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Heaven and Earth - Hardcover
Roberts (Dance Upon the Air) popularized the romance trilogy, and here she offers up the second installment of her newest trilogy, a conventional saga about three witches who must right the wrongs of their ancestors in order to save their homeland, Three Sisters Island. Ceremonial candles, iris petals and a sprig of rosemary set the scene for magic and romance, but it will take more than mood lighting and witchcraft to lend an air of amiability to the novel's heroine. Hard-edged Ripley Todd is one of the island's two police officers the other being her brother as well as a temperamental witch in denial of her powers. When paranormal researcher Dr. Mac Booke visits the island, Ripley greets him with her customary hostility ("I didn't know they gave out degrees for the study of crapola"). Nevertheless, Mac, a self-proclaimed "rich geek" with a Jimmy Stewart-like affability and an athlete's physique, pursues Ripley romantically and professionally. A brief, overly dramatic encounter between Ripley and a possessed, blood-thirsty reporter adds a touch of suspense, but the novel's finale is hardly deserving of all the buildup it receives. Although Roberts is not in top form here, her deft use of metaphor and charismatic hero are sufficient to hold even the most reluctant reader