Katiebabs is a self-proclaimed present day bluestocking with her head always in a book. She runs her own book blog called Babbling about Books and More!
Love and Leprechauns is another enjoyable installment from Zara Keane in her wonderful Ballybeg series. Love and Leprechauns isn’t as lighthearted as the past books. The subject matter here is darker with spousal abuse, harassment and blackmail. Olivia’s marriage is a nightmare. She married Aidan to help her strapped cash parents, and because he needed an appropriate wife to help further his political career. After years of emotional abuse Olivia is fed up. She’s secretly separated from Aidan (she sleeps in a spare bedroom), and she’s planning to open her own cafe. She’ll finally be independent and live her life on her own terms. But when her ex-flame, Jonas returns to Ballybeg with his young son, everything she has planned derails.
Jonas is a successful mystery author, who has returned to Ballybeg to be closer to his parents so they can help watch his autistic son, Luca. Luca’s mother has left Jonas because she can’t handle Luca, so Jonas is on his own. He ends up taking the cottage Olivia was going to buy for her cafe (Jonas’s aunt owns the building and gives it to Jonas). She’s upset, and rightly so with Jonas. Jonas thinks she’s this stuck up rich man’s wife, until he witnesses an ugly altercation between Olivia and Aidan that changes his mind. He wants to help Olivia out, and she in turn wants to help with Luca. Soon their attraction flare again, but then when Aidan is killed by one of his gnomes, their romance is put on hold as they try to find out who the killer is so they don’t end up in jail for the murder.
I always have a fun time when I read a Ballybeg novel. The characters are darling and the main couples connect so well together. The love scenes are also great. As for the mystery element here, I didn’t know who the killer was until the very end.
Kudos to Zara for writing another great contemporary romance set in the darling, small town of Ballybeg