‘This series is Nora Roberts at her best’. Rosie’s #Bookreview of #ContemporaryRomance Tears Of The Moon #TuesdayBookBlog

Tears of the Moon (Gallaghers of Ardmore #2)Tears of the Moon by Nora Roberts

5 stars

Tears Of The Moon is book two in the Irish Trilogy of contemporary romances, once more set in the village of Ardmore on the south coast of Ireland. This is the story of Brenna O’Toole, builder by trade, and Shawn Gallagher, musician and chef.

Each story in this trilogy is wrapped around a legend of lost love between the prince of the Faeries and a ghost. A three hundred year curse has kept them apart, until love can find its way three times to break the spell .

Brenna and Shawn have known each other all of their lives, but Brenna intends moving their friendship forward.  Always a forceful woman, she propositions Shawn. The shock has him turning her down, but it sets into motion a merry dance between the pair, one with fierce heated arguments and equally fiery moments of passion.

Faerie cottage weaves its magic again; once, twice and now a third meeting of hearts is required to set the mythical lovers free. With her brothers Aiden and Shawn now happily married, will their sister Darcy, the woman who has men falling at her feet, be the final piece of the puzzle? I am looking forward to reading Darcy’s story in the final book of the series.

This series is Nora Roberts at her best, I loved the setting and the elements of Irish myth and contemporary beliefs which took me on a journey of wonderful escapism.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

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A talented songwriter, Shawn Gallagher spends his days lost in reverie and wonder, oblivious to the wiles of women and the ways of the world. He claims that he’s content with his life, but his music tells a different story—one of loneliness and desperate longing…

No one understands why Shawn doesn’t put his musical gift to profitable use—least of all Brenna O’Toole, a fiercely independent tomboy who has been secretly in love with him for years. But it is only when Shawn gives in to the mysteries of magic that he gets the chance to fulfill his destiny as a man and a musician—as the song in his head keeps time with the beating of a woman’s heart…

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‘Magic, Romance And Irish Life.’ Rosie’s #Bookreview of Jewels Of The Sun by Nora Roberts

Jewels of the Sun (Gallaghers of Ardmore, #1)Jewels of the Sun by Nora Roberts

5 stars

Jewels Of The Sun is book one of  the Gallaghers of Ardmore trilogy which is set in Ireland. This is a romance with a paranormal sub-theme.

Jude has left her job and her home in Chicago and has made her way to a small coastal village in Southern Ireland to a pretty cottage that sits on a faerie hill. Leaving her academic job behind, she plans to research Irish myths and legends.

She’s welcomed into the community by the local families, but she also encounters a ghost and a faerie prince. Jude blossoms in her surroundings as spring turns to summer, and falls in love with Aiden Gallagher, who owns the local pub. The handsome Irishman can tell a tale with real feeling, but has trouble when it comes to expressing his own emotions.

Stories set in Ireland are some of my favourites and Nora Roberts writes them so well that you feel as if you can reach out and touch the characters. I already have the next book in this series and I am looking forward to reading it. The mix of magic, romance and Irish life whisked me away for some very enjoyable escapism reading.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

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Jude Murray isn’t given to dramatic decisions. So she’s as surprised as anyone when she quits her job in Chicago and takes refuge in the picturesque village of Ardmore. Surrounded by the beautiful Irish scenery and refreshed by a more relaxed lifestyle, Jude becomes fascinated by the local folklore.

Aidan Gallagher happens to be an expert in Ireland’s haunting myths. After years of travelling, he’s returned home to devote himself to the family business. But as he shares his country’s legends with Jude, Aidan can’t help wondering if they could create a passionate history of their own…

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #Ya #Fantasy The Mother We Share by Jennifer Soucy @bansheetales

Today’s team review is from Karen. She blogs here https://mytrainofthoughtson.wordpress.com

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Karen has been reading The Mother We Share by Jennifer Soucy

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This book introduces you to Evie Bonaventura who meets her dead(?!) twin sister; her friends believe her, her father wants her to see a therapist.

With “The Mother We Share”, Jennifer Soucy has created an intriguing story about a young woman stalked by her dead twin sister. She begins a journey to find out the truth and save the ones she loves. Most characters are complex, all are realistic with all virtues and flaws. The story comprises a variety of craftily elaborated characters with sufficient depth and interesting interactions until the last page. Jennifer Soucy introduces each character in a way that the reader automatically wants to read on – to get to know them better. I had a great time reading “The Mother We Share” – it is an intriguing read that led me right back to the country and places I truly miss. I was immediately drawn into the story, soon keeping my fingers crossed for two very special characters. For me, “The Mother We Share” is contemporary fiction told through the eyes and mind of a young American woman who is suddenly confronted with stuff that fairytales are made of; this viewpoint – not yet twenty, American with Irish ancestry – makes for a charming read. It is a story to read again.

This is for you if you like contemporary fiction with Irish mythology, a young determined heroine, food for thought, and if you are interested in seeing more myth than modern-day visitors normally see on a trip to Ireland.

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She yearned for the mother she never knew, wishing for a whole family. Something heard and replied…

Evie Bonaventura is terrified when a strange girl breaks into her room, a creature with her dead mother’s eyes. Dad confesses Evie had a twin, but she died along with their mother who was unable to survive the devastating childbirth. Mom swore on her deathbed that her baby was kidnapped by fairies—a changeling, but that was impossible. Myths aren’t real.

Yet the otherworldly girl continues to stalk Evie before attacking their father and others. Beltane approaches, their 18th birthday and the night when fairy powers peak. Evie’s determined to protect her family, confident because heroes always win—don’t they?

Tragedy strikes, forcing Evie to act. She embarks on an adventurous rescue mission from Boston to Ireland, aided by an unlikely band of brave friends, legendary creatures, and a colorful coven of witches. Evie has a choice: destroy her twin sister or save her, in honor of the mother they once shared.

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Historical Espionage BURKE IN IRELAND by @TomCW99

Today’s team review is from Noelle. She blogs here https://saylingaway.wordpress.com

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Noelle has been reading Burke In Ireland by Tom Williams.

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I was given a copy of this book for a fair and honest review for Rosie’s Book Review Team.

This is the fifth book in the James Burke series by this author. I haven’t read the previous four but I had no problems – the book is fine as a standalone.

In the late eighteenth century, with England seemingly beset on all sides, the War Office needs agents to spy for them and James Burke isn’t given a choice. It’s no business for a gentleman, but Burke is half-gentleman, half soldier and well suited to the job of spying. The four prior books haven’t been written in chronological order but when Burke is posted to Argentina, he is introduced to the world of espionage.  He has also been to the Iberian Peninsula, to Egypt and to Paris, after Napoleon is exiled to Elba. Burke in Ireland is Burke’s first real introduction to the practice of espionage, and the author admits that this is a dark book compared to the previous four, which have Burke on the side of the angels and the villain getting his just desserts in the end.

England needs spies everywhere, and Burke is a chameleon. So he is sent in 1793 to Ireland, which is a hotbed of Irish Nationalists. Burke must discover which of these men are plotting with the French to bring down English rule and/or planning for an uprising. Burke fits right into Dublin society operating smoothly between different strata and discovers it’s easy to identify the Nationalists. Getting to those who do more than just talk about Irish independence is another matter, and Burke manages to ingratiate himself with a member of the Irish elite who provides him with an ‘in’ to those he is seeking. Along the way, he turns in the names of a number of minor spies, who are sent to jail, tried, and hung, if their offences are serious enough. Burke struggles with his moral ambiguity, since the English were treating the Irish badly at that time – trials are rigged, Catholics tortured. Nevertheless, he finally decides that the safety of England trumps all, despite the ongoing tension that he will be discovered and possibly killed.

His “in’ is Patrick Geraghty, a well-to-do Dubliner who, after some time accepts Burke as a true Nationalist with Jacobin leanings. Geraghty is a huge man with an air of menace who drinks prodigiously and lets things slip while in an inebriated state. His beautiful daughter, named Siobhan, captures Burke’s attention and the couple become affectionate. Geraghty approves their relationship but his wife does not, despite the fact her husband beats her regularly. Thus Geraghty becomes the real villain, and the plot he arranges to spirit a true Nationalist out of the country, with the encouragement of Burke, becomes a dangerous and tortuous journey for everyone involved, not the least of which is Burke himself.

James Burke was a real person, but his story is entirely fictitious. But many of the characters in incidents cited in this book are historically accurate. The Alien Office which sent Burke to Ireland was real and became Britain’s first semi-official intelligence operation, a forerunner to MI5 and MI6. Wolfe Tone, Willam Drennan, Whitley Stokes, and Joseph Pollock were all true Irish Nationalists. Two men (Jackson and Cockayne) were spies for France and England, respectively. Archibold Rowan, a main character, was imprisoned in Newgate for sedition and libel but made an escape to France, his account of which is wrapped into Burke’s story.

In short, I found this book full of tension and historically fascinating, especially given my knowledge of Ireland’s “troubles” many years later and my experiences in that country (which I love). The descriptions of life in Dublin, especially the pub scenes, Newgate prison, and general society were vivid. The characters were very finely described and can be visualized by the reader. The web of spies in Dublin at the time is both brilliantly presented and nearly overwhelming in its detail. Clearly, the author did a lot of research for this book, and I loved being educated.

Burke in Ireland is not a light book to read, and to a reader looking for high tension and colorful conflicts on every page, it might seem dry. But it does what the author intended. I recommend it strongly to aficionados of historical novels and of Ireland’s history in particular.

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1793 and James Burke is under cover in Ireland, spying on Irish Nationalists. His objective: to discover any plots to conspire with the French to bring down English rule in Dublin.
Dublin is full of plotters. Finding them is easy. Staying alive is not as straightforward.
A tale of spying, love and death against the background of the early struggle for Irish independence.

It’s real history but not how you learned it at school.

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #HistoricalFiction BURKE IN IRELAND by @TomCW99

Today’s team review is from Frank. He blogs here https://franklparker.com/

Rosie's #Bookreview Team #RBRT

Frank has been reading Burke In Ireland by Tom Williams.

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4 stars.

It is 1793. In Ireland Wolf Tone and the United Irishmen are producing pamphlets and speeches advocating for the extension of the franchise. They are also in close touch with groups prepared to do more than advocate: to organise armed insurrection and encourage a French invasion.

A young James Burke is sent by the British government to infiltrate the organisation and report back on the details of their plans.

Another book by Tom Williams dealing with real events from British history, something which he does so well, this is the fifth in the series featuring James Burke. In the chronology of James’s career it is his second adventure.

The atmosphere of late eighteenth century Dublin is superbly evoked; both the physical and the social. The squalor of the slum districts is set against the plush interiors of the homes of the wealthy.

This differentiation between the masses and the privileged extends to the prison where a lawyer friend of the campaigners is allocated relatively comfortable accommodation.

The story progresses at a good pace as James inveigles his way into the organisation and is welcomed into the home of a wealthy man at the centre of a network of safe houses and secret arms caches.

He quickly learns that all is not as it seems in this household. He accompanies the man’s daughter as she brings food to starving citizens but danger lurks in her apparent affection for him.

The working out of the central conspiracy, to assist the escape of a prisoner, is gripping. It does not go precisely as intended and the possibility of James’s true identity being revealed is ever present.

The style makes it an easy read. It is not over-long. The history and the political background are infiltrated almost unnoticed into the story.

I have read many books dealing with Irish history since I made my home in Ireland. Most present an Irish perspective, often overtly anti-British. It should come as no surprise that a British writer does not follow that trend. Nor, however, does he present a viewpoint biased towards the British. As when dealing with British-Indian history in “Cawnpore”, he shows us both sides.

James, consorting with the Irish conspirators, learns some of the injustices they are seeking to correct. But he is, first and foremost, a soldier loyal to the crown and sees, too, the way in which different branches of government pursue their own often conflicting, agendas.

Read this book for the pleasure of watching a conspiracy unravel and discover how the campaign for Irish home rule drew on, and was a part of, the fight for human rights across Europe and America.

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James Burke’s first mission!
1793 and James Burke is under cover in Ireland, spying on Irish Nationalists. His objective: to discover any plots to conspire with the French to bring down English rule in Dublin.
Dublin is full of plotters. Finding them is easy. Staying alive is not as straightforward.
A tale of spying, love and death against the background of the early struggle for Irish independence.

It’s real history but not how you learned it at school.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Rosie’s #Bookreview of Irish Family Tale SEASON OF SECOND CHANCES by @aimeealexbooks #TuesdayBookBlog

Season of Second ChancesSeason of Second Chances by Aimee Alexander

5 stars

Season Of Second Chances is contemporary Irish fiction which deals with the sensitive issue of domestic abuse.

Grace has left her husband and has returned to her home town on the west coast of Ireland with her two children. Here she hopes that they will embrace this quiet life compared to their city one in Dublin.  However, Grace finds this to be something of a ‘big ask’ as far as her teenagers are concerned, especially as it involves moving them mid-way through the school year.

She will also start afresh as a community doctor, replacing her father after his retirement due to the onset of Parkinson’s Disease. In this small-town environment, Grace tries hard to avoid the gossips and to keep her past life a secret, but, having been away for many years, she discovers that she is treated with caution; an outsider. Each day that she and her family stay is another positive step towards healing from the abuse they suffered.

An easy five star read for me, this had all the makings of a one of my top books for the year. There’s something about a well-written tale set in rural Ireland that gets me every time. From the setting to the characters, it was so easy to lose myself in this story. The themes of domestic abuse and Parkinson’s disease were written with a realistic but sensitive hand and brought me to tears a couple of times. Des, Grace’s father, was one of my favourite characters, with his determination to protect his family and his wily ways of connecting with people. I definitely recommend this the those who enjoy endearing characters in a charming location.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Book description

When leaving is just the beginning… A novel of family, love, and learning to be kind to yourself by award-winning, bestselling Irish author, Aimee Alexander.

Grace Sullivan flees Dublin with her two teenage children, Jack and Holly, returning to the sleepy West Cork village where she grew up. No one in Killrowan knows what Grace is running from – or that she’s even running. She’d like to keep it that way.

Taking over from her father, Des, as the village doctor offers a real chance for Grace to begin again. But will she and the family adapt to life in a small rural community? Will the villagers accept an outsider as their GP? Will Grace live up to the doctor that her father was? And will she find the inner strength to face the past when it comes calling?

Season of Second Chances is a heart-warming story of friendship, love and finding the inner strength to face a future that may bring back the past.

Perfect for fans of Call The Midwives, The Durrells, Doc Martin and All Creatures Great and Small. The villagers of Killrowan will steal into your heart and make you want to stay with them forever.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Rosie’s #Bookreview of The Cousins O’Dwyer #Paranormal Romance Trilogy by Nora Roberts

Dark Witch (The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy Book 1) by [Nora Roberts]Dark Witch is book one of the Cousins O’Dwyer paranormal romance trilogy. These stories are set in Ireland and are a mix of legend, culture and magic. Iona Sheehan has come to Ireland in search of her family relatives and in hopes of finding a place that she can call home. Her skills as a horsewoman and the dormant magic she has, directly link her to Sorcha, a witch who lived more than 800 years ago; an evil which has followed Sorcha’s descendants through time. Iona must join with her cousins in an attempt to defeat an evil man-wolf one final time.

 

Shadow Spell (The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy Book 2) by [Nora Roberts]Shadow Spell is book two of the series and focuses on Conner and Meara. Their long-term friendship turns more romantic after both have brushes with the evil Cabhan. Family and friends joins for a second attempt to finish the man-wolf, but it doesn’t end here.

 

Blood Magick (The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy Book 3) by [Nora Roberts]Blood Magick is the final book in this series and brings Branna and Fin back together. Once teenage sweethearts their lives were pulled apart when Fin developed a demon mark. However, to finally defeat the evil Cabhan, they must put their past behind them and find a way to deal with the demon who is trying to take their powers.

There is a lot going on in this trilogy, with plenty of magic, time slips, battles with evil and animal interactions. There is plenty of romance too which I looked forward to and the Irish setting was delightful. However, at times I felt it dragged a little and I was always conscious that nothing would be totally solved until the end of book three. So although generally I like this author’s writing, this particular trilogy isn’t one that I would rush to re-read.

The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy (3 Book Series) by Nora Roberts

Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT Irish Family Drama SEASON OF SECOND CHANCES by @aimeealexbooks @denisedeegan

Today’s team review is from Sandra, she blogs here https://www.firthproof.co.uk/index.php/book-reviews

#RBRT Review Team

Sandra has been reading Season Of Second Chances by Aimee Alexander

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Season of Second Chances opens as Grace, with her children Jack and Holly, drives away from her life in Dublin towards a new start in West Cork where she grew up. Grace will take over from her recently retired father, Des, as a local GP; she will be ‘Young Doctor Sullivan’ to the locals.

At this point we have no idea what Grace is running away from, only that it must be serious to justify such extreme action. Initially, her father has no idea why they have come to Killrowan, but is happy to have them there. Since he retired, and found out he was in the early stages of Parkinson’s Disease, he has been feeling a bit pointless. Having his daughter and grandchildren there seems to give him a new lease of life.

The story is told from multiple points of view; we see the past, and the present, through the eyes of Grace, Des, Jack and Holly. This gives us a much more rounded picture of why they had to leave, and how they are getting on now. It also makes us realise that Simon, Grace’s husband, is not going to leave them alone. A sense of imminent menace pervades the narrative.

Aimee Alexander depicts small town life perfectly; the claustrophobic feeling of everyone knowing everyone else’s business, and putting their own interpretation on it. At first, the patients don’t want to see Grace as they are suspicious of her big city ways, but slowly, by persevering and doing a good job, she wins them round.

The ending is satisfying, but leaves just enough loose ends for a sequel which I understand the author is currently writing; I look forward to visiting Killrowan again very soon. I will also be looking out for other books by Aimee Alexander as this was the first one I read, but it won’t be the last.

Season of Second Chances is well written with believable characters, a great location, and humour to offset the seriousness of the underlying threat. As the full extent of the abuse is revealed, Grace finds the strength and courage for a new beginning. I loved the way she realised that she could do whatever she wanted, now free of her husband’s controlling influence – simple things like what she wore, how she styled her hair and being able to spend time with friends both old and new.

Book description

When leaving is just the beginning… A novel of family, love, and learning to be kind to yourself by award-winning, bestselling Irish author, Aimee Alexander.

Grace Sullivan flees Dublin with her two teenage children, Jack and Holly, returning to the sleepy West Cork village where she grew up. No one in Killrowan knows what Grace is running from – or that she’s even running. She’d like to keep it that way.

Taking over from her father, Des, as the village doctor offers a real chance for Grace to begin again. But will she and the family adapt to life in a small rural community? Will the villagers accept an outsider as their GP? Will Grace live up to the doctor that her father was? And will she find the inner strength to face the past when it comes calling?

Season of Second Chances is a heart-warming story of friendship, love and finding the inner strength to face a future that may bring back the past.

Perfect for fans of Call The Midwives, The Durrells, Doc Martin and All Creatures Great and Small. The villagers of Killrowan will steal into your heart and make you want to stay with them forever.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #Contemporary Rural Drama SEASON OF SECOND CHANCES by @aimeealexbooks @denisedeegan #TuesdayBookBlog

Today’s team review is from Liz, she blogs here https://lizannelloyd.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Liz has been reading Season Of Second Chances by Aimee Alexander

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This is a novel which captivates you from the first page. Grace and her two teenage children, Jack and Holly, have left Dublin to live in the quiet village on the coast of Cork where she grew up. Escaping an impossible life, she is taking over as a GP from her father, Des. She soon discovers her neighbours to be judgemental about “Young Doctor Sullivan” so she won’t be revealing the secret she has left in Dublin.  Prickly Jack knows they had to leave, but he doesn’t relish life in the middle of nowhere, while Holly has always lacked confidence. But things gradually improve. Grace impresses the locals with her skill as a doctor and her children begin to make friends.

This is both a heart-warming story and an edge of the seat drama as you wait for their past to catch up with them.  Adding a touch of romance in the form of an American author with a sad past and some amusing incidents with some of the local community make this a perfect lockdown escape. And I forgot to mention Benji the dog. I was so pleased to discover that there will be a sequel.

Book description

When leaving is just the beginning… A novel of family, love, and learning to be kind to yourself by award-winning, bestselling Irish author, Aimee Alexander.

Grace Sullivan flees Dublin with her two teenage children, Jack and Holly, returning to the sleepy West Cork village where she grew up. No one in Killrowan knows what Grace is running from – or that she’s even running. She’d like to keep it that way.

Taking over from her father, Des, as the village doctor offers a real chance for Grace to begin again. But will she and the family adapt to life in a small rural community? Will the villagers accept an outsider as their GP? Will Grace live up to the doctor that her father was? And will she find the inner strength to face the past when it comes calling?

Season of Second Chances is a heart-warming story of friendship, love and finding the inner strength to face a future that may bring back the past.

Perfect for fans of Call The Midwives, The Durrells, Doc Martin and All Creatures Great and Small. The villagers of Killrowan will steal into your heart and make you want to stay with them forever.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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Rosie’s #Bookreview Team #RBRT #Mystery set in #Ireland A Bittersweet Garden by Caren J Werlinger

Today’s team review is from Liz, she blogs here https://lizannelloyd.wordpress.com/

#RBRT Review Team

Liz has been reading A Bittersweet Garden by Caren J Werlinger.

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A Bittersweet Garden is a mystery story set in Ireland, which also describes a romance between American Librarian, Nora McNeil and Briana Devlin, a groom and horse trainer in the village of Cong in County Mayo.  After a failed relationship and the death of her long-loved cat, Nora has come to see the home village of her grandparents. Intending to stay for several weeks she has rented Sióg cottage, a run-down property in the woods, reputed to be haunted.  After a disastrous first meeting with Briana, Nora begins to come closer to this reserved young woman and she enjoys helping her cousin, Sheila in her garden nursery.  She is even able to start writing a novel, but the subject matter is dark. Frequent dreams of a tragic family, who once lived in the cottage, begin to obsess her and she sleep walks into the woods in search of Rowan, a young girl who disappeared mysteriously in the 1840s.

Nora needs to value her own worth and a relationship with Briana might give her happiness, but she must return to Virginia.  The sad story of Móirin and Donell, who once lived in the cottage, needs resolution but this may endanger Nora’s life. The warm community in this picturesque Irish village rally round but only Nora and Brianna can solve the past in order to give themselves a future.

Caren J Werlinger has created two complex characters with whom the reader can identify and I was intrigued to discover what had happened to the little girl in the yellow dress over 170 years earlier.

Book description

Nora McNeill has always dreamed of exploring her Irish roots. When she finally gets the opportunity to spend a summer in the village where her grandparents grew up, the experience promises to live up to her very high expectations. Except for the ghost that is haunting her rented cottage and is soon invading her dreams.

Briana Devlin has arranged her life the way she likes it: a good dog, good mates, and work with horses. There’s no room in her life for a relationship. Especially with an annoyingly clumsy—and attractive—American who is only going to be around for a few months.

The weeks fly by, and Nora’s ghost becomes more demanding, seeking her help in solving the mystery surrounding her death. Briana watches as Nora becomes more wrapped up in the past, seeming to fade away before her eyes.

Past and present are on a collision course, leaving Nora and Briana caught in a ghostly intrigue that could cost them not only their chance of a future together, but their very lives.

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