I've known Mr. O'Devlin for almost two years now. I think I know as much as I can about him, but what he says might surprise you.
We sat down last Wednesday to talk and this is what he revealed...
Diva: Mr. O'Devlin, I feel like it was just yesterday when I met you. How are you doing?
Ciaran: Quite frankly, Miss Jefferson, I feel like everything I've known has turned upside down. (He laughs.) I'm well, thank you.
Diva: Anyways, no use putting it off. Where were you born?
Ciaran: (His dimpled smile was very captivating.) Altmore, County Tyrone, Ireland.
Diva: (I smiled in return.) What do you do for a living?
Ciaran: I work. (His black hair moves with the shake of his head.) I spend me life farming the land.
Diva: Sounds...well, you know...
Ciaran: (Another laugh.) I admit work on a farm is not craic at all. I should change that. Is it time for a pint yet?
Diva: Unfortunately, no, I need you to be sober for at least another thirty minutes. (He shrugged before I continued.) Tell me about your parents. How well did you get along with them?
Ciaran: They were grand people. I remember their voices, 'tis all. (He bowed his head toward the ground.)
Diva: How many siblings do you have? Older? Younger?
Ciaran: Four. (His head stayed.) I have one older brother and one younger brother still alive. My two sisters died soon after me parents.
Diva: (I knew I hit a hard spot, so I asked something else.) What were you afraid of when you were a child?
Ciaran: (He lifted his head.) Losing the farm. Miss Jefferson, the farm was the last thing I had left o' me parents.
Diva: I know, Mr. O'Devlin. I think you did a wonderful job overcoming your obstacles. (I paused a moment to allow him to collect himself. He nodded and I continued.) What makes you happy now?
Ciaran: I will truly say me wife, Aveline. (His voice lowered.) Without her, I missed the meaning o' life. I took everything for granted.
Diva: What would you change about yourself if you could, Mr. O'Devlin?
Ciaran: I really am stubborn, you know. (He tapped his head, mussing the hair under his flat cap.) Maybe I should start over without such a hard head.
Diva: (I laughed despite myself and he joined. I waited until our laughter died before continuing.) What is it that you have never told anyone? I love hearing people's deep dark secrets.
Ciaran: (He moved closer and stared into my eyes.) If I told you, I'd have to kill you.
(I knew then and there that Ciaran O'Devlin's deepest secret was his undying love for me.
Okay, maybe I lied. Or wished more than anything.)
Ciaran: No, Miss Jefferson, I don't mean it. (He moved backwards and planted himself in the nearest chair.) When I saw Aveline eavesdropping on me the first day we met, I thought I saw me mother in her eyes an' I wished more than anything to spend me life with her.
Diva: Thank you so much, Mr. O'Devlin, from taking the time to answer these questions for me. I know how hard it can be to leave a busy life behind for such a cause. Your family is forever in my hopes and prayers. Good luck in the future, sir.
Ciaran: (He smiled warmly.) May your home be filled with laughter. May your pockets be filled with gold. And may you have all the happiness your Irish heart can hold. (Then he quit the room.)
(I stared after him for a good while. He was definitely one of a kind.)
To Love An Irishman
She is left with an offer she cannot refuse...
Upon his death in 1823, English nobleman, Lord Peyton leaves his daughter Lady Aveline with two choices—stay single and inherit only a small farm in Ireland, where she might just be able to eke out a living, or get married and live in luxury, inheriting all his wealth and property. Fiercely independent, Aveline heads for Ireland only to run afoul of her father’s farm manager, the devastatingly handsome Ciaran O’'Devlin. Alone in a strange country, Aveline yearns for love and friendship, but Ciaran offers only criticism and disdain. Confused and angered by strange visions and her growing attraction to Ciaran, Aveline is determined to make the farm prosper—despite the insufferable Irishman.
He has a secret he cannot reveal...
Ciaran mistrusts Aveline’s intentions and refuses to admit that a willful, English woman now owns the farm that should have been his. Although he insists Aveline should go back to England, he cannot deny their budding passion. Yet, he knows—even if she doesn’t—that nothing will come of it. Not only can’t a poor Irishman marry an English noblewoman, but when Aveline learns of his past, she’ll want nothing more to do with him. Ciaran has always known that each decision carries a consequence, but it’s only when he stands to lose Aveline that he realizes what a heavy price his past decisions may have.
Ciarán O’Devlin was not fond of trespassers or foreigners, especially the English, and saw defiance in her steady gaze.
But she was pretty. Her copper hair was coiled in a topknot, and a white bonnet adorned with pink flowers covered it. Her small lips puckered fetchingly. Her arched eyebrows, the color of her hair, stood over her golden eyes. The light pink dress framed her small curves. Her bosom was moderately sized as it swelled in the thin muslin gown. Her clothes puzzled him. They were a little too rich for her to be from any of the nearby towns.
What was she doing here of all places?
The English loved to send anyone willing to make a little extra money.
He moved close enough to her to touch her, but she held her ground. “I want to know who you are an’ why you are spying on me. If it is such a problem for you to answer then me thinks you should not be here.”
She didn’t flinch. “My name is Aveline Peyton. I own these lands. I should be asking who you are to question my authority.”
Releasing his grip on her arm, he staggered backward a few steps. His eyes narrowed on her, and he breathed more deeply. “A woman who is in charge o’ a farm? I have never heard o’ such an absurd notion in all me life. I think ’tis past time for you to be going already an’—’em—” Her first words echoed in his head. “Peyton is ya last name, cailín?”
She hesitated. “Yes…”
He nodded. “Right, you are related then to the late Lord Peyton?”
Despite her confidence, he noticed a change in her eyes. “I am indeed. His only daughter.” When she spoke, she turned her face toward the moors.
He paused to think for a few moments. He had known that if anything happened to Lord Peyton, his daughter would be the heir to all his properties. Hmm…
To Love An Irishman is available at www.blackopalbooks.com
For more information on Diva Jefferson go to www.divajefferson.com