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?
In some ways this is your typical romance novel, you know which girl is going to end up with who and the story is in the twists and turns until they get there. In other ways this is not your typical romance because the characters have some very hard lessons to learn and it didn't turn out in the way I expected at all.
The biggest lesson was that every action has consequences, both for yourself, and for everyone around you. It's hard to write much more than that without giving away much of the story, but the father, James' actions, were the most obvious. He was so desperate to save his farm that he made choices that hurt everyone around him.
I really enjoyed this book, it's the first in a series and I hope to read the rest when they come out. There are other siblings who's stories are waiting to be told.
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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.
I received this book from LitFuse Publicity in exchange for my fair and honest review.