Series: Born in Trilogy #3
Published by Paw Prints on April 9th 2009
FINAL DECISION: I’m split on this book. I loved so much of it because I loved the first two books of the series, but I thought the romance here wasn’t nearly as developed or as good as the others in the series.
THE STORY: New York graphic artist Shannon Bodine has her life turned upside down when her mother reveals that Shannon is the result of an affair with a married man. Losing both parents in a year and discovering that her entire history was a lie, Shannon feels adrift in her life. When her half sisters in Ireland reach out to her, Shannon decides to travel to Ireland to meet them and see if she can recover her sense of balance in her life. In Ireland, Shannon meets Murphy Muldoon, a man wedded to the land his family has farmed for generations. The attraction between them is immediate although Shannon does not want to get involved in a temporary relationship that she knows will end when she returns to New York.
OPINION: This book frustrates me in many ways. I loved so much about it. As a continuation of the series, I would give the book a very high rating. I loved seeing the couples from the previous books and I enjoyed the resolution of the three sisters’ story. That familial part of the book was incredibly satisfying as their relationship developed in this book.
But in many ways the time spent on the developing relationship between Maggie, Brianna and Shannon was robbed from the romance between Shannon and Murphy. Indeed, I think that is why there is an “insta-love” destined element to their romance — the book couldn’t both develop their relationship in a deep fashion and also the sisters’ relationship.
The relationships between the couples in the first two books took place over months and thus the sacrifices they agreed to make felt reasonable and natural. Here, Shannon is in Ireland for just over a month but is willing to toss everything away — it just didn’t feel as natural as the other books. Instead, I think the book relied on its paranormal crutch too much to explain the intensity of the relationship.
I loved Murphy — who is just adorable. A gentle and talented and completely centered man. He knows who he is and is satisfied with his life. He also knows exactly what he wants when he sees Shannon. Shannon was more prickly and more difficult to like (she is similar to Maggie in that sense), but by the end of the book I understood her and even liked her. I especially liked seeing her relationships develop in this book.
The best part of this book is the relationships between the six main characters in the series. Whether it is the women bonding or the men drinking themselves silly or the caring “sister”-“brother” relationships between the men and the women, I loved seeing this family be created. That is the highlight of this series as a whole. This is the creation of the next generation.
But I still find the relationship between Murphy and Shannon to be more shallowly explored than the other two books.
WORTH MENTIONING: Small spoiler that this book has some paranormal elements although it is not the main part of the story.
CONNECTED BOOKS: BORN IN SHAME is the third and final book in the Born in Trilogy. This book should only be read after the first two in the series because it resolves the overarching story in the series.
STAR RATING: I give this book 3.5 stars.