Genre: Romance/Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: November 1, 1999
Source: Personal Copy
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads says, "In her new trilogy, New York Times #1 Best Selling author, Nora Roberts returns to the lush, green hills of Ireland, where love is forever touched by magic - And where the Gallagher siblings explore the depth of their fiery hearts. Determining to reevaluate her life, Jude Murray flees America to take refugee in Faerie Hill Cottage, immersing herself in the study of Irish Folk and discovers hope for the future of the magical past. Finally back home in Ireland after years of traveling, Aidan Gallagher possesses an uncommon understanding of his country's haunting myths. Although he's devoted to managing the family pub, a hint of wildness still glints in his stormy eyes--and in Jude, he sees a woman who can both soothe his heart and stir his blood. And he begins to share the legends of the land with her--while they create a passionate history of their own.."
Jude Murray's marriage crumbles and she decides to reset her life by visiting her ancestor's cottage in Ireland. It is there where she will get back to the basics, do a little research on folklore, and figure out what she wants out of life. She has even left her job, which she is no longer inspired by and where better to find herself than spend six months at the gorgeous Irish countryside? Aidan Gallagher owns the local pub that has been in his family for generations. After traveling the world, he has returned home to manage the pub and when he meets Jude sparks fly. Maybe Aidan is just what Jude needs to heal her broken heart and perhaps Jude will finally inspire Aidan to settle down. Nora Robert's Jewels of the Sun is a charming romance novel with touches of fantasy and folklore woven into it.
How could you not feel for Jude in Jewels of the Sun? She's pretty much at her lowest point when readers meet her. She has left her job, her marriage is over, and she is lost. Going to Ireland to figure things out is the best thing she could have done for herself. While there she is researching local folklore and mythology; perhaps she will write a book. She consults the locals regarding these myths, and especially feels chemistry with the brooding and handsome Aidan Gallagher. I loved their relationship from the start.
Aidan is exactly the kind of love interest you'd want in a romance novel. He's good looking, smart, and very charming. While I didn't necessarily buy his interest in Jude right away, I did appreciate the slow burn of their romance and watching it evolve in Jewels of the Sun. I also appreciated Aidan's siblings. Roberts does a good job even making the secondary characters compelling so much so that they are the focus of the rest of the Gallaghers of Ardmore series.
What I really enjoyed about Jewels of the Sun was the setting of Ardmore, Ireland. I absolutely loved Robert's depictions of the countryside and its beauty. Her descriptions of the local pub, Gallaghers, was fantastic. I wanted to spend the day there sipping a beer and listening to traditional Irish music. The details she included of the Irish countryside were so spot on. It had me reminiscing of my own trip to Ireland.
The fantasy elements Roberts wove into the plot, while were cheesy at points, worked in the sense that Jude is here to study local folklore and is living at a cottage called Faerie Hill. So, it seemed only fitting that there may be something supernatural about. Plus, the presence of ghosts only added to the atmosphere of the story.
All in all, if you want something fluffy, romantic and with an absolutely beautiful setting, you should check out this series. I'm glad I found it sitting in the back of my bookshelf; it was just what I needed. I plan on checking out the rest of the series as well. I have a feeling this trilogy, Gallaghers of Ardmore, would be like wearing your favorite sweats and drinking a warm cup of tea by the fire on a damp day. Comforting and cozy.