AUTHOR: Mary Carter
INFO: Paperback, Fiction, 360 pages
PUBLISHED: Kensington, 2011
SOURCE: Received from Author for Book Tour and Review
FROM GOODREADS: Sometimes leaving home is the only way to find where you truly belong.
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 neighbor to the pub's colorful 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.
MY TAKE: The premise of an American woman winning her own pub in Ireland and having the chance to reinvent herself in that magical country had me jumping at the chance to read this lovely book. I think many of us dream of having an opportunity like this. Getting a chance to live it vicariously in a great book is as close as most of us will come to it.
Mary Carter did not disappoint me. Her heart-warming story of a woman who is always there for everyone but herself was one that I couldn't put down. I became very invested in Carlene's tale. I enjoyed watching her grow into an independent woman who makes her own decisions and starts to finally live for herself. On the other side, Ronan is fighting his head and his guilt in losing the pub to an American woman that he can't fight or hide his attraction to. Their budding relationship draws the reader in quickly ~ along with all of the townspeople.
The Irish town of Ballybeog makes me want to move there NOW. I love how Ms. Carter brought the townspeople to life for me. I could hear their voices in my head and imagine being right there in the middle of Uncle Jimmy's with her listening to them. Character development is very much a strong suit for the author. The residents of Ballybeog are very believable; I wanted so much more when I was done with the book. I found myself laughing out loud at a few parts as well as tearing up a couple of times. Along with the romance; descriptive scenery, fascinating characters and the magic of Ireland make this a must read story.
I highly recommend The Pub Across the Pond and look forward to reading more of Mary Carter's stories. Thank you to the author and Pump Up Your Book Virtual Book Tours for including me on this tour. You can find out more about Mary Carter by visiting her website at Mary Carter Books.
Out of 5 JEWELS, I give it:
~~~~~ Disclaimer: All opinions expressed on this blog are 100% my own. I do not receive monetary compensation for my reviews but do utilize affiliate links. I may receive books in order to facilitate a review, but this does not guarantee a good review - only a completely honest one. Each review post denotes how I obtained the book.