Author: Nora Roberts
Publication Date: 10/1/94
Artist Maggie Concannon creates beautiful glass images through a blowpipe and with a fiery furnace, much as she herself was born and survived her mother's angry frustrations and resentment. Then Maggie falls in love with Rogan, her new agent, who brings her passion, fame, and riches. Roberts's unique characters come to life through their wordplay and tempers. A light, fast-paced novel set in the Irish countryside.
When I was little, I used to have this ridiculous dress purse that I'd carry around with me. Most little girls would probably fill their purses with makeup or toys, but what did I fill mine with? Tiny glass figurines. Our family would go to Vancouver and I would salivate over tiny blown glass unicorns. They were like crack to tiny Flann. I hoarded them and carried them around but I did not exercise due care with them--I'd wrap them in toilet paper to attempt to keep them whole but, in the end, I had more of a collection of maimed glass animals. The point of this story is for you all to know that I am predisposed to think anything that has to do with blown glass is awesome. Even though I no longer have an affinity for unicorns or glass tchotchkes, I still get a major boner for blown glass art that is well-done. Aaaaaand, that is one of the reasons I love this book so much. Mary Margaret Concannon (Maggie), the heroine of Born in Fire, makes fabulous glass art. (well, it is described fabulously and in my imagination it is pretty much my sweetest dream)
Maggie lives in the west of Ireland (another major love of mine) in a cottage near her childhood home. Her sister, Brianna, runs a small bed and breakfast out of Blackthorn Cottage and cares for their heinous mother, who has nothing but awful things to say about Maggie and spends her days complaining about her lot in life. While Maggie has had relative success with her artistic endeavors, she’s always hoped that she could make enough money to move their mother to her own home so Brianna could actually live her own life. Enter Rogan Sweeney, a Dublin businessman who runs an international corporation and owns several large galleries. He approaches Maggie to manage her work and make her the money she’s dreamed about.
Besides the glass art and County Clare in Ireland, I love this book because of the romantic relationship. Maggie is hard-headed, disorganized, passionate and temperamental—she knows exactly what she does and doesn’t want. Rogan seems like her complete opposite but, in reality, he’s very similar to her…only much more organized. The two fight quite a lot during the book but it never gets to the point of legitimate meanness, which is something I hate in some romance novels. The romance IS the story in this book, as opposed to many Nora Roberts books that center on some mystery or other storyline. If you don’t want to read about making art, describing art, and selling art, than this book will bore you. Because I eat that stuff up, I am happy that this book still performed for me, even after 3 or 4 reads.
This book is a comparative 5 stars. Is it as fabulous as lit fic books I’ve given 5 stars to? No. But in terms of romance books, I just love it.