A talented graphic artist, Shannon Bodine's life revolved around her job at a prestigious New York advertising agency. But her world was turned upside-down when she learned the identity of her real father: Thomas Concannon. Respecting her late mother's last wish, Shannon reluctantly traveled to County Clare. There, her loneliness and shame melted away in the embrace of the family she never knew existed. And amid the lush Irish landscape steeped in mysticism and legend, she discovered the possibility of a love that was meant to be...
I was convinced that I had read the first two books in this trilogy when I picked up this one. But now it seems I only read the first one, Born in Fire, and I have yet Brianna's story to tackle.
Born in Shame brings us back to Ireland, one of Roberts favourite settings, and to the Concannon family. Shannon Bodine is Tom Concannon's illegitimate daughter, she is the fruit of a brief affair Tom had with an American woman and she has always believed the man her mother was married to was her real father. She is understandably upset when her mother, on her death bed, tells her the truth.
Maggie and Brianna, the heroines of book 1 and 2, already knew they had a sister and had hired a detective to find her. Although Shannon is not exactly in a sisterly mood towards people she doesn't recognise as her family she eventually decides to fly to Ireland and meet them. That is where she meets Murphy, the sister's neighbour who instantly falls in love with her.
Although this is supposedly a book about Shannon as the third sister I think Murphy really steals all the attention. He is a farmer, a poet, a musician, a romantic to the point that listing all his abilities and qualities might make a bit unreal and even boring. But in fact he is anything but. He is kind, loving, determined and while I understood Shannon's misgivings in giving it all up for love I couldn't help feeling she was a bit silly in almost letting him getting away. You just don't let it go when you feel that you've struck gold.
I did like Maggie a lot more as a secondary character even if she is still a bit of a tough cookie. Her mother is still the same disagreeable self and I'm not sure I believed her mellowing with Shannon's words, to tell the truth I don't even understood why they felt they had to tell her that Shannon was their sister, what she didn't know would not harm at this point and it definitely would have saved them a lot of unpleasantness.
So I think this made for a very agreeable story, not much conflict and I would definitely have preferred for them to get to know each other and only after fall in love instead of having Murphy being struck dumb just by looking at Shannon, but overall his personality more than made up for it.