Publisher: Berkley Books, Penguin Publishing Group
Release Date: 10/01/1995 (Yes, it’s an oldie but a goodie!)
Series: Irish Born Trilogy #2
Pages: 400 (depending on the edition/version)
So, I’ve been mentally screaming at myself to get this review done–especially since I promised to have it done at least a week ago. But I kind of took a mini-break from reviewing and went on a binge-reading and Netflix rampage instead (I can’t wait for Sherlock to come back this winter!). But enough about my lack of priorities and the best pair of friends to ever exist in fictional history (I’m talking about Sherlock and Watson…). Anyways, the Irish Born trilogy! For this post, I’m going to be rambling about the second book, Born in Ice. So, BEWARE if you haven’t read the first one. If it helps, you can read my review of the first book before you start on this one.
Now, the Irish Born trilogy takes readers back to the magical world of Ireland and the charming world of the Concannon sisters. And while Maggie and Rogan certainly have a strong presence in this novel, they are no longer the focus. Instead, we get to know Maggie’s younger sister, Brianna, and her romantic interest, Grayson Thane. And before we move on, can I just get it out there that I really, really, REALLY want a Grayson Thane? 😍
Brianna is the sweet owner of Blackthorn Cottage, a bed and breakfast in Clare County, Ireland. She immensely enjoys what she does because she meets new people all the time. Also, she is able to make a home away from home for her visitors by providing them with spotless, cozy rooms and to-die-for cuisine. Grayson Thane is a dangerously charming and gorgeous best-selling American author, and he reservess a room at Brianna’s B&B for several months. The B&B is supposed to be a home base while he explores Ireland and finds inspiration for the latest horror novel he is writing. As soon as he completes the novel, he is outta there. At least, that was the plan before he met his lovely host–an intriguing female who runs both hot and cold and holds secrets he can’t wait to pull out of her. She may, in fact, be the perfect inspiration for his novel’s heroine. Let me tell you, the man has quite the imagination!
Now, I know what you’re thinking (maybe)–it sounds like Gray is just using Brianna, but that is the furthest thing from the truth. As their relationship progresses, you can see how real their feelings are for each other. Just because Gray believes his stay there is temporary, does not mean that what he feels is false. He just doesn’t know what he feels because he’s a man…DUH. Or he does know, but he doesn’t want to admit it because he has been alone for so long and doesn’t want Brianna to feel the shame he feels about his past. STUPID, STUPID MAN.
Anyways, their relationship is really sweet (I know, I’ve been using that word a lot–can’t help it!). In a way, Gray is Brianna’s protector, but what makes him close to perfect is that fact that he realizes (unlike Maggie) that Brianna is strong and can take care of herself. He respects Brianna by being honest with her (for the most part) even knowing that what he is telling her could and probably will hurt her–and there is something BIG that her and Maggie discover that could hurt them both, but I don’t want to give it away!
Gray also does some things to annoy the fiercely independent Brianna–for instance, he buys her a car, A CAR. That’s a big gift from someone who plans on “leaving.” 😉 So, the fight following that purchase is one for the books. Maggie’s stubborn attitude is still there to give you some good laughs, and the camaraderie that forms between her and Gray is pretty awesome, too. Of course, Maeve, the coldhearted mother, is still coldhearted, but her heart seems to be considerably warmer now that she has her own home and a caretaker to constantly argue with. And it doesn’t hurt that Maggie and Rogan are giving her a grandchild. Who knew something like that would make Maeve happy?
Brianna and Gray’s happily ever after is made all the sweeter (there’s that word again!) by the fact that we get so much more of them as a happy, funny, and in love couple in the final book of the trilogy, Born in Shame–review to come! Seriously, Nora Roberts knows what she is doing with this trilogy. I think it may be my favorite Nora Roberts series, and that’s saying a lot because I love the Stanislaskis!