Thursday, August 13, 2015

Irish Meadows by Susan Anne Mason (Book 1, Courage to Dream Series) [Review & Giveaway]

My thoughts: As in most any family, there are some you love a lot, some you tolerate, and some you just have a lot of trouble liking, loving, or even being around.  In the O'Leary family that is true as well. Rife with character flaws, most of the O'Learys find that they must make changes if life is to be doable for them. 

This is a successful Irish family whose success has been built on hard work and intelligence of the immigrant father, Mr. O'Leary. He is an arrogant, domineering man bent on controlling all in his world. That involves making sure that at all costs his little financial empire and beloved "Irish Meadows" horse farm continues to succeed even if dependent on the marriages of his own children in loveless marriages simply for the sake of position and money.

This means, too, that the man he has raised as a son, but who is not in fact blood-kin must also marry to save to family fortune.

A very distant cousin of the family mother arrives from Ireland to continue his study and work at becoming a priest. His involvement with the family becomes more complicated than simply distant relative and counselor in the faith.

This glimpse into life in 1911 and the Irish family is interesting. It shows the Catholic faith of the family as important to them.

I enjoyed the story and the look at how life was during this time period. I accept the fact that in this family, as in most Irish immigrants, their Catholic faith was primary to them. I think, though, that some who are not of the Catholic faith might not appreciate this fact. One has to understand that Irish immigrants were very involved with and dependent upon the Catholic church and their faith.

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About the book: Time and Place: 1911, Long Island, New York -Faced With an Uncertain Future, Sometimes All You Have Left Is the Courage to Dream

Brianna and Colleen O'Leary know their Irish immigrant father expects them to marry well. Recently he's put even more pressure on them, insinuating that the very future of their Long Island horse farm, Irish Meadows, rests in their ability to land prosperous husbands. Both girls, however, have different visions for their futures.

Brianna, a quiet girl with a quick mind, dreams of attending college. Vivacious Colleen, meanwhile, is happy to marry---as long as her father's choice meets her exacting standards of the ideal groom. When former stable hand Gilbert Whelan returns from business school and distant relative Rylan Montgomery visits Long Island during his seminary training, the two men quickly complicate everyone's plans.

As the farm slips ever closer to ruin, James O'Leary grows more desperate. It will take every ounce of courage for both sisters to avoid being pawns in their father's machinations and instead follow their hearts. And even if they do, will they inevitably find their dreams too distant to reach?

Begins August 11 & ENDS August 31 @ 12:01 a.m. EDT. 
Open to USA addresses only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy was provided by Litfuse Publicity Group on behalf of the author and publisher in exchange for an honest review. Opinions are strictly my own. I was not compensated for this review. Giveaway copy is provided compliments of Litfuse and sent directly to winner.


  1. Our Irish history runs deep. My mother's maiden name was Welsh. My grandfather immigrated from Ireland.

  2. Susan, I love that you have cats. I'm glad that you write about historical romance. That's my favorite genre.

  3. My great great grandfather came to America from Ireland at the end of the Civil War. He was traveling to New Orleans by train when his hat blow off at a stop. Of course he went to retrieve it an missed the train, but everything worked out he meet my great great grandmother (I'm guessing at how many greats) they married and lived happily ever after.
    Theresa N

  4. I love the Amercian Revolution period of our history.
    Theresa N


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