Wednesday, August 19, 2015

"Irish Meadows" by Susan Anne Mason

About this book:

  “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?”

Series: Book #1 in the “Courage to Dream” series.

Spiritual Content- Prayers; Scriptures are quoted & mentioned; Talks about God, forgiveness and heaven & hell; ‘H’s are capital when referring to God; Mentions of Church going; Colleen has little tolerance for anything religious (Though she says a prayer once. *Spoiler* She asks God into her heart half-way through. *End of Spoiler*); Rylan is training to be a priest; Adam doesn’t believe there is a God;
*Note: “for the love of St. Patrick” and “sweet mother of Job” are both said once; ‘who/what the devil’ is said twice.

Negative Content- Minor cussing including: a ‘blasted’, a ‘tarnation’, a ‘what the deuce?’, and two ‘stupid’s; Curses are said but not written; Sarcasm; Blood (semi-detailed); Mentions of shooting a foal (border-line semi-detailed // detailed); A mention of suicide; Mentions of spankings & beatings; Mentions of gambling, cigars & tobacco; Mentions of drinking & pubs; A sip of brandy (semi-detailed).

Sexual Content- an almost kiss (semi-detailed), hand kisses, two (welcoming) cheek kisses, a cheek kiss, a head kiss, six barely-above-not-detailed kisses, three semi-detailed kisses, five Detailed kisses, and two Very-Detailed kisses; Staring & Wanting to kiss (semi-detailed); Mentions of kisses & kissing (semi-detailed); Remembering kisses (semi-detailed to detailed); Noticing, Nearness & Smelling (semi-detailed); Touches, Embraces, Warmth & Blushes (semi-detailed); Wandering hands & reputations (semi-detailed); Wanting to be noticed; A man & woman are in his bedroom and his shirt is unbuttoned (nothing sexual happens but another girl assumes); Gil tries not to be alone with Brianna; Colleen is called a ‘strumpet’ twice, and frankly, it’s true (she’s a flirt and tease); Colleen wants/tries to seduce Gil; Colleen forces herself on Gil (border-line semi-detailed // detailed); *Spoiler* Colleen was kissed & touched by a priest at age 13 (barely-above-not-detailed) *End of Spoiler*; Mentions of having children, the married life & the wedding night; A mention of a woman who got pregnant by another woman’s husband; Love, hunger, falling in love, & lots of the emotions (x2).
             *Note: Mentions of low-cut gowns (& Colleen wears a few) and a gown that shows bare shoulders. A foal is born (semi-detailed).

-Brianna O’Leary
-Gilbert Whelan
-Colleen O’Leary
-Rylan Montgomery 
                                         P.O.V. switches between them.
                                             Set in 1911
                                                        370 pages

Pre Teens-
New Teens-
Early High School Teens-
Older High School Teens-
My personal Rating- 
I know, I know. “Another 1-star, Lindsey?” Sadly, yes. :(
I did not enjoy the first half of this book at all. The characters annoyed me to no end. Brianna I went back-n-forth liking…most of the time I was rolling my eyes at her. Gil made me cringe many times manly because he wouldn’t stand up for his Bree! What?! I’m still not sold on that couple. Colleen I disliked immensely at first, she was rude, self-centered and mean. Then she does a 180-light-switch-change and while it was nice-ish, I felt the process of that change was too quick & lacking emotion on her part. Rylan was okay. I didn’t like nor dislike him, I just wish there would have been talks about Jesus Christ. (Talks about God but never Jesus.) I can’t say I completely was in favor of the couples in this book and wasn’t very thrilled with the conclusion. Add in all the kisses (lots and many detailed ones) and you have a 1-star book.
Normally authors have their characters growing throughout the book (Spiritual or mentally), maybe this author did too many POV characters, but I feel she just didn’t have the characters grown at all. She focused way more on the romance than the character development.
I feel bad giving a debut author (and a Bethany one at that) a 1-star rating, but I did not like this book at all.

See y’all on Friday with a new review!

*BFCG may (Read the review to see) recommend this book by this author. It does not mean I recommend all the books by this author.
*I received this book for free from the Publisher (Bethany House Publishers) through Litfuse Publicly Group for this review.

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