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Sunday, August 19, 2012

Book Review: Wild Irish Rose by Deborah L. Weikel

This is a lovely story full of strong imagery, interesting Irish history and sweet romance.
Wild Irish Rose 
 by Deborah L. Weikel

  • Paperback: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Brigham Distributing (June 3, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935217666
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935217664
Genre: Historical Romance, Inspirational
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0

Book Description
Publication Date: June 3, 2010
It is May 1865. When Rosaleen O'Shay and her mother lose their factory jobs, and then her father and brother are injured ina coal-mine cave-in, the family is in serious trouble. Rosaleen worries they will never save enough money to fulfill their dream - to leave Pittsburgh and buy a farm in California. Hoping to give her a better life, Rosaleen's father secretly arranges to marry her off to Blaise Cameron, a young man on his way to his parent's ranch near Stockton, California. In a twist of fate, Blaise turns out to be the soldier from the street - the one Rosaleen considers a blackard. To make matters worse, Blaise has a plan - and dubious motive for taking a wife - so Rosaleen will have to drive a hard bargain of her own. Will Blaise tame the fiery redhead and make her truly his? Or will he annul the marriage as promised when he has achieved his objectives? And will Rosaleen realize that unusual beginnings can lead to happily ever after?

Rosaleen is a beautiful Irish lass who wants to help her family rise out of the Irish oppression in Pittsburg, PA in 1865.  The family is struggling to make ends meet even with her father and brother working in the mine and her mother and her working in the sewing factory. Then Rosaleen and her mother lose their jobs because she won’t give in to the factory foreman.

Rosaleen rescues another young girl from the foreman and they try a night job at a saloon. Rosaleen is at an age to marry but she wants to find her own husband and marry for love. Her father has a different idea since he feels his impulsive daughter needs to be controlled.  Rosaleen’s father decides to answer an ad for a ‘mail order bride’ in the hopes of getting her settled.

Blaise has returned from the Civil War hoping to return to his family ranch in California. He learns from his distraught sister that his parents have been kidnapped and are being hidden by a former suitor who has commandeered the ranch.  To gain legal control of the ranch Blaise must marry in the next month.  His plan is to marry, for convenience if need be, find his parents, regain the ranch and then divorce. He is drawn to the fiery redhead but knows that she thinks he is a rogue. But she will go along with the plan if he agrees to take her family to California too. 

Ms. Weikel’s descriptions are clear and vibrant from the war images to the mining town, the ship and the range.  I really enjoyed the portrayal of the social history of the time, including the difficulties that the Irish faced and the struggles of convincing old ranchers to try new ideas. The story is driven by the romance between the strong heroine and hero. There is the intrigue that Blaise faces to overcome a conspiring scoundrel but I was a bit disappointed that there really is very little confrontation with the villain and the danger is wrapped up with minimal fuss. I appreciated the underlying faith in this story too. The author delivers the message through the steadfast assurance of Rosalinn’s family that leads Blaise to learn to trust that he needs more than his own efforts.

This read fairly quickly and I would like to read more by this author. If you enjoy warm romance with a marriage of convenience where the characters start at odds but grow on each other, you should check this title.
Quotes I liked:
He would never again travel by sea–this unpredictable, vast, and lonely wasteland where he had no control over his circumstances. ... The sea was confining, but Blaise felt at ease on the range. Location 2045.
She was indeed starting to care for Blaise, but she knew it would only bring her heartache to wish for more than what he offered her now.  Location 2151.
I received this title from Walnut Press for an impartial review.
This is set in Pittsburgh, PA and California for my Where Are You Reading Challenge. I will also add it to my ARC and New Authors lists.

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