island.
  • The island: it was described as a small village where people owned business and they survive through tourists. Is an island with a story of witches and sisterhood and I loved every bit of it. In the story, the main focus is Mia’s book/coffee business which is described as homey and full of delicious threat, and the Sheriff department – which is small and only deals with Zack and Ripley.
  • Let’s go back to the magic once again, they use spells which are filled with rhyme, and where the way of challenging the spells are through spices and emotions. It was so fun to read about the different spells and charms, how everything worked, and came to be.
  • The background of Nell is also very well-done. You can see the way she was abused by her husband, her privacy, the way she doesn’t want to be involved with anyone, her jumpiness, she is scared and throughout the book, you can see the abuse reflect on her way of thinking, her emotions and vulnerability. Even when she thinks she’s okay and her sense of safety is the highest when presented with the same problem she breaks down and goes back to the shell she was before which is so well done. You don’t see a person who’s been abused get better easily, find love, and think everything will be alright. No, here, you see a person who has been abused yet even when she feels safe she is still on the lookout and keeps the jumpiness inside her.

“Who I am now is who I was before. The three years between, they were the aberration. You wouldn’t recognize the person I became during that lost time. I barely do.” 

  • The relationship was gorgeous, Zack doesn’t push – he waits for Nell but he also flirts with her, makes her laugh and comfortable. And mostly, he waits for her to be ready and open to speak with him without jumping and fall in love.
  • The food was delicious! The description of the flavors, smells, tastes, I wanted to eat Nell’s food because it sounded absolutely delicious.
  • The side characters were equally lovely. Lulu was one of my favorite characters, she is fierce, protective, and fair – and she loves Mia like a mother so when she is first introduced as being skeptical of Nell it was believable. She also didn’t change her mind about Nell easily, it took her time to admit that yes, Nell was good and wasn’t taking advantage of Mia’s friendship.
  • The bad guy: Evan Remington (I hope this last name is the right one because I listened to the audiobook instead of reading) was EVIL. Horrible to the core, possessive, abusive, egocentric, selfish, and everything negative you can find as the synonym of evil. This man abused his wife – body, and mind and didn’t think he was doing wrong. Roberts always gives a voice to the bad guy but this one was the worse. His egocentric behavior, believing he was better than everyone, how he talked about ‘shaping’ his wife into the person he wanted, it was awful but so realistic – to think there are people out there that think like this! It was incredibly well-done.

“Laying a hand on his heart, she timed its beats to her own. And knew the truest magic was there.” 

  • Nell’s growth, how she becomes strong and fierce doesn’t take away the fear but she starts to believe in herself, in her love for Zack, trusting her friends, making a business, believing in her herself, and making her magic real. It’s a journey for both her and Zack and I loved every bit of their romance.

“While the bells rang and echoed, she sat near the edge of the water. Here was peace, she thought, and joy. She would never, never take either for granted. She would remember to give something back every day. Even if it was just a heel of bread for the gulls. She would tend what she planted. She would remember to be kind, and never forget to offer a helping hand.” 

The world, the characters, the plot, the magic – it was all so well done and intertwined in a way that made the reader invested in the happy ever after.

4 thoughts on “[REVIEW] Dance Upon the Air (Three Sister Island #1) by Nora Roberts

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