1911 Long Island, New York -- Gil Whelan owes his college degree and so much more to the O'Leary family, who have raised him like their own, so when James O'Leary and his Long Island hourse farm face financial difficulties, Gil returns to help. From the the start he knows his largest obstacle will be keeping his affections of tomboy turned Irish beauty Brianna O'Leary in tow. Brianna knows there is a spark between herself and Gil but she's determined to avoid romance and convince her father that she deserves a college education. But when Brianna hears her older sister Colleen say she has set her sights on Gild for a little flirtation while she waits for a rich suitor, Brianna knows she must save Gil. The arrival of a distant cousin from Ireland complicates Colleen's plans even more. Dark, handsome Ryan Montgomery is supposed to be on the path to priesthood. When then does his smile, dark eyes, and even his presence unsettle Colleen so much.
IRISH MEADOWS is Susan Anne Mason's first historical novel and she has done an excellent job of capturing the early 1900 society. Gil has been cared for like one of the family, yet he isn't the right class to marry the young Brianna O'Leary. Despite being intelligent and ambitious, Brianna is destined to marry young to a suitor of her father's choosing. Patriach James O'Leary seems to have control over every family member's life and his main concern is securing needed money for the horse farm and keeping up appearances. Any 21st Century woman reading the book will bristle at his heavy handed power. Having two very different sisters as central characters brings a more complex plot structure to the book, and I liked that. In the self-centered, bored Colleen, author Mason has created a wonderful opportunity to present a character that grows and changes. As Colleen interacts with Ryan , we see her begin to evaluate her values and choices. Meanwhile Brianna must muster the courage to achieve her dreams, even when that means standing up against her family. From the first page, I enjoyed reading this title and recommend it to others. I also want to commend Bethany House for their choice of cover art. This cover will draw readers in and they will not be disappointed.
I received a copy of IRISH MEADOWS from Litfuse Publicity for my honest review.
Check out Susan Anne Mason's website to learn more about the book and the author.