As you know, I’m putting myself to the A to Z Challenge for blogging for the month of April.
For these posts, I’ll be giving an I Love Romance Blog score, not an official review, for books currently on my shelf at home (I know readers must wonder what books inspires us as authors) or ones that are on my TBR list (what I want to read so bad I can’t stand it!). For each book, I will give the blurb, a few lines from the text, then why I liked the book or why I’d want to read it. And for fun, I’ll give a heart rating! ♥
This is my scoring system:
I hope these A to Z Challenge suggestions will help you find a new favorite author, or further cement your love for one, if that’s the case.
Let’s jump into our next book, shall we?
Jewels of the Sun by Nora Roberts
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Book One of the Gallaghers of Ardmore Trilogy
In Gallagher’s Pub, where the fire is burning low and the pints are waiting, #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts has a story to tell…
Determined to reevaluate her life, Jude Murray flees America to take refuge in Faerie Hill Cottage, immersing herself in the study of Irish folklore and discovering hope for the future of the magical past.
Finally back home in Ireland after years of traveling, Aidan Gallagher possesses an uncommon understanding of his country’s haunting myths. Although he’s devoted to managing the family pub, a hint of wildness still glints in his eyes—and in Jude, he sees a woman who can both soothe his heart and stir his blood. And he begins to share the legends of the land with her—while they create a passionate history of their own.
Also in the Gallaghers of Ardmore trilogy:
Tears of the Moon
Heart of the Sea
A few choice lines from the book:
For himself, Aidan was content in where he was, and what he did. He’d learned a great deal of himself and of life during his rambles. The itchy feet were said to come from the Fitzgerald side, as his mother had, before she married, traveled a good bit of the world, with her voice paying the fare.
He’d strapped on a knapsack when he was barely eighteen and traveled throughout his country, then over into England and France and Italy and even Spain. he’d spent a year in America, being dazzled by the mountains and plains of the West, sweltering in the heat of the South, and freezing through a northern winter.
He and his siblings were as musical as their mother, so he’d sung for his supper or tended bar, whichever suited his purposes at the time. When he’d seen all he longed to see, he came home again, a well-traveled man of twenty-five.
For the last six years, he’d tended the pub and lived in the rooms above it.
But he was waiting. He didn’t know for what, only that he was.
Even now, as he built a pint of Guinness, drew a glass of Harp, and tuned in with one ear to the conversation in case he was obliged to comment, part of him sat back, patient and watchful.
Those who looked close enough might see that watchfulness in his eyes, eyes blue as a lightning bolt under brows with the same dark richness as the prize bar where he worked.
He had the rawboned face of the Celts, with the wild good looks that the fine genes of his parents had blended, with a long, straight nose, a mouth full and shamelessly sensual, a tough, take-a-punch chin with just a hint of a cleft.
He was built like a brawler – wide of shoulder, long of arm, and narrow of hip. And indeed, he had spent a good portion of his youth planting his fists in faces or taking them in his own. As much, he wasn’t shamed to admit, for the fun of it as for temper.
It was a matter of pride that unlike his brother, Shawn, Aidan had never had his nose broken in battle.
Still, he’d stopped looking for trouble as he’d grown from boy to man. He was just looking, and trusted that he’d know what it was when he found it.
When Jude walked in, he noticed – first as a publican, and second as a man. She looked so tidy, with her trim jacket and bound-back hair, so lost with her big eyes scanning the room as a doe might consider a new path in the forest.
A pretty thing, he thought, as most men do when they see an attractive female face and form. And being one who saw many faces in his career, he noted the nerves as well that kept her rooted to the spot just inside the door as if she might turn and flee at any moment.
The look of her, the manner of her, captured his interest and a low and pleasant hum warmed his blood.
She squared her shoulders, a deliberate move that amused him, and walked to the bar.
“Good evening to you,” he said as he slid his rag down the bar to wipe up spills. “What’s your pleasure?”
She started to speak, to ask politely for a glass of white wine. Then he smiled, a slow, lazy curving of lips that inexplicably set her insides a fluttering and turned her mind into a buzzing mess of static.
Yes, she thought dimly, everyone was gorgeous here.
He seemed in no particular hurry for her answer, only leaned comfortably on the bar, bringing that truly wonderful face closer to hers, cocking his head and his brow at the same time.
“Are you lost, then, darling?”
She imagined herself melting, just sliding onto the floor in a puddle of hormones and liquid lust. The sheer embarrassment of the image snapped her back to herself. “No, I’m not lost. Could I have a glass of white wine? Chardonnay if it’s available.”
“I can help you with that.” But he made no move to, just then. “You’re a Yank, then. Would you be Old Maude’s young American cousin come to stay in her cottage awhile?”
“Yes. I’m Jude, Jude Murray.” Automatically she offered her hand and a careful smile that allowed her dimples a brief appearance in her cheeks.
Aidan had always had a soft spot for dimples in a pretty face.
He took her hand, but didn’t shake it. He only held it as he continued to stare at her until – she swore she felt it – her bones began to sizzle. “Welcome to Ardmore, Miss Murray, and to Gallagher’s. I’m Aidan, and this is my place. Tim, give the lady your seat. Where are your manners?”
“Oh, no, that’s-”
But Tim, a burly man with a mass of hair the color and texture of steel wool, slid off his stool. “Beg your pardon.” He shifted his gaze from the sports event on the television over the end of the bar and gave her a quick, charming wink.
“Unless you’d rather a table,” Aidan added as she continued to stand and look mildly distressed.
“No, no, this is fine. Thank you.” She climbed onto the stool, trying not to tense up as she became the center of attention.
I love Nora Roberts’ books, and to make things sweeter, this is part of an Irish trilogy. Ireland is a place that calls to me like no other. I guess it must be my Irish heritage.
This is such a great series! I fully recommend it!
Jude goes to Ireland to get in touch with her roots, and to satisfy her restlessness back at home. She doesn’t expect to find the handsome Aidan Gallagher or a mysterious ghost in her cottage.
This is a lovely romance, rich with Irish culture and a touch of the paranormal. A perfect five hearts, in my opinion!
And I’d say the same for the sequels as well! 😀