Mulligan Stew
By Dawn Mercier
Sep 12, 2003 - 12:15:00 PM

Bridget Mulligan was not having a good week.  Poor Granny Frye never saw her demise coming as she chased that good for nothing coonhound, General Lee, across the street right into the path of an oncoming truck.  Shortly after the funeral, Bridget finds out that she
and her six-year-old son, Jacob are homeless due to Granny’s gambling debts that have caused the seizing of the trailer they once called home.

Then she finds out that all the years of her contempt toward her ex-husband, Culley Mulligan, have been for naught.  He didn’t abandon her soon after their hasty marriage, he had died that same evening and the truth had been hidden until now.   Bridget felt riddled with guilt for thinking the worse of the man she once loved and Jacob’s daddy.


But all was not as lost as it first appeared.  After meeting with her employer, Mr. Larabee who happened to be her Granny's estate lawyer, she heard first the bad news but afterwards he gave her the good news as well.  Bridget discovers that Jacob had family in Ballybronagh, Ireland.  As the roots of the Irish ran deep and blood meant everything, Culley’s family wanted her and Jacob to come home to Ireland where they belong.  Fiona Mulligan and Maggie Mulligan could hardly wait to meet them.  Riley Mulligan, on the other hand, would not make this new transition an easy one for her.


Riley Mulligan was suspicious of Bridget ever since he had heard that his younger brother had a widow living back in the states.  Culley would never run off to Tennessee to marry a complete stranger while his betrothed awaited his return to Ireland.  Whoever this so-called widow of his brother’s was, had to be a fake, a typical gold-digger looking for her share of the Mulligan Estate and Caisleán Dubh, the family castle that had been empty for many years due to its curse.


Grudgingly, Riley agrees to meet Bridget and Jacob at the airport and bring them to the estate.   As soon as he laid eyes on her, he realized she could only be one thing, a witch that had cast a spell of seduction over Culley.  A beautiful, stunning one, but a witch nonetheless. 


Although Jacob is the spitting image of his da’, Riley still thinks Bridget is a farce, even stooping so low as to lie to her own son to get her greedy little hands on what is rightfully his by heritage.  He vows to find out the truth about her and send her back to Tennessee.  Proving her a fake would satisfy his suspicious mind, but satisfying his needs would prove to be more difficult, even dangerous. 


Upon their arrival, Bridget and Jacob are immediately accepted with open arms, which helps her to alleviate the mood from driving with her scowling escort.  She didn’t know what Riley’s problem was, or why he shunned her like he did.  Bridget really didn’t care; all she cared about was his acceptance of his nephew.  He may deny her all he wanted, but to deny his own flesh and blood was the one thing she would never allow.  Even if you were one fine looking Irishman, with eyes of mulligan blue that promised long nights of desire if you could just get passed the constant scowl.


As they began to get settled in, Bridget started to have erotic dreams of a faceless stranger and beautiful woman entwined in pleasures of the flesh.  The dreams left her restless, unsatisfied, and curious as to what they meant.  They must have had something to do with the move and maybe the lurking, dark castle that stood ominously outside of her window, Caisleán Dubh.  The same castle that kept drawing her attention to it over and over again.  Kept calling to her as if it were waiting for her return.  Whispers filled her ears each time she neared it and bouts of déjà vu’ that she could never recall when they were over plagued her constantly.  Uncovering the castle’s secrets was something she knew she would have to do.


As dark secrets began to unravel, slowly revealing themselves, Bridget and Riley found themselves trapped by forces more sinister and powerful than they could ever imagine. Those forces had found a way to bring them together in their quest for answers.  But are the answers they seek enough to break the foreboding curse that Caisleán Dubh holds?  And will Riley finally see the truth that lay behind Bridget's green eyes? 


Mulligan Stew is the beginning of a two book series featuring the Mulligan’s of Ballybronagh, Ireland. Mulligan Stew is every bit as wonderful as its follow up, Mulligan Magic, which I ended up reading first.

Mulligan Stew is a superb blend of magic, fantasy, love, and hate. Secrets are plentiful in Mulligan Stew causing you to not put it down until you uncover them all one by one.  Unless you flip ahead and cheat, which I was quite tempted to do.

With a cursed castle and strange occurrences that only Riley and Bridget are exposed to, Mulligan Stew has all of the right ingredients for a paranormal romance.  That is the main reason I was drawn to it.


The characters are witty, smart, sassy, and just all around wonderful, making me wonder if they aren’t perhaps indeed real. I would love to be right in the middle of Ballybronagh watching the entire drama unfold.   Unfortunately, I’m stuck in this world and they are in theirs.


This is only the second book that I have read by Deb Stover and I hope to get some more of her books soon.  Her writing and abilities to create such splendid tales and worlds has caused me to become a devoted fan for life.  (Even if there are no vampires in them!) Thank you Deb for bringing the world such breathtaking tales, that leave us begging for more.  

I highly recommend Mulligan Stew to anyone, anywhere, at any time.  Run out and grab yourself a copy, you will certainly NOT be disappointed. 

Happy Reading! 

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