Jera’s Jamboree review : Beneath an Irish Sky by Isabella Connor

beneath an irish skyPaperback: 432 pages

Publisher: Choc Lit (7 Aug 2013)

ISBN-10: 1781890048

ISBN-13: 978-1781890042

The past is never over …

Jack Stewart thought he’d put the past behind him. On the surface, he has everything – success, money, a big house and he is never short of an attractive woman by his side, but a tragic road accident shatters his world.

Raised as an Irish Traveller, Luke Kiernan hasn’t had it easy, and when he wakes in a Dublin hospital to find the man he’s hated since childhood at his bedside, he’s hungry for revenge.

Two very different worlds collide, bringing new dangers, exposing past deceits, and unearthing dark family secrets buried long ago. But from tragedy springs the promise of a fresh start with two women who are intent on helping Jack and Luke mend their lives.

Can new love heal old wounds, or are some scars there for good?

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Jack is in Dublin having a task to undertake as a direct result from the aftermath of the traffic accident in the blurb.  He finds out something life-changing about a person’s existence that he never knew.  He needs to get back to his business but his task doesn’t end in Dublin.

From the first page I had lots of questions … What had Annie done to be the cause of so much emotion? Why didn’t Jack know where it had gone wrong? I was compelled to read on to find out about Jack’s life and why he was so beaten down.

I wish we could have met Annie. Having provoked such strong emotions in our characters and the descriptions of her make me think I would have liked her … a lot!

Luke travels back to Manchester with Jack and their story unfolds amidst a community that hides secrets and jealousy – a community that is led in the majority by the head and not the heart.  Business and appearances takes precedence over the personal, no matter the cost.

We learn about the influence Jack’s parents still have on his life and the harshness of Luke’s life with Annie and her brothers.  Every time they take a step towards each other, something else happens or comes to light that affects their relationship.  There is plenty of tenseness and anxiety between these two.  Traveller customs have a large part to play and it was interesting to find out more about these.

Alongside their fragile relationship is the new women in their lives.  Kate is drawn to Luke and fights his corner while Emer is very balanced and her skills are effective in getting Jack to look deeper into himself.

I think the following says a lot, not just about Kate’s mother Sarah but also about where this community’s focus lies:

“When she’d told Matt she was going to the funeral, he’d laughingly accused her of only doing it because she fancied Luke, but she really did want to support him.  He was a stranger to the village and must surely feel overwhelmed.  Kate didn’t need to support her mother, that was for sure.  Sarah was tough as nails and didn’t need anybody’s shoulder to cry on.  Her head was bowed, but not in grief – she was discreetly looking at a valuable bracelet one of her men friends had given her.  Rose-gold moonstone, she said it was.”

Matt, son from Jack’s first marriage, also fights in Luke’s corner.  I loved the way he tricked Sarah into telling the truth!

There was one shocking moment for me when another truth emerges – the reason that underpins the actions that leaves Jack on his own.  It highlights how the upper class think of those lower down the ladder …

The ending was just perfect and exactly how it should be 🙂

Beneath an Irish Sky is all about family (and snobbery!), traditions, secrets and misunderstandings.  It will capture your thoughts and imagination and make you want to fight for the truth and a resolution for Jack and Luke.

Buy it and spread the word

Buy it and spread the word

I would like to thank the publishers for providing a paperback copy in exchange for an honest review.

Liv Thomas and Valerie Olteanu are the two halves that make up Isabella Connor.

Find Liv |  Facebook  |  Twitter @livbet  |  Blog  |

and Valerie |  Twitter @rougereine |

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