Carlene Rivers hails from Dublin, Ohio and on the day her and her best friend Becca attend the town's Irish Festival, she doesn't realize her life is about to change. Encouraged to purchase a ticket in a lottery, Carlene does and never in her wildest dreams does she ever think she will win the authentic Irish Pub in Ballybeog, Ireland.
On the day Carlene hears the wonderful news, she begins to plan her new life, leaving behind her neurotic OCD father and the only life she has ever know, Carlene sets out into the unknown to embrace her Irish heritage and make the best out of the situation she has found herself in.
Her arrival in Ballybeog is viewed with mixed emotions, some think she is nothing but a Yank who should go back home and others embrace and encourage her choice to stay and run the pub. There are those who are trying to sabotage her efforts as theft and vandalism continue to occur with no culprits in sight.
The folks of Ballybeog are a tight knit group and Carlene often wonders what she is doing trying to survive out of her element. What Carlene doesn't expect to find is herself in love with another wayward Irishman, as the previous owner, Ronan McBride is not only handsome, but he is charming and considerate to boot. If only he didn't have a gambling problem, he could almost be the perfect man.
Will the people of Ballybeog finally accept Carlene and her American ways or will she be forced to turn in the towel and return home to the United States? Will she find love in Ireland or will her heart be broken once again??
I thought this was a great romantic book and I would give it four out of five stars. I thought the characters were extremely likeable and believable. I love the history shared with the reader and how the settings ambiance was described.
I thought Carly was a well-liked character who remained true to her character. I liked her interaction with the people of Ballybeog and her inner thoughts about the situations she found herself in.
I wished we had more of Ronan's thoughts being shared with the reader. Very few chapters were given to his inner meanderings and I think the reader would have been more balanced if we were given a bit more insight into his nature.
There were very few editorial issues, sometimes Brendan was called Brandon, but for the most part, they were few and far between. I enjoyed the mystery surrounding the tunnels under her property as well as the person who is trying to sabotage her pub.
Carlene Rivers is many things. Dutiful, reliable, kind. Lucky? Not so much. At thirty, she's living a stifling existence in Cleveland, Ohio. Then one day, Carlene buys a raffle ticket. The prize: a pub on the west coast of Ireland. Carlene is stunned when she wins. Everyone else is stunned when she actually goes. As soon as she arrives in Ballybeog, Carlene is smitten not just by the town's beguiling mix of ancient and modern, but by the welcome she receives. In this small town near Galway Bay, strife is no stranger, strangers are family, and no one is ever too busy for a cup of tea or a pint. And though her new job presents challenges - from a meddling neighbour to the pub's colourful regulars - there are compensations galore. Like the freedom to sing, joke, and tell stories, and in doing so, find her own voice. And in her flirtation with Ronan McBride, the pub's charming, reckless former owner, she just may find the freedom to follow where impulse leads and trust her heart - and her luck - for the very first time...
** Disclosure: I did not accept any compensation from the sponsors other than review copies, my views are my own, reviewed by me..as I see it~!! **