Saturday, December 13, 2014

Review:Love and Leprechauns & Love and Mistletoe by Zara Keane

 Tattooed in Tipperary, True Love in Ballybeg.

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 with 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?

Buy Link: Amazon 

What I thought about Love and Leprechauns

Olivia Gant has an escape plan to get away from her abusive husband, but her best laid plans go awry when the verbal agreement for the lease on her new cafe falls through because single-dad Jonas O’Mahony moves into one of the properties with his son. 

Jonas and Olivia have history between them, some good, but mostly bad because their short time together ended with the death of Jonas' brother. Olivia was there when the accident happened, and the family blames her.  The woman just can't seem to get a break when it comes to the O'Mahony family.

But when Jonas rents the remaining cottage to Olivia, they can't deny the feelings they still have for each other.  Not only is Jonas still attracted to Olivia, but she's also good with his special needs son Luca. Things are looking up for both of them, that is until Olivia's estranged husband is murdered and Jonas and Olivia become suspects in the case and the subject of Ballybeg gossip.

I really love my visits to Ballybeg.  Zara Keane has created a lovely world of small town characters that ring true to me. Just about everyone in Ballybeg knows each other and their business, but there's a certain charm to the location and the townsfolk, even when they are holding grudges or messing in someone else's life. 

Both Jonas and Olivia have some mileage -- they've both made mistakes and they are both looking for happiness.  They don't waste time grabbing it when they realize they still have strong feelings for each other. There are some great subplots here too, with Jonas dealing with being a single parent to a child on the autism spectrum. This part of the story tugged at my heart and Zara Keane's sensitive and realistic treatment of Luca was a special part of the story for me. 

I liked the unexpected murder mystery in this one and I really didn't suspect the killer until it was revealed.  But mostly, I liked the story of two people getting a second chance at being together and having a future, even though their past had some very low moments.  

Love and Leprechauns is another lovely installment in this series. I love how I feel transported to another place when I read this series.  Recommended.

ARC provided for review.

Kissed by Christmas…

Policeman Brian Glenn wants a promotion. Studying for a degree in criminology is the first step. When a member of Ballybeg’s most notorious family struts into his forensic psychology class, his hopes for a peaceful semester vanish. Sharon MacCarthy is the last woman he should get involved with, however hot and bothered she makes him get under his police uniform. Can he survive the semester without succumbing to her charms?

…Loved by New Year.

Sharon’s had a rough few months. She knows her future job prospects depend on finally finishing her degree. When she’s paired with her secret crush for the semester project, she sees a chance for happiness. Can she persuade Brian that there’s more to her than sequins, high heels, and a rap sheet?

Buy Link:  Amazon

What I thought about Love and Mistletoe

Another sweet love story from Ballybeg and this one has a lighter feel to it than Love and Leprechauns.  Sharon MacCarthy hs a reputation for trouble and dating a policeman is probably the last thing anyone in town would expect.  When Brian and Sharon realize they are both in the same class at the university they attend and become project partners, they begin a love affair that turns serious.

This novella doesn't have a lot of conflict in it, and that was okay by me.  I like that in a holiday story, along with the touch of humor in this novella.

Another great trip to Ballybeg!  

ARC provided for review.

About Zara Keane

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.

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