Friday, July 11, 2014



Title: Love and Shenanigans 
by Zara Keane 
Series: Ballybeg, #1 
Publication Date: May 16, 2014 
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Vows in Vegas… 
Three days before leaving Ireland on the adventure of a lifetime, Fiona Byrne returns to her small Irish hometown to attend the family wedding from hell. When she discovers the drunken vows she exchanged with the groom during a wild Las Vegas trip eight years previously mean they’re legally married, her future plans ricochet out of control. Can she untangle herself from the man who broke her heart so long ago? Does she even want to?

…True Love in Ballybeg.. 
Gavin Maguire’s life is low on drama, high on stability, and free of pets. But Gavin hadn’t reckoned on Fiona blasting back into his life and crashing his wedding. In the space of twenty-four hours, he loses a fiancιe and a job, and gains a wife and a labradoodle. 

Can he salvage his bland-but-stable life? More importantly, can he resist losing his heart to Fiona all over again?


 4.5 Stars

Love and Shenanigans is hilarious and sweet and utterly adorable!

It combines mystery, fun and sexiness in a very humorous way that leaves you breathless and waiting for the next epic line..

I especially loved Fiona's character.

One of the things I loved about her is how real she is. Every woman has insecurities, every woman more or less has had a nemesis and every woman has been ..umm well..screwed over, and not in the literal sense of it..When she were younger, she had her issues with her bodytype, as well as her emotional scars caused by her family tragedy. What certainly did not help, was her asshole family that only knew how to diminish her (and everybody else) and be crude. But she got out of it. She grew and found herself. She discovered she's not that little girl anymore and she cannot be bullied. She learnt how to embrace herself in every way, emotionally and physically.

Fiona is a proud, decent and beautiful woman who can the example to every woman out there..

However, Gavin's character is what cost the book its 5 stars. I liked his humour and his reactions..He's certainly a very funny and fun guy..But, the emotional aspect of his life is a mess..His behavior in Las Vegas was immature and irresponsible and insensible. His long relationship with.. was a joke. And later, he only thought of himself, even though he is a decent guy..Plus, I didn't get the swift transition from being a "I-don't-know-what-I-have-with-Fiona" to "I'm-crazy-in-love-with-her". Of course, the last part was obvious to us, but I didn't see how he came to the conclusion himself. I would like more focus on that point, because it is the highlight of the book.

Love and Shenanigans is a fantastic read, overall. I enjoyed it and laughed my a** off. I had a spectacular time reading it and couldn't ask for a better read for a summer night.

I strongly recommend it! You will enjoy this one!

“Typical,” muttered Gavin. “Bloody typical. He lands me with an untrained puppy that wreaks havoc in my house, and then he expects me to keep it under control in his.” Wiggly Poo treated his nose to a generous lick. He scowled at him. “Keep that up and I’ll walk down the aisle with a rash on my face.” A shriek of laughter from one of the rooms proved too much excitement for the puppy. He leaped out of Gavin’s arms, slid across the marble floor, and shot off in the direction of the noise. “Come back, you blaggard!” Gavin chucked Deirdre’s roses on the floor and took off after the dog. He pounded down the narrow hallway that led to the downstairs guest bedrooms. One door was slightly ajar. He caught sight of a curly canine arse disappearing behind it. He barged into the room without knocking. A chorus of feminine gasps greeted his appearance. Apart from the French designer, all the women were wearing satin dresses of various hues. Deirdre was in a lavender creation, complete with puffy sleeves. The bridesmaids—Olivia, Mona, and Brona—wore maroon dresses that reminded him of the costumes in the deadly dull Jane Austen adaptations his fiancιe adored. Muireann’s wedding dress was a meringue concoction with skirts that took up half the room. It didn’t suit her, but he’d lie tomorrow and tell her it looked great. The piθce de rιsistance was the woman poured into a greenish-yellow frock with a weird fishtail bottom. The bodice of the dress was so tight that half her breasts were squeezed into view. He drank in the woman’s face. Her mouth formed an O of horror at the sight of him. His stomach performed a stunt worthy of an acrobat. He knew those breasts. He knew that face. He knew that mouth. Bloody hell! What was she doing at the wedding? What was she doing in the wedding? Her intelligent green eyes pinned him in place. A slide show of memories flashed through his mind—some good, some bad, some X-rated. “Gavin!” Muireann screeched, jolting him back to the present. “You’re not supposed to see my dress!” He flushed to the roots. Had he been remembering sleeping with another woman while his bride-to-be stood in front of him? Jaysus. He needed to pull himself together. Deirdre grabbed a swath of fabric from the speechless Claudette and threw it around her daughter. “Get out, Gavin. You’ll jinx the wedding!” “Sorry for barging in. Wiggly Poo is in here somewhere.” Muireann’s jaw dropped. “You brought him here? I told you to leave him at home.” “Baby, I couldn’t leave him alone,” he said in mounting exasperation. “He was wrecking the place. He pulled down the curtains and attacked my stereo speakers.” “Ah, Gavin. Why didn’t you stop him? He’s only a puppy.” “Are you sure? I’d label him a hellhound.” Fiona snorted with laughter. Muireann shot her cousin a look of pure venom. No love lost between them. In a split second, Wiggly Poo emerged from underneath an antique chair and charged at a basket near Deirdre’s feet. “Watch out!” Gavin cried. “There he goes.” “Stop him!” Deirdre screamed, veiled hat askew. “He’s attacking Mitzi and Bitzi.” Fiona lurched forward on her high heels and half-fell, half dive-bombed the dog basket.
The sound of ripping fabric tore a horrified gasp from the crowd. The material at the back of the dress split open, revealing two luscious, creamy buttocks.
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about author
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.

Guest Post

From the Emerald Isle to Heidi Land

If someone had asked my teenage self to predict where I’d be living at the age of thirty-five, I’d have listed a number of potential locations ranging from exotic Thailand to Nordic Norway. Switzerland wouldn’t have made it to my long list. But then I had no idea I’d fall in love with a Swiss man!

 My teenage predictions for Future Me turned out to be way wrong in many areas.
·  I wasn’t going to get married—I did.
·  I wasn’t going to have kids—I have three.
·  I was going to live in a big city—I live in a teeny tiny village.
·  I was going to be an academic—I was for a while but decided the job insecurity and faculty infighting wasn’t my cuppa.

I was born and grew up in Dublin, Ireland. While I adore the country, the people,
and the culture, I always planned to travel for a bit once I finished university. My initial choice was Norway (see above). This plan very nearly worked out but for a last-minute hiccup with my work permit. Rather than wait another few months, I decided to go to Germany for a while, figuring I’d get to Norway eventually. (As both Ireland and Germany are part of the European Union, neither a visa nor a work permit was necessary.) I settled in a gorgeous town in the south of Germany, did post grad studies, and ended up staying for almost six years.
The move from Ireland to Germany was a definite culture shock. And despite their proximity, moving from a lively town in Germany to a country village in Switzerland was yet another culture shock, albeit less dramatic than the Ireland-Germany migration.

There are aspects to living in this part of the world that I absolutely love: punctual public transport; an excellent and affordable healthcare system; cleanliness—the Swiss don’t litter; and, of course, the chocolate is divine.
What I miss about Ireland is certain social and cultural aspects. I love being able to walk into a pub, strike up a conversation with a total stranger and not have anyone assume I’m hitting on them if the stranger happens to be male. Everyone from the bus driver to a shop assistant is friendly—it took me a while to realize that talking to a Swiss shop assistant about anything other than the commercial transaction was not welcome. It takes ages to move most Swiss people beyond the casual acquaintance stage to genuine friendship (although once you do, they tend to be lifers).

However, had it not been for the move to Switzerland, I might never have finished a book, let alone published one. Childcare here is horribly expensive and not easy to find. Most Swiss mothers in the area where I live don’t work and the few who do have grandparents living nearby to help with the kids. After my second child was born, it no longer made financial sense to go back to my teaching job. While I loved having the opportunity to spend so much time with my kids when they were little, I knew I’d go insane if I didn’t have some sort of creative outlet. On a whim, I decided to participate in NaNoWriMo in 2009.

For those of you not familiar with NaNoWriMo, it stands for National Novel Writing Month. It’s an online event that takes place each November. The goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Participants are not allowed to edit the pages they wrote on the previous day. The idea is to push yourself all the way through to The End of a first draft. While my NaNoWriMo book will never see the light of day (trust me, this is a very good thing!) it got me into a regular writing schedule.

Juggling writing and little kids is often a challenge but the rewards far outweigh the occasional frustrations. I write romantic comedies set in Ireland, so every writing day is guaranteed to put a smile on my face. I try to squeeze in an hour of writing time before the kids wake up and another hour or two after they go to bed. I write seven days a week and rarely take a day off. This isn’t ideal but it enables me to write two full-length novels a year. I figure there’s plenty of time for weekends when all the kids are in school and I have more time during the week to devote to writing. Besides, I have so much fun writing my stories that I’d miss my daily buzz if I went down to a five-day working week.




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