by Linda O`Brien

October 2002
ISBN: 0-515-13409-0
Reviewer Graphic Button Jove Books
Mass Market Paperback

I heard that for many romance readers Linda O’Brien is a familiar name. For me she is a new discovery. A discovery I’m glad to have made, as it introduced me to a delightful tale in her latest Jove Irish Eyes release, Ballyrourke.

Ballyrourke is Katherine Rourke and Colin MacCormack’s story. Though set in Ireland in the late 1890s it is also the story of a difficult history for its people.

When a lawyer approaches Katie in her modest home in Chicago to inform her about her inheritance of the Ballyrourke Estate in Ireland, she not only has to come to terms with being Irish instead of English, and the sole beneficiary of her late grandmother’s will, but also with the disturbing news that not everything her late ladylike mother told and taught her is true. Grown up in America, she never knew of her Irish family and sets off to visit her new home and if possible sell it as soon as possible to finance her dream, the building of an orphanage, back in the US.

But Ballyrourke is also home to Colin, who believes the estate to belong rightfully to the O’Rourke family. Members of which live and work as tenants on Ballyrourke. Expecting to find in Katie a haughty and cold new landowner, he’s surprised to discover her to be warm, gentle and passionate and not averse to dallying with a man not of her class. A discovery that makes it nearly impossible for him to carry through his plan of searching for the lost “second will”, the one that would return Ballyrourke to it’s rightful owners, the O’Rourkes.

It’s a beautiful and well-told story, with an evil uncle and other colorful secondary characters. Add a touch of fairy magic and it comes as no surprise of how easy it is to be enthralled by the wonderfully described green and magical countryside of Ireland and its remarkable and loving people.

Ballyrourke is not just a love story of two people, different but meant for each other, it is also a declaration of love to Ireland, a country that, in its fascinating history and many enchanting fairy tales, provides the perfect setting for Linda O’Brien’s latest release.

Reviewed in October 2002 by Kris Alice.

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