Olivia Gant is determined to escape her abusive husband and build a new life. Only desperation drives her to rent business premises from Jonas O’Mahony, the man who tattooed her behind and broke her heart. Can she maintain a haughty distance?
Jonas is a struggling single father. The last person he wants next door is the beautiful-but-infuriating Olivia. A childcare crisis forces him to strike a bargain with her: the lease to the cottage in return for babysitting. Can he resist her allures?
When Olivia’s ex is clobbered to death by a garden gnome, the fickle finger of suspicion points to Olivia and Jonas. Can they prove their innocence, or is their happily ever after doomed?
Copy received from the author for an honest review
When Ms Keane contacted me to ask if I was interested in reading the latest installment of her Ballybeg series, of course it was an instant yes!
Each book in this series just keeps getting better and better. And I don't think I am exaggerating when I say I fall in love with each and every one of the leading men!
I loved the tension between Jonas and Olivia. Their history has not been the greatest, so you get that love/hate vibe off both of them.... though it is more a "hate that I love" vibe.
You just know from the first time you meet both Jonas and Olivia that things are going to be fiery - and fun. And that they are! As they get dragged into the biggest crime in Ballybeg in decades, things start to heat right up.
But of course things never run smoothly when half the town sticks their nose in your business (believe me, I live in a small town and you sneeze and someone the next street over says bless you!!)
Gah, Olivia's mother. What a piece of work. No, actually, there is only one way to describe her - selfish bitch! I wanted to slap the crap out of her! Every time she turned up on the page I could feel myself tensing up, wondering what she was up to this time!
We also get more of the ladies and gents from the previous two books, Love and Shenanigans and Love and Blarney. But I have to say, the scene stealer in this book is Jonas' son, Luca. You just never know what is going to come out of his mouth - and don't let him near the punch bowl!!!
So, will Jonas and Olivia get their happy ending, or will it all be to much for them to overcome?
Nope, for that you are going to have to read for yourself.
Ms Keane has a great way of getting the imagery across in her writing. You can feel yourself getting immersed in the world of Ballybeg.
Can't wait to see where she takes me next!
Advanced copy received from the author for an honest review
Throughout this series, I have been keen to know more about Sharon McCarthy - is she the trouble-maker she has always been made out to be/
This sweet novella is about Sharon and the local constabulary Brian Glenn. And what a fun ride we are taken on.
I have to say I adored Brian (even with his red hair - gingers are so not my thing!!). And the banter between this pair is cute and funny. You can just feel that all the tension between them is going to lead to something great.
So, does it? Nope, for that you are going to have to read for yourself.
I find myself immersed in the world of Ballybeg, and each and every book in this series I adore even more. Love love LOVED this one!
Can't wait for the next book, Love and Shamrocks!!
1. If you could have written any book in history, which would you choose?
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.
2. Do you have time to read for yourself? If so, what are you reading now?
I don’t have as much time to read as I’d like but I make time almost every day. I usually have a couple of books on the go, but in different categories.
A romance book—surprise, surprise! My current read is Joanna Bourne’s ‘Rogue Spy’.
A non-fiction book. The one I’m reading right now is ‘Quiet’ by Susan Cain.
An audio book. This is my bedtime “reading” matter! I tend to listen to a lot of crime fiction. At the moment, I’m listening to Rhys Bowen’s Her Royal Spyness cozy historical mystery series for the second time. She has a wonderful narrator.
3. What was your dream job as a kid?
I wanted to be a nun. Madonna’s ‘Like a Virgin’ was huge when I was little. Then I went to a Catholic school and realized that nuns they don’t jump around singing in their underwear. It was a bitter disappointment, believe me.
4. Do you have any unusual or weird writing habits?
I have a thing about a character’s name defining who they are in my head. If I have to change someone’s name, I need to rewrite his or her character. For example, in the first draft of ‘Love and Shenanigans’, I ended up with a Brian (police officer) and a Bryan (Jonas’s father). I knew Brian would play a big role in later books and I really didn’t want to tinker with his character. So I changed Bryan to Liam and he morphed from a banker to a construction worker and from uptight and emotionally distant to laid-back and loving.
5. If the boys of Ballybeg formed a band, what would they be called?
I’m not sure they’d be able to agree on a musical style. If they did, how about the Ballybeatz?
6. If you could pick one of your characters to do a cross over with any character from any book, who would it be?
It would be fun to send Olivia from ‘Love and Leprechauns’ into Karen Marie Moning’s Fever universe and send Mac to Ballybeg!
If you had only one book you could read for the rest of time, what would it be?
Tough question! Georgette Heyer’s ‘The Reluctant Widow’ always makes me laugh but it’s not long enough to last me forever. I’m going to pick Mary Stewart’s Gothic romance, ‘Airs Above the Ground’.
8. How many more books in the Ballybeg series do you see yourself writing?
I’d originally planned on writing six stories set in Ballybeg—three novels and three novellas. While I’m sticking with the plan of six stories, it’s looking like both Book #5 and Book #6 will be novel-length stories. After I finish the Ballybeg books, I have an idea for a spin-off series of Irish contemporary romances. I’m also working on a totally unrelated paranormal series—alternate reality adventure romance to be precise, but that’s a bit of a mouthful!
As it stands, here’s the list of the Ballybeg stories:
1. Love and Shenanigans — Gavin and Fiona’s story (novel)
2. Love and Blarney — Ruairí and Jayme’s story (novella)
3. Love and Leprechauns — Jonas and Olivia’s story (novel)
4. Love and Mistletoe — Brian and Sharon’s story (holiday novella)
5. Love and Shamrocks — Seán and Clio’s story (novel) Coming Spring 2015
6. Title TBA — Coming Fall 2015
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Zara Keane grew up in Dublin, Ireland, but spent her summers in a small town very similar to the fictitious Ballybeg.
She currently lives in Switzerland with her family. When she’s not writing or wrestling small people, she drinks far too much coffee, and tries – with occasional success – to resist the siren call of Swiss chocolate.