Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Litfuse Book Review || Irish Meadows

Today, I want to share with you a recent book I was given the chance to read and review. As a member of the Litfuse Group, I'm given books at no cost to me for my honest review and opinion. My most recent read was Susan Anne Mason's debut novel Irish Meadows.


Brianna and Colleen O’Leary know their Irish immigrant father expects them to marry well. Recently he’s put even more pressure on them, insinuating that the very future of their Long Island horse farm, Irish Meadows, rests in their ability to land prosperous husbands. Both girls, however, have different visions for their futures.

Brianna, a quiet girl with a quick mind, dreams of attending college. Vivacious Colleen, meanwhile, is happy to marry—as long as her father’s choice meets her exacting standards of the ideal groom. When former stable hand Gilbert Whelan returns from business school and distant relative Rylan Montgomery visits Long Island during his seminary training, the two men quickly complicate everyone’s plans.

As the farm slips ever closer to ruin, James O’Leary grows more desperate. It will take every ounce of courage for both sisters to avoid being pawns in their father’s machinations and instead follow their hearts. And even if they do, will they inevitably find their dreams too distant to reach?

Susan Anne Mason's debut historical novel, Irish Meadows, won the Fiction from the Heartland contest from the Mid-American Romance Authors Chapter of RWA. A member of ACFW, as well, she lives outside of Toronto, Ontario, with her husband and two children.
rish Meadows was a book that was beautiful in its cover and inside its pages. I loved the little spitfire we're greeted with in the first few pages when we meet Brianna. I also enjoyed meeting Gilbert as he comes home to the O'Leary family. There was humor, hardship, romance, lots of family, friendships, and a nice inspirational element that didn't overtake the story. 

I enjoyed these characters. Smart and sweet Brianna, feisty and beautiful Colleen, hard-working and loyal Gilbert, loving Katherine, and stern James. Bri and Gil were definitely a perfect match, as was Colleen and Rylan. I think Rylan was actually my favorite character from the story. He always acted as he should have, even his slip-up felt right. I also love that he never presented a pretense. What you saw and heard was the truth from him. I also loved that he could see right through Colleen's mask to who she was and her heart and that he was willing to respect her when many, including herself, did not. That to me is a true gentleman.

My only complaints were first, that I did wish that Brianna, Colleen, and Gilbert had all been a little more consistent. There was a lot of wavering back and forth. I also wanted them to struggle a bit more when they finally saw the error in their ways or maybe to have been stronger in not continually making mistakes and not seeing how terrible those mistakes were. Secondly, everything almost wrapped up too nicely. That might sound bad, but sometimes it's okay for a story to still be a work in progress, especially with this being a series and for not almost every single thing to work out.

I'd recommend Irish Meadows to those who enjoy Christian historical romance. It kept at a steady pace with parts that made me laugh, want to cry, and sigh along with the swoon-worthy moments. I'm looking forward to the second book, A Worthy Heart, to be released in January. - See more at: http://www.wishfulendings.com/2015/08/irish-meadows-by-susan-anne-mason-blog.html#sthash.tdL43JPL.dpuf
Historical novels are a new interest of mine but when I read that this book was based in Long Island in the early 1900, I was instantly hooked. While I like history, it's tough for me to wade through a book filled with too many history lessons. Irish Meadows was the perfect balance of history, family and romance. The underlying struggles each character encounters makes for a interesting read, making this book a summer favorite. With the perfect combination of confusion, power plays, emotion and best laid plans, I was eagerly turning the pages to find out what was going to happen next. Both relationships brought enough anxiety to the book to make it an interesting read. Often times books based on romance drag on and on and on. This was not the case with Irish Meadows. I was pleasantly surprised when I finished this book and discovered that book two arrives in stores in early 2016. I am looking forward to seeing where the story goes from here.

Now that I've completed all my Summer reading, I'm on the lookout for books to read this Fall. In the comment section below share a MUST READ for me to add to my Goodreads List. My goal is to read at least 8 books from today until the end of the year. 2 books a month isn't too awful. Plus that would put me right at 30 books read for 2015!

 

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