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Tears of the Moon

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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 fierc 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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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 fierc 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…

30 review for Tears of the Moon

  1. 5 out of 5

    TL

    “Ah, kiss me, love, and miss me, love, and dry your bitter tears. (Irish Pub Song)” First book Jewels of the Sun, Jude and Aidan's book Once again, we are drawn into the beauty of Ireland, Gallagher's Pub, and our friends in the Gallagher and O'Toole clans, plus the other quirky people of Ardmore Bay. Now it's Shawn and Brenna's turn... their journey isn't a smooth one, both are stubborn to a fault. Shaun's a dreamer and does things in his own way and smart as a whip. Brenna's smart as well, fier “Ah, kiss me, love, and miss me, love, and dry your bitter tears. (Irish Pub Song)” First book Jewels of the Sun, Jude and Aidan's book Once again, we are drawn into the beauty of Ireland, Gallagher's Pub, and our friends in the Gallagher and O'Toole clans, plus the other quirky people of Ardmore Bay. Now it's Shawn and Brenna's turn... their journey isn't a smooth one, both are stubborn to a fault. Shaun's a dreamer and does things in his own way and smart as a whip. Brenna's smart as well, fiery, plain-spoken, good with her hands, and practical. Opposites in every way but also oddly complimenting each other. Each has their own faults but that also makes them more endearing. It was fun watching them bicker with each other, like watching a tennis match.. made me wish I could have recorded them ;-). There's a bit of a business deal going on, Trevor Magee wants to build a theater of sorts (not cinema) in Ardmore and has his eye on the land behind Gallagher's Pub. Watching them work the deal and fitness so they get good terms was very wonderful and occasionally amusing to watch. Shaun's part was particularly genius, I was high fiving him the whole way through. We get a small sense of Magee here, not enough to judge him yet but I'm intrigued to see how he'll be in book three. He seems a good man, and I'm excited for Shawn to see what Magee will think of his music. Shawn's music is beautiful, passionate, and magical. You don't see much of his lyrics here, but you get a sense of everything through the glimpses in his head... poetic is another word I would use. "When something comes out of you, it's precious. There was a fear of others finding it wanting. It was safer not to risk it. I was afraid something that mattered to me." The ending was wonderful, just simply romantic... suited them both well :). “Ireland is a land of poets and legends, of dreamers and rebels. All of these have music woven through and around them. Tunes for dancing or for weeping, for battle or for love.” “You don't fix a man the way you do a fault in a pipe or a leak in a roof. You take him as he is, Mary Brenna, or you don't take him at all...adjustments can't be all made on one side, darling, else the balance goes off and what's being built just falls down.” Would recommend :)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bithi

    This book is not as good as the previous one of the trilogy. But, I liked it anyway.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Gloria

    This one... As hard as it may seem, it's even better that Jewels of the Sun. Nora keeps excelling herself. It was so good I finished it in one day. So good, i'll probably re-read... in very short notice. If Aidan and Jude were cute and flammable... Shawn and Brenna are simply sensational and so flammable it turned out explosive. I mean a dreamer and a doer... They are faded to collide. To complete the mixture add a since-infants friendship. Really, Nora could go wrong, but as her usual way hand This one... As hard as it may seem, it's even better that Jewels of the Sun. Nora keeps excelling herself. It was so good I finished it in one day. So good, i'll probably re-read... in very short notice. If Aidan and Jude were cute and flammable... Shawn and Brenna are simply sensational and so flammable it turned out explosive. I mean a dreamer and a doer... They are faded to collide. To complete the mixture add a since-infants friendship. Really, Nora could go wrong, but as her usual way handled it masterly. They are friends... but of course one side wants more than the other. (view spoiler)[ And the way Brenna decides to spice things up: We should have sex! I just loved her! She thowns Shawn way out of his balance... It was so good! (hide spoiler)] I'll say it yet again Nora's books are generally good. I don't get much disapointments (I can't even remember one right now, but I'm sure there were some I didn't quite like) but when I read something like this... Makes me wanna thanks my Mamma all over again for introducing me to Nora. So much I would be missing... So maybe it's not a high call to my intelligence as my Dad would say... Buy Tess? Dracula? Great Expectations? No problem it's alright. But this romance books make just so happy. They are quite a break. I will continue reading them and proud of. You should too.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Shannon (Twilight Sleep)

    I am NOT a big romance fan...but I am a big fan of most things Celtic. I actually read this series a while back - I discovered them in the Honor section of my local library and when I realized the plots took place in Ireland, I decided to borrow them. Like I said, I'm not a big fan of romantic novels, but I have read enough of them to be able to say that this is the only series of the genre that has really stuck with me (except maybe the Three Sisters Island trilogy by the same author). Roberts I am NOT a big romance fan...but I am a big fan of most things Celtic. I actually read this series a while back - I discovered them in the Honor section of my local library and when I realized the plots took place in Ireland, I decided to borrow them. Like I said, I'm not a big fan of romantic novels, but I have read enough of them to be able to say that this is the only series of the genre that has really stuck with me (except maybe the Three Sisters Island trilogy by the same author). Roberts has an incredible writing style - very beyond the usual fluff and slap and tickle of other romance writers; and I think that's why I've enjoyed many of her stories so much. [She also writes crime/mystery novels under the pseudonym J. D. Robb.:] I love the way Roberts uses Irish lore and tradition to make these books as magical as the land they take place in. They are love stories, so of course they all end happily - but there's just enough suspense and turmoil and sheer reality in the lives and relationships of the characters to make them believable - and that's her strong suit, I believe. This particular book is my favorite from the trilogy. I'm not exactly sure why, but since the first time I read it I've adored it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    My_Strange_Reading

    3.5 ☀️ RTC. It was a beautiful, cliché but romantic trip to Ireland.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Vallsykes

    This book was my fave of the trilogy. Having read Nora Roberts for about ten years now, I have come to know her plots, craftiness and penchant for trilogies! This Irish trilogy is one of my top five written by Roberts. Edited and Updated 5/22/15 I love the two main characters Sean and Brenna (the gorgeous artist and the tomboy). They are the middle characters of the trilogy that surprisingly made me connect the most. There's Brenna,the son her father never had, with her crowd of sisters. Then the This book was my fave of the trilogy. Having read Nora Roberts for about ten years now, I have come to know her plots, craftiness and penchant for trilogies! This Irish trilogy is one of my top five written by Roberts. Edited and Updated 5/22/15 I love the two main characters Sean and Brenna (the gorgeous artist and the tomboy). They are the middle characters of the trilogy that surprisingly made me connect the most. There's Brenna,the son her father never had, with her crowd of sisters. Then there's Sean,the devil-may-care middle child, and one of the three famous Gallaghers of Ardmore. This couple has to overcome their own pride and misconceptions of each other in order to find their HEA. Moreover, Robert's expertly spins a tale of ordinary people in Ireland, with a tact-emphasis on dialect, surrounded by charming Irish folklore--namely Carrick: an otherworldly power who appears to entice, antagonize and reprimand human folly as well as his own. Carrick is an ingredient that makes this tale swirl with the sleepy, dreamlike and ghostly ambiance that whispers tales of the cost of love and what we mere mortals take for granted.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Chitra *CJ*

    "Tears of the Moon" is the story of Brenna and Shawn. In this book, meet Brenna O' Toole, the oldest O'Toole daughter, tomboy of her family, not concerned about feminine wiles, handy with every tool out there who has been forever in love with Shawn Gallaghar, the middle Gallaghar sibling, utterly gorgeous, chef extraordinaire, totally whimsical and always lost in his music. As they have known each other since childhood, Shawn has never noticed Brenna as a "woman", but she cannot help but notice hi "Tears of the Moon" is the story of Brenna and Shawn. In this book, meet Brenna O' Toole, the oldest O'Toole daughter, tomboy of her family, not concerned about feminine wiles, handy with every tool out there who has been forever in love with Shawn Gallaghar, the middle Gallaghar sibling, utterly gorgeous, chef extraordinaire, totally whimsical and always lost in his music. As they have known each other since childhood, Shawn has never noticed Brenna as a "woman", but she cannot help but notice him. As fate and Brenna's baby sister intervene, Brenna is forced to take the matters of her heart in her own hand. Proposing a purely sexual relationship to Shawn, she wants to get him out of his sister. But as the ghosts of the pasts weave their way into their life, Shawn and Brenna finally confess their love for each other, and iron out long standing conflicts. A lovely book with role reversal between the hero and heroine. I loved how strong and loving Brenna was, her attitude towards her family- and how sweet and charming Shawn was- a nice, good looking beta male. A good read. Unsafe 3.5/5

  8. 5 out of 5

    Dean

    I liked Tears of the Moon a bit better than Jewels of the Sun, maybe it's because Brenna had rubbed off on me from the very start!We share the tomboyish nature but I must say she has a considerably harder head than I do or I just might be lying to myself. Carrick sure had his work cut out for him with those two,them being Shawn and Brenna, enough said.The love was already there between them but they never realized that it was really love and not just love you feel to a childhood chum.They both ha I liked Tears of the Moon a bit better than Jewels of the Sun, maybe it's because Brenna had rubbed off on me from the very start!We share the tomboyish nature but I must say she has a considerably harder head than I do or I just might be lying to myself. Carrick sure had his work cut out for him with those two,them being Shawn and Brenna, enough said.The love was already there between them but they never realized that it was really love and not just love you feel to a childhood chum.They both had a mouth on them and they had me laughing my head off at some parts.What I really admire of Roberts' work is the friendly and welcoming atmosphere.I mean you could have people walking in and out of your house dropping in from the tea they're so fond of and having a chat in the kitchen over some homemade muffins.Nobody's a stranger and you can see it's a close-knit village and you the reader reading this series feels right at home. Oh and the sceneries!They sounded so beautiful and keeps you wanting to see them in person!It's been a dream of mine to visit Ireland, but I must say reading about it and it's people and culture is as close as I can get... maybe for now,hey a girl can dream! A highly enjoyable book Mrs.Roberts!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Cyndi

    I worked as a plumber for 7 years while in the military, and then worked in a hardware store for another 8 later. I'm just relaying this so I can explain one of my pet peeves when reading a book. It has actually led to projectile books against unsuspecting walls. I HATE it when an author doesn't do enough research before putting their characters in a home repair or building place. I've unstopped hundreds of toilets and sinks, repaired hundreds of faucets and shoveled gallons of shit, literally. I worked as a plumber for 7 years while in the military, and then worked in a hardware store for another 8 later. I'm just relaying this so I can explain one of my pet peeves when reading a book. It has actually led to projectile books against unsuspecting walls. I HATE it when an author doesn't do enough research before putting their characters in a home repair or building place. I've unstopped hundreds of toilets and sinks, repaired hundreds of faucets and shoveled gallons of shit, literally. I also know quite a bit about electrical, carpentry, etc. So I know when an author skips the basics so they can move on with the story it makes me livid. Nora, the Queen of Romance, never skips the research. She is a genius!!! When our lovely heroine works on plumbing she does it perfectly. I would hire this girl in a second to repair a sewer line or anything else. She and her Dad take care of all the repairs and building in their wee Irish town. Nora has written a character that is both feminine and able to dig around in the muck. In her village she is valued for her abilities, not ridiculed for doing traditional 'men's work.' Not once! *wistful sigh* I love this wee village.

  10. 5 out of 5

    *.Amaia.* BlackMagicRose

    Not as good as I expected I'm afraid... :/ There's always something important missing in this author's books. I can't really put my finger on it. The stories are enjoyable, sweet, easy to read but I can't FEEL them. I'm more of an angsty romance reader, I guess, and that's probably why I don't feel completely satisfied when I read books by Nora Roberts. I'll still finish reading this series and I really want to try and read an standalone by this author next time.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Britt

    I love the magic associated with this book. Not the type of spell casting magic but the kind that produces jewels out of no where, the kind that brings people together, and the kind that makes people stay on earth long after they have meant to left.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Nessa

    Having read book 1 to this trilogy and enjoying it immensely I been meaning to read book 2 before now but other books & review deadlines kept getting in the way. This has been a thoroughly enjoyable story from start to finish, I loved getting reacquaintedwith all of the characters from book 1, seeing how they were and was new in their lives, a fair bit as it happens. It was also lovely to return to the mystery and magic of the local folklore. It was also wonderful to revisit the Village of Ardmo Having read book 1 to this trilogy and enjoying it immensely I been meaning to read book 2 before now but other books & review deadlines kept getting in the way. This has been a thoroughly enjoyable story from start to finish, I loved getting reacquaintedwith all of the characters from book 1, seeing how they were and was new in their lives, a fair bit as it happens. It was also lovely to return to the mystery and magic of the local folklore. It was also wonderful to revisit the Village of Ardmore in Ireland, which is the setting & location of the story. The author describes all the different places in such a way, making it all sound so idyllic and picturesque, I just wanted to be there to experience it all myself. I'm very much looking forward to reading book 3, the final book to the trilogy.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Liza Wiemer

    Loved the Shawn and Brenna. A wonderful romance set in Ireland. Fun to get swept away!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Patti

    This trilogy was an engrossing read for me. I was happy to have #2, “Tears of the Moon”, at hand when #1 was finished. I enjoyed finding out what fate and the magical mind of faerie Prince Carrick and Lady Gwen had in store for the lovely Brenna and Shawn. Of course we know they would end up together, but just how would it all play out and how would it affect the quest of Prince Carrick for his lost love of three hundred years. I cared for the ‘alive’ characters, and also the eternal faerie prin This trilogy was an engrossing read for me. I was happy to have #2, “Tears of the Moon”, at hand when #1 was finished. I enjoyed finding out what fate and the magical mind of faerie Prince Carrick and Lady Gwen had in store for the lovely Brenna and Shawn. Of course we know they would end up together, but just how would it all play out and how would it affect the quest of Prince Carrick for his lost love of three hundred years. I cared for the ‘alive’ characters, and also the eternal faerie prince and his wondering ghostly love, Gwen. Mistakes from the past doomed their being together. How simple and beautiful their love could have been if only…. In that suspended state of lost love, unless three special couples learned those important lessons, the magical spell of doom would never be broken for the faerie prince and his true, mortal love. I loved it when the present day lovers were taught lessons, both magically dramatic and heartfelt from Carrick. The legends and folklore of Ireland and its magic kept my attention and had me rooting for all the characters. The second couple found answers in their love and the key to keep it special. Two down and one couple to go. That’s all faerie Prince Carrick and Lady Gwen need…. On to book #3! *And yes, these books DO need to be read in order.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    Brenna in this book is not my favorite type of character. If she was a male character, there would have been outrage. It is not cute to hit people especially a boyfriend or a sister out of rage. She's a bully. Too much anger and violence comes out of her.If she came from such a loving family why was she this way. It's the only way she can deal with things. If she doesn't get her way, she just slugs you. Nice. Too hard headed and juvenile. The best line in the book was when Shawn told her to stop Brenna in this book is not my favorite type of character. If she was a male character, there would have been outrage. It is not cute to hit people especially a boyfriend or a sister out of rage. She's a bully. Too much anger and violence comes out of her.If she came from such a loving family why was she this way. It's the only way she can deal with things. If she doesn't get her way, she just slugs you. Nice. Too hard headed and juvenile. The best line in the book was when Shawn told her to stop acting like a twit which is exactly what she is. The bit with the sister was awful and so not necessary for the story. The story has too much swearing, too much alcohol consumption. This is not the type of woman I want to read about. In the other two books Brenna was a much nicer person. Not sure why Nora Roberts had to present her so badly in this one.

  16. 5 out of 5

    June

    Brenna's had a yen for Shawn since she was 14. Now the she's 24 and her feelings have only grown, so she tells him, "I think we should have sex." Shawn a dreamer and sensitive composer, finds himself attracted to pushy, single-minded, handy-woman Brenna Love Darcy's tirade about what a woman has to go through in pregnancy and Shawn's retort "It just goes to proving God's a man." When Prince Carrick talks about love, "the only one you'll ever want," Shawn admits that he's never wanted like that. Th Brenna's had a yen for Shawn since she was 14. Now the she's 24 and her feelings have only grown, so she tells him, "I think we should have sex." Shawn a dreamer and sensitive composer, finds himself attracted to pushy, single-minded, handy-woman Brenna Love Darcy's tirade about what a woman has to go through in pregnancy and Shawn's retort "It just goes to proving God's a man." When Prince Carrick talks about love, "the only one you'll ever want," Shawn admits that he's never wanted like that. The fairy prince says, "There's a pity for you, for you are not alive until you do." Mr. O'Toole's advice, "Girl, if you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answers always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place."

  17. 5 out of 5

    Juliana Philippa

    (3.5 stars) Not as good as the first book in this trilogy, Jewels of the Sun, but still an enjoyable and pleasant read. Thought I would really like it, because Shawn and Brenna's antagonistic friendship in the previous book was fun to watch, but didn't end up being as satisfying as I was anticipating. It was worth the read, though, and shouldn't be passed up if reading the full trilogy. (3.5 stars) Not as good as the first book in this trilogy, Jewels of the Sun, but still an enjoyable and pleasant read. Thought I would really like it, because Shawn and Brenna's antagonistic friendship in the previous book was fun to watch, but didn't end up being as satisfying as I was anticipating. It was worth the read, though, and shouldn't be passed up if reading the full trilogy.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Diana

    Re-read 2018 I wanted to read some of my favorites while on break from college. I needed some of my comfort reads after a rough Fall semester. This is the second book in one of my favorite series by this author. I try to re-read this one every year.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Josephine

    What an extremely annoying female character Brenna is. She can't carry a single conversation without flying off the handle. No growth or maturity at the end. Really wish I didn't spend the time reading this.

  20. 4 out of 5

    elizabeth • paper ghosts

    Vol. 1 "She'd had a yen for him even before she'd beaned him with that baseball - and she'd been fourteen to his nineteen at the time. And a yen tended to grow into something hotter, something nervier, by the time a woman was twenty-four." «••● tl;dr & spoiler-free ●••» You know what you're getting when your read a Nora Roberts book, especially if it's a trilogy that takes place in Ireland. It will be atmospheric, it will be full of romance tropes, and sometimes...that's just what y Vol. 1 "She'd had a yen for him even before she'd beaned him with that baseball - and she'd been fourteen to his nineteen at the time. And a yen tended to grow into something hotter, something nervier, by the time a woman was twenty-four." «••● tl;dr & spoiler-free ●••» You know what you're getting when your read a Nora Roberts book, especially if it's a trilogy that takes place in Ireland. It will be atmospheric, it will be full of romance tropes, and sometimes...that's just what you need. Tears of the Moon is not much different from the first volume of the Gallaghers trilogy. It has its highs and its lows, which amounts to slightly above your average romance. I can't ever read more than one of NR's books at a time (I think my head might explode if I tried), but every now and then, I just get the itch for one and I have to scratch it. Content Warnings: (view spoiler)[some language and non-graphic sex scenes (well, not erotica level sex scenes at least...) (hide spoiler)] «••● review ●••» I really have a love-hate relationship with Nora Roberts. I know her novels are formulaic, and I know parts of them are going to irritate me, but sometimes I just can't help myself. It's cold and rainy outside, I'm not feeling too well, nothing appeals to me on Netflix, and it just strikes. I get the hankering to read an NR novel. They're light and fluffy, and I know I'm always going to get a happy, romantic ending. Tears of the Moon picks up shortly after Jewels of the Sun with the annoying habit of never letting us see the fun events in previous characters' lives, like weddings or babymaking. This time the story follows Brenna and Shawn (still maintaining that should be Sean...), and I do think I enjoyed their romance a little more than Jude and Aidan's. There's something about the childhood friendships that morphs into something more that I just love. It also helps that Brenna is a determined young woman. She knows what she needs and she goes for it. She's handy with tools, and I get the sense that she doesn't need a man to complete her life, she just wants one. It felt like a nice role reversal from typical romances to have the woman be levelheaded and the man with his head in the clouds. There are tons of deliciously swoony moments, as well as some really funny ones. I'll never not be a fan of antagonistic romances, especially when Brenna is putting Shawn in his place: "'You don't understand the situation,' he began, then staggered when Brenna snatched up a pan and rapped it smartly over his head." And then there's scenes likes these: "'Sure and I can't say I mind it being your idea, as I'm thinking of it now.' He lowered his head to nip lightly at her bottom lip. 'And I'm finding it hard to think of much else. When I came up here today...' He shifted his head so his lips skimmed up along her jaw. 'I thought I'd apologize, make things right as I could between us. Then I was nearly sure, very nearly sure that I'd take a step back and leave it that way. But now I want to touch you.' He toyed delicately with the nipple that strained against her shirt. 'I want to taste you.'" And I'm just like...yeah...this is why I read pseudo-torture myself by reading these. The things that bothered me in Jewels of the Sun still bother me here. I'm never going to be a fan of the weird, omnipotent third person narration. I don't want to know what a random secondary character is thinking. The magic was a little too overt for me as well. I don't mind the ghost in the cottage at all, but I've always felt like the faerie interactions would make more sense if they all happened in dreams. Shawn can still be unattractively pushy and domineering, though not to the level Aidan was, I found him all around a much more likable character. His teasing of Brenna and his eventual attraction to her all felt much more natural - probably because they had the benefit of knowing each other their entire lives. It didn't feel like "instalove" that way. I think my biggest issue was the constant use of the world 'female' and the way femininity was treated. I know these novels are a little dated, but the strict sense of femininity that Brenna had - that acting/appearing "female" means makeup and jewelry and fancy clothes and flirting - was a sore point for me. Femininity is such a spectrum, and means so many different things, and it seemed wrong that Brenna didn't see herself, an independent, hardworking woman, as feminine. I do appreciate that Brenna is positively portrayed as a woman in construction, because women in that field are underrepresented. The female friendships are great, too, but it would be nice if maybe they could have two whole conversations about something other than men or babies, instead of just one. But really, at the end of the day, I don't read Nora Roberts for forward-thinking feminist views, I read it because sometimes I just need a swoony romance set in a cozy, idealized Irish village full of suspiciously attractive people, and a bit of magic in the air. And that is precisely what I got. Mission accomplished. Now let's see if it takes me two years to pick up the next one again... «••● cover love ●••» I still think these redesigned NR covers were a brilliant marketing decision. I honestly never started picking them up until these editions started coming out.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jacob Proffitt

    In the second of the Gallaghers of Ardmore series, we get Shawn and Brenna. These two have known each other forever and Brenna has been all wistful about Shawn for long enough that she’s kind of getting tired of it. Indeed, it was noticeable in the first book, Jewels of the Sun, though not smack-you-in-the-face obvious or cloying. In this one, she’s had enough and decides to seize the moment with predictably interesting results. Roberts does a fantastic job giving us the weight of their history w In the second of the Gallaghers of Ardmore series, we get Shawn and Brenna. These two have known each other forever and Brenna has been all wistful about Shawn for long enough that she’s kind of getting tired of it. Indeed, it was noticeable in the first book, Jewels of the Sun, though not smack-you-in-the-face obvious or cloying. In this one, she’s had enough and decides to seize the moment with predictably interesting results. Roberts does a fantastic job giving us the weight of their history while avoiding the pitfalls that are easy to fall into with characters who have known each other for so long. I don’t know if it was easier or harder for Roberts to pull off with such distinctive and unusual protagonists, but I sure enjoyed getting to know Shawn and Brenna better. Shawn’s wholly masculine domesticity was even more fascinating to me than Brenna’s ability to navigate the perils of being a top-tier builder/handy-person while maintaining her femininity. The female handy-person, while not exactly common, has been done often enough, but Shawn’s blend of domestic expertise while maintaining everything manly is much rarer. Roberts puts their complementary dichotomies at the heart of their relationship and weaves them together so well that you can see how they really do form an ideal partnership. Very well done and thoroughly enjoyable. A note about Steamy: This book had a bit higher steam level than Roberts’ standard—three or four (again, I don’t keep exact count) explicit sex scenes. It also has some of the best “just” kissing scenes… ever…

  22. 5 out of 5

    Traci

    So, three stars, for a book that I was actually enjoying up to the very abrupt ending that was monumentally uncool. (view spoiler)[I don't care if I'm "supposed" to feel like Shawn should be grateful to Brenna for selling his music without even telling him or asking if it's okay first, I feel like that is absolutely not okay. That was personal, and private, and maybe he's okay with sharing his music with her but that's way different than giving it to a label. And if she can't understand the diff So, three stars, for a book that I was actually enjoying up to the very abrupt ending that was monumentally uncool. (view spoiler)[I don't care if I'm "supposed" to feel like Shawn should be grateful to Brenna for selling his music without even telling him or asking if it's okay first, I feel like that is absolutely not okay. That was personal, and private, and maybe he's okay with sharing his music with her but that's way different than giving it to a label. And if she can't understand the difference then maybe she's not ready for a grown up relationship. (hide spoiler)] And after that happened, there was a really fast resolution and then it just... ended. I know it's book 2/3 but I don't particularly have any desire to read about Darcy, and I was actually really shocked how Shawn and Brenna got basically no ending whatsoever. Plus, it just lacked a sort of cohesiveness. (view spoiler)[He's known her since she was little, but he hasn't known that she had a thing for him, so he instinctively knows that he needs to let her lead herself around to it and then he throws it all out anyway? (hide spoiler)] No thanks. I enjoyed it up to that part. I was really pullilng for them.

  23. 4 out of 5

    LaFleurBleue

    It was obvious to me from the first book that Brenna had something for Shawn. And I was wondering how this little something could end up filling a whole book. This book started like lightning, when Brenna proposed herself to Shawn in a decisively unromantic and pragmatic way. I really liked the way both characters personalities complemented but contrasted to the other and how the constraints of a rural highly catholic small town influenced their behaviors. Both of them changed or at least learnt It was obvious to me from the first book that Brenna had something for Shawn. And I was wondering how this little something could end up filling a whole book. This book started like lightning, when Brenna proposed herself to Shawn in a decisively unromantic and pragmatic way. I really liked the way both characters personalities complemented but contrasted to the other and how the constraints of a rural highly catholic small town influenced their behaviors. Both of them changed or at least learnt to try to adapt thanks to their relationship. Despite the magical intrusions in the story, this book felt completely realistic with highly likable characters.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Tameka

    Holds up even better during a reread. I love the notion of friends falling for each other, and these two were such lively additions to the first book, it was enjoyable to watch them stumble towards each other. Special shoutout to Mollie O'Toole, Brenna's mother who is one of my favorite NR secondary characters ever.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Fani *loves angst*

    I liked the book, loved the atmosphere, but in the end I had some problems with a couple of the heroine's decisions. Besides, since I could never love a man I could not respect, I was kind of hesitant to accept the heroine's love for the hero. Who, I must add, is one of the least memorable I've read about by Nora Roberts. Still, an enjoyable read that flowed easily by.

  26. 5 out of 5

    M.M. Strawberry Library & Reviews

    I was a bit cheesed by the way the romance happened between Aidan and Jude in the first book, but in here, the romance feels more natural, in fact I feel this book is the best of the trilogy. Aidan's brother and Brenna are a lot of fun to read about, especially when they fight. Oh yeah.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rachelbpg

    Stupid romance novel. that I love. So much.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Juli

    I bow down to Nora Roberts and her infinite repertoire of Irish cussing. See my blog (spoilers possible!) here: https://ichleseblog.wordpress.com/201.... I bow down to Nora Roberts and her infinite repertoire of Irish cussing. See my blog (spoilers possible!) here: https://ichleseblog.wordpress.com/201....

  29. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    plot spoilers I liked how the story started off with a little history about storytellers&the legend of Lady Gwen&Carrick. It was cool how they come 2 each of the 3 people when they’re going 2 fall in love. I liked Shawn’s personality&style. I liked that Shawn&Brenna knew each other since childhood&cud come&go in each other’s houses. A full, firm mouth that was meant, she supposed, 4 long kisses&soft words. Not that she knew of either firsthand. But she’d heard tell. &he attracts women 2 him like s plot spoilers I liked how the story started off with a little history about storytellers&the legend of Lady Gwen&Carrick. It was cool how they come 2 each of the 3 people when they’re going 2 fall in love. I liked Shawn’s personality&style. I liked that Shawn&Brenna knew each other since childhood&cud come&go in each other’s houses. A full, firm mouth that was meant, she supposed, 4 long kisses&soft words. Not that she knew of either firsthand. But she’d heard tell. &he attracts women 2 him like sugar water attracted bees. I was waiting 4 it, &there it is. I just hate Nora Roberts having all of her male characters have a reputation with women. Mary Kate, Brenna’s sister, comes 2 c him&she’s flirting with him. Brenna confronts him about it. “Mary Kate,” he said more thoughtfully, & with just a hint of a smile. He noticed that she’s fuller in the hips&bust than Brenna. “Brenna, calm yourself down. I never touched her, never thought 2. Never thought of her in the way you’re meaning until u mentioned it urself. 4 Christ’s sake, I’ve known her since she was in nappies.” “Well, she’s not in nappies now.” “No, indeed. She’s not,” he said with perhaps an unwise hint of approval. Jesus, Brenna, a man can’t be faulted 4 appreciating.” “Don’t threaten me. If I had thoughts of that nature regarding Mary Kate, then I’d act on them&that would be between the 2 of us&not u. Do u understand that?” Shawn makes her feel guilty about butting in&she apologizes 2 both him&Mary Kate, even after Mary Kate says at least she had breasts& Brenna was just jealous bcuz she nos how 2 attract a man instead of trying 2 be 1. Brenna basically tells her 2 go after Shawn but be careful. Idiot. Brenna decides 2 go after Shawn, even tho he was just admiring her little sister&the mere mention of her name brought a smile 2 his face. She goes 2 his house&tells him she thinks they shud have sex&he’s shocked&choked on his tea. I don’t like the woman taking charge but the situation was funny. He had 2 get up&go outside 4 air, which was cute. It was nice when he stopped her from leaving when she sed that others wanted 2 have sex with her&started 2 walk away, saying if she thinks he’s going 2 let her walk off with that in her head she’s badly mistaken. He wasn’t about 2 let her go off&throw herself at some1 bcuz she’s mad at him. She asks him 4 the last time if he wants 2 have sex with her or not&he says no. He’s lying but Brenna doesn’t no that&just jumps him. She has no shame. Nora Roberts characters are always infuriating. They pretty much always do the exact opposite of wut u want them 2&they get on my nerves. Every single 1 of her men are all the same—they’ve all been with a bunch of women. She wraps her legs around his waist&kisses him. The kiss goes on&he’s becoming aroused&just jumps off&says “I thought u shud have a sample of what u’ve turned away.” That wud have been a great parting line, but no, she had to stand there&say she’ll have a look at his car when she had time&told him he’d better get 2 the village bcuz he was late 4 work. Way 2 be helpful when he just turned u down. She wasn’t his type—no, not a bit. He liked soft women with female ways who liked to flirt and cuddle. And by god, women who let him make the moves. He was a man, wasn’t he? A man was supposed 2 romance a woman toward bed, not be told to jump into 1 bcuz she had a—wut had she called it? A yen. An itch. He’d be damned if he’d be any1s itch. He told himself he was going 2 steer well clear of Brenna O’Toole 4 the next bit of time. &that meant he wasn’t going 2 be looking around 2 c that ugly cap of hers or 2 hear her voice every time he walked from the kitchen in2 the pub. Wuts with Nora Roberts&the men in her books finding the clothes the women wear ugly? &the thoughts he had about Brenna are unforgivable. I liked how he was noticing her in the bar& thinking about her&he burnt his fingers in hot oil. Mary Kate comes 2 Shawn again&flirts with him&after the convo. Shawn had with Brenna about her she shud’ve kept his distance but the guy is clueless. Brenna confronts him about&ends up apologizing 4 snapping at him. She explains that he cud hurt Mary Kate&he says he won’t. They carry on a conversation like it’s ok if he gets with her. He’d gotten over it in a matter of weeks, then had sighed over another pretty face. That was the way of things, after all. Eventually, of course, he’d done more than sigh and had discovered the rare wonder of having a woman naked under him. And that was a fine thing. Now why’d she have to go and throw that in there? It’s enough to know he’s not a virgin&he’s been with a lot of women but 2 hear about the 1st time, it rly pissed me off. I liked the jealousy Shawn displayed when she went out with the Dubliner. She wore a dress&makeup&he tried 2 wash it off her face. Jude implies there’s something going on&Shawn says it isn’t like that&he duznt want it 2 be like that, which isn’t sweet at all. I didn’t like the way it played out. At 1st Shawn’s uncomfortable& uncertain bcuz he always thought of her as a sister&friend&then he’s touching kissing her&saying they’ll have sex his way. They agree 2 stay friends afterwards but it seems 2 me they’re not acting like friends at all. There shud have ben more conflict on his side. He suggests she come by the storeroom so he can show her some surprises&she asks just how many women has he surprised in the storeroom,&he winks at her&says he’s not a man who counts. That just ruined it knowing she was 1 of many. Brenna cud’ve tried 2 make him more jealous with the other man but when Shawn asked if she was going out with him again she said she duzn’t have the energy 2 juggle men. She didn’t know how 2 play the game basically. The women in her books are hard 2 like. Brenna talks 2 Shawn’s sister Darcy about wanting 2 sleep with him. Darcy brings up the time they saw Shawn naked at the beach & says his “equipment” was small. Who wud talk 2 the guys’ sister about wanting 2 sleep with him&wut sister talks 2 her brother about seeing him naked&small? Ew. Shawn’s standing on the cliff&who shud cum by but Mary Kate? I think Nora’s rly stretching this out 2 far. Enuf with the other interests&get down 2 Shawn&Brenna. Shawn plays it cool but makes a comment about her blouse&she takes it that he noticed wut she was wearing. He thinks it’s sweet that Mary Kate thinks of him like that&he’s flattered by it. Brenna was always sneering, at times when it just didn’t make sense 2 sneer. When Nora Roberts grasps an idea she rly latches on2 it. I liked how he planned the night out &told her his washing machine needed fixing when it didn’t&how he was nervous b4 she got there. Harpsong &candlelight, a hot-blooded woman twined around him. He let both the passion &the romance pump into his system. See, Brenna’s into it bcuz she’s liked him since she was little. Shawn, however, is just into it bcuz he’s a woman. She says that he was better than she’d thought he’d be&he said he’s had practice over the years&I just can’t get over the insanity of having a conversation like that. Anyways, he tried 2 “satisfy the itch,” but of course she’s not satisfied&wants to have more sex&they agree that they’re still friends. There’s a surprising lack of adjustment or conflict on Shawn’s end. Brenna’s dreaming of visiting the faerie world&seeing Carrick was cool. I thought the story of him giving Lady Gwen all the gems when she only wanted 2 hear that he loved her was sweet. I liked how she named each of the books with the names of the jewels he gave her. Darcy asks Brenna how many times she had sex with Shawn last night&Brenna says 4. Darcy says she has to give Shawn a raise in her estimation. What sister wants 2 know how many times her friend & brother had sex and wud want 2 know the details? She goes 2 see Shawn the next morning&his cat is in the room with him. “Guarding him, are you? Well, he’ll never hear it from me. Now then, unless you’re after being embarrassed, or envious, in very short order I’d take myself off somewhere else.” Who talks 2 animals like that? Like they’re going 2 be jealous bcuz ur having sex. When Brenna wakes him up in bed &they have sex, he asks her 2 come back & she has 2 think up a lie. He gets a little defensive that she has 2 lie when she’s with him. He realizes he wants more now&that he loves her. Love. After they’ve been together 4 maybe a couple weeks. It always astounds me how fast love comes in Nora Roberts’ books. She should’ve created a Love Comes Quickly series and signed on with Hallmark. He needs 2 win all of Brenna’s heart, instead of just having her want him 4 sex. Funny how he’s the 1that figured out he loved her 1st&she’s the 1 wanting sex. At the beginning she longs for him&it’s been that way since she was little, but when Carrick asked how she felt about Shawn she said she didn’t know. I liked the little song he created thinking of her. He toyed with the idea of trying 2 talk himself out of being in love with her, as he imagined ppl did when the fit wasn’t as comfortable as they might prefer. He even imagined he could do a fair job of it, starting with listing all the reasons why it wasn’t a wise idea. The head of that would be the simple fact that he hadn’t planned on falling in love, not seriously, 4 years yet. &when he imagined the woman on the receiving end, it was always a soft, feminine, gentle-natured sort. A comfortable woman, he thought as he trimmed his pastry. There was nothing comfortable about the O’Toole, 4 all she was a blessing in bed. After all, much as it appealed, a man cudnt spend his life in bed with a hot-blooded, naked woman. Which made him think about the morning, &the way she’d ridden him 2 a blind, sweaty finish b4 his brain had even waked up. Which made him a great deal less comfortable altogether. It hadn’t been the sex he’d fallen in love with. That had simply been the key that opened him up so he’d see what had been waiting inside him for her. She’d never be an easy woman. I guess Nora Robert’s realized it might’ve been shaping up that way, that he was just in it 4 the sex, so she had him say it wasn’t 4 the sex…yet duznt rly say what it is that made him fall in love. He says she’s not a comfortable woman, he’s not entirely comfortable with the way she’s running things, she’s not his type& she’s not the feminine, gentle woman he’d imagined when he thought of a wife. So…wut does he loved about her? All in all, it was a failure. They were friends, Brenna liked him 1st, yet he’s the 1 who falls in love 1st? Since they were friends I better see some struggle on his part that shows the transition from friendship 2 lover. Brenna cud make him laugh&she knew what he was thinking b4 he said it&she didn’t hold his flaws against him, very much anyways. That’s wut Nora Roberts used 2 prove he had fallen in love with her. Wow. It hurt that she didn’t think much of his music, when in actuality she thought he was wasting his talent by not pursuing his career and selling his music. Of course, it’s a misunderstanding. But everything is just so low-key in her books. It was sweet how he cooked 1 of her favorite desserts, and Darcy smells it and puts 2 and 2 together. She starts to ask about it, and then stops herself, saying she doesn’t want to know&that she never thought she’d have 2 work 2 keep the image of her best friend&brother 2gether out of her head, when she’d just asked Brenna 4 details&remembered looking at him naked as he stood on the beach…neways. He comes up with the plan 2 court her but make Brenna think she’s the 1 doing the courting, in order 4 her 2 fall in love with him. It was kind of cute how he asked Aidan if it hurt or gave u pleasure when u love a woman. &when Brenna’s dancing with an old man in the bar she looks over at Shawn&Aidan notices the heat in it. &then the whole things ruined when Eileen, a singer, comes back into the kitchen&Shawn says he admired her voice&took advantage of her warm disposition (bcuz he just loves a warm disposition) the last time she’d been there, “in a friendly sort of way.” At least this time he’s not a clueless idiot that duznt realize when a woman’s coming onto him. Last time, they’d enjoyed music &each other for half the night. The woman, Shawn recalled, wasn’t the least shy about her talents. The memory made him grin even as he contemplated the most polite way to turn her down. Good to see his strong love with Brenna duzn’t keep him recalling hot nights with other women. Do we get 2 hear about Brenna bringing up her past lovers or bumping into any of them? No. Bcuz women can’t do that, only men can. The only thing we hear about Brenna’s past lovers is that they didn’t make her feel pretty. Go figure. Stop with the bullshit&get down to the story. Shawn fixes a sheepish expression on his face. I don’t care for his attitude at all. The way he turned it around on her wasn’t cute or funny, it was low&crappy. He pretended 2 be all hurt&injured that she thought that of him&he makes her apologize 4 getting mad. He’s like I don’t like u thinking that I’d think of another woman in that way when I’m with you. I liked when she said I’m built like a 12 year old boy&he said “As one who’s been a 12 year old boy . . . I can promise you that’s not the case.” Just when things are going good, she goes with another visit with Mary Kate. Mary Kate keeps calling her a whore& hitting her&Brenna runs after her&says she cares for him&if she makes her choose between them she’ll let Shawn go. Wtf is wrong with her?! Brenna’s acting all uneasy and confused about what she wants, which is weird since I thought she loved him. I liked how he said no one but you when they’re sleeping together and had her say it back to him, and that he was swamped with love at the end. Finally there’s comments about Brenna’s past lovers…to say that they hadn’t given her what Shawn had…yet Shawn gets hot memories that make him grin. Not fair at all. The part where Shawn was drunk was funny. Eileen had to make another appearance, just what we needed, but at least she didn’t come after Shawn. Shawn hums along to her “lovely voice.” The whole scene was just kind of confusing, and I didn’t know what they meant, but that wasn’t cool how he did that just to make her mad. “Go to the devil.” Carrick flashed his teeth. “He won’t have me,” said he, and faded away to the tune of his pipe. That line was cool. There’d be a rly brief meetings with Lady Gwen and Carrick, with evasions and hints and nothing rly important being said. Shawn wud say something that would make Carrick mad but Shawn wudn’t be intimidated & the anger would fade. Rly boring. She finally tells Mary Kate that she liked him since she was little and they patch things up. There were a couple times when Shawn had commented that Brenna didn’t apologize often, so when she did it meant more…yet it seemed to me she was apologizing quite a bit. He said he didn’t like a woman taking charge, but he let her make all the moves and actually wanted her to. She asked him out on a date, and it’s just wrong to me for the woman to be making all the moves. Shawn was a little hurt that she didn’t care about his music, and when she finally shows interest he acts all closed off. What the heck? She asks for a song of her own and picks up a sheet of music, folding it up and slipping it her pocket. Shawn didn’t like that, and it seemed as if she didn’t care since she just shoved it in her pocket. I knew when she took the song she’d send it to someone. It was nice of her to do that. I was getting tired of Brenna always wearing boots. &she came to the pub dirty and smelling like crap. Ew. He held up a hand. “If you’re thinking of coming in here, O’Toole, pause and reflect.” “Any dunderhead would see that it blends with what’s here, adds to it rather than overpower. He won’t get better from any of his fancy architects.” “You have to work on your confidence, Brenna. So much modesty’s unseemly.” It was funny what he said, but her cocky attitude in her drawings was ridiculous. She thought she was so good. She rly wasn’t likeable at those moments. It was sweet how he was picking out land 4 the house. But everything worked out 2 perfectly. Right after he bought the house Brenna realized it was time 4 her 2 leave her family’s home&get her own house. It was time 2 tell him, 2 ask him, 2 browbeat him if there was no choice. Whatever it took, the O’Tooles were going 2 be planning another wedding. I didn’t like her attitude about the whole thing. Browbeating some1 2 marry u isn’t acceptable&her commanding attitude was annoying&unlikeable. Brenna kisses Aidan as a thanks 4 agreeing to let Shawn off work&when Darcy comes in she kisses her on the mouth too. Shawn kissed Darcy on the mouth once. There’s some awfully weird&just plain wrong things in her books. I thought it was nice how Brenna had told Carrick that Lady Gwen mourns 4 him, whether it made him happy or sad 2 hear it she was just being honest. &another time he comes 2 her&she tells him “She walks the cliffs as well, your love.” “She does, I’m told, but we can’t so much as see each other, though we might stand near as side by side.” There wasn’t bitterness in his eyes now, but sorrow. And, Brenna thought, a painful kind of longing. “At times I feel her there, or catch the scent of her hair or her skin. But not once in a 100 years times 3 have I been able 2 see or 2 touch or so much as speak my heart to her.” “You cast a harsh spell on the both of u,” Brenna commented. “I did, yes, and I have paid 4 that rash moment of temper.” This time when he flicked his wrist he held a crystal, smooth and clear as a pool of water. Passing his hand over it, he watched the image swimming inside. Fair of face she was, with eyes soft and green as freshly dewed grass and hair pale as winter sunlight. “I miss you, Gwen.” Holding the glass to his heart, he called for the white horse 2 ride the sky, as he did night by night. Alone. The powers he had were cool, and their love story was sweet. I wanted to know more about them, as their story was more interesting than the main characters. It was nice how Shawn gave her the pearl ring&bought a chain for it, knowing the jewelry when she was working. &when she asked wut he was going to name the song, he sed “It’s Brenna’s song. It always was.” Nora Roberts was so consumed with the idea of giving Brenna sumthing 2 be jealous & angry over that I guess she didn’t realize how awful&nonselective Shawn came out as. She threw in another woman 2 cause more jealousy &anger&Shawn’s fond memories of their hot night 2gether made me hate him that little bit more. Then she rly hammered it in that Brenna wasn’t his type &not the kind of woman he went 4. She tried 2 get me 2 swallow the fact that he loved her; it wasn’t happening. I think it was mostly an ego trip 4 him. It was boring. Brenna fixed things&Shawn cooked. There was the matter of the new theater&that was it. Really exciting stuff. Brenna always wore her boots. The 1 time she wears a dress 4 him they end up having a fight &it’s ruined. It was getting monotonous how they had the same routine thruout the book. She mentions going in2 another city 2 go on a date…& it never happens. The book took place at his house, hers, the pub, the beach &the cliffs& didn’t contain much descriptions or details. All in all, it was a failure as a romance. There were quite a few comments about Yanks&tourists that I didn’t care 4. Nora Roberts just has 2 take little stabs anywhere she can, I guess.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Becky

    I wasn't as impressed with this book as I was the first in the series. I always enjoy the main female character being independent, strong and outspoken, but I found Brenna is way over the top. She is manipulative, conniving and very disrespectful to Shawn and too unfeminine. I don't feel she really got her comeuppance at the end. Shawn is Adian's younger brother who does all the cooking at the pub. He and Brenna have been friends since childhood. Until Brenna throws himself at him telling him sh I wasn't as impressed with this book as I was the first in the series. I always enjoy the main female character being independent, strong and outspoken, but I found Brenna is way over the top. She is manipulative, conniving and very disrespectful to Shawn and too unfeminine. I don't feel she really got her comeuppance at the end. Shawn is Adian's younger brother who does all the cooking at the pub. He and Brenna have been friends since childhood. Until Brenna throws himself at him telling him she just wants sex with him, does he finally discover he loves her? I was disappointed that there wasn't more written about his music. Especially when it was such a big part of his life. I always enjoy the ghosts in the story. On to the final book 3 of the series.

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