Sunday, June 10, 2018

REVIEW - Loving Irish - Katy Regnery

TITLE - Loving Irish (Summerhaven Trio #3)

AUTHOR - Katy Regnery 


Ian Haven and Halcyon Gilbert haven't seen each other since Hallie's 17th birthday...

...the same day Hallie pledged she would never, ever speak to Ian again as long as she lived.

Hallie Gilbert has had an especially awful year. When her husband of five years left her, Hallie’s 4-year-old daughter, Jenny, essentially stopped speaking. Add to this, Hallie had to sell her Boston apartment to pay her husband’s exorbitant credit card bills. What Hallie needs is an uncomplicated autumn at Colby Cottage, her family’s summer home in Sandwich, NH, where she and Jenny can re-group and figure out what happens next. 

But Colby Cottage, located adjacent to the Summerhaven Camp, has not been well-maintained and Hallie finds it in such disrepair, it's almost unlivable. When nearby camp owner, Rory Haven, arranges for his brother, Ian, to handle renovations for Hallie, her plans for an uncomplicated autumn suddenly get a lot more challenging.

Erin's Review:

“Loving Irish” is the piognant conclusion to the Summerhaven Trio, and gives us the story of triplet Ian. Rule breaking, dashing Ian who is working hard to bring himself up from rock bottom and reconstruct a life of goodness and purpose. Once again Ms. Regnery works her word magic to draw the reader into this heartfelt, and moving story. Each of the trio of Summerhave books is a romance, but each has a slightly different version, with each plot having a different underlying sub-category. It sets each apart and makes them that much more interesting.

The book leads us back to ten years ago when 17 year old Ian is still working at Summerhaven after high school, and still sober. We're introduced to Halcyon Gilbert and her gaggle of teen friends (one being Britt Manion, Rory Haven's love from Fighting Irish). Ian and Hallie are in summer love, though it may be more. But through a series of unfortunate events, Hallie's trust in Ian is broken and they never see each other again... Until Hallie has to move back to her family's cottage near Summerhaven and needs assistance. Ian works the steps of AA, and wants to make amends and help Hallie in any way he can. Through the plot and the throwbacks to ten years ago, the struggles of Hallie and Ian intertwine and collide. 

Once again Ms. Regnery gave us characters full of details and life, struggles and achievements. Ian's backstory and deep devotion to his family, and his accomplishments after becoming sober are heart wrenching. I rooted for him in all three books to make it and get his happily ever after! Reading Hallie's perspective made me mad at men in her honor! But she persevered to be the mom she could with the options she had. And I loved that despite her misgivings for men, and distrust after her husband's betrayal, she still had trust and compassion in her heart for her male friends and could see her daughters needs above all else.

“He'd rather love her unrequitedly and die knowing that he'd never given up on them.” Poor Ian and Hallie, whose lives were changed 10 years ago at age 17. Their love turned to hate. But hate is an emotion closer to love than indifference as cousin Finn put it. So we start out knowing they were once in love, summer love, puppy love. Ian had to work on self-love and self-care before adding a love life back. Hallie has to regain her self-worth and trust in men. But the foundation is there. The chemistry between the characters works with their struggle, AA and divorce. A layer of lava under the surface, waiting to break free; but will it be destructive or passionate in the end?

I can't find many faults for an author who quotes “Outlander” in her book, as well as a fabulous use or Disney movies for life explanations. :) But really, all these books are full of such well written details and heartfelt emotion. I think one of my favorite quotes is one that has slightly different versions in all three books, because the siblings say it to each other, but I feel Tierney said it best in this book, “[Ian] might give up on himself sometimes, but he'll never give up on someone he loves. He once told Rory that out of the three of us, Rory was the heart, I was the soul, and he was the entertainment. He was right about everyone but himself. He is entertaining sometimes, but his purpose is deeper. … He's the glue.” I highlighted so many well said snippets that I can't share them all. They all work seamlessly to draw you in, move you forward, with enough backstory to keep the reader well informed.

Despite this book being about two subjects I'm not intimately versed in, I felt each of Ian's challenges and breakthroughs and accomplishments. I connected with Hallie and her adorable daughter and laughed and cried with them as they worked out their new life. I loved how we got to see bits of Rory and Britt and Teirney and Burr's lives through Ian (those little flash forward's and epilogues are my favorite!). We were even introduced to cousin Finn, who seemed to need a book of his own, where we might get more peeks into the Haven triplets lives. Thanks for the great books Ms. Regnery.

Star Ratings:

Plot = 5/5 
Characters = 5/5 
Heat = 5/5 
Writing Style = 5/5 
Overall Rating = 5/5

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