"Reluctant Deputy Unlocks the Door to her Power for Justice and for Love"
HEAVEN AND EARTH is book two of the Three Sisters
Island trilogy. It is Ripley Todd's story. For background
see the reviews for DANCE UPON THE AIR.
Filled with rage and grief over the death of her sister,
Air, the one called Earth swore vengeance on her destroyer.
Justice would be served, and she would be the one to mete
it out. The loss of Air had weakened the circle, and
seduced by the power of darkness, Earth embraced it. The
one called Fire could not turn her from her course. Earth
turned her back on her family, and forswore her sacred vow
to cause harm to none. She exacted her revenge, and in
doing so, she sacrificed her soul and doomed them all. Her
deed returned to her times three ... and then there was
Left alone, Fire could not fight the darkness, but before
she perished, she cast a spell of protection over the
island for a century times three, at which time three new
sisters of the blood would challenge the darkness for the
Three Sisters Island - January 2002
Deputy Ripley Todd had inherited a strong sense of justice.
That was the only part of the family legacy she was willing
to embrace. In spite of her keen sense of responsibility,
she would play no role in the fate of the Island beyond her
regular duties as a law enforcement official. The results
of her quick temper, and deep empathy for the pain of her
loved ones, had already demonstrated her inability to
control her power under duress. Behind her tough girl,
in-your-face façade, she was frightened of what she might
with her gift. She had forsaken her abilities and denied
her destiny a decade ago, and though she'd opened the door
to aid Nell Channing in her battle of courage, she was
determined to turn the lock on it once more.
Ripley was as different from gentle, compassionate Nell, as
two women could be. She tackled everything with a
vengeance, whether it was exercise, her job, or her love
life. She had no trouble finding willing men to satisfy
her, but she was always in control, and never got in too
deep. She liked her solitude, or so she told herself, which
brought her to her present dilemma. Her brother Zack, and
Nell, had just returned from their honeymoon. They'd
settled in to the family home, and Ripley was feeling like
the proverbial third that made a crowd. It was for that
reason only, that she'd gone to her former friend, Mia
Devlin, hat in hand, hoping to rent the cottage that Nell
had recently vacated. Unfortunately Mia had just rented it
to another, a man who would soon turn Ripley's comfortable
world upside down.
MacAlister Booke was a researcher of paranormal phenomena,
the kind of man Ripley did her best to avoid. He'd been
drawn to this island by legend and legacy. He'd thought his
connection was to Mia Devlin, an acknowledged witch, but it
was the prickly Sheriff, who was hiding more than her
unruly powers, that captivated his interest now.
Ripley had no time for charlatans, and certainly had no
intentions of allowing him to exploit Mia and Nell, let
alone herself. Still, he was cute in a bookish sort of way.
She would definitely keep an eye on him. Who would have
ever thought that beneath the quiet, absent-minded, geeky
façade, was the bod of a god, and a passion to match, or
that his glasses, when he could find them, would really
turn her on? (Picture Clark Kent with a scientific bent.)
Mac, who is far more astute than he appears, recognizes
Ripley as a diamond in the rough, and in spite of the fact
that she is in denial regarding her powers, he wants to get
to know her much better. Their passion sizzles more than
his equipment, and he suspects that he's fallen in love,
but he harbors a secret of his own, and fears that she will
reject him when he reveals it.
Ripley, a true Todd, knows her feelings for this man are
irrevocable and lasting, but can she afford to make herself
vulnerable again. Her challenge will be to exact justice
without causing harm. If she opens the door to her heart,
and lets this new emotion consume her, will her unwieldy
powers destroy them all?
HEAVEN AND EARTH is a masterful and fitting
companion to DANCE UPON THE AIR. Though these books are
a series they could easily stand alone. The complexity of
the characters is enthralling, and Ms. Roberts explores
them in depth, making reader feel like they know them
personally. In this story, Ripley comes off as a tough
cookie, but she is probably the most vulnerable of the
three women. She knows that her actions could destroy
everything and everyone she loves, and would rather die
than do that. She willingly locks up an integral part of
herself to protect them. Although Mac is about as sweet and
endearing as men come, he is definitely not a push over,
and he tolerates no nonsense when it comes to the woman he
loves. He doesn't allow her to put up walls, and tells her
straight out that no matter how capable she thinks she is,
he won't stand by and let her get hurt. One can't help
falling in love with the two of them. I look forward to the
conclusion of this series, which can be found in the FACE
Copyright © 2002
Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted June 25, 2002
2002 RITA Finalist
Number one New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts
has enchanted millions of readers with her moving, intimate
tales of friendships made and hearts lost, of legends,
lovers and longing. Now, in the second book in her
bewitching Three Sisters Island trilogy, she returns to the
haunting shores of New England-and to the lives of three
passionate, powerful women....
Ripley Todd just wants to live a quiet, peaceful kind of
life. Her job as a sheriff's deputy keeps her busy and
happy, and she has no trouble finding men when she wants
them-which, lately, isn't all that often. She's perfectly
content, except for one thing: she has special powers that
both frighten and confuse her-and though she tries hard to
hide them, she can't get them under control....
Distraction soon arrives in the handsome form of
MacAllister Booke-a researcher who's come to investigate
the rumors of witchcraft that haunt Three Sisters Island.
Right from the start, he knows there's something
extraordinary about Ripley Todd. It's not just her blazing
green eyes and her sultry smile. There's something else.
Something he can detect, but she'll never admit. Fascinated
by her struggle with her amazing abilities, he becomes
determined to help her accept who she is-and find the
courage to open her heart.
But before Ripley and Mac can dream of what lies in the
future, they must confront the pain of the past. For Three
Sisters shelters centuries of secrets-and a legacy of
danger that plagues them still....