Since I loved Born in Ice so much I decided to continue with the next book in the series. The story begins with Shannon Bodine, the mysterious half sister the Concannon girls were looking for, learning about her real father right before her mother dies. Not too soon after that, the private detective tracks her down and presents Shannon with the invitation to visit Ireland and meet her sisters. Shannon initially resents this and fights against this new knowledge. Eventually she gives in and take a leave of absence to go to Ireland to figure out what she wants to do with her life – not to meet or get to know her sisters.
When she arrives, she begins to fall in love with the country. Murphy immediately begins to fall in love with her. Through the book, Murphy and Shannon develop a strong relationship even as Shannon fights it. The majority of the book is Shannon dealing with and learning to accept that she is a part of this country and has a father that would have loved her if he had been able to. This is complicated by the feelings she has about betraying her father, the one that raised her, and her mother while coming to love her biological father and the sisters she has. The relationship between Shannon and Maggie is extremely rocky as Maggie doesn’t believe Shannon will accept the changes in her life or the people she has now. While she is in the country, Shannon takes the time to explore her painting talent. Everyone is blown away by her skill and work and even Sweeney, Maggie’s husband, convinces her to put her work in the local gallery.
This story was very complex and well written, I myself just didn’t particularly like the visions aspect that was wound into it. As soon as Shannon arrives, she begins to have dreams that seemed to be memories of a long time ago and a man that reminds her a lot of Murphy. When she brings them up, Murphy has had the same dreams and is convinced that is how he knows Shannon is going to be the woman he is supposed to marry. She fights that as well.
There is a lot of conflict and emotional turmoil in the book. I didn’t like it as much as Born in Ice because I don’t think I could relate to Shannon as well as I did to Brianna or Maggie. It is however a good book and ends the trilogy rather well. There are a lot of conclusions and endings to issues that were around in the first two books and it was satisfying to have them worked out.
For some reason I always forget how much I enjoy Nora Roberts’ books. I was cruising for a new audiobook to listen to and stumbled across the Irish Born trilogy. I looked through each book and decided this one sounded the most interesting. I was not disappointed.
The narrator of the book was Fiacre Douglas. He has a deep Irish brogue and is quite delightful to listen to. The only real issue I had with his dialogue was every once in a while you couldn’t tell between dialogue and text reading. It wasn’t a major issue though and didn’t impede the book in any way.
The story is about Brianna Concannon and Grayson Thane. Brianna is a young woman who runs the Blackthorn Cottage Inn. Grayson is a world-renowned murder mystery writer who is looking for an out of the way place in Ireland to find the environment for his next book. He stays at the cottage for six months, doing research, writing his book, and learning about the people. He comes from no where, has no one, and claims no place as home. Brianna, her family, and the town confound him with their roots and ties. He is unable to understand them and the pull that gets stronger and stronger around him. Brianna, a strong soul who survived an unloving mother and a failed engagement is somehow confident in her emotions and feelings for Gray as the story progresses. She asks no promises and demands nothing as she falls deeper and deeper in love with him. The story is further wound up with a mysterious stock certificate and love letters found in their father’s possessions that Brianna decides to clean out.
The whole book is an emotional roller coaster. My heart was pulled every which way as Brianna and Gray in turns indulged and fought their relationship. Furthermore, the relationships between Brianna, her sister Margaret, her mother, and Murphy keep the in-between times full of interesting events and strong emotions. The book is in turns heart-wrenching and laugh out loud funny. I would find myself laughing and smiling in my car as I listened.
Even though the book is part of a trilogy it is completely a stand alone book. I am eager to start the next one in the series and then go back to read the first. The romance scenes are not overly explicit, just implied which is a nice change from some of the other romance books which seem to focus on the sex and not the growth of the emotions and relationships. I loved listening to how emotions grew and changed between the characters. I fully recommend it to anyone interested in a good romance.