Grainne wants three things: her mother's love, a baby, and Rafe Byrne--not necessarily in that order. On Rafe's wedding day, Grainne is keen for a fresh start—why not settle for the nice guy in the wings who’s successful, and mad about her too? Just as Grainne is poised to get her future on track, her family pressures her to leave Dublin for the quaint little village of Ballydara, to help her mother launch a B&B. Given her turbulent relationship with her mam, the last thing Grainne wants to do is live with her.
But when Rafe, her old flame, turns up in Ballydara a free man, Grainne takes a page from her favorite fictional heroine Scarlett O’Hara: she plunges into a no-holds-barred pursuit of the child she wants so badly. But Grainne soon discovers that opening her heart—to Rafe, to the prospect of motherhood, and to her mother—is the biggest risk of all…
To celebrate Mother's Day, I'm offering a Goodreads Giveaway of Mother Love! You can sign up for the chance to win a free, autographed copy of the book from May 5 to May 12. You'll find more about the Village of Ballydara series at www.susancolleenbrowne.com...
Here's a sample of Mother Love:
Here's a sample of Mother Love:
The Gallagher Post
Gai Lannigan’s Blog—Girl Talk
Lust for a guy is one thing. But lust for babies is a whole different story. And a lot harder to satisfy. The old cliché about biological clocks is just a polite way to describe waking up one morning, realizing you’ve wasted your youth, and now you can practically feel your eggs shriveling. The viable ones, that is. The duds are probably sashaying merrily round your ovaries, snickering at their rapidly dissolving sisters.
If you’ve baby hunger but no daddy material on the horizon, you’re probably thinking, how can I joke about this? I see your point. Your average baby fanatic is actually a bit of an addict, with a terrible craving for her fix. The trouble is, like other common addictions—say, drink, drugs and gambling—the temptations of babies are everywhere. (Which only increases the baby longing.) Another painful truth is that baby-cravers often gravitate toward careers that provide maximum contact with babies, like pediatricians, or playschool teachers. Unfortunately, jobs like that give baby-lusters minimum contact with what they can’t do without: unattached sperm-providers.
You might be one of the lucky ones, though, with several paternal prospects to choose from. But what if you’re keener on having a baby than having a man? If word gets out, people will think you’re quite heartless, if not altogether mad. Which bothers true baby-lusters not a whit. Your road to motherhood couldn’t be simpler: You pick a fellow you know will drop his drawers for you, no questions asked. Unfortunately, any guy who’ll sleep with you at the snap of your fingers is a guy who’s had it off with every available female who’s crossed his path—not the sort you’d want condom-less.
You could always bide your time and wait for the perfect, baby-making love machine. But who knows how long that could take? So my advice is to go for a nice guy with a presentable gene pool, who won’t make a scene when you cool the relationship. After the deed is done, that is. Trouble is, nice men want to do the decent thing…
“You don’t think Gai really wants a baby, do you?” Justine Egan tapped the screen of her mobile, then drained her pint.
“Don’t tell me you’re reading that blog again.” Crunching a shortbread finger in a dim corner of O’Fagan’s, I stared enviously at Justine’s glass. A pity I’d no head for drink. Today of all days, I’d have liked something to take the edge off. “Aren’t you meant to be checking recipes for birthday cake?”
“Not now.” Justine thrust her phone across the scratched wood table. “Check out today’s Girl Talk.”
“I came to the pub to relax,” I said as she went to the bar for a refill, “not read about angsty girls with too much time on their hands.” But to please Justine, my flatmate and best friend, I scanned her favorite blog, helping myself to a third biscuit. As if a self-induced sugar coma might help me forget why I was mainlining the stuff in the first place.
You know how it is—the day your ex-boyfriend gets married, it’s like a huge insect squished on the windscreen of your life. It’s not like you care or anything, it’s just that the oul‘ bugger is blocking your vision.
O’Fagan’s wasn’t the best place to clear your head either, with strings of Guinness flags hanging listlessly from the ceiling and ancient, smoke-stained paneled walls. And today, the place felt more claustrophobic than usual—a far cry from the flower-bedecked, sun-drenched nuptials I could see in my mind’s eye half a world away. Not that I wanted to be shackled to some guy for life, but there’s something about people you know tying the knot that gets you pondering your own future. Even if it’s a wedding you’d no interest in attending, if they prostrated themselves at your feet and begged you.
“Is that Girl Talk you’re reading?” Eamonn winked at us from behind the taps. “What’s she on about today?”
“Getting pregnant,” Justine told him. “With the right guy.”
“And before your ovaries wither like raisins,” I put in.
“Aw, Grainne.” Eamonn shuddered. “Who wants to hear that female stuff?” In a former life, he’d attended seminary, even if he hadn’t lasted long.
“Well, you asked.” I took another bite of shortbread. “Although,” I added under my breath, “there’s something to be said for ignorance is bliss.”
“Amen to that,” said Eamonn. Really, the man had ears like underwater sonar. He resumed his glass polishing and pint-pulling and whatever else a barman does at
Dublin’s least trendy and most morgue-like
pub, on a late spring afternoon. “Sure, I can’t see why The Gallagher Post publishes such rubbish, though.”
“Because it’s trendy,” Justine retorted. “And every girl I know reads it.” She returned to the table with her second pint, and plucked her mobile from my hands. “So, what do you think of the post? The baby bit is rather strange, but when she mentioned the perfect man—”
“No such thing,” I said. “That’s why most girls end up settling for good enough.”
Justine took a sip. “Sure, I’m not looking for the perfect guy.”
Maybe you should, I wanted to say, but kept my mouth shut. She’d a here-and-there thing with a tosser who worked close by, currently in the “there” status, as he hadn’t rung for a week. Worse, though, was that Justine was secretly hung up on another guy who didn’t know she was alive, except as a friend. If that wouldn’t doom a girl to misery, I don’t know what would.
My own #1 Relationship Rule: a bloke can put me first or not at all. But if you hadn’t been so keen to cut and run, a little voice answered, maybe you’d still be with—
I jumped up from the table, setting my biscuit down. “Enough of this lounging about. Time for some craic.” Really, hanging around this right mortuary, even if it was our usual meeting place after work, was no way to get out of a funk.