Born in Fire
Margaret Mary Concannon’s life changes the day Rogan Sweeney tracks her down. CEO of Worldwide Galleries, Rogan has become obsessed with Maggie’s work as a glass artist. He heads to County Clare, Ireland, to try and reason with her, and quickly becomes exasperated. Maggie’s fiery temper makes conversations difficult, but he is determined to showcase her work. Maggie agrees when she realizes that the extra income will enable to buy her mother a house – not out of love but to get her out of the house Maggie’s sister Brianna runs as a B&B, where Maeve constantly makes life difficult for Brianna. Rogan and Maggie start to act on their attraction as Maggie tours the world with him, but they have all the obstacles from Maggie’s unhappy childhood to overcome. Raised by a hateful mother and adoring father, Maggie is still saddened by her father’s death. She and her sister and their faithful friend Murphy needs to deal with her mother’s tantrums and selfishness, and Maggie has the added burden of hearing her father mention another woman’s name before he died. Things become serious between Rogan and Maggie, and when he proposes, she tells him that she could never enter marriage because she saw how destructive it could be. Will Rogan be able to prove to Maggie that all relationships aren’t like her parents’? And who is the Amanda Tom Concannon mentioned seconds before his death?
A potential reader should be warned that this is not a Nora Roberts crime novel – it is a romance novel, with basically no antagonist and a predictable end. However, it is fantastically written and I had a great time reading it. I have always adored the author, and she doesn’t disappoint. Ireland is so wonderfully described that you can imagine sitting there and taking in the scenery. Maggie’s love for her sister, her work and her country is very well portrayed, as is her anger towards her mother and her fear to become like the woman who raised her. I enjoyed Maggie’s temper and found that Rogan’s charm was the perfect offset for her abrasiveness.
Born in Ice
Brianna Concannon’s bed and breakfast in the Irish country side is straight from a dream. She is a culinary witch and a domestic goddess, and has the side benefit of being beautiful and intelligent too. She has had her share of sadness – an unloving, demanding mother and a man who left her a few weeks before her wedding, and she still has no idea why. Her controlled personality is in direct contrast to her sister Maggie’s abrasiveness.
One day cleaning the attic, Brie finds letters written to her father from another woman – someone who obviously loved their father very much. She discusses it with Maggie and Rogan, who is now married, and after a short debate they decide to search for the woman.
Famous crime author Grayson Thane heads to Country Clare to do research for his next book. Brianna, his landlady at Blackthorn Cottage, is miles away from the matronly aunt he was expecting. He is immediately fascinated and attracted to her, but finds it difficult to match his worldliness to her innocence.
When Brianna learns that her fiance left her because her mother had told him she was sleeping around with Murphy, Brianna is shocked, angry and betrayed. Grayson bears the brunt of her anger and disillusionment, but eventually they sort things out. Their next challenge is that Grayson is a traveling gypsy, scared of settling down even though he really loves her. Will their love be able to survive all the challenges?
This is once again a good book by Nora Roberts, and a strong second book for the series. I enjoyed Brianna’s nature – she is the epitome of hospitality and kindness. Her inherent sadness makes you hope that she will find future love, and when she does you hope she will be able to keep it this time. I still think their mother is such a mean, sad person, constantly estranging the people who were born to love her the most – her children.
Born in Shame
Amanda Dougherty is dying. She knows she has to tell her daughter Shannon that the man she believed to be her father is in fact her stepfather. She tells Shannon about Tom Concannon and her love affair in Ireland as a young woman, and Shannon is shattered by the truth. Her mother dies shortly afterwards with hard words between them.
When Shannon is contacted by a detective hired by the Concannon sisters and their husbands, she is irritated. She feels that she doesn’t need the family she never knew existed, and relays that to the detective. When she receives a kind, compassionate letter from Brianna, she is intrigued enough to agree to head to Ireland for a few weeks.
Ireland, and her sisters, catches her by surprise. The country is incredibly beautiful, and going there is like a remembrance to Shannon. She and Maggie immediately hit it off on the wrong foot with their mutual distrust and similar abrasive personalities. Brianna is naturally her saintly self, content to just meet her new sister.
Shannon’s first impression of Murphy Muldoon is of a slow witted man. He is dumbstruck by her, the woman literally from her dreams – from childhood Murphy has dreamed of her. Shannon, more logical minded, doesn’t entertain these conversations but the truth is that she has dreamed of him too.
Maeve Concannon, Brianna and Maggie’s difficult mother, naturally takes the information that her husband cheated on her very badly, even though she never showed him any real love. She makes things very difficult for her daughters although it isn’t even something they were a part in. Shannon quickly takes her on, telling her that neither she nor her two sisters are responsible.
Murphy, meanwhile, has been courting Shannon, certain that she will fall in love with him. She does, but her practical mind knows the impracticality of staying in Ireland and leaving her high powered job in New York. Will Murphy succeed in making her stay? And will she and her sisters be able to connect?
As far as trilogies go, this series was rather well done. I enjoyed all three books – each sister is entertaining in their own right and their love stories keeps you glued to the books. Shannon is the most modern of the three. She is used to the fast paced life of New York, but is still artistic enough to appreciate the charm of Ireland. Pairing her up with Murphy was a good idea – she will obviously never be bored because he is an intelligent man.
I would recommend this series to all Nora Roberts’ fans if you haven’t read it yet, or if you love good romance books J