Spoiler-Free Book Review: “Love, On the Rocks” by Elsie McArthur

I came across this book on Twitter. As someone who loves books set in Scotland, this was an easy buy for me.

“Escaping a difficult childhood, unhappy marriage and dead-end job, Rachel McIntyre has escaped to the tiny Hebridean island of Inniscreag in search of a new beginning.

Taking a job as the manager of the local distillery, she’s just settling into her new life when the elderly, eccentric owner dies, unexpectedly leaving her two hundred year old family legacy in Rachel’s inexperienced hands.

Can she keep the small, community business alive in the face of a takeover attempt from a major multinational corporation? And can she resist the charms of the flirtatious, attractive company lawyer who arrives on the island to persuade her to sell up?

Join Rachel and the quirky inhabitants of Inniscreag – along with a couple of unexpected arrivals – in this funny, heartwarming tale about love, loss and having the courage to start over.”

The first thing that struck me about this book was how well it was written. It had a charming prose that swept me right into the story. Prose is one of the most important things for me when reading a book and I was impressed right away.

The story follows Rachel McIntyre, a divorcee approaching middle age who moves to the fictional island of Inniscreag to help with the local distillery and the elderly owner, Edith. When Edith passes away, Rachel is astounded when the distillery has been left to her. A big company is sniffing around for it and worse, a woman claiming to be a long-lost relative of Edith’s claims the company should be hers.

The storyline is interesting, though it’s not my genre. I was much more interested in the setting; McArthur captured the way of Highland Scottish people perfectly, from their love of homemade cooking and community spirit to their fashion sense. The prose and setting were my favourite parts.

Rachel was also a good character. She was a British woman to a T, knowing she had to diet but loving sweets, a little fed up of the bad cards she’s been dealt, (usually) sensible and sarcastic. I thought she fell for Duncan a little too fast considering the circumstances, but maybe I’m just clueless about how good romance is written. All in all, if you love modern romance, relatable characters, and a Highland skyline all the way, you’ll adore Love, On the Rocks! I give it three and a half stars.

Get Love, On the Rocks on Amazon US
Get Love, On the Rocks on Amazon UK

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