Review by Alyssa
October 2013 by Berkley Trade (org. 1995)
Amazon + Good Reads
"Brianna Concannon is the kind of innkeeper who doesn’t mind the harsh winters of Ireland—and the empty bed-and-breakfast that comes with them. But this year, a famous American author needs a quiet place to stay while writing his next book.
A charmer whose easy smiles mask a guarded past, Grayson Thane plans to spend the cold winter alone. But his lovely landlady adds a complication he never expected. She’s exactly what he’s looking for in his heroine. And soon Grayson and Brianna will learn that sometimes fate has a plan of its own. Sometimes, fire can be born in ice..."
Born in Ice revolves around the younger Concannon sister and her story of finding love. Brianna Concannon is literally the ice to Maggie's fire. She is calm, cool, and collected - to a fault. Due having lived countless years with her overbearing and sometimes verbally abusive mother, Brianna perfected the art of bottling her emotions and putting on a brave face. She never allows anyone to see how their actions affect her and lives her life to ease the tension between her mother and sister. When American author, Grayson Thane, books a room at Brianna's inn for an extended amount of time, the two enter into a relationship that drastically changes both of their plans.
I loved this story so much - much more than Maggie's story. Perhaps I was simply soothed by Brianna's calm after reading about Maggie who behaved like a small, violent hurricane... but I felt very connected to her character. I could easily relate to her mentality and loved the portrait that Roberts painted of Brianna's life - quite and quaint in the beautiful Irish countryside. Grayson Thane was also an interesting romantic lead. When he was introduced, Grayson was set on having a purely sexual relationship with Brianna and I loved seeing him contend with and battle his emotions. Both Brianna and Grayson forced each other out of their comfort zones and both had to experience considerable growth before they could find happiness.
While Born in Fire read like a whirlwind romance that you'd find from Harlequin, Born in Ice felt more substantial. I think that Roberts focused a lot more on character development than in the previous book and it definitely added to the story experience. I also didn't walk away feeling like I'd just finished a guilty pleasure book.
I really enjoyed Born in Ice. I haven't reviewed the third book of the series (Born in Shame) yet, but Born in Ice is definitely my favorite of the series. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys romantic stories but would recommend that you read Born in Fire first.
What is your favorite Nora Roberts novel? Let me know in the comments below!