Just out of prison, Michael Kilbride comes to the Irish village of Ballymuir to stay with his sister. Wrongly branded a terrorist, he soon finds that one of the only people who believes in him is teacher Kylie O'Shea. Kylie struggles with her attraction to Michael, but just as they think they've found happiness, the ghosts of the past rise to haunt them.

A strong plot, entertaining secondary characters and an enjoyable small-town setting combine to make this a touching novel. But it's Michael and Kylie who give the story its punch. Both are struggling to escape unsavory pasts and make a place for themselves in Ballymuir in this first book in a series about the residents. Lovers of Irish romance will definitely look forward to the next installment. (Mar., 389 pp., $6.99)

Reviewed by: 
Jen Exum