Book 2 of the Robinhill Farm Series, a deliciously warm, funny, and poignant series set in rural Ireland.
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Loyalty and love define Liam. But will obligations to family and farm get in the way of him finding true happiness?
Loyalty is high on Liam Cullen’s agenda, but lately he’s been feeling restless. He wants to run away from the endless routines of life on the family farm. He contemplates busting free of the sometimes suffocating confines of the close-knit family. He’d like to see the world. Maybe meet a few girls.
Riddled with guilt that he could even consider such a thing, the final blow comes when Liam’s abilities as a first rate farmer are questioned. He sees red and his quick temper is sorely stretched. He struggles inner demons and attempts to fight the inevitable – until he meets the girl with the blue-green eyes and the copper-colored hair.
Without knowing it, Aislin O’Neill sweeps Liam off his feet, and transports him to a place he’s only ever dreamed of. It’s soon apparent that Aislin has her own inner battles. Will she break her self-imposed vow to never get involved with anyone again?
“Liam. It’s time for the tea and the chats.”
That was how his mam always prefaced a ‘talk’. It had always been like that, ever since he was little.
He sat opposite her as she poured a cup of tea in the kitchen at An Mullach and pushed a plate of freshly baked scones and butter closer to him.
“Tell me how you are, lad.”
He sipped the tea. It was the best tea in the world, as usual. “I’m grand, Mam. You know that.”
“I don’t want to pry, son, but I don’t want you getting hurt either. I’m wondering if our Ash is planning on staying, you know, forever.”
Liam ran a hand through his hair. “Mam, if I knew the answer to that, I’d have taken out a full page ad in the Tipp Times by now.”
“But she loves you?”
He felt his face turn pink. “Yes, Mam. She does love me. It’s just that…she’s been through a lot, you know that, and let’s face it, our family is a force to be reckoned with. She’s an only child, her parents didn’t give a hoot about her, she’s grown up being independent and resourceful and, well, she’s not ready to relinquish all that just yet.”
“Now, Liam, that’s crap and you know it. Yes, I know Ash has got her plans. But they’re all coming to fruition here at our farm. What happens when she’s achieved all her goals? What then? Will she make a new set of plans and move on? Or will she be content to enjoy life here with us?”
Liam lifted his head and held his mother’s gaze. “Mam, I’m prepared to wait. But there’s something else you should know.” He paused, then continued. “I’m also prepared to follow Ash to the ends of the earth to be with her.”
His mam’s gaze never wavered. “That’s what I would expect from a man with your conviction, Liam.” Her eyes shone, and she looked away. “Lord knows, I’d hate you to leave, but…”
He reached across the table and covered her hand with his. “Mam, I…”
She lifted her gaze to his, her eyes now welling. “My Stan left his family in Durrow to come and work on An Mullach, to be with me. We couldn’t live apart, you see. He moved into a one-room shack at the back of the dairy, and we made love there every chance we got. We couldn’t breathe when we were apart. Our lives only really mattered when we were together. But because my mam was so ill, well, I had to look after Da and the boys. That’s why I didn’t get much schooling. Because I had to cook and clean for seven brothers. So I couldn’t leave.” A tear spilled over and ran down her cheek, landing with a soft plop on the seersucker checkered tablecloth. “So Stan followed me here. And we were madly in love for over thirty years, until the good Lord took him from me.”
Liam felt the sting of salty tears in the back of his eyes. He remembered how affectionate his mam and da had been, doing big passionate kisses in the kitchen as Cherry and the boys were trying to eat dinner, and them groaning and saying how bad it was that their parents nearly made them feel sick. He remembered them dancing together at all the family gatherings, only having eyes for each other, and how every Sunday morning Da would go out into the fields early and pick a bunch of wild flowers and put them in a little vase on the breakfast table right in front of where his mam sat.
He cleared his throat. “I’ll be a good husband, Mam, just like Da was. And one day, I hope to be a good father too. But nothing would make me happier than to raise my family here at An Mullach, and I say prayers every night that the good Lord will make that possible. But either way, Ash will be my wife. I know it.”
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