So apparently I wasn’t done with my romance kick after just the one book. I knew it couldn’t be that simple. So here we go, once more into the breach…
Nora Roberts’ Jewels of the Sun analyses what would happen if you woke up at 29, divorced, disillusioned, disappointed in your professional ability and perhaps independently wealthy. Oh, and your grandmother’s cousin has died and left her cottage in Ardmore, Ireland without a tenant.
If only this were my life…
But I digress. We meet Jude at the top of the story, as she is working her way through driving on the wrong side from Dublin to Ardmore, down on the coast. She’s in just the sort of predicament I’ve outlined above. Her husband asked for a divorce after 7 months, having fallen for another woman, she’s not a very good professor at the college in Chicago so she quit. Her grandmother sent her off to a family home which is currently without a tenant, and she is here to stave off a nervous breakdown. She would know; she has a degree in psychology.
Jude’s the kind of character you vote for. You want her to discover who she is outside of everyone else’s opinions and expectations. And there seem to have been a lot. This is a romance, so there must be a romantic lead and his name is Aidan, the local publican. She’s planning on being gone in 6 months time, as that’s all she’s allowed herself for this respite and he’s not looking for anything serious.
But that’s not what the fairy king has in mind.
Did I not mention the fairies? Oh, they’re involved in this one. Roberts has left her grounded in (rosy) realism storytelling and headed over into the land of the supernatural. And I kind of love it. This book is actually the first in a series of three, something very common in Roberts’ world, and there is a story of love lost between the fairy king and the original owner of the cottage, who still haunts the place waiting for the love which was lost. Now it’s up to Jude and Aidan, and eventually Aidan’s siblings and their respective romantic interests, to express a true love outside of the empty promises the fairy king once offered a fair maid.