Desert Isle Keeper
Born in Fire
As a reader who most often prefers historical romance, I was skeptical when my bookseller urged me to read Born In Fire, the first of a trilogy set in modern Ireland. I have often said that I can only enter the fantasy world romance offers when the time and place is long ago and far away. Well, I was wrong, at least in terms of the time. But the place, well, Nora’s Irish setting, both in Dublin and County Clare, offered me a wonderful fantasy world, and that’s due to her phenomenal skill as the creator of characters and storylines.
Born In Fire is the story of Margaret Mary Concannon, a brilliant and tormented artist whose medium is glass. After the death of her beloved father, she is determined to live her life alone. After all, while she loves her sweet sister Brianna, she had seen no love between her parents, and her mother despises her very being.
In walks Rogan Sweeney, wealthy and handsome gallery owner. He wants to make her a star. He sees in her art something he must possess, and he soon comes to see that in her as well. Like the water and hot glass that form her art, Maggie and Rogan are destined to be together, even though it’s going to take him some time and finesse to convince her.
In a nice change of pace, it is not Rogan who is the tormented soul. No, that distinction belongs to Maggie, and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. The manner in which the author describes her torment is heart-wrenching. The manner in which the author uses that torment to fuel Maggie’s art is beautiful. I had no trouble seeing in my mind’s eye the works of art Maggie created, and when Rogan assists Maggie on a particular piece, I felt I was in the room with them.
The imagery used by Nora Roberts to describe not only the art Maggie creates but the process as well is incredibly well done, and these were the scenes that put the book over the top for me. Maggie’s creativity, Rogan’s commanding persona, along with his comforting patience made a devastating combination.
The cast of secondary characters only added to the richness of the story, and there’s at least one small yet strong secondary love story for readers to savor. What especially appealed to me about Maggie’s mother was in the lack of resolution of their battles, which rang true to life – after all, not everything can be tied in a package with a neat little bow. Maggie’s sister Brianna was more difficult for me to care about and seemed too much like a doormat, but whether that’s because I was seeing her through Maggie’s eyes or because Brianna becomes stronger in the second book of the trilogy, I am not certain.
I am certain that Margaret Mary and Rogan’s love was definitely born in fire, but that Rogan’s patience and skill will allow the fire not to consume them in a quick fit of passion but to burn slowly for the rest of their lives. This is one wonderful hero! I greatly anticipate the next books in the series and can only hope that Brianna finds a man who completes her as well as Maggie did.