Born in Ice (Irish Born Trilogy) – book review

Born in Ice
by Nora Roberts
Release Date: August 1, 1995
Book #2 in the Irish Born Trilogy
Number of Pages:  370
Contemporary Romance
Ages 14 and up
CW: verbal abuse, cheating, robbery,
ethnic slur, fat shaming, child neglect, addiction
Brianna Concannon is the kind of innkeeper who doesn’t mind the harsh winters of Ireland—and the empty bed-and-breakfast that comes with them. But this year, a famous American author needs a quiet place to stay while writing his next book.

A charmer whose easy smiles mask a guarded past, Grayson Thane plans to spend the cold winter alone. But his lovely landlady adds a complication he never expected. She’s exactly what he’s looking for in his heroine. And soon Grayson and Brianna will learn that sometimes fate has a plan of its own. Sometimes, fire can be born in ice…

Although the story of the MFC and the MMC, Brianna and Grayson, can stand on its own for the romance part of this book, the series should be read in order. I don’t know if I would have understood Brianna and her relationship to her older sister, or even her relationship with her mother, well enough if I hadn’t read Born in Fire.

Brianna and Grayson are so lovely together. It made me happy to see her putting herself first for once. Well, not totally, but regarding this one issue she took what she wanted. She’s so pragmatic, even in love. She understands (or thinks she understands) what can and cannot happen in a relationship with Grayson. In a way she’s right. He has a lot to unpack from his childhood. But she is matter-of-fact about their relationship and where it’s heading that it’s hard for Grayson to believe that the inevitable end of their time together will affect her.

When that parting happens, these two tore out my heart. Brianna is so tender with Grayson and he just doesn’t know what to do with that. Although Brianna is calm on the outside, she’s not doing so good on the inside. It’s wonderful to see her finally let others see the passion and ardor that roils around inside of her.

The other element of this story is the sisters, Brianna and Maggie, and the secrets they discover about their deceased father. It’s a doozy, but it’s been obvious that this was the direction the series was going. After all, it’s a trilogy about sisters and we’ve only met two of them so far. There were times I had to remind myself that this was published in the mid-90s since so many resources are available now regarding finding information and people. But it wasn’t too glaringly obvious since they live in a different country than the person they are seeking and are not familiar with the other country’s systems.

I found myself sinking into this story a bit more than I did in the first book. I enjoyed seeing the sisters find a more peaceful place with one another and I’m curious to see how this third sister will fit into the mix. There are some things that bothered me that had more to do with the era in which it was written than anything else. I had to judge for myself if it bothered me enough to take away stars in my rating or not. I ultimately decided the things that I noticed were quickly forgotten (he smokes in the house, some word usage that has since been struck from most of our vocabulary, things like that) so I’m keeping all the stars for this one.

4 stars

About Cheri

I'm the mom of two boys and wife to my high school sweetheart. Our oldest, Josh, is living at home while working and paying off student loans. Our youngest, Griffin recently left his active duty Army job and is now National Guard here at home. He moved back to Michigan with his wife Kirsten and our beautiful granddaughter Hazel. I work part time and try to fit as much reading into my life as possible.
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5 Responses to Born in Ice (Irish Born Trilogy) – book review

  1. I’m so glad this series is getting better for you! I loved this one when I read it.

  2. Louise H says:

    Wonderful review, definitely a series I need to add to my TBR

    • Cheri says:

      I was listening to a podcast discussing this book today and they made a good point, that this story seems out of time. Not a true contemporary but not an historical since it’s from 1995. I wonder if that seemed true to me because I’m in the US and this takes place in Ireland in a small village. Very insulated/isolated feeling.

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