Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Ronan Walker stands at a crossroads, unsure how to pursue his education… unsure if he even wants to. Now that his mother is gone, all he has left are the wonderful stories of her youth in Ireland, and he’s drawn to the land of his ancestors. There, he seeks out his mother’s family and meets Fergal Walsh, who works at Ronan’s aunt’s bookstore. A love of literature facilitates a fast friendship between the two men, and even though Ronan cannot deny the potential—and his desire—for more, he cannot see a future for the two of them when he leaves Ireland. Fergal must persuade Ronan to give school in Dublin a chance—and convince Ronan that his heart has already found its home.
Ronan Walker’s mother left her beloved Ireland to marry his father and move to America, leaving part of herself behind. Ronan was raised on stories of her family, songs of Ireland and her mother’s love for the land she left for a greater love. Now his mother is gone, and in his grief, Ronan is stuck. Mired in depression and his inability to move forward until a talk with his father and the sudden realization that he needs to go to Ireland…take the trip his mother waited too late to make.
The character of Ronan is easy to understand when you think about someone who has lost his mother, someone he was so close to, who almost grounded him his whole life. He has lost his mooring and now needs to find himself and in a way, his mother leads the way home for Ronan once more. She leads him to Ireland and family.
J.C. Long’s description of Abhainn Dún—River Fort, the village where Aunt Gwendolyn and cousin Hannah live is wonderful. I could see so easily the houses with the ancient Agas and the stores with the lanes leading up to them. I felt as though I’d been there and that includes the pub. In fact every part of this element of the story was vivid and real. It made Ronan’s journey to a new life and a new love grounded and believable. I got it when Ronan felt that he was finally at home in Abhainn Dún, amid family he knew of but now were a part of his heart. Even the character of Fergal Walsh, who’s less substantial in feel than the others, still has a ring of authenticity about him. This is a HFN, a promise of a start for Ronan and Fergal, which is as it should be, nothing more.
I could definitely see a sequel for Hearts in Ireland, Ronan has just begun his new start here in Ireland. But if that doesn’t happen, I’m happen to have read this story. It’s a lovely read, heartwarming and sweet. Definitely one I recommend.
Cover Artist: Valerie Tibbs | Tibbs Design. Lovely with Dublin on the cover along with the River Liffey and a terrific representation of the character.
ebook, 119 pages
Expected publication: May 10th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
Original Title Hearts in Ireland
ISBN 1635334500 (ISBN13: 9781635334500)
Series World of Love