Stephanie Smith here posting for Caroline Clemmons.
I always seem to like the romances Nora Roberts sets in Ireland. She lives in Ireland half the year and in the United States the other half. I would be happy just to travel to Ireland, let alone live there. Caroline told me she met Nora Roberts a couple of times at writer's conferences. Ms. Roberts was always nice to everyone there. I always like to support writers that are nice people. On the other hand, there are some writers that I won't read because they are mean.
The Awakening: The Dragon Heart Legacy Book 1 by Nora Roberts
Breen Kelly hates her job but needs it to pay off her student loan and live on. When watching her mother's house one day, she finds some papers that show there is an account worth four million dollars under her name. She immediately guesses that her dad, who left when she was little, had sent the money and her mother never mentioned it.
After gaining control of her money, Breen goes to Ireland for the summer to find her father. She rents a nice cottage by a big wood outside of Galway. One day she follows a dog into the wood and falls, quite literally, into a new world. This world mirrors Ireland in some ways, but also has faeries, elves, mermaids, and her family on her father's side.
A man named Keegan will teach her to fight, she will embrace powers she never knew she had, and where a newfound courage will lead her toward her destiny.
I asked for this book for Christmas and finished it in one day. It was that good. There was a time when I felt like Nora Roberts would publish one newly written, good book, then something from her early, rejected works. That time has long passed. Her writing is well-honed and sucks you into the work.
I write non-fiction but have read enough romances to understand the cadence and arc they are supposed to follow. This one hit all the right notes.
Also, I like stories set in Ireland with faeries, elves, and assorted exotic wildlife. This one did not disappoint. I started it at bedtime, then couldn't put it down. I binge-read it all at once. Who needs sleep anyway? My only complaint is that the next book in the series does not come out until the end of the year.