The Brightest Flame in Ballymuir by Dorien Kelly

The Third of Three Books in this Romance Series. Written in 2012 by Dorien Kelly.

The Third of Three Books in this Romance Series. Written in 2012 by Dorien Kelly.

Sorry it has been a while since my last post. I am finally getting the ball rolling with interviews and such.

The Brightest Flame in Ballymuir is all about Vi Kilbride. For those of you that have read the previous posts/books, Vi is the sister of Michael Kilbride (the main character of book one). Vi is an artist who enjoys being in her own little world painting and creating perfect pieces of art.

Vi spent most of her summers as a child/teen with her Nan in Duncarraig. Sadly, this book is based around her Nan’s passing. Nan left her house to Vi a while back, but Vi never had the time to clean out the house or the heart to put it up for sale. Finally, the time had come to visit Duncarraig, empty the house and ready it for the market.

Within the first day of being in town, Vi ran into her past lover, Liam Rafferty. Each time Vi used to spend the summers with Nan, she ended up spending a good chunk of her time with Liam. Liam was her first love and left her with a broken heart to go travel to America. At first, their reunion was a bit rocky, but they rekindled the flame right where they left off.

However, since the last time the two have seen each other, Liam has been married and created a child. He still ‘works’ in America and his now ex-wife has been called to duty so he took his daughter to Ireland to escape a bit. Liam thought being back would help him raise his girl, Meghan, with all the family around, but he also had his own secret motive to be back home. Liam is on the hunt for his family’s gold.

The story has been told that the Rafferty gold has been handed down from father to oldest son year after year. One time, a man in the line had to leave for a bit and trusted his lover to guard the family gold. This lover was an ancestor of Vi’s. Therefore, Vi and Liam are the two descendants alive that deserve the gold, if it were to still be passed down. However, the story states that the gold has never been found and is still out there, unclaimed and waiting for its’ owner to uncover it.

Will the flame between Vi and Liam ignite once again as the title states? Will Liam find the treasure he came to Duncarraig for? Continue reading the Spoilers page for more information.


The Boldest Man in Ballymuir by Dorien Kelly

The Second of Three Books in this Romance Series. Written in 2012 by Dorien Kelly.

The Second of Three Books in this Romance Series. Written in 2012 by Dorien Kelly.

Another book in the Ballymuir Series successfully completed! Even though I read the first of the three books, I would not think that you would have to read the books in order to understand what is happening in this particular series. If you would like a quick recap simply scroll down to my blog entry called The Last Bride in Ballymuir.

So, book two, The Boldest Man in Ballymuir, is mainly focused on a woman named Jenna who owns a beautiful building called the Muir House. She is an American living in Ireland and exposing its citizens to fine dining at her restaurant that now doubles as a place to stay the night. Jenna is finding success in her building until a man named Dev comes into town to try to buy her property to create a new location for a resort.

This would not be a problem for Jenna if she actually owned the building. The fact of the matter is that she never could obtain ownership because the owner was an odd woman. All that Jenna had to her name was a lease that could lead to the ultimate downfall of Muir House.

The second problem in the situation was the connection between Dev and Jenna. From the start, each of them felt a connection and yearning for the other; everyone in town could see it. Jenna tried to keep her guard up, knowing that her house and restaurant were at stake. All she could do now was try to claim ownership and keep positive.

Dev, on the other hand, had his own struggles. He has always been a bold man, never caring about other’s feelings and always closing the deal or getting the girl. Will he get either of these this time around?

The Last Bride in Ballymuir by Dorien Kelly

The First of Three Books in this Romance Series. Written in 2003 by Dorien Kelly.

The First of Three Books in this Romance Series. Written in 2003 by Dorien Kelly.

After reading more than enough about crimes, murders and mysteries, I decided to take a break for a while to a different genre of books. My mother suggested The Ballymuir Series and said it was about love, happiness and Ireland. What else do I need to convince myself. Therefore, I started off the series of three books with The Last Bride in Ballymuir.

The story mainly focuses on a man named Michael Kilbride who recently was released from jail for murder (so much for getting away from the crime stories, mom). Michael’s mother still will not look or talk to him since the incident so he went to live with his sister, Vi, in Ballymuir. Vi is a well-known painter who owns her in shop in the middle of town. That is why Michael is a hot topic around the city as soon as he arrives.

The second Michael hits the streets to roam and look for work, the town is gossiping about his past and making generalizations about him not being a good fit for the town. All the locals are outright rude to him and it seems as if work will be hard to come by.

Then, while walking from the town to Vi’s house, Michael spotted a gorgeous woman working in a field moving rocks. He politely joined and helped her for a bit without either talking much at all. After a while, the lady, Kylie, invited him in and they hit it off. She accepted him for who he is and they quickly became close friends.

We find out later that Kylie is a school teacher and well-known throughout the town as well. Her father went to prison for knowingly borrowing money to create hotel properties but instead designing his own mansion-sized house and going in debt still. What the town doesn’t know is that Kylie’s dad was so desperate that he whored her out to get out of their debt. Kylie was raped by her father’s business associate and has never been touched by a man again– until now.

Spoiler- The Last Bride in Ballymuir by Dorien Kelly

The First of Three Books in this Romance Series. Written in 2003 by Dorien Kelly.

The First of Three Books in this Romance Series. Written in 2003 by Dorien Kelly.

*Note- This post continues the writing from the Book Summaries page. Please read for previous details.*

We left with Kylie’s little secret she has always kept quiet: her rape. But she is not the only character that has kept secrets over the years. Michael, who went to jail for murder, was actually no murderer at all. He did the time for a different crime. In a private discussion with Kylie and throughout his thoughts within the book, we finally can see the true story behind Michael.

Michael had a girlfriend back in the day who he supposedly loved. She, however, did not seem to have the same intentions. One night when they were out together with another mutual friend named Brian, the whole thing unraveled. Cops showed up and found explosives to create a bomb hidden in Michael’s car that were placed there by his ‘girlfriend’. Brian, the so-called mutual friend, was actually making love to Michael’s girlfriend on the side and the two were using Michael for transporting the explosives. The girl was killed that night but Brian did his time in jail for the crime as well. Knowing that Michael was out of jail, Brian tried to contact Michael by calling Vi’s house with threats to kill his family and his new love, Kylie.

Kylie and Michael had a tough enough time meeting up with their own busy lives despite their own personal reputations throughout the town. The two tended to meet up for a casual dinner at Kylie’s house, right down the street from Vi’s. However, Kylie’s friend and grandmother figure, Breege, fell while living alone and needed someone to look after her as per request of the doctor. So, Kylie took Breege in and Michael was not able to come over as often. Michael did see benefit in this though by finding a place to do construction work in Breege’s barn down the street. Also, Kylie partnered up with Vi to host an art event by the students at her school and found herself working with Vi some nights. Then, yet another hurdle came in the lover’s path: Michael’s much younger twin brothers came in town. These two ran away from home in need of an escape from their crazy mother. After a bit of convincing, Michael saw this as a positive aspect of his life by being able to befriend more family members as well as use the boys for help with his construction work.

One night, Michael received another personal threat on Kylie from Brian to kill her off so Michael took matters into his own hands. He traveled to a nearby city that was known for a shady bar where past inmates would meet up and trouble went down. He covered his tracks with Vi and Kylie by leaving a hotel location written down and said he was on a business trip. They just didn’t know what bad business he was getting into. Michael found Brian and the two fist-fighted in an alley beside the bar Michael tracked him down at. Ready to strangle and kill Brian, Michael found courage to walk away after realizing how killing Brian would affect his future with Kylie. So he walked away with a busted lip and his head held high while Brian was struggling to breathe and making threats that he will regret not finishing him off then.

When Michael got back to the hotel, he was surprised by Kylie at the door of his room. She thought it would be a nice surprise but was more shocked to see his mangled face. Michael told her the whole story and confessed to lying to protect her, which she seemed to understand. Then he surprised her with a ring that he bought earlier that day and proposed to Kylie; she exuberantly said yes.

After the two were back home, rumors seemed to spread once again at the opening of the art exhibit that Vi and Kylie have been planning. The cops came in demanding for the arrest Michael for the murder of Brian. This outraged Kylie since she trusted Michael and knew he wasn’t the one to finish him off. After a few days in prison for Michael, the cops discovered a hammer in a nearby trash can with the prints from a drug dealer that worked with Brian. Turns out, Brian wasn’t doing his share and this was his punishment.

So, the happy ending that books should have finally came along in my fourth book this year. Michael and Kylie were going to live happily ever after in Breege’s old house and the two were wedded in the last scene of the book. Kylie’s father was working on becoming a successful man one day at a name and received no help from Kylie. Vi sold her work to a wealthy American and continued to pursue her love of art.


What did you think of this book? Share your thoughts below.