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Emerald Isle #1

Beneath an Irish Sky

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Jack Stewart thought he'd put the past behind him. On the surface, he has everything success, money, a big house and he is never short of an attractive woman by his side, but a tragic road accident shatters Jack's world.

Raised as an Irish Traveller, Luke Kiernan hasn't had it easy, and when he wakes in a Dublin hospital to find the man he's hated since childhood at his bedside, he's hungry for revenge.Two very different worlds collide, bringing new dangers, exposing past deceits, and unearthing dark family secrets buried long ago. But from tragedy springs the promise of a fresh start with two women who are intent on helping Jack and Luke mend their lives.

Can new love heal old wounds, or are some scars there for good?

424 pages, Paperback

First published July 2, 2013

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Isabella Connor

3 books45 followers

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5 stars
177 (46%)
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120 (31%)
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51 (13%)
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28 (7%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 72 reviews
Profile Image for Dale Harcombe.
Author 14 books318 followers
October 7, 2020
Three and a half stars.
Jack Stewart appears to be the epitome of success. He has a big house, money and is never shott of having an attractive woman by his side. A tragic accident brings the past sharply back to Jack when he has to identify the body of the woman he loved and lost years before- his estranged Irish born wife Annie. At the same time he is confronted by Luke, a person he knew nothing about. Luke Kiernan has been raised as an Irish Traveller. His life has been far from easy. And he blames Jack Stewart for most of it. Now he wants revenge. Two men, with different backgrounds, who both loved Annie but have had very different experiences of life. What will happen when those two meet? As the truth of why Annie left Jack years before is uncovered, many other secrets are also revealed.
This story got me in from the beginning, although I have to admit I struggled with Jack and his attitudes at times. Equally so with Luke but then it did feel like his attitudes were understandable. Along with these two men there is Emer Sullivan, trauma counsellor and Kate walker, a young local English woman who finds herself drawn into Luke’s life despite her mother’s objections. The women are well drawn and likable. .Jack’s parents Grace and Nicolas are easy to intensely dislike with their hateful, bigoted attitudes and their ways of trying to control the family and events. Matt, Jack’s son is a lovely character, open and forgiving.
The title is a tad misleading as more of the book is set in England than in Ireland. But Ireland does have a pivotal part on the story. While I enjoyed this story I did find it frustrating at times. Only because I was involved with the chracters and just wanted them to sort things out. Towards the end it does seem to get a bit rushed and far-fetched. Still it is a really good read of family, secrets, bigotry, class and cultural issues, betrayal, lies and friendship. An entertaining and emotionally involving read that kept me turning the pages. Not an author I am familiar with but I would now be interested to read another by his author, which is actually a collaboration of between two authors. Chick lit, maybe but with an emotional depth to it. And an engaging read I learned a lot too about the life of Travellers.
Profile Image for Bookread2day.
2,311 reviews63 followers
June 9, 2021
Excellent story. I highly recommend this book to all readers. The story starts with wealthy Jack has to identify the dead body of his travellers ex wife. Jack finds out he has a twenty year old traveller son named Luke from when he was married to Luke's mother that he never knew he had. Jack brings Luke home with him to jack' big house. Matt who is Jack's other son welcomes Luke as a brother. Jack parents however are not happy that Jack has a traveller son and that jack has brought Luke home with him.
Profile Image for Teresa.
429 reviews110 followers
June 6, 2013
This is my first taste of Choc Lit and I will certainly be back for more. Isabella Connor is the pen name for Liv Thomas and Val Oltenau. I'm not a big fan of collaborations and I don't usually like contemporary romantic fiction but this novel stood out for me with its intelligence and wit along with a certain Irish sparkle.

Young Irish Traveller, Luke Kiernan is thrust into an unknown world following a tragic accident. Plucked from the tranquillity of the Irish countryside he has to forge a new life amongst folk who don't approve of his Traveller background. With the threat of violence from his Irish uncles, the future doesn't look bright for Luke.

This is an extremely readable, touching story which will appeal to fans of romantic fiction with a bit of a kick. The characters are extremely well drawn, from the mysterious and sometimes brutal world of Irish Travellers to the supposedly more sophisticated, urbane setting of Middle England. An ideal holiday read and also a rewarding book group read as it will encourage discussion about society's attitudes towards and misunderstandings about minority groups.

You can discover more of Choc Lit's enticing titles here at www.choc-lit.co.uk.
Profile Image for Megan Readinginthesunshine.
468 reviews187 followers
August 8, 2013
I liked that there were the two male leads, I really loved this aspect and I enjoyed getting to know both of them individually. I found both Jack and Luke to be fascinating characters, each with their own traits and personalities. They were both very believable and realistic, I found myself forming a connection with them and I wanted to read on to see where their journey would take them.

One of my favourite aspects of this book was that it included an Irish Traveller as a main characters and really explored the traveller community. I don’t think the traveller community is written about enough, I felt that I learnt a lot from this and I thoroughly enjoyed this part of the novel.

This story was exciting and emotional at the same time. I was gripped by the story and intrigued about what was going to happen, it was a novel where once I’d picked it up, it was very hard to put down. I was always keen to read on and excited about what I might unravel or discover next. However, it was also very emotional – as I read I went through a wide range of feelings as the novel explored topics such as family, friendship, secrets and betrayal. There were also a few dramatic moments that had me gasping out loud.

I really don’t want to spoil anything for all of you, but I was really surprised by this story in the best way possible, I thought it was going to be good but I was actually very impressed – I think the male characters are perfectly written and there is a great plot line for readers to become absorbed in. Beneath An Irish Sky is a compelling tale of family, secrets, love, betrayal, friendship and a whole lot more waiting to be uncovered!
Profile Image for Agi.
1,571 reviews87 followers
August 6, 2013
Isabella Connor is the pen name for Liv Thomas and Val Oltenau. I was always wondering how two people can write one book. Do they argue a lot? Is it so that one person is writing and the other is coming with the ideas? Well, never mind, the most important thing is that the book was great.
It was a little different book to those that I usually read. Our main characters here were two men, one younger and one older, but very similar: both of them stubborn, both of them handsome, both of them with morals, both of them with past. I guess that I should have liked Luke, the younger one, because his life was really terrible, he has just lost his mother, he must have fought for himself and he was damaged but to be honest there were a lot of moments in which I just wanted to shake him, slap him and tell him, hey, wake up and stop behaving like a spoiled child. Jack, on the other hand, I could understand. It was also very difficult for him but in my opinion he has passed the hard times with flying colours.
The other characters were also brilliantly written. We like them or we hate them, I think there is nothing between these two emotions. I have grown up in a very tolerant family, so other nations were never a problem for me and reading this book I just couldn't believe in this what I read because, I guess, there are really people like Jack's family existing. Full of hate, bad emotions, superstitions and prejudiced. I just couldn't believe what had happened to Annie and I am really curious if Jack's family has paid the price for this. On the other hand, if Annie and Jack were so much in love why didn't she tell something? Because she has felt ashamed? I don't buy this.
The male protagonists in this book had a lot of luck to have such female characters next to them. The women were also wonderfully written, they were very likeable.
This book was also interesting for me because of its unusual - for me - setting and its story about Irish Travellers. It was nice and refreshing to get to know some facts and things about their lives and traditions.
This book is about really important things, like truth, lies and family. Like hypocrisy. Like hate and love. Book about family doing really bad things to each other, family with a lot of secrets and the secrets are not revealed for a very long time. Many bad emotions and feelings but nevertheless the book is in some way optimistic and has left me feeling hope. I would like other ending perhaps because it has ended too fast and I was hoping for more interaction, have expected people who have done those bad things to be punished, so it's too open for my liking.
The writing itself was really engaging and kept me interested in what is going to happen. It was intelligent, witty and the authors have a way with words. They can for sure write emotional books. Altogether, great read.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a review.
Profile Image for Anne.
2,133 reviews1,055 followers
August 6, 2013
I became caught up in the story within the first two paragraphs. The writing is engaging and draws the reader in straight away as we are introduced to Jack Stewart, in Ireland to identify the body of his estranged wife. Annie left Jack twenty years ago, he thought that they were deeply in love, he thought that they were happy, but she left suddenly, with no notice and Jack has not seen her since. Hearing that Annie has been killed in a car accident aged just 40 is a shock, discovering that he has a son that he knew nothing about is an even bigger one!

Annie came from an Irish Traveller family, Jack comes from a wealthy, successful and very snobbish family. His parents never approved of Annie, and made it clear that they thought Jack was better off without her. Jack tried to forget, but really Annie was his true love.

Annie brought up Luke as a single mother. As far as he is concerned Jack Stewart didn't want him and banished his mother from the family. Luke's life has been tough, although adored by his mother, he's suffered at the hands of his violent uncles. Luke hates Jack.

Slowly and carefully the story unfolds. Why did Annie tell Luke that his father did not want him? Why did Annie never tell Jack that he was a father? Two men, both suspicious, both grieving - how will they ever repair the damage that has been done?

This really is an excellent story. Combining the world and tradition of the Travelling people with the upper-class snobbery of the English Stewart family and adding in a mix of supporting characters. The plot gathers pace, starting slowly, introducing the characters and building to an ending that I really didn't predict.
Profile Image for Christina.
Author 32 books277 followers
July 10, 2013
This was a fantastic story, which I stayed up until 3am to finish – just couldn’t put it down! We get not just one, but two heroes – one in his early 20’s who is oh so easy to fall in love with, and one in his 40’s, slightly tougher, but under the rough exterior very vulnerable. Both are damaged, both stubborn, but ultimately exactly like a hero should be. There are two villains as well, so bad you actually want to strangle them with your bare hands! And there is mystery, love, hate, revenge, class snobbery and village intrigue, as well as old wounds that are festering. I absolutely loved this story and can’t wait for the author’s next one!

Profile Image for Jane Stewart.
2,462 reviews870 followers
July 19, 2013
2 ½ stars. Not my kind of book. This might be good for someone who likes fiction about family secrets and deceit.

I was expecting a romance novel and was disappointed to find “relationships fiction” not romance. There are two couples who get together and there are happy endings, but it does not feel like romance. Instead it’s about a father who meets his twenty-year-old son for the first time and their strained relationship. The son hates the father. The father makes half-hearted attempts to welcome the son. The father’s habit is to walk away from things instead of questioning or addressing issues and problems. He comes off as a wimp.

The plot is about family members doing bad things to other family members and keeping secrets. The emphasis is on the “many secrets” which get found out by the end of the book.

I did not enjoy it. I was annoyed with things that felt stupid. For example. Two couples are very much in love. For one couple, something bad happens, and the wife runs away without saying anything to the husband. She stays hidden for years and he cannot find her. I didn’t buy it. They were in love. She should have said something. Her motive for keeping the secret did not make sense to me.

The second couple has a separation that did not make sense. Someone’s actions did not fit “being in love.”

The main story is: Jack discovers he has a son Luke whom he never knew about. The mother is dead. During most of the book Jack doubts that Luke is his biological child, and Luke is angry that Jack does not automatically trust him. The characters don’t do reasonable things regarding the conflicts and secrets. Therefore, their conflicts were not interesting for me. And some of them were annoying.

I was disappointed with the ending. There was no interaction with various people who lied, stole, and did bad things. I wanted to see conversation and confrontation with these despicable people. I wanted to know what some of them were charged with by the authorities, if any. What was in the press, if any? I wanted to see the bad guys suffer or at least be embarrassed.

The writing was good enough to keep my interest, and I wanted to know what would happen. But it was curiosity, not a good story.

This book was written by two authors Valerie Olteanu and Liv Thomas. There are exceptions, but more often than not, I’m disappointed with stories written by two authors. I wonder if they compliment and support each other instead of being critical and throwing out bad or weak ideas? I don’t know.

I received a complimentary copy from the publisher for review.

Narrative mode: 3rd person. Kindle count length 7,775 (3,716 KB). Swearing language: strong including religious swear words. Sexual language: none. Number of sex scenes: 3 referred to, nothing shown. Setting: current day Ireland and England. Copyright: 2013. Genre: relationships fiction.
Profile Image for The Commuting Bookworm.
32 reviews16 followers
July 29, 2013

Beneath an Irish Sky by Isobella Connor

Jack Stewert thought he’d put the past behind him. On the surface he has everything – success, money, a big house and he is never short of an attractive woman by his side, but a tragic road accident shatters his world. Raised as an Irish traveller, Luke Kiernan hasn’t had it easy, and when he wakes up in a Dublin hospital to find the man he’s hated since childhood at his bedside he’s hungry for revenge.

Two very different worlds collide bringing new dangers exposing past deceits, and unearthing dark family secrets buried long ago. But from tragedy springs the promise of a fresh start with two women who are intent on helping Jack and Luke mend their lives.This story reaches all of the emotional senses its part family saga, part mystery, part love story but unearthing all of the family skeletons over the preceding 20 years makes it part tragedy. Just as you think you’ve got it figured out where the story is going, you get a twist and it’s off down a different route.

Both the protagonist’s, Luke and Jack are lovable, believable and the story is written in such a way you really care about them both. You believe both sides of their very different perspectives, and if they would just tell each other, and piece it together it would save you so much emotional wringing, but where would that leave the reader? Once engrossed into the story this book really is un-put-a-down-able. It made me laugh, cry, shout, hope, hold my breath and pray. I was sat on the edge of my seat praying that it would be ok, I needn’t have worried, because this is after all a Choclit novel and therefore a happy ever after ending is guaranteed and this novel does not disappoint. So much so I cried with joy! This is the most wonderful book and it deserves to win every single award around.

The Commuting Bookworm 29/07/2013
192 reviews13 followers
August 5, 2013
Beneath an Irish sky (5 stars)

I was given this book in exchange for an honest review.

What an amazing read! When I started this book, I worried it would be
a typical romance that had to much mushy stuff and not enough story.
Boy was I wrong! This was an awesome read about an estranged (very)
relationship between and absent father and his son. But not your
typical absent father, one that didn't know he had a child, let alone
why his wife left him 20 years previous.

The story line in this book was surprisingly intense! I truly enjoyed
getting to see how the puzzle pieces fit into the lives of all those
involved. It broke my heart to know that decisions adults make can
hurt the children involved many many years into their lives. And this
book definitely helps you realize that money does not buy happiness
and often can ruin the making of a happy life.

I loved the characters! They were all so very well developed and you
couldn't help either love or hate each one! There is so much involved
in getting to know the characters of a book. And I truly enjoyed
getting to know these ones so very much. They were so well developed
that you truly do hurt for them when they are hurting in the story and
you celebrate when they have moments of joy. It is something I admire
about great authors like Isabella Connor.

I really enjoyed that this story did not solely revolve around the
romance side of it, but more the romance trickled around the bigger
story, it made it a fantastic read!
Profile Image for Valerie.
172 reviews57 followers
August 25, 2013
I have to say I'm a big Paranormal fan, and true crime, but once in awhile a book comes along that catches my eye. I am so happy I got this and was able to venture off into the Irish and English World for a day of exciting betrayals, secrets, drama, and tragedy.

Jack Stewart comes across as a businessman that is run by his wealthy family and has a brash way of doing things, very stubborn. He though has had much tragedy in his life so you could see why. A father of one son, he is called to head to Ireland as his wife has been killed in an auto accident. A wife that left him over 20 years ago. There begins the adventure that will keep you flipping through the pages. You will read about Luke and troubled Traveler brought up in the gypsy life style as his mother was. Determined to hunt down the cause of his troubled life he comes across a new family that shows him much love. I can't really say to much as I would hate to give things away.. This book is soooo worth the read. I don't even have a favorite character as they were all portrayed so well. Grand job..
Profile Image for Angela Britnell.
Author 52 books73 followers
July 13, 2013
I loved this book from the first page. A road accident brings wealthy English businessman, Jack Stewart, smack up against his past. He has to cope with the death of his estranged wife and the appearance of Luke, who may or may not be his son. Luke's been brought up as an Irish traveler to hate everything Jack stands for. The troubles Luke brings with him to England are entwined with the many secrets in Jack's family and as the story evolves to a dramatic conclusion we're pulled into their lives and root for them to make something good out of a terrible tragedy. The characters are all well-drawn, particularly the two woman who come to care for Jack and Luke, and the settings are described beautifully without being overdone. Anyone who enjoys an intriguing family saga, mixed with more than a dash of romance and a touch of Irish charm needs to read this book.
Profile Image for Sorcha O'Dowd.
Author 2 books47 followers
July 22, 2017
Beneath an Irish Sky was such a stunningly beautiful read! I was lucky enough to win a copy in a giveaway by the publishers Choc Lit, and I can’t say how grateful I am. This story spoke so much to me, and is one of my favourite reads of 2013.

Isabella Connor is a pen name for two authors, so I was delighted to see how closely their writing styles matched. There was no indication that the book was written by two people, as the story and character development flowed so fluidly throughout the novel. I really admired how realistic the storyline was, giving readers a strong reminder of how common unjustified prejudice still is, and how this prejudice can cloud judgment and completely destroy families and communities apart. The descriptions of Luke’s life as a Traveller were beautifully portrayed, showing the clear and unbiased point of view of a boy who has struggled through life being shunned and badly treated by others. I loved the distinction Luke made between people who are travellers and those who don’t, stating that there are some travellers who give them a bad name, but it is not travellers as a whole, just like you get bad people from any way of life.

I adored this storyline and the different point of views we were given throughout it, without the switches being too confusing. I loved reading from both Luke and Jack’s point of views and the authors did an incredible job at making me not feel as though I should take sides. I could see the black and white of both Luke and Jack’s behaviours and didn’t think either character was in the right, or wrong. It was great following their journey to understanding and acceptance. They both loved Luke’s mother Annie, and at the end of the day they both wanted to know the truth. Jack to know why the love of his life left him without a word, and Luke as to why Jack had ignored his existence. There was also some great chapters from the girls point of views, with Kate being a wonderful partner for Luke, and her love for him clear when their lives are turned upside down when the lies caused through prejudice are spread too far. It is a harsh reminder of the harm that prejudice can do to others, and just how far it can spread. Like a disease, prejudice affects everyone it touches in some way.

Kate’s mother Sarah was a character that I desperately wanted to slap soon after being introduced to her. I loved how we saw the story from her thoughts as well, which helped develop the storyline and give me a deeply rooted hatred for her and her selfish, poisonous nature. Sarah is a great example of a character that I loved to hate, as her every action was fuelled through petty revenge and the desire for personal gain, even though she believes she has done the right thing. It’s great having a character that you can blame for problems in the past and know that despite the mystery of Annie’s disappearance and secrecy of Luke, there is a truth that can be told, leaving all of the characters with the chance to know the truth of what happened all those years ago so that they can accept and move on.

Emer was a great character that I really connected to. The way that she connected to her patients on an emotional level was heart warming to see. It is all too often that people in these roles have to keep emotionally detached from their patients in order to help them through, but Emer was a breath of fresh air, going above the call of duty and helping others with both an emotional and logical approach.

There’s so much I want to say about this novel, and how much I loved it, but don’t want to spoil the cleverly written mystery and suspense for future readers, but I will say that this story is an incredibly powerful and moving journey of love, loss, truth and acceptance that tugs at the heartstrings and will stay with you. There are characters that make you ashamed to be human, and then those that will give you faith in humanity again. This was a beautiful journey and I adored every second of it.

5 Stars and a definite recommended read.
Profile Image for Lin Treadgold.
Author 3 books19 followers
September 3, 2013
As a friend of the authors, I never like to put reviews up for people I know well, but on this occasion I had to say how much I have enjoyed reading Beneath an Irish Sky. Two authors so far away from each other and never meeting, has to be some kind miracle. I know how hard they both worked to put this together, I nurtured Liv Thomas through her e-mails and willed her to keep going. The story reads so well and has many twists and turns with every page. I haven't been able to put it down.

Perhaps this is a lesson, that being a co-author really can work. I cannot tell at the moment who has written which part and so on, it's just so smooth and the descriptions are bang on! Well done ladies. I loved it. It takes a lot to keep me reading and this one did.

I would certainly recommend this book to anyone who loves a saga. Luke is certainly a hard nut to crack, but who could blame him after all he has been through. I loved the way Matt comes on the scene to help and all the ups and downs of a family in crisis.

Thank you Liv and Val for providing such a super read. Can't wait to read the next one


Profile Image for Evie Pey.
156 reviews9 followers
June 28, 2018
I'd never read this authors books...then I realised it was two authors who have never met which is very strange but seemed to work.

The book was easy to read and flowed well.. a little far fetched in places but I enjoyed the brothers relationship.

I would probably read another by this author partnership if I wanted a light enjoyable read.
Profile Image for Leanne Hayter.
325 reviews6 followers
October 19, 2013
Being an Irish lassie this book was a real joy to read. I was intrigued from page one and Couldn't put it down. The author deserves more than 5 stars for this beautiful story.
Profile Image for Shaz Goodwin.
821 reviews135 followers
November 5, 2013
Jack is in Dublin having a task to undertake as a direct result from the aftermath of the traffic accident in the blurb. He finds out something life-changing about a person’s existence that he never knew. He needs to get back to his business but his task doesn’t end in Dublin.

From the first page I had lots of questions … What had Annie done to be the cause of so much emotion? Why didn’t Jack know where it had gone wrong? I was compelled to read on to find out about Jack’s life and why he was so beaten down.

I wish we could have met Annie. Having provoked such strong emotions in our characters and the descriptions of her make me think I would have liked her … a lot!

Luke travels back to Manchester with Jack and their story unfolds amidst a community that hides secrets and jealousy – a community that is led in the majority by the head and not the heart. Business and appearances takes precedence over the personal, no matter the cost.

We learn about the influence Jack’s parents still have on his life and the harshness of Luke’s life with Annie and her brothers. Every time they take a step towards each other, something else happens or comes to light that affects their relationship. There is plenty of tenseness and anxiety between these two. Traveller customs have a large part to play and it was interesting to find out more about these.

Alongside their fragile relationship is the new women in their lives. Kate is drawn to Luke and fights his corner while Emer is very balanced and her skills are effective in getting Jack to look deeper into himself.

I think the following says a lot, not just about Kate’s mother Sarah but also about where this community’s focus lies:

“When she’d told Matt she was going to the funeral, he’d laughingly accused her of only doing it because she fancied Luke, but she really did want to support him. He was a stranger to the village and must surely feel overwhelmed. Kate didn’t need to support her mother, that was for sure. Sarah was tough as nails and didn’t need anybody’s shoulder to cry on. Her head was bowed, but not in grief – she was discreetly looking at a valuable bracelet one of her men friends had given her. Rose-gold moonstone, she said it was.”

Matt, son from Jack’s first marriage, also fights in Luke’s corner. I loved the way he tricked Sarah into telling the truth!

There was one shocking moment for me when another truth emerges – the reason that underpins the actions that leaves Jack on his own. It highlights how the upper class think of those lower down the ladder …

The ending was just perfect and exactly how it should be :)

Beneath an Irish Sky is all about family (and snobbery!), traditions, secrets and misunderstandings. It will capture your thoughts and imagination and make you want to fight for the truth and a resolution for Jack and Luke.

I would like to thank the publishers for providing a paperback copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Lucinda.
46 reviews48 followers
August 21, 2013
Beneath An Irish Sky was quite a different book for me to review. I don’t usually read books that have family secrets and things like that in them so it was definitely a refreshing read. I also hadn’t read anything about Irish travellers; the only knowledge I have of them is from watching Big Fat Gypsy Weddings which was quite a fascinating insight into their community.

I really connected with Luke as one of the protagonist’s; I couldn’t believe Jack’s parents reactions to him. How could anyone behave so vile and insensitive to a young guy who has just lost his mother? They were complete judgmental snobs and I didn’t feel anything but bad feelings for them throughout the entire book.

I can somewhat understand at where the people in the close community of Baronsmere were coming from; travellers in general don’t appear to have the best of reputations, so I was interested in learning more about the community.

Luckily, I really warmed to Luke and Annie, although the latter is dead (this isn’t a spoiler as it is mentioned she died on the back cover), my heart broke whenever I read about Luke reminiscing about he and his mother’s time together, and the bond they shared.

We also get to hear from Jack Stewart, Luke’s father who doesn’t know he has a son until his estranged wife dies, and it’s a struggle for him and Luke to have an easy going father-son relationship, and they have plenty of disputes.
Luckily, I quite liked Jack, although I could understand why he acted the way he did with regards to the Luke situation; he just found out he has a 20 year old son and is unsure how to act around him, they most likely weren’t going to bond with each other straight away. I also really warmed to Emer, an Irish counsellor who is a friend to Luke and becomes Jack’s love interest; she just has a warm, caring personality and it was a pleasure reading about her and Jack’s relationship grow as the book went on.

Books that tend to have family secrets don’t tend to draw me in, but this one gradually did and has made me want to read more so I can get a feel for the genre more. I recommend it to anyone who likes reading about family secrets and small communities, as it is really an interesting story in that way, and really delves into culture and class differences well.
Profile Image for Lisa.
275 reviews
August 23, 2013
Well ChocLit publishing have done it again. They've given us another great author in the form of Isabella Connor.

Beneath an Irish Sky brings us some amazing characters. Some you'll love and some you'll just despise.

Without giving away anything with spoilers, this book tells the story of how the lives of Jack Stewart, a wealthy man who wants for "almost" nothing, and Luke Kiernan an Irish Traveller, collided in a way neither of them could have expected. This was a great story that drew you in from the start. It is an amazing story of families and deep connections.

There are so many wonderful characters in the book, but you never lose track of who is who, due to the way the author immerses you into their lives.

Whilst reading the book it took me through so many different emotions from concern to anger and love to sadness.

The way the author depicts the locations in the book makes you feel like you have actually been there. Bizarrely enough, after reading the book the author sent me some photos, and Ennis (shown in the photo's above) is just how I pictured it to be when reading the book.

I loved this book and I didn't want it to end. I would love to know what happened to all the characters next. I didn't want it to end and I didn't want to leave them behind. A great read.
Profile Image for Rhoda Baxter.
Author 22 books94 followers
February 14, 2015
I loved this book. The romances (there are two) are subordinate to the main story about Annie and why she left. Luke is very sweet and his insecurities, which are all completely understandable, make him an easy hero to fall in love with. Jack, on the other hand is more difficult to feel sympathy for, but there again, you can understand why his reactions towards his son are as they are. By the end of it, he's changed and come out a true hero. The heroines are less sharply defined than the heroes as they have to share the stage with the dead heroine of the backstory - Annie.

Like any great mystery book, the plot twists and turns with each new revelation making your sympathies and suspicions swing from one character to another. The twist, when it arrived, made me see the whole book in a different light. Needless to say, I did not see that twist coming.

This is a brilliant book - well plotted, well written and hugely enjoyable.
39 reviews
November 30, 2018
Very moving story

Sadness, intrigue, heartache & love. Well written, deep mystery and ever deepening love. I would highly recommend this book for all.
7 reviews2 followers
February 5, 2018
This book kept me entertained from start to finish. I’ve not read this author before, and I find myself scrambling to find anything she’s writing. Her characters are intriguing and very realistic. I enjoyed the relationship interactions. And I learned a bit about Irish ‘travelers’ as well. This story is set, back and forth, between England and Ireland. The story made me laugh, made me cry, made me angry, and left me with hope. Very enjoyable and entertaining. This is what I look for in literature.
August 1, 2018
Irish Sky

I really liked this book , I didn't want to put it down. I look forward to reading more by Isabella Connor.
Profile Image for Robin.
1,036 reviews5 followers
August 20, 2023
I listened to this audiobook charmingly read by an Irish woman. It tells the story of Annie, a “traveler” from Ireland who fell in love with and married Jack, a wealthy English widower, while working in an English pub. She abruptly returned to Ireland while Jack was away on a business trip and he never heard from her again. Fast forward twenty years and Jack is asked to come to Ireland to identify her body - a car crash fatality. There, to his shock, he learns she has a twenty year old son Luke. Much drama and revelations ensue.
Profile Image for Blodeuedd Finland.
3,438 reviews295 followers
August 4, 2013
I do confess to wanting to smack Luke over the head a lot, but then again if I had been Luke I would have been just as angry.

The book is filled with drama and anger. Luke is a young traveller, and people do not like travellers. He is an angry young man. Abused by his uncles, his mum just died and all his life he hated the man who left his mother.

Jack Stewart is also angry. His wife left him without a word 20 years ago and now she finds out he has a son. But he is good and tries his best. But Luke was just so very angry and hates him. You can see where the drama comes from. Confrontation after confrontation. Luke has been fed lies all his life. I felt so sorry for Jack, because in the end he lost it too and just wanted away. I could not have dealt with Luke and his refusal to believe anything else than what he knew.

Then there are secrets. Why did she leave? What happened? Quite a few shocking events.

I liked the book as I wanted everyone to just get along. But 20 years of hate is hard to let go of. And I so wanted to know why she had left.

An interesting story filled with drama and romance.
Profile Image for Anne Harvey.
393 reviews15 followers
February 27, 2015
I found this novel intriguing from the first page and the pace never lets up. When successful businessman Jack Stewart is called on to identify the body of his estranged wife, Annie, he is shocked to learn that he has a son he didn't know about. But is Luke his son? Twenty years before, Annie had left him for apparently no reason, leaving Jack grief-stricken. It's hardly surprising that Jack puts up barriers and Luke has bitter barriers of his own to overcome. What adds a poignant twist to this plot is that Annie and Luke are Travellers and the upper middle-class area of Cheshire where Jack lives is as prejudiced in the present day as it was twenty years before. The two main characters are both male and it is they who dominate this story. This is one of the best books I've read in a long, long time.
Profile Image for Dianne Ascroft.
Author 24 books479 followers
April 17, 2014
This is a hopeful, realistic love story where everything doesn’t end happily ever after immediately. The story is believable and so are the characters. The characters must journey through their problems and sort them out in order to find happiness. It’s a love story (more than one actually) and also one about a father and son. There are several layers to the book as the characters deal with hurts and mysteries in the past and difficulties and danger in the present. There’s also a well depicted contrast between the world of the English rural village and the travellers’ community in Ireland. The author made me empathise with the characters, especially Luke, and care what happened to them. I wanted to mother Luke and to kick his father at times. I can easily recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good story.
Profile Image for Martha.
126 reviews
November 6, 2013
I came across this book in a newspaper review and had to order it from my local bookshop, why they weren't promoting it as their book of the month I'm not sure, it is a very good read, a real page turner, by the end of the first chapter I was hooked, so much that I read the whole book in one evening, into the early hours of the morning.
The characters are well painted, so much that I wanted to slap (or smack as we Irish would say) Jack at several times through the book for being such as sap, rare that I feel like a character is a real person.
If you are looking for something different, try it. lovely read
Profile Image for Beverley Eikli.
Author 43 books99 followers
September 22, 2013
I love being sucked into a book by the set-up and then held captive as plot twists and turns compound an underlying mystery. There was a colourful array of characters in Beneath an Irish Sky but the two heroes stole the show by the manner in which they stole their way into their women's heart: a father and a son, so very different, estranged but forced through tragedy to get to know one another

This was a lovely, engrossing story which I couldn't put down at the end, and which delivered everything I'd hoped.

Highly recommended.
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