Wild Irish Heart Book 1
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An ancient book, a power untouched, and a heart unloved lead Keelin O'Brien from her graduate studies in Boston to a small village on the coast of Southern Ireland. Determined to unearth the secrets lying hidden in the enchanted waters of the cove, Keelin has little time for a surly Irishman who infuriates her during the day and haunts her fantasies at night.
Inexplicably drawn to the woman who has stepped from his dreams and into his world, Flynn fights a stubborn battle against his increasing attraction for Keelin. Forces unknown have better plans for the two.
Only the secrets of the cove can show Keelin who she really is, the beauty of her mysterious power, and a love that will break the bounds of what she knows.
Release date: September 12, 2014
Publisher: Lovewrite Publishing
Print pages: 264
Reader says this book is...: creative magic (1) entertaining story (1) escapist/easy read (1) happily ever after (1) historical elements (1) rich setting(s) (1) satisfying ending (1) strong chemistry (1) swoon-worthy (1) unputdownable (1)
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Wild Irish Heart Book 1
The ping of the doorbell startled Keelin O’Brien from her daydream of chartering a
dive boat through the Great Barrier Reef. Blinking, she shoved herself up from her messy desk and padded quietly in her Irish cottage socks to the door. Peering through the hole, she saw that it was Frank, her overly friendly mailman.
‟Hi, Frank,” Keelin said as she eased the door open, careful to hide her clutter from his view.
‟Hi, Keelin. I’ve got a special package for you today,” Frank said. ‟International!”
‟Really? I haven’t ordered anything. How interest- ing.” Keelin signed for the package and Frank raised his eyebrows at her. Keelin knew that he expected her to open the package in front of him.
‟Thanks, Frank. Gotta run!” Keelin shut the door with her foot and examined the small package as she wandered toward her kitchen. The cheerful blue of her kitchen walls contrasted with the pile of dishes in her sink. A small window with soft yellow curtains allowed a ray of sunlight to pick up the layer of dust on her side- board. With a sigh, Keelin made a mental note to clean.
Brushing a pile of papers aside, Keelin sat at her table and looked at the package. Rectangular-shaped and wrapped in butcher paper, it wasn’t the typical international envelope found at the post office. Twine wove around the package and what looked like an honest-to-God wax seal closed the twine. Keelin’s name and address were written in a deep brown ink, the hand- writing a beautiful old calligraphy style. Keelin squinted at the return address and remembered her reading glasses tucked in her shirt.
Interesting, Keelin thought as she examined the address more closely. The address was smudged. It seemed almost deliberate. Keelin wondered why she suspected that it was deliberate. Only one word was easily readable: Ireland.
Keelin lifted the package and gingerly broke the seal. An image flashed into her head. Flames slicing into the night. Voices chanting. A midnight-blue cove that glowed from within. And eyes. A sharp, crystal-blue pair of eyes stared at her through the flames.
Keelin gasped and dropped the package. Her heart pounded quickly and she tried out some of the deep- breathing techniques that she had learned in yoga. Though her hands trembled, Keelin shook her head and laughed at herself. Her mother always sighed at what she termed ‟Keelin’s Little Fancies” and clucked that Keelin would never find a man if she was always daydreaming. Keelin wished that these images were just daydreams or the result of an overly creative brain. Unfortunately, Keelin’s talents ran more to the science side of things even though she often lost herself in creative mind wanderings. Yet, Keelin never knew how to describe the images she would see when she touched certain things.
Things? Who was she kidding? Keelin thought. It didn’t just happen with objects. It happened with people, animals, and even places. She had recently started to wonder if she needed to take her mother’s not-so-gentle advice to go see a therapist. Keelin’s gut told her that a therapist would do little to shed light on her problems. She’d learned long ago to shelter herself and to keep these images that flooded her brain quiet. Living in Massachusetts had implemented in her a healthy fear of the repercussions of being different, if the history of the Salem Witch Trials indicated anything.
She held the package and took a deep breath before she immersed herself back in the image. This time, she focused on the feelings it brought.
Dark images slashed at her. A fishing village at night. A lone dog wandering a hill. A man tying a fishing line. As Keelin waded through the images she decided that there was a feeling of foreboding, yet also of homecoming, that threaded through the scenes. It wasn’t evil, yet there was a sense of stepping over a threshold.
It was almost as if she was being pushed away and pulled in. Her fingers trembled as she peeled back the paper. In some respects, she had been waiting for this. There had always been something in her life left unsaid – undiscovered even. Keelin wondered if this was finally her answer.
A small book lay nestled in the paper. A rich brown leather cover, creased with age, and with hand stitching at the binding, encased the yellowed pages. Keelin marveled over the beauty of the simple craftsmanship. No words or symbols marred the soft leather, yet years of scratches from use had weathered the cover to a perfect patina.
The book seemed to speak volumes without a word on its cover.
This book was old. Really old. Keelin wondered if she needed gloves to touch it. A book like this belonged in a museum, she thought. She gently opened the cover and gasped at the pages. These were vellum pages. Her hands shook as the enormity of the delicacy and strength of this book struck her. Keelin had known the book was old but writing on vellum dated back to the Book of Kells days. This was a book that was not to be taken lightly. Who had sent such a gift to her?
Keelin suspected she knew the source of this gift.
The real question was: why now?
A folded piece of paper that was tied with the same twine and matching seal as the wrapping lay tucked in the front of the cover. Keelin gently pulled it out and unfolded it.
The words struck her like a punch to the gut.
It is time.
Keelin stared at the letter in shock. In recognition. She tucked her strawberry-blonde hair behind her ear. Her socialite mother carefully tinted the red from her hair, sniffing, ‟It’s too Irish.” But Keelin secretly loved her hair color and always refused to have it dyed when her mother’s second-favorite stylist discreetly suggested the change each month.
It is time.
The words bored into her brain. Had she known this was coming? She held the letter up to her face. It smelled faintly of lavender and something deeper. Smoky, almost. Visions of a moonlit cove, a boat, and the promise of lust and love flashed through her mind.
It is time.
Keelin held the book and marveled at the beauty of the detailing. She closed her eyes and inhaled the scent of the worn leather. The book seemed to warm to her touch and a feeling of love spread through her arms and curled its way through her core. She caught a glimpse of an old woman gathering herbs on a sloping hill near the water. Her sudden insight confirmed her suspicion. This was her maternal grandmother’s book. Her grandmother lived in the hills of Ireland, just north of a small fishing village on the southernmost peninsula of Ireland. Reported to be crazy and aloof, Keelin had had little contact with her. Keelin’s mother had insisted on moving to the States before Keelin was born and was proud to raise her daughter on Boston’s reputable Beacon Hill. They had never returned to Ireland.
She had often wondered why her mother had refused to discuss her upbringing with Keelin. At the time, she had put it down to her mom’s obsession with pedigree and socialite parties. There wasn’t much place for a poor Irish upbringing amongst the wealth of her mother’s friends. Now, Keelin wondered what vital details she may have missed about her mother’s life before Boston.
The book seemed to call to her. Keelin traced her fingers over the soft leather. She picked it up and the image of blue eyes popped into her head again. This time a small thrill of heat curled through her.
‟Whoa, this is a little ridiculous.” Keelin laughed and got up. She needed to pace. Two thoughts raced through her mind. The first was that her grandmother was dead. The second was that this was a book of power.
Keelin needed answers and there was only one blonde socialite that had them.
She pulled on knee-high brown boots over leggings that hugged generous hips, threw on a long fair-isle cardigan, and picked up the book. Keelin dug in her closet for a wool scarf and gently wrapped the book before tucking it in her leather satchel. It was time to hunt down her mother. Then she would deal with the implications of the book.
Margaret Grainne O’Brien lived in a two- story brownstone in the coveted Beacon
Hill neighborhood of downtown Boston. Keelin enjoyed the cobblestone streets and the cherry blossom trees in the spring. She hated the severe lack of parking and the minuscule living spaces that the high-rent neighborhood offered. Wondering, again, why anyone would pay an obscene amount of money to live in seven hundred square feet of space with one parking spot, Keelin rang her mother’s bell.
‟Keelin, darling! What are you doing here?” Margaret asked. A coolly lovely blonde in her late forties, she was dressed for tea in a pale gray cocktail suit with a deep pink shirt. Pearls winked at her ears and a leather watch peeked discreetly from her sleeve.
Margaret ushered Keelin in and began making distressed noises.
‟Keelin Grainne. Are you wearing leggings outside of the house again?” Margaret asked.
‟Mom. Stop. Everyone wears leggings. And my sweater is long. They are like tights but with even more coverage.” Keelin rolled her eyes and stomped to her mother’s front room. Graceful, arched windows boasted a view of fashionable shops. Keelin settled on the settee and actively hated the room. Everything was white and gold. Too much opulence, she thought.
‟Mom. We need to talk.” Keelin reached into her bag to pull out the book.
‟You’re pregnant! I knew it. I knew that Todd was bad news. What were you thinking?”
‟Whoa. What? No! Mom, ugh, God, just stop. Gross. I never slept with Todd to begin with. You set me up with him, which should have told you that he was not a good match for me. Would you please just stop with trying to set me up?” Keelin said. It was a constant aggravation for her. Margaret enjoyed arranging blind dates with the sons of the town’s elite. Keelin loved her too much to embarrass her and ditch out on the dates. Inevitably, every Todd, Chad, and Spence she dated failed to get her juices flowing. Idly, she wondered if she even had any juices anymore. It had been so long since she had truly been passionate about anything except her work.
‟Thank God. I would hate to tell Shirley that her son was a jerk. Now, why are you here in the middle of the day? Shouldn’t you be working on an application?” Margaret said. She was referring to Keelin’s internship applications. Keelin had been working for the Boston Aquarium for the past few years and had wanted to branch out for a while. Her secret dream was to finish her master’s degree in marine biology and to work on a research-and-dive team. She hoped to get aboard a research vessel as an intern over the summer.
Keelin decided to go for impact. She reached into her satchel and withdrew her scarf-wrapped bundle.
‟Keelin, when will you get rid of that ugly scarf? It is so Irish,” Margaret said, her disdain evident.
Silently, Keelin unwrapped the bundle and placed the book on the table, watching her mother closely. Margaret’s eyes widened slightly and then returned to normal.
‟Why, whatever is this old book? Is this for school?” Margaret asked. Keelin noticed that her normally pale mother’s cheeks were flushed and her hand played a tap- tap-tap rhythm on the Eastlake side table.
‟Mom. You know what this is. I need answers,” Keelin said.
‟I have no idea what you mean. It is an old book. Lovely, actually. I see books like this in the antique shops. You should place it on display,” Margaret said. She refused to meet Keelin’s eyes and glanced quickly at her watch.
‟Darling, I am so sorry, but I have to meet Mrs. Thatcher for tea. We are going over plans for the book club’s charity fundraiser. I mustn’t be late,” Margaret said as she stood.
‟I don’t think so. Sit down,” Keelin said.
‟Keelin. What is wrong with you? Do not speak to me like that.” Margaret stood her ground.
You could take the Irish out of Ireland, Keelin mused.
‟This is your mother’s book. My grandmother. I can feel it. I know it. This arrived today. Does this mean she is dead? Do you even talk to her anymore?” The ques- tions tumbled out. Keelin didn’t mean to sound accusatory but the old bitterness welled up in her throat. She’d always hated how Margaret had isolated her from learning about her Irish roots.
Sighing, Margaret walked to the wet bar and poured herself a whiskey, neat. Shocked, Keelin watched as her mild-mannered mother downed it in one gulp.
‟I knew that this time would arrive,” Margaret said. Her shoulders were tense and she stayed focused on the wet bar.
‟Um, yeah. No kidding. The letter said, ‘It is time,’” Keelin said. ‟Care to elaborate?”
‟This is the reason that I left your father, the town, and have never returned to Ireland.” Margaret’s back was still turned. ‟I had hoped this day would never come.”
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