Heart of the Sea (Irish Jewels Trilogy Series #3)

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Overview

The breathtaking conclusion to the New York Times bestselling trilogy that began with Jewels of the Sun and Tears of the Moon...

Darcy Gallagher has always believed in the pull of fate, the magic of legend... and the importance of money. She longs to find a rich man who will sweep her away - into a world filled with glamour and adventure, and the exotic life that is her destiny...

A wealthy businessman with Irish blood, Trevor Magee has come to...

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Heart of the Sea (Irish Jewels Trilogy Series #3)

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Overview

The breathtaking conclusion to the New York Times bestselling trilogy that began with Jewels of the Sun and Tears of the Moon...

Darcy Gallagher has always believed in the pull of fate, the magic of legend... and the importance of money. She longs to find a rich man who will sweep her away - into a world filled with glamour and adventure, and the exotic life that is her destiny...

A wealthy businessman with Irish blood, Trevor Magee has come to Ardmore to build a theater - and uncover the secrets hidden in his family's past. He thought he had given up on love long ago, but Darcy Gallagher tempts him like no woman ever has. She's gorgeous, intelligent, and she knows what she wants - and he's more than willing to give it to her. But as their mutual attraction flares into passion, they look into their hearts - and find out what happens when you truly believe...

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Nora Roberts closes out her magical Irish trilogy, which began with Jewels of the Sun and Tears of the Moon, with a final tale of love and legend, Heart of the Sea. As with the first two books, this one follows the lives of the talented and temperamental Gallagher clan, this time focusing on the beautiful and strong-willed Darcy. Serving as background is the legend of two star-crossed lovers whose ghosts haunt the small Irish village of Ardmore, where the Gallaghers live. Cursed to spend eternity apart, their only hope lies in the true-love matching of a trio of couples, two of which have already been joined. But bringing together two people as stubborn and strong-willed as Darcy Gallagher and millionaire Trevor Magee may prove to be more than even two determined spirits can handle.

Darcy Gallagher possesses the voice of an angel, the looks of a temptress, and the temper of a hellcat. She has always believed she was fated to find fame and fortune and assumed it would come in the form of a rich man who would someday appear and sweep her off her feet. And when handsome developer Trevor Magee comes to Ardmore to build a theater that will tie in with the Gallaghers' pub, Darcy thinks she may have finally found her man.

Trevor can't deny his attraction to Darcy, but he is determined to keep things on an emotionally uncomplicated level. Besides, he has business with Darcy as well, as he intends to sign her to a recording contract that will bring her the wealth and lifestyle she desires. But Trevor underestimates the determination of the otherwordly Prince Carrick and Lady Gwendolyn, who are desperate to make their final love match. The more Trevor tries to keep his distance from Darcy (emotional distance, that is, since physically they can't resist one another) the closer he seems to get to her. Still, it will take a life-changing event and the near loss of all that Trevor values before he can realize just how deep his attachment to Darcy runs.

Roberts effortlessly interweaves past and present in this delightful tale, tying together the legends and magic of Irish folklore with the pressures and passions of modern-day life. Her love of the land and its people comes across with crystal clarity, and Roberts demonstrates some magical abilities of her own, casting the spell that continues to garner her legions of devoted readers.

Contributing Editor Beth Amos is the author of three novels, including Cold White Fury and Second Sight.

Jill M. Smith
As she as done so many times before, the awesome Ms. Roberts brings joy, excitement and powerful romance to her stories. Heart of the Sea is the highly satisfying conclusion to her most recent Irish Trilogy.
Romantic Times
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Veteran romance writer Roberts is known for her ability to deliver a rich and satisfying story, and this conclusion to her Irish trilogy (following Jewels of the Sun and Tears of the Moon) is no exception. The final installment begins when wealthy builder Trevor Magee arrives in the Irish village of Ardmore. There he meets Darcy Gallagher, who aspires to the more lavish lifestyle that only a wealthy husband can provide. Immediately attracted, the two begin to negotiate an arrangement uncomplicated by the messiness of love. Their hearts have other plans, however--and so does Carrick, a brooding faerie prince who uses them to plot a reunion with his long-dead and long-lost lover, Lady Gwen. Although she could have limited her bold, beautiful and wealth-conscious protagonists to 1980s glitz-and-glamour superficiality, Roberts is triumphant in realizing fully developed characters, as both Trevor and Darcy turn out to be vulnerable human beings with appealingly ordinary hopes and dreams. (Dec. 5) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780515128550
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/29/2001
  • Series: Irish Trilogy Series , #3
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 99,370
  • Product dimensions: 4.22 (w) x 6.76 (h) x 1.07 (d)

Meet the Author

Nora Roberts is the #1 New York Times-bestselling author of more than 200 novels. She is also the author of the bestselling In Death series written under the pen name J.D. Robb. There are more than 400 million copies of her books in print.

Biography

Not only has Nora Roberts written more bestsellers than anyone else in the world (according to Publishers Weekly), she’s also created a hybrid genre of her own: the futuristic detective romance. And that’s on top of mastering every subgenre in the romance pie: the family saga, the historical, the suspense novel. But this most prolific and versatile of authors might never have tapped into her native talent if it hadn't been for one fateful snowstorm.

As her fans well know, in 1979 a blizzard trapped Roberts at home for a week with two bored little kids and a dwindling supply of chocolate. To maintain her sanity, Roberts started scribbling a story -- a romance novel like the Harlequin paperbacks she'd recently begun reading. The resulting manuscript was rejected by Harlequin, but that didn't matter to Roberts. She was hooked on writing. Several rejected manuscripts later, her first book was accepted for publication by Silhouette.

For several years, Roberts wrote category romances for Silhouette -- short books written to the publisher's specifications for length, subject matter and style, and marketed as part of a series of similar books. Roberts has said she never found the form restrictive. "If you write in category, you write knowing there's a framework, there are reader expectations," she explained. "If this doesn't suit you, you shouldn't write it. I don't believe for one moment you can write well what you wouldn't read for pleasure."

Roberts never violated the reader's expectations, but she did show a gift for bringing something fresh to the romance formula. Her first book, Irish Thoroughbred (1981), had as its heroine a strong-willed horse groom, in contrast to the fluttering young nurses and secretaries who populated most romances at the time. But Roberts's books didn't make significant waves until 1985, when she published Playing the Odds, which introduced the MacGregor clan. It was the first bestseller of many.

Roberts soon made a name for herself as a writer of spellbinding multigenerational sagas, creating families like the Scottish MacGregors, the Irish Donovans and the Ukrainian Stanislaskis. She also began working on romantic suspense novels, in which the love story unfolds beneath a looming threat of violence or disaster. She grew so prolific that she outstripped her publishers' ability to print and market Nora Roberts books, so she created an alter ego, J.D. Robb. Under the pseudonym, she began writing romantic detective novels set in the future. By then, millions of readers had discovered what Publishers Weekly called her "immeasurable diversity and talent."

Although the style and substance of her books has grown, Roberts remains loyal to the genre that launched her career. As she says, "The romance novel at its core celebrates that rush of emotions you have when you are falling in love, and it's a lovely thing to relive those feelings through a book."

Good To Know

Roberts still lives in the same Maryland house she occupied when she first started writing -- though her carpenter husband has built on some additions. She and her husband also own Turn the Page Bookstore Café in Boonsboro, Maryland. When Roberts isn't busy writing, she likes to drop by the store, which specializes in Civil War titles as well as autographed copies of her own books.

Roberts sued fellow writer Janet Dailey in 1997, accusing her of plagiarizing numerous passages of her work over a period of years. Dailey paid a settlement and publicly apologized, blaming stress and a psychological disorder for her misconduct.

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    1. Also Known As:
      J. D. Robb; Sarah Hardesty; Jill March; Eleanor Marie Robertson (birth name)
    2. Hometown:
      Keedysville, Maryland
    1. Date of Birth:
      1950
    2. Place of Birth:
      Silver Spring, Maryland

Read an Excerpt



Chapter One


The village of Ardmore sat snug on the south coast of Ireland, in the county of Waterford, with the Celtic Sea spread out at its feet. The stone seawall curved around, following the skirt of the golden-sand beach.

    It boasted in its vicinity a pretty jut of cliffs upholstered with wild grass, and a hotel that clung to them. If one had a mind to, it was a pleasant if hearty walk on a narrow path around the headland, and at the top of the first hill were the ruins of the oratory and well of Saint Declan.

    The view was worth the climb, with sky and sea and village spread out below. This was holy ground, and though dead were buried there, only one grave had its stone marked.

    The village itself claimed neat streets and painted cottages, some with the traditional thatched roofs, and a number of steep hills as well. Flowers grew in abundance, spilling out of window boxes, baskets, and pots, and dooryards. It made a charming picture from above or below, and the villagers were proud to have won the Tidy Town award two years running.

    Atop Tower Hill was a fine example of a round tower, with its conical top still in place, and the ruins of the twelfth-century cathedral built in honor of Saint Declan. Folks would tell you, in case you wondered, that Declan arrived thirty years before good Saint Patrick.

    Not that they were bragging, they were just letting you know how things stood.

    Those interested in such matters would find examples of ogham carving on the stones put for safekeeping inside the rooflesscathedral, and Roman arcading faded with time and wind but still worth the study.

    But the village itself made no attempt at such grandeur. It was merely a pleasant place with a shop or two and a scatter of cottages built back away from lovely sand beaches.

    The sign for Ardmore said FAILTE, and that was "welcome."

    It was that very combination of ancient history and simple character and hospitality that interested Trevor Magee.

    His people had come from Ardmore and Old Parish. Indeed, his grandfather had been born here, in a small house very near Ardmore Bay, had lived the first years of his life breathing that moist sea air, had perhaps held his mother's hand as she'd walked to the shops or along the surf.

    His grandfather had left his village and his country, taking his wife and young son with him to America. He had never been back, and so far as Trevor knew, had never looked back either. There had been a distance and a bitter one, between the old man and the country of his birth. Ireland and Ardmore and the family Dennis Magee had left behind had rarely been spoken of.

    So Trevor's image of Ardmore had a ripple of sentiment and curiosity through it, and his reasons for choosing it had a personal bent.

    But he could afford personal bents.

    He was a man who built, and who, as his grandfather and father before him, built cleverly and well.

    His grandfather had made his living laying brick, and made his fortune speculating on properties during and after World War II, until the buying and selling of them was his business, and the building done by those he hired.

    Old Magee had been no more sentimental about his laborer's beginnings than he had been about his homeland. To Trevor's recollection, the man had shown no sentiment about anything.

    But Trevor had inherited the heart and hands of the builder as much as the cool, hard sense of the businessman, and he had learned to use both.

    He would use them both here, and a dash of sentiment as well, to build his theater, a traditional structure for traditional music, with its entrance the already established pub known as Gallagher's.

    The deal with the Gallaghers had been set, the ground broken for the project before he'd been able to hack through his schedule for the time he wanted to spend here. But he was here now, and he intended to do more than sign checks and watch.

    He wanted his hands in it.

    A man could work up a good sweat even in May in such a temperate climate when he spent a morning hauling concrete. That morning Trevor left the cottage he'd decided to rent for the duration of his stay wearing a denim jacket and carrying a steaming mug of coffee. Now, a handful of hours later, the jacket had been tossed aside, and a thin line of damp ran front and back down his shirt.

    He'd have paid a hundred pounds for one cold beer.

    The pub was only a short walk through the construction rubble. He knew from stopping in the day before that it did a brisk business midday. But a man could hardly quench his thirst with a chilly Harp when he forbade his employees to drink on the job.

    He rolled his shoulders, circled his neck as he scanned the site. The concrete truck let out its continuous rumble, men shouted, relaying orders or acknowledging them. Job music, Trevor thought. He never tired of it.

    That was a gift from his father. Learn from the ground up had been Dennis Junior's credo, and the third-generation Magee had done just that. For more than ten years—fifteen if he counted the summers he'd sweated on construction sites—he'd learned just what went into the business of building.

    The backaches and blood and aching muscles.

    At thirty-two, he spent more time in boardrooms and meetings than on a scaffold, but he'd never lost the appreciation, or the satisfaction of swinging his own hammer.

    He intended to indulge himself doing just that in Ardmore, in his theater.

    He watched the small woman in a faded cap and battered boots circle around, gesture as the wet concrete slid down the chute. She scrambled over sand and stone, used her shovel to rap the chute and alert the operator to stop, then waded into the muck with the other laborers to shovel and smooth.

    Brenna O'Toole, Trevor thought, and was glad he'd followed his instincts there. Hiring her and her father as foremen on the project had been the right course of action. Not just for their building skills, he decided—though they were impressive—but because they knew the village and the people in it, kept the job running smoothly and the men happy and productive.

    Public relations on this sort of project were just as vital as a sturdy foundation.

    Yes, indeed, they were working out well. His three days in Ardmore had shown him he'd made the right choice with O'Toole and O'Toole.

    When Brenna climbed out again, Trevor stepped over, extended a hand to give her a final boost.

    "Thanks." She sliced her shovel into the ground, leaned on it, and despite her filthy boots and faded cap, looked like a pixie. Her skin was pure Irish cream, and a few curls of wild red escaped the cap.

    "Tim Riley says we won't have rain for another day or two, and he has a way of being right about such things more than he's wrong. I think we'll have the slab set up for you before you have to worry about weather."

    "You made considerable progress before I got here."

    "Sure, and once you gave us the high sign there was no reason to wait. We'll have you a good, solid foundation, Mr. Magee, and on schedule."

    "Trev."

    "Aye, Trev." She tipped back her cap, then her head so she could meet his eyes. She figured him a good foot higher than her five-two, even wearing her boots. "The men you sent along from America, they're a fine team."

    "As I handpicked them, I agree."

    She thought his voice faintly aloof, but not unfriendly. "And do you never pick females then?"

    He smiled slowly so it seemed that humor just moseyed over his face until it reached eyes the color of turf smoke. "I do indeed and as often as possible. Both on and off the job. I've put one of my best carpenters on this project. She'll be here next week."

    "It's good to know my cousin Brian wasn't wrong in that area. He said you hired by skill and not gender. It's a good morning's work here," she added, nodding to the site. "That noisy bastard of a truck will be our constant companion for a while yet. Darcy'll be back from her holiday tomorrow, and I can tell you she'll bitch our ears off about the din."

    "It's a good noise. Building."

    "I've always thought the same."

    They stood a moment in perfect accord while the truck vomited out the last yard of concrete.

    "I'll buy you lunch," Trevor said.

    "I'll let you." Brenna gave a whistle to catch her father's attention, then mimed spooning up food. Mick responded with a grin and a wave, then went back to work.

    "He's in his heaven," Brenna commented as they walked over to rinse off their boots. "Nothing makes Mick O'Toole happier than finding himself in the middle of a job site, the muckier the better."

    Satisfied, Brenna gave her feet a couple of stomps, then headed around to the kitchen door. "I hope you'll take some time to see the area while you're here, instead of locking yourself into the job at hand."

    "I plan to see what's around. "He had reports, of course—detailed reports on tourist draws, road conditions, routes to and from major cities. But he intended to see for himself.

    Needed to see it, Trevor admitted to himself. Something had been pulling him toward Ireland, toward Ardmore, for more than a year. In dreams.

    "Ah, now there's a fine-looking man doing what he does best," Brenna said when she pushed open the kitchen door. "What have you for us today, Shawn?"

    He turned from the enormous old stove, a rangy man with shaggy black hair and eyes of misty blue. "For the special we've sea spinach soup and the beef sandwich. Good day to you, Trevor. Is this one working you harder than she should?"

    "She keeps things moving."

    "And so I must, for the man in my life is slow. I wonder, Shawn, if you've selected another tune or two for Trevor's consideration."

    "I've been busy catering to my new wife. She's a demanding creature." So saying, he reached out to cradle Brenna's face and kiss her. "Get out of my kitchen. It's confusing enough around here without Darcy."

    "She'll be back tomorrow, and by this time of the day you'll have cursed her a dozen times."

    "Why do you think I miss her? Give your order to Sinead," he told Trevor. "She's a good girl, and our Jude's been working with her. She just needs a bit more practice."

    "A friend of my sister Mary Kate is Sinead," Brenna told Trevor as she pushed open the door that swung between kitchen and pub. "A good-natured girl, if a bit scattered in the brain. She wants to marry Billy O'Hara, and that is the sum total of her ambitions at this time."

    "And what does Billy O'Hara have to say?"

    "Being not quite so ambitious as Sinead, Billy keeps his mouth shut. Good day to you, Aidan."

    "And to you." The oldest of the Gallaghers worked the bar and had his hands on the taps as he looked over. "Will you be joining us for lunch, then?"

    "That we will. We've caught you busy."

    "God bless the tour buses." With a wink, Aidan slid two pints down the bar to waiting hands.

    "Do you want us to take it in the kitchen?"

    "No need for that unless you're in a great hurry." His eyes, a deeper blue than his brother's, scanned the pub. "Service is a mite slower than our usual. But there's a table or two left."

    "We'll leave it to the boss." Brenna turned to Trevor. "How will you have it?"

    "Let's get a table." The better to watch how the business ran.

    He followed her out and sat with her at one of the mushroom-shaped tables. There was a buzz of conversation, a haze of smoke, and the yeasty scent of beer.

    "Will you have a pint?" Brenna asked him.

    "Not until after the workday."

    Her lips twitched as she kicked back in her chair. "So I've heard from some of the men. Word is you're a tyrant on this particular matter."

    He didn't mind the term "tyrant." It meant he was in control. "Word would be correct."

    "I'll tell you this, you may have a bit of a problem enforcing such a rule around here. Many who'll labor for you were nursed on Guinness and it's as natural to them as mother's milk."

    "I'm fond of it myself, but when a man or woman is on my clock, they stick with mother's milk."

    "Ah, you're a hard man, Trevor Magee." But she said it with a laugh. "So tell me, how are you liking Faerie Hill Cottage?"

    "Very much. It's comfortable, efficient, quiet, and has a view that rips your heart into your throat. It's just what I was looking for, so I'm grateful you put me on to it."

    "That's not a problem, not a problem at all. It's in the family. I think Shawn misses the little kitchen there, as the house we're building's far from finished. More than livable," she added, as it was one of their current sore points, "but I figure to concentrate on the kitchen there on my off days so he'll be happier."

    "I'd like to see it."

    "Would you?" Surprised, she angled her head. "Well, you're welcome any time. I'll give you the direction. Do you mind me saying I didn't expect you to be as friendly a sort of man as you seem to be?"

    "What did you expect?"

    "More of a shark, and I hope that doesn't offend you."

    "It doesn't. And it depends on the waters where I'm swimming." He glanced over, and his face warmed as Aidan's wife came up to the table. But When he started to rise, Jude waved him down again.

    "No, I'm not joining you, but thanks." She rested a hand on her very pregnant belly. "Hello, I'm Jude Frances and I'll be your server today."

    "You shouldn't be on your feet like this, carrying trays."

    Jude sighed as she took out her order pad. "He sounds like Aidan. I put my feet up when I need to, and I don't carry anything heavy. Sinead can't handle things on her own."

    "Not to worry, Trevor. Why me own blessed mother dug potatoes on the day I was born, then went back to roast them after the delivery." At Trevor's narrowed glance, Brenna chuckled. "Well, maybe not, but I'll wager she could have. I'll have today's soup, if you don't mind, Jude, and a glass of milk," she added with a wicked smile for Trevor.

    "The same," he said, "plus the sandwich."

    "A fine choice. I'll be right back with it."

    "She's stronger than she looks," Brenna told him when Jude moved to another table. "And more stubborn. Now that she's found her direction, so to speak, she'll only work harder to prove she can do what you tell her she shouldn't. Aidan won't let her overdo, I promise you. The man adores her."

    "Yes, I've noticed. The Gallagher men seem to be devoted to their women."

    "So they'd better be, or their women will know why." Relaxed, she kicked back, pulled off her cap. Those red curls tumbled down. "So you aren't finding it, I guess we'd say `too rustic' for you—out in the countryside here after being used to New York City?"

    He thought of the job sites he'd experienced: mud slides, floods, blistering heat, petty vandalism, and sabotage. "Not at all. The village is exactly what I expected after Finkle's reports."

    "Ah, yes, Finkle." She remembered Trevor's scout very well. "Now there's a man I believe prefers urban conveniences. But you're not so ... particular, then."

    "I'm very particular, depending. That's why I incorporated most of your design into the theater project."

    "Now that's a fine and sneaky compliment." And nothing could have pleased her more. "I suppose I was angling more toward the personal. I have a special fondness for the cottage on Faerie Hill, and I wasn't sure you'd find the place to your liking. Thinking, I suppose, a man with your background and wherewithal would be more inclined to settle at the cliff hotel with maid service and the restaurant and so forth."

    "Hotel rooms become confining. And I find it interesting to stay in the house where the woman who was engaged to one of my ancestors was born, and lived, and died."

    "She was a fine woman, Old Maude. A wise woman." Brenna kept her eyes on Trevor's face as she spoke. "Her grave's up near the well of Saint Declan, and it's there you can feel her. She's not the one in the cottage now."

    "Who is?"

    Brenna lifted her eyebrows. "You don't know the legend, then? Your grandfather was born here, and your father as well, though he was a babe when they sailed to America. Still, he visited many years back. Did neither of them tell you the story of Lady Gwen and Prince Carrick?"

    "No. So it would be Lady Gwen who haunts the cottage?"

    "Have you seen her?"

    "No." Trevor hadn't been raised on legends and myths, but there was more than enough Irish in his blood to cause him to wonder about them. "But there's a feminine feel to the place, almost a fragrance, so odds are for the lady."

    "You'd be right about that."

    "Who was she? I figure if I'm sharing quarters with a ghost, I should know something about her."

    No careless dismissal of the subject, no amused indulgence of the Irish and their legends, Brenna noted. Just cool interest. "You surprise me again. Let me see to something first. I'll be right back."

    Fascinating, Trevor mused. He had himself a ghost.

    He'd felt things before. In old buildings, empty lots, deserted fields. It wasn't the kind of thing a man generally talked about at a board meeting or over a cold one with the crew after a sweaty day's work. Not usually. But this was a different place, with a different tone. More, he wanted to know.

    Everything to do with Ardmore and the area was of interest to him now. A good ghost story could draw people in just as successfully as a well-run pub. It was all atmosphere.

    Gallagher's was exactly the kind of atmosphere he'd been looking for as a segue into his theater. The old wood, blackened by time and smoke and grease, mated comfortably with the cream-colored walls, the stone hearth, the low tables and benches.

    The bar itself was a beauty, an aged chestnut that he'd already noted the Gallaghers kept wiped and polished. The age of customers ranged from a baby in arms to the oldest man Trevor believed he'd ever seen, who was balanced on a stool at the far end of the bar.

    There were several others he took as locals just from the way they sat or smoked or sipped, and three times that many who could be nothing other than tourists with their camera bags under their tables and their maps and guidebooks out.

    The conversations were a mix of accents, but predominant was that lovely lilt he'd heard in his grandparents' voices until the day they died.

    He wondered if they hadn't missed hearing it themselves, and why they'd never had a driving urge to come to Ireland again. What were the bitter memories that had kept them away? Whatever, curiosity about them had skipped over a generation and now had caused him to come back and see for himself.

    More, he wondered why he should have recognized Ardmore and the view from the cottage and even now know what he would see when he climbed the cliffs. It was as if he carried a picture in his mind of this place, one someone else had taken and tucked away for him.

    They'd had no pictures to show him. His father had visited once, when he'd been younger than Trevor was now, but his descriptions had been sketchy at best.

    The reports, of course. There had been detailed photographs and descriptions in the reports Finkle had brought back to New York. But he'd known—before he'd opened the first file, he'd already known.

    Inherited memory? he mused, though he didn't put much stock in that sort of thing. Inheriting his father's eyes, the clear gray color, the long-lidded shape of them, was one matter. And he was told he had his grandfather's hands, and his mind for business. But how did a memory pass down through the blood?

    He toyed with the idea as he continued to scan the room. It didn't occur to him that he looked more the local than the tourist as he sat there in his work clothes, his dark blond hair tousled from the morning's labor. He had a narrow, rawboned face that would put most in mind of a warrior, or perhaps a scholar, rather than a businessman. The woman he'd nearly married had said it looked to be honed and sculpted by some wild genius. The faintest of scars marred his chin, a result of a storm of flying glass during a tornado in Houston, and added to the overall impression of toughness.

    It was a face that rarely gave anything away. Unless it was to Trevor Magee's advantage.

    At the moment it held a cool and remote expression, but it shifted into easy friendliness when Brenna came back toward the table with Jude. Brenna, he noted, carried the tray.

    "I've asked Jude to take a few moments to sit and tell you about Lady Gwen," Brenna began and was already unloading the order. "She's a seanachais."

    At Trevor's raised eyebrow, Jude shook her head. "It's Gaelic for storyteller. I'm not really, I'm just—"

    "And who has a book being published, and another she's writing. Jude's book'll be out at the end of this very summer," Brenna went on. "It'll make a lovely gift, so I'd keep it in mind when you're out shopping."

    "Brenna." Jude rolled her eyes.

    "I'll look for it. Some of Shawn's song lyrics are stories. It's an old and honored tradition."

    "Oh, he'll like that one." Beaming now, Brenna scooped up the tray. "I'll deal with this, Jude, and give Sinead a bit of a goose for you. Go ahead and get started. I've heard it often enough before."

    "She has enough energy for twenty people." A little tired now, Jude picked up her cup of tea.

    "I'm glad I found her for this project. Or that she found me."

    "I'd say it was a bit of both, since you're both operators." She caught herself, winced. "I didn't mean that in a negative way."

    "Wasn't taken in one. Baby kicking? It puts a look in your eye," Trevor explained, "My sister just had her third."

    "Third?" Jude blew out a breath. "There are moments I wonder how I'm going to manage the one. He's active. But he's just going to have to wait another couple of months." She ran a hand in slow circles over the mound of her belly, soothing as she sipped. "You may not know it, but I lived in Chicago until just over a year ago."

    He made a noncommittal sound. Of course he knew, he had extensive reports.

    "My plan was to come here for six months, to live in the cottage where my grandmother lived after she lost her parents. She'd inherited it from her cousin Maude, who'd died shortly before I came here."

    "The woman my great-uncle was engaged to."

    "Yes. The day I arrived, it was raining. I thought I was lost. I had been lost, and not just geographically. Everything unnerved me."

    "You came alone, to another country?" Trevor cocked his head. "That doesn't sound like a woman easily unnerved."

    "That's something Aidan would say." And because it was, she found herself very comfortable. "I suppose it's more that I didn't know my own nerve at that point. In any case, I pulled into the street, the driveway actually, of this little thatched-roof cottage. And in the upstairs window I saw a woman. She had a lovely, sad face and pale blond hair that fell around her shoulders. She looked at me, our eyes connected. Then Brenna drove up. It seemed I'd stumbled across my Own cottage, and the woman I'd seen in the window was Lady Gwen."

    "The ghost?"

    "That's right, yes. It sounds impossible, doesn't it? Or certainly unreasonable. But I can tell you exactly what she looked like. I've sketched her. And I knew no more of the legend when I came here than you appear to know now."

    "I'd like to hear it."

    "Then I'll tell you." Jude paused as Brenna came back, sat, and tucked into her meal.

    She had an easy way with a story, Trevor noted. A smooth and natural rhythm that put the listener into the tale. She told him of a young maid who'd lived in the cottage on the faerie hill. A woman who cared for her father, as her mother had been lost in childbirth, who tended the cottage and its gardens and who carried herself with pride.

    Beneath the green slope of the hill was the silver glory of the faerie raft, the palace where Carrick ruled as prince. He was also proud, and he was handsome, with a flowing mane of raven-black hair and eyes of burning blue. Those eyes fell upon the maid Gwen, and hers upon him.

    They plunged into love, faerie and mortal, and at night when others slept, he would take her flying on his great winged horse. Never did they speak of that love, for pride blocked the words. One night Gwen's father woke to see her with Carrick as they dismounted from his horse. And in fear for her, he betrothed her to another and ordered her to marry without delay.

    Carrick flew on his horse to the sun, and gathered its burning sparks in his silver pouch. When Gwen came out of the cottage to meet him before her wedding, he opened the bag and poured diamonds, jewels of the sun, at her feet. "Take them and me," he said, "for they are my passion for you." He promised her immortality, and a life of riches and glory. But never once did he speak, even then, of love.

    So she refused him, and turned from him. The diamonds that lay on the grass became flowers.

    Twice more he came to her, the next time when she carried her first child in her womb. From his silver pouch he poured pearls, tears of the moon that he'd gathered for her. And these, he told her, were his longing for her. But longing is not love, and she had pledged herself to another.

    When she turned away, the pearls became flowers.

    Many years passed before he came the last time, years during which Gwen raised her children, nursed her husband through his illness, and buried him when she was an old woman. Years during which Carrick brooded in his palace and swept through the sky on his horse.

    He dived into the sea to wring from its heart the last of his gifts to her. These he poured at her feet, shimmering sapphires that blazed in the grass. His constancy for her. When now, finally, he spoke of love, she could only weep bitter tears, for her life was over. She told him it was too late, that she had never needed riches or promises of glory, but only to know that he loved her, loved her enough that she could have set aside her fear of giving up her world for his. And as she turned to leave him this time, as the sapphires bloomed into flowers in the grass, his hurt and his temper lashed out in the spell he cast. She would find no peace without him, nor would they see each other again until three times lovers met and, accepting each other, risking hearts, dared to choose love over all else.


Three hundred years, Trevor thought later as he let himself into the house where Gwen had lived and died. A long time to wait. He'd listened to Jude tell the tale in her quiet, storyteller's voice, without interrupting. Not even to tell her that he knew parts of the story. Somehow he knew.

    He'd dreamed them.

    He hadn't told her that he, too, could have described Gwen, down to the sea green of her eyes and the curve of her cheek. He'd dreamed her as well.

    And had, he realized, nearly married Sylvia because she'd reminded him of that dream image. A soft woman with simple ways. It should have been right between them, he thought as he headed upstairs to shower off the day's dirt. It still irritated him that it hadn't been. In the end, it just hadn't been right.

    She'd known it first, and had gently let him go before he'd admitted he already had his eye on the door. Maybe that was what bothered him most of all. He hadn't had the courtesy to do the ending. Though she'd forgiven him for it, he'd yet to forgive himself.

    He caught the scent the minute he stepped into the bedroom. Delicate, female, like rose petals freshly fallen onto dewy grass.

    "A ghost who wears perfume," he murmured, oddly amused. "Well, if you're modest turn your back." So saying, he stripped where he stood, then walked into the bath.

    He spent the rest of his evening alone, catching up on paperwork, scanning the faxes that had come in on the machine he'd brought with him, shooting off replies. He treated himself to a beer and stood outside with it in the last of the dying light listening to the aching silence and watching stars pulse to life.

    Tim Riley, whoever the hell he was, looked to be right. There was no rain coming yet. The foundation he was building would set clean.

    As he turned to go back in, a streak of movement overhead caught his eye. A blur of white and silver across the darkening sky. But when he looked back for it, narrowing his eyes to scan, he saw nothing but stars and the rise of the quarter moon.

    A falling star, he decided. A ghost was one thing, but a flying horse ridden by the prince of the faeries was another entirely.

    But he thought he heard the cheerful lilt of pipes and flutes dance across the silence as he shut the door of the cottage for the night.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 228 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 229 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Heart Of The Sea

    Heart of the Sea (last book in the series) was defiantly a Nora Roberts book. Roberts' uses a fairy and a ghost from 300 years ago and ties them into the future of 3 different couples that live in today's world.
    I love to read fiction books, but not where the main characters might be super-human. Instead this series is most defiantly a romance novel with the main characters being regular men and women and contains a little bit of fantasy in terms of the characters and the plot.
    Words that I would describe this book as: Romance, Love, Fantasy, Light Humor

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 26, 2012

    Highly recommend

    This was a terrific book. I enjoyed the first two from this series as well. Keep up the good work

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2009

    Heart Of The Sea

    The whole triligy was fantastic. I have to admit when I started reading it I was a little bored but once you read more into the book, it was like you actually were there in Ardmore, Ireland. In this book, Heart of the Sea, young and foolish Darcy ends up falling in love with Trevor Magee, an American man with Irish roots. It was great because every scene you could just imagine in your head. This book is perfect if you had your heart broken because it can easily be mended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2008

    Loved It

    I love all three in this trilogy. Very romantic and wonderful.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2004

    Beautiful Ending to This Trilogy

    I thought that Darcy's story was excellent. I wanted it for her from the start. She overcame so much and found the love that she needed to sustain her. A must read. I couldn't put it down.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 2, 2013

    THIS IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL STORY I HAVE EVER READ. ALL THRE

    THIS IS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL STORY I HAVE


    EVER READ.
    ALL THRE OF THIS TRILOGY ARE REally great but the 3rd IS MY FAVORITE !

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2012

    Love Nora

    This was one of the best trilogies I've read in a long time. The characters from all 3 books are very much incorporated in each book. Each book’s characters add to the next book’s story. Roberts transports you to Ireland and you can almost see, smell and feel the landscape. Thank you for the journey, Ms. Roberts!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 2, 2012

    Moonflower

    Ok

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 11, 2012

    very good

    I like Nora's books very much

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 25, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Great series

    Always enjoy Nora Roberts books. I could not put these books down

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2012

    ENJOYED

    ENJOYED EVERY MINUTEE, HAD A HARD TIME PUTTING DOWN

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2012

    Highly recommended, especially if you've been to Ireland

    This Trilogy is for anyone who's driven around Ireland. You will be able to identify with the roads, the brogue and the beauty that is Irelands.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2012

    Book

    Bob is the worst character and the book was bad

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

    Jenna ancell says:

    This book is not for me:(

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 12, 2011

    super

    One of Roberts' best books

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2011

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2007

    Fabulous

    The best Roberts trilogy I have read so far. And they're all very good, so that's saying something! Beautiful setting, dynamic characters and witty dialog. What else do you need? :'

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2004

    A Captivating Must-Read Conclusion

    Nora Roberts brings the reader her very best and then some with this book. Heart of the Sea seals off this trilogy in a tale that captures the reader and leaves them wishing for more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2004

    This Irish Trilogy is Excellent

    I really enjoyed all three books, It made me want to visit Ireland. Nora Roberts has a wonderful talent that reaches inside you and makes you care about her characters. I was so sorry that this trilogy ended. I wished there were more to read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2002

    A great Summer read

    The book is well written. The trilogy is captivating. When you start reading this book you won't be able to put it down.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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