Ruby Spencer’s Whiskey Year by Rochelle Bilow
Publisher: Berkley Romance
Pub Date: 2/14/2023
Thank you to Berkley Romance for the free copy and PRH Audio for the free audiobook in exchange for my honest review.
GoodReads Synopsis: Ruby Spencer is spending one year living in a small cottage in a tiny town in the Scottish Highlands for three reasons: to write a bestselling cookbook, to drink a barrelful of whisky, and to figure out what comes next. It’s hard to know what to expect after an impulse decision based on a map of Scotland in her Manhattan apartment–but she knows it’s high time she had an adventure.
The moment she sets foot in Thistlecross, the verdant scenery, cozy cottages, and struggling local pub steal her heart. Between designing pop-up suppers and conversing with the colorful locals, Ruby starts to see a future that stretches beyond her year of adventure. It doesn’t hurt that Brochan, the ruggedly handsome local handyman, keeps coming around to repair things at her cottage. Though Ruby swore off men, she can’t help fantasizing what a roll in the barley might be like with the bearded Scot.
As Ruby grows closer to Brochan and the tightly held traditions of the charming village, she discovers secret plans to turn her beloved pub into an American chain restaurant. Faced with an impossible choice, Ruby must decide between love, loyalty, and the Highlands way of life.
Review: Ruby Spencer’s Whiskey Year is a contemporary romance lover that explores self-discovery, friendship, small town life, and loyalty. Ruby Spencer moves to a small cottage in Scottish Highlands town for a year to write a cookbook, drink whisky, and discover what’s next in life. As she falls in love with the scenery, locals, and a handsome handyman named Brochan, she discovers a plan to replace the local pub with an American chain, forcing her to choose between her love for the Highlands and her relationships. The plot and original premise of the novel were captivating, but I found the writing style to be quite dull in comparison. I really liked how intriguing small small village community, but I wasn’t a fan of the main characters who seemed uninteresting and lacked depth. Ruby came across as immature and airheaded. This romance is definitely a slow burn. I found the pace of the book to be inconsistent which I didn’t like. Overall, this book didn’t work for me and I wouldn’t read the rest of the series.