Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Pub Across the Pond by Mary Carter

The Pub Across the Pond by Mary Carter
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.

Carlene Rivers has spent her life in Ohio, living in the shadow of her dead mother and live father who had allowed his spirit to die with his wife. When she buys a raffle ticket on a whim, nobody is more shocked than she is when she actually wins.  The prize? A little pub in Ireland. 
Carlene takes flight to claim her prize, but she gets much more than she bargained for. She wins an entire family (the size of a town), she discovers herself, falls in love, and faces the truth. That raffle ticket turned out to be Carlene's ticket to freedom and happiness.
The Pub Across the Pond is absolutely delightful! I fell in love with visions of Ireland, the music, the lushness of the land, and the people. The cast of characters made me laugh and smile, talking about personality! Each and every character in the book had unique, lovable qualities (even the grouchy ones!).  The pub came alive because of the people who congregated there, it was more like a happy house with lot of distant relatives who visit...all the time!
Mary Carter is a master at romantic tension. It was subtle and obvious all at the same time. The attraction between Carlene and Ronan was evident from the start, but the story itself grew over, around, and through the budding romance.  I felt as if I could see it develop from all angles, through her eyes, through his eyes, and through the eyes of every person they came in contact with.   
This story is brilliantly written! Mary Carter had me from the first word and held me captive to the last period. In the right hands...this would make an incredible movie (hint...hint)!

I give it:

Visit Mary Carter's website and say hello on Facebook.  Mary is currently on tour promoting The Pub Across the Pond with Pump Your Book.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The views and opinions expressed are my own.


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