Review: Born in Fire by Nora Roberts
Release Date: 10/01/1994 (Yeah, it's an oldie but a goodie!)
Series: Irish Born Trilogy #1
Pages: 386 (depending on the edition/version)
I apologize in advance for the lengthy post, but I recently took some time to binge-read Nora Robert's Irish Born series, and I fell in love. It isn't exactly a new series, but hey, I would still like to divulge my awkward and humble opinion on the series. And by awkward and humble, I mean that I'm going to have a few total fangirl moments. Nora Roberts is a QUEEN. Reviews for the trilogy will be going up over the next few days, but today, let's talk about Born in Fire, the first book in the series.
Born in Fire takes place in Ireland (as does the rest of the series), and it follows the relationship between Maggie Concannon and Rogan Sweeney. Maggie is a deeply emotional woman (and no that doesn't mean she's crying all the time). By that, I mean that whatever emotion she is feeling at a given time, she feels it deeply--all the way to her core. And most of the time, that feeling is anger. Like everyone with more than a good bit of Irish blood in them, Maggie's got a temper that is easily set off. But that temper, along with the sadness and passion inside of her, is what makes her glass art incredible, moving, and worth the big bucks.
Gallery owner, Rogan Sweeney, is taken with Maggie's glass art right from the start, and much to Maggie's dismay, he's determined to sign her with Worldwide Galleries. And Rogan is used to getting what he wants, but no one can begrudge him that because he strong-arms people into doing what he wants in the most polite, kind, and pleasant way (Sounds impossible, right? Well, read this book and you will see that it is highly possible!).
So, imagine Maggie's surprise when she finds herself signing her soul to the devil (her thoughts, not mine). What's ahead is a lot of butting heads, which is always something I enjoy (not a new revelation on this blog). What's the point if a HEA comes easy? Readers need some sexual tension up in the house! And to use a cliche, Born if Fire has sexual tension in spades--probably one of the many reasons "fire" is in the title.
I love how at first, it's a bit of a shock for Rogan that not only is he taken with M.M. Concannon's art, but he is also taken with the stubborn and oftentimes pigheaded artist. But once the city boy realizes he is in love with the country girl, there is no hesitation in pursuing her. It's not often that you read a romance where the man recognizes and accepts his feelings before the woman does. Bravo, Queen Roberts!
Also, I wholeheartedly appreciate the fact that the basis for this story/series is family and culture in Ireland because in reality, a relationship is affected by more than the people directly involved together. Furthermore, it's no secret that Maggie's outlook on life is the result of her upbringing. Her father, who loved her dearly, died tragically in Maggie's arms. Her mother, Maeve, comes off as coldhearted and selfish with nothing but negative things to say to her daughters. Maggie's younger sister Brianna is the only reason Maggie puts up with Maeve, but Brianna is working on standing on her own two feet without Maggie's help.
When times are rough, there is always the Concannon's neighbor Murphy and Rogan's grandmother Christine to spread kindness, but ultimately, it is Rogan who comforts Maggie and helps her deal with the tornado that is her family. Rogan makes Maggie happy, and after a while, she can't ignore that. But the HEA doesn't stop there! You can see plenty of the characters you love from Born in Fire in the second novel of the series, Born in Ice (Brianna's book). Review coming soon, and trust me, it only gets better!