Romance Review – LAST CALL AT THE LOCAL by Sarah Grunder Ruiz @berkleyromance

Romance Review – LAST CALL AT THE LOCAL by Sarah Grunder Ruiz @berkleyromanceLast Call at the Local by Sarah Grunder Ruiz
Series: Love, Lists & Fancy Ships #3
Published by Berkley Romance on January 2, 2024
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Romance
Pages: 368
Source: Netgalley
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Bookshop

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.


Last Call at the Local is the third installment in Sarah Grunder Ruiz’s Love, Lists & Fancy Ships series and it honestly might be my favorite one yet! What I love about this series is that each book makes me feel so much. Whether I’m laughing at some hilarious banter or shedding tears about a sad turn of events, my heart is just always full the entire time I’m reading. Last Call at the Local was no exception to that and I thoroughly enjoyed my reading experience.

Set in Ireland, the story follows Raine, a young American woman who has run into some bad luck that has left her broke and with little more than the clothes on her back. She stops in at a pub called the Local, where she has a very one-sided conversation with the pub’s cat, Sebastian, and meets Jack, who is not only Sebastian’s charming owner but he’s also part owner of the Local.  Jack and Raine hit it off immediately and once he hears about the predicament she is in, he offers her a temporary job at the pub to help her get back on her feet.  Neither Raine nor Jack realize how life changing this chance encounter and temporary job will turn out to be.

I cannot even express how much I adored both Jack and Raine.  They were just so perfect together and it was a joy to watch them interact and explore their growing feelings for one another.  I also admired them as individuals though because they’re both facing some mental health challenges.  Raine initially comes across as a free spirit, and while she is to a degree, she is also living with ADHD, which makes it hard for her to buckle down and focus. That’s why, when we meet her, she has been working as a traveling musician all over Europe. She figured it was the best of both worlds, a way to make money from her passion for music, but also no set schedule, no boss to answer to, and no family to be disappointed in her.  Jack, on the other hand, is dealing with the challenges of living with severe OCD. Ruiz handles the exploration of both ADHD and OCD thoroughly and respectfully, and I felt like I learned so much by having access to Jack’s and Raine’s inner thoughts and experiencing ADHD and OCD from their perspectives.

I loved being back in this world and was absolutely thrilled to bump into Ollie and Nina again and see what they’ve been up to.  Everything about this book was just perfect and I can’t recommend it and the whole series highly enough.  If you’re looking for a book that will leave you with a full heart and a smile on your face, be sure to check out Last Call at the Local.


Thanks so much to Kristin Cipolla from Berkley Romance for the opportunity to take part in this blog tour.


About Sarah Grunder Ruiz

Sarah Grunder Ruiz is a writer, educator, and karaoke enthusiast. Originally from South Florida, she now lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with her husband and two children. She holds an MFA in creative writing from North Carolina State University, where she now teaches First-Year Writing.

16 replies
  1. Sam@WLABB
    Sam@WLABB says:

    Really, I attribute my enjoyment of this book to the pub cat. Just kidding (maybe not). It was lovely for all the reasons you stated, and I do hope there are more stories in this world to tell.

  2. Tanya @ Girl Plus Books
    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books says:

    This one is already on my TR so I’m so happy to see that you enjoyed it so much! I didn’t realize until now, though, that it was part of a series. Hopefully it can be read as a stand alone!

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      It’s a series that definitely deserves more love and hype than it has gotten. If you give it a try, I hope you love it. 🙂

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