The second book in the Born In trilogy by Nora Roberts, Born in Ice is Brianna's story.
When her father died, Brianna ended up with the family home which she has turned into a successful inn, although it sounds more like a Bed and Breakfast. As you go through the books you find out that Brianna is just about the ultimate domestic goddess - she bakes, she cleans, she wears an apron. Whilst I respect people who are like that, I am not, so it was actually a little put offish to me!!
Grayson Thane is a very successful American author who has travelled to Ireland to write his next book. His specialty is gruesome murder mysteries, and Ireland seems to have the perfect sites to base his murders, from the castle ruins to the stone circle that is in the fields near Brianna's house.
Like Maggie from Born in Fire, Brianna too has issues to do with her parents, but the two sisters deal with them in completely different ways. Brianna is her mother's crutch, and heel. Whilst Brianna does everything and more for her mother, Maeve is sure to let her know that it is never enough. She also very kindly shares the information that whilst Maggie had been born of a short lived passion that ruined her life, Brianna had been born of the coldness of a duty that must not be shirked, and it was a duty to the church, more than to her husband. Fortunately Maggie does everything she can to protect Brianna. In the previous book she had bought a house for Maeve, and hired a companion to stop Brianna from needing to look after her 24/7. She also has to deal with her feelings regarding her father after she finds three letters, wrapped in ribbon, in a box in the attic, which attest to the fact that her father had an affair with a woman named Amanda, and that Amanda had broke off contact when she found out she was pregnant. The other thing that happened in relation to her father was that she found a stock certificate, which brings a few events into her life that were a bit out of the ordinary. Actually I found some of these events, which carry forward into the next book, a bit out of place to be honest.
When Grayson first arrives at the inn, he is immediately attracted to Brianna, especially when she is wearing her apron or hanging out the washing (huh???), but Brianna is determined not to let him know that he is affecting her at first, and then how deeply at the end. Grayson is a man who has created himself, from his name up, despite his early life with a terrible mother and in foster care. He has no ties, doesn't even own a car so that he doesn't have to be tied to any one place and he believes that he is quiet happy there! I really liked Grayson. He sounds like a loner but he really wasn't. When he was being sociable he was a really nice guy. It was also interesting to read some of the writing process that he went through - the sleepless nights when he was feeling inspired, the temper that came with the words not flowing.
Brianna didn't quite do enough for me to be a heroine. She wasn't prepared to fight for anything. When Grayson was about to leave she even offered to make sandwiches for him for goodness sake, and was not prepared to let him know even once how much he really meant to her!! Sure, she told him that she loved him, but she remained cool and calm, acting resigned to his departure. Part of that relates to something her mother had done to her only previous serious boyfriend, but still, I wanted to yell at her to at least act like she at least cared!
I really liked the story, but because I felt little connection to Brianna I rated this a 3.5/5.