- Author: Adrienne Vaughan
- Published: November 2013 by New Romantics Press
- Category: Contemporary, Drama, Romance
Escaping to a remote Irish isle, journalist Marianne Coltrane had not bargained for a tumultuous affair with movie star Ryan O’Gorman.
When Ryan leaves to pursue his career, Marianne remains to care for those who need her most, but Ryan soon realises he cannot live without her and returns to woo her back.
Following on from events in The Hollow Heart, Ryan O’Gorman returns to the beautiful island of Innishmahon with his baby son, Joey, much to the shock and amazement of Marianne Coltrane. Their relationship hasn’t been without its ups and downs but Ryan is determined this time he’s back for good. Unfortunately it’s not so simple. Ryan’s movie contract is for three pictures, he’s only made one. He brings more turmoil in his wake in the form of his troubled and trouble making ex-wife, Angelique de Marcos. It seems the peaceful, settled life he and Marianne are looking forward to is not going to materialise any time soon.
Marianne, still seriously off-kilter following Ryan’s surprise arrival, was sipping a glass of wine in Maguire’s chaotic kitchen. They sat opposite each other at the large oak table, a child each in their arms: Bridget with Ryan and Joey with Marianne.
“She’s amazing,” Ryan watched fascinated, as Bridget gurgled at him, gesticulating to Joey.
“She’s asking you all about him. Who is he? Where’s he from? Is he staying?” Marianne stroked the boy’s head.
“You’re probably right,” Ryan said, as Bridget turned to burble at Joey, stretching out towards him. The boy’s lips parted in a near smile.
“They’ll be friends, you’ll see. she said. They locked eyes. He looked tired. She tried a smile. “You okay?” she said. He nodded.
To make matters more complicated Angelique is Franco Rossini’s niece. Rossini, with whom Ryan is contracted, is one of the most influential of film producers with connections that are decidedly dodgy. An old friend of Ryan’s, Dermot Finnegan, makes an appearance on the island, ostensibly as captain of the planned Life Boat station. Returning to the island after an absence of many years, Erin Brennan causes a stir amongst the residents. All is not as it seems in this tiny corner of Ireland; there are shocks, sadness and romance in store, not to mention surprises, drama, intrigue and conspiracy.
It was lovely to get reacquainted with the residents, old and new, of Innishmahon, not to mention the island itself, and catch up with the community dynamics. Again, the sense of place is tangible, the descriptions evocative. I like how each character is relevant to the story, and develops as the story progresses. All are well drawn, realistic, colourful and individual. Dialogue and characterisation, as previously, are excellent. There was a scene in the first book which brought tears to my eyes and there’s another in this one. Thankfully it doesn’t end in the same way.
The characters have their imperfections but, in the main, are warm-hearted and engaging. Apart from Marianne and Ryan, I especially like the MacReady sisters. The story unfolds wonderfully, building on the previous book with skilful writing and an absorbing plot with some happy endings, others not so much. A fabulous read and the best part about being late to a series is having the next book ready and waiting when one is finished.
About Adrienne Vaughan
Adrienne Vaughan has been making up stories since she could speak; primarily to entertain her sister Reta, who from a very early age never allowed a plot or character to be repeated – tough audience. As soon as she could pick up a pen, she started writing them down. It was no surprise she wanted to be a journalist; ideally the editor of a glossy music and fashion magazine, so she could meet and marry a pop star – some of that came true – and in common with so many, still holds the burning ambition to be a ‘Bond Girl’! She now runs a busy PR practice and writes poems, short stories and ideas for books, in her spare time. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and a founder member of the indie publishing group The New Romantics4. Adrienne lives in Leicestershire with her husband, two cocker spaniels and a retired dressage horse called Marco.