To Marry an Irish Rogue
The women of Kilbooly have had enough! They live in a village where the men will not marry them, and something has to be done about it. The women decide that a boycott is in order. If they refuse to provide aid and comfort to the men, those men will come around and decide that of course they need to get married. While it sounds a bit callous, the women really aren’t doing this to be mean – they are simply at their wits’ end. The men say that if the village’s richest citizen, Brian Hanrahan, doesn’t need to get married, then they don’t either. And so The Midnight Court is born.
Tara Brid O’Connell is a television reporter who has come to this Irish village to do a story on Brian Hanrahan. On her first night in Kilbooly she overhears the women talking about their plan, and decides that this would also make a great story. Tara is convinced that Brian is a coldhearted, greedy industrialist whose only aim is to wipe out village life and replace it with fast-food restaurants and sleazy shops. Her aim is to expose him for the sleaze ball he is. Sounds a bit like Tara has lost some of her objectivity, doesn’t it?
Brian Hanrahan is a man who seemingly has everything – power, wealth, women – but his grandmother Ailis thinks he’s missing something. She wants to see her grandson married and she wants great-grandchildren. She applauds what the women of the village are doing but decides to take it a step farther. Ailis tells Brian that unless he marries within a certain timeframe, she is going to begin selling off the family business and will disinherit him. Needless to say, Brian is less than pleased with this. Ailis has decided that Tara will make the perfect wife for Brian. Never mind that he mistrusts all reporters, or that Tara doesn’t like Brian or what he stands for.
As the women in the village disassociate themselves from the men, Ailis schemes to get Tara and Brian together. These two are attracted to each other from the word go, but there’s no trust in the relationship. Each of them has to learn to look below the surface of the other and get to know the real person, not just judge each other by what their jobs are. While this book was meant to be funny, it did make this reviewer think about value judgments we make on others based on what they do, and how what we see in the media can sometimes affect the way we treat people.
Tara and Brian were an enjoyable couple, but I do admit that Tara’s doggedness to expose Brian’s corruption irritated the heck out of me for almost half the book. Eventually, though, I did warm up to her; once she saw her error she moved hell and Earth to right her wrongs, and I admired that. Brian was very likable, and even faced with what looked like solid evidence of his crimes, I immediately believed there had to be a reason behind what was going on.
A major part of this book’s charm is the secondary characters. Aileen and Tommy have been together 13 years and Aileen is ready to marry even though Tommy says he won’t be forced. Rory and Crissy have a budding romance, and there’s also an attraction between Siobhan and Finn (Tara’s cameraman). This village is made up of some very charming people. While I didn’t find the book as funny as I had expected, this didn’t bother me. I was definitely captivated by the characters. To Marry an Irish Rogue is an extremely enjoyable way to spend an evening.