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Friday, October 21, 2011

Joint Review: Born in Shame by Nora Roberts

Title: Born in Shame
Author: Nora Roberts
Series: Born In Trilogy, book 3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Penguin Group
Format: E-book
“Shannon Bodine is a talented graphic artist whose life revolves around her job at a prestigious New York advertising agency. Her world is turned upside down when she learns the identity of her real father: Thomas Concannon. Respecting her late mother's wish, Shannon travels, however reluctantly, to County Clare. There, her loneliness and shame melt away in the embrace of the family she never knew existed. And amid the lush Irish landscape, steeped in mysticism and legend, she discovers the possibility of a love that is meant to be.”

Marcela: Ally, we have come to the end of this review adventure. I can’t thank you enough for considering me for these joint reviews, the first ones I have ever done. It was a pleasure to pop my joint-review-cherry with you.
Now going back to Ireland…
My love for Murphy was love at first read, for that reason I was very excited to read his story. Even though I had some problems with the story and I could say Born in Shame was the book I liked the least in the trilogy I still enjoyed it and devoured its pages. As I said before I loved Murphy since the very beginning and he didn’t disappoint me in Born in Shame. He is a very intense and passionate man, but in a good way. He is a hard workingman and very proud of his work and roots, I admire that in a man; he is also sexy as hell. I love the image of him working with his horses or simply driving his tractor. But there is a lot more of him that we discover slowly through the pages. I don’t have anything negative to say about him, I just wish he was my neighbor and I could see him driving his tractor around… everyday, all day...

Ally: LMAO! Love you Marcela so I’m more than happy to help you ‘pop your joint review cherry’!
I have loved Murphy throughout this series, he’s constantly been there for Maggie and Brie and been the bigger, older brother that they’ve needed in their lives to add to their small but quickly growing family so it’s even better for Murphy to get his own book and see yet another side to him, he is the sweetest and most romantic guy in the series and when he gets an idea in his head, boy is he stubborn about it and determined to carry it through. Not only will he get what he want’s from Shannon, he’ll help her heal and get to know her Irish roots and her new sisters whether she wants to or not because that’s the kind of guy Murphy is. He’s extremely proud of his Irish heritiage and from coming from a long line of farmers. It’s something he believes in and is good at yet he loves his music just as much as he loves his farm. Murphy such a great character that you can’t help but fall in love with him, there are so many sides to him that no matter which way you turn him you’ll always find something new to appreciate about him and make you fall in love with him again and again.

Marcela: Now, let’s talk about Shannon. I didn’t like some of her actions, especially on the beginning but when I stopped and thought about her situation, and put myself in her shoes, I realized I might have reacted the same way. She was an only child with no other family than her lovely parents. Her father died just couple of months ago, she is dealing with that loss when she finds out her mother has cancer and is dying too and if that was not enough in her deathbed her mother confesses that the man she believed her whole life to be her father is not her real father, and then tells her the story of how she was conceived in Ireland and how her mother still loves her biological father Tom Concannon and to add to that she tells her she also has two older sisters. (If I was in her position I’m sure by then I will be in a straitjacket.) Then her mother dies and on the day of the funeral a P.I. arrives to her home telling her he is working for her sisters and has been looking for her for months. As I said, even though I didn’t like her reaction, I’m pretty sure I would have reacted the same way.
I liked that when Brie contacted her she gave herself and her sisters a chance and went to visit them in Ireland.
Shannon is a city girl and for her everything was new. I loved how little by little she discovered the pleasures of a calm and picturesque country life. I also loved how little details made her start to care about her sisters and one thing I admired about her is the way she handled Maeve, I think it was really well done.
The problem I had was that the love for Murphy didn’t feel real, if it was not because of the paranormal factor attached to their relationship I don’t think it would have worked. There was attraction, yes, but love, no, at least it was not believable (for me).

Ally: I’d totally have to agree with what you’ve said Marcela I really struggled with Shannon at times throughout the book. No matter how my heartfelt for her and I wanted to really like her I just couldn’t. She’s extremely standoffish at the beginning of the book and I found that, that set the tone for the book I also found it hard to really warm to her because of her attitude. As Marcela has already stated part of Shannon’s behavior is very understandable but the other part is totally how she’s been brought up and how she’s lived her life being a city girl. If it wasn’t for how she acts with Murphy this book would have been a DNF at times for me because I just couldn’t warm up to Shannon, and like Marcela I had a hard time believing in their love primarily because of Shannon and how she comes across, it’s 100% Murphy and the other characters who save this book for me.

Marcela: Exactly, if it weren’t for Murphy and the others this book would have been DNF for me too.
What I enjoy the most about this book was to see how Maggie and Brie were doing with their own families. As I said before I liked Maggie and Rogan a lot and loved seeing how they have become a family and how they are working perfectly around the compromises they agreed upon in the beginning.
Brie was great in this book, I loved her with her sweetness and her caring she got the whole family together. The big surprise for me was Gray, I had mixed feelings about him in Born in Ice but I’m happy to say that I loved him in Born in Shame, all the things I didn’t like about him then are not present in this book. Gray has evolved a lot making him feel almost a different person, in a very good way, I guess that’s thanks to the love of his own family and the feeling of belonging and being loved, things he had never had before. Even Maeve, is coming around this time, the love for her grandkids has made her change. I can say I didn’t hate her in Born in Shame and that’s a lot for me to say about her.

Ally: It too true the secondary characters really do shine through more in Born in Shame than the previous books. This could be because we’ve become so attached to them since they’ve had their own books but also due to the fact that Shannon and Murphy don’t pull you into the book quite as much as Maggie and Brie did in theirs, which is quite sad but at least two out of three books were extremely enjoyable. Born in Shame makes me fall in love with Rogan and Gray all over again, and makes me want to re-read the first two books to bring back the memories! As usual I adored Brie in this book, she’s a complete sweetheart who’s happier to show more of her emotions, she still hates being caught in a fight more than anything but she’ll do it for her sisters and it show’s she’s grown just as much as the other characters from the previous books. I did have a few moments where I wanted to smack Maggie upside the head and tell her to stop being a bitch and start being more accepting but in the end she was only trying to protect Brie who is part of the core of her family, so her behavior is acceptable but not necessarily likeable. As Marcela has already said Grey has grown a lot since his book and has become a much more easy going, calmer person who’s taken well to married life and fatherhood. When I first read this book I was surprised at how Maeve had mellowed from the beginning of not just Born in Shame but from the start of the series. I don’t think I could ever forgive her behavior and attitude but it’s nice to see she’s making an effort and trying. I no longer want to do her in with a frying pan! (It’s my choice of weapon ok?!)
My only problem with this series on the entirety is that you don’t have a real sense of time when reading it. In the start of Born in Fire it jumps five years without passing much comment on those five years or why they were jumped! I have no idea how much time passes between Born in Fire and Born in Ice but Maggie’s pregnant and it doesn’t take her long to give birth. Also Gray is with Brie for six months and is passes extremely quickly I found it hard to believe! Between Born in Ice and Born in Shame not only have Gray and Brie been married a year they’ve also had a baby, some of the time framing just feels a little rushed and pushed to make it all fit and at times I wasn’t overly comfortable with this but on the overall I did enjoy re-reading this series and have to thank Marcela for picking it!

Marcela: Thanks to you Ally for considering me, it has been lots of fun to write this joint reviews with you.
*I want to be clear the score I’m giving this book is due to the secondary characters, because the main story failed for me.*

Marcela’s Quote:

“Welcome to the county of Clare, Shannon Bodine. May your stay be as sweet and colorful as the blooms and last longer.”
Flabbergasted, and damn it, charmed, she took the cheerful blossom from him. “I thought you were an odd man, Murphy,” she murmured. “It seems I was right.” But her lips were curve as she rose. “Thank you.”
“Now, that’s something I’ll look forward to. Your smile,” he told her when she only lifted her brows. “It’s worth waiting for. Good night, Shannon. Sleep well.”

Ally’s Quote:

“I haven’t done a nude since art school, but - ”
“Darling when you get me naked, you’ll be much too busy for your brushes.”

Marcela’s Rating: 3 ½ Paws 

Ally’s Rating: 3 Stars

Other books in the series
Born in Fire
Born in Ice
Born in Shame

Other reviews Goodreads


  1. I find NR writes great secondary characters. And it sounds like thank goodness she did otherwise you both would have given up on this book. So I guess NR can write crap-ish books sometimes... ;) Fun reviews ladies! So Ally, who are you bringing over to the NR side next?

  2. Julie, Yes, this book wasn't too good but the joint reviewing experience was nice thanks to NR pimp-er.

  3. Marcela - Thanks so much for doing this with me. I've really enjoyed doing this with you and I'm so glad you found another Nora Roberts series that you now like! I hope in future you'll try something else of hers!

    Julie - No-one! *sobsobsob* There's nothing planned til next year now when we do our group thing but I might go around spreading the Nora love next year with stand-a-lone's but I'm not 100% sure yet. Yes, she can write not so good books, not many considering how many books she's written!


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