Book Recommendation – Once Upon an Irish Summer by Lisa T. Bergren

Book Description:

You Can’t Embrace Your Future Until You Deal With Your Past…

Fiona Burke has long been obsessed with Ireland’s famed, sixteenth-century pirate queen, Grace O’Malley. Now that she’s on the final stretch of earning her PhD in history, all she needs to do is finish her dissertation—with Grace O’Malley as her subject—then return home to Boston to defend it. Once that’s done she can compete for a highly coveted history professor position.

Fiona arrives in western Ireland aiming to interview the locals and find additional folklore to flesh out her work. But when she encounters Grace’s distant relative—the handsome, commanding Rory O’Malley—she gets seriously distracted. Rory shares her passion for history and Ireland, and cares for his grandfather and great-uncle in a winsome way. Unfortunately he also carries wounds beyond his injured leg…wounds that threaten to dismantle every little bit of a relationship that he and Fiona begin to build.

As a famed TV host becomes intrigued with Fiona—as well as convinced she should do guest appearances on his show—Rory starts to figure out that he might be as interested in his own personal romantic future as he is in Ireland’s epic past. But can he take the steps toward the healing he needs before it’s too late? It all remains to be seen…Once Upon an Irish Summer.

Narelle’s Thoughts:

I enjoyed reading Once Upon an Irish Summer and learning about Irish history while experiencing life in rural West Ireland. Fiona is an American history student who rents a cottage on an Irish farm for the summer. She needs to finish researching and writing her PhD thesis on Grace O’Malley, the famous pirate queen from the sixteenth century. Grace was a strong woman who was known for her face-to-face meeting with Queen Elizabeth 1, and walking away from the meeting without being tried and hung for her crimes.

Rory is a history teacher who was previously an aid worker in Afghanistan, and he is a descendent of the pirate queen. He’s spending his summer helping out on his grandfather’s farm. Rory’s heart was broken when he returned to Ireland with leg injuries and PTSD from his time in Afghanistan, only to find his girlfriend had left him for his best friend. Rory is wary of love, and wary of his attraction to Fiona who’s renting his grandfather’s cottage for the summer. He is self-conscious about his disability, and he uses a walking cane to improve his mobility.

A lovely friends-to-more romance unfolds as Fiona and Rory uncover secrets from the past and reveal hidden dangers. I recommend Once Upon an Irish Summer to contemporary romance readers who like learning about historical places and events while reading a fun vacation romance set in the stunning Irish countryside.

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