Irish Meadows (Courage to Dream #1)
by Susan Anne Mason
Summary from Goodreads:
Irish immigrant James O’Leary has spent his life building Irish Meadows into a thriving horse farm and is not about to let hard economic times threaten its success. He intends for his daughters to marry prosperous men–ones who will secure the family’s rightful place in society, and at the same time, guarantee the future of Irish Meadows. Both girls, however, have different visions for their futures.
Brianna and Colleen O’Leary know their father expects them to marry well. Yet despite his wishes, Brianna, the quieter sister, dreams of attending college. Vivacious Colleen, meanwhile, is happy to marry–as long as her father’s choice meets her exacting standards. When stable hand Gilbert Whelan returns from college and distant family member Rylan Montgomery stops in on his way to the seminary in Boston, the two men quickly complicate everyone’s plans. It will take every ounce of courage for both sisters to follow their hearts. And even if they do, will they inevitably find their dreams too distant to reach?
I rarely read historical romance but I’m very glad I took a chance on Irish Meadows. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and all the intricacies of the relationships portrayed in it. Even though the book was mainly centered around the two sisters -Brianna and Colleen, there were plenty of characters involved who contributed significantly to the plot. As I was reading, it felt like several interconnected stories happening at once and this kept my interested piqued.
Even though their faith played a big part in the story, it didn’t seem forced. In fact, the characters were all very real and flawed and I loved the fact that they were far from perfect. They made their fair share of mistakes and bad decisions so it was wonderful to see how each character grew so much by the end of the book. I think the author did a great job with this because it wasn’t an instant change, it was gradual and that made it believable.
I think this was a wonderful book that any reader is sure to enjoy. There was drama, forbidden romance, character growth and so many things going on that made it a total page-turner. The relationships were so exciting too; there was angst and sadness but also joy and happiness. From the beginning I was hooked, and as I kept reading I just felt closer and closer to the O’Leary family. I would definitely recommend this book!
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
4 out of 5 stars