Review by Alyssa
December 2013 by Berkley Trade (org. 1996)
Amazon + Good Reads
"Shannon Bodine’s life revolves around her job as a graphic artist at a New York ad agency. But her world turns upside down when she learns the identity of her real father: Thomas Concannon.
Obeying her late mother’s wishes, Shannon reluctantly travels to County Clare. There, amid the lush landscape steeped in legend, she meets her half sisters and their families, but she’s wary of opening her heart to them—or to their charming neighbor .
Murphy Muldoon is a successful farmer and horse breeder with a romantic streak that can turn the most trite sentiment into poetry. Soon, his striking good looks and unpretentious ways have Shannon discovering the possibility of a love that was meant to be."
Born in Shame follows Shannon Bodine - the half sister of Maggie and Brianna Concannon who only learned of her parentage while her mother lay on her death bed. Following her mother's death and after much coaxing and discussion, Shannon reluctantly agrees to visit Ireland to meet her newly discovered half sisters. She has no hopes to forge relationships with Maggie and Brianna and only wishes that her stay will bring her solace about her mother's revelation. Shannon meets a local man, Murphy Muldoon, and the two are instantly attracted to each other. Murphy is incredibly intense and sends Shannon reeling with the possibility of a romance that seems impossible.
I really wish that I could end my Born In series review by saying that I loved each story, but I can't when it comes to Born in Shame. Nora Roberts had all of her ducks lined up in the correct way to have the perfect ending to a great trilogy but dropped the ball - big time. And there is exactly one reason for it...
She added in a mystical element.
Instead of allowing Shannon and Murphy to simply be an American and an Irishman who happened to cross paths... she made them into reincarnations of two young lovers from an ancient Irish tale.
What. In. The. Actual. Hell.
This plot twist doesn't seem too bad now that I've distanced myself from the story but trust me, it was incredibly awkward and completely unnecessary for the story. There is zero mention of any kind of mythical Irish ghost story in the first two books so for the story to play such a huge part of Born in Shame felt completely out of place. Maybe Roberts felt like the standard love story was getting stale after two previous stories, but it just wrecked Shannon's story for me. I really enjoyed both Shannon and Murphy as characters but forcing them into that ghost story? Blech.
I'd say that you could read the first two books in the series and just completely ignore this one, but that doesn't feel right. In all honesty, it wasn't that bad... it just didn't sit well with me. If you do decide to go ahead with the Born In series - I really hope that you enjoy it. Please let me know what you thought of the ghost story - hopefully you enjoyed it more than I did!