Book Review: Ruby Spencer’s Whiskey Year by Rochelle Bilow

About the Book:

Title: Ruby Spencer’s Whiskey Year

Author: Rochelle Bilow

Page Length: 368

Publication Date: Feb. 14, 2023

Publisher: Berkley Books

Synopsis: When a thirty-something American food writer moves to a Scottish village for one year to fulfill her dream of writing a cookbook she finds more than inspiration–she meets a handsome Scotsman she can’t resist in this charming debut romance.

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.

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon

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My Review:

Happy Valentine’s Day and happy book birthday to Ruby Spencer’s Whiskey Year, Rochelle Bilow’s debut romantic comedy. It’s the perfect book to talk about on Valentine’s Day! A fun and charming contemporary romance, the story follows food writer Ruby, who rents a cottage in Scotland for one year to write a cookbook. It’s a cute story, and I like that Ruby takes control of her life, opens herself up to new experiences, and embraces change.

The story takes place in Scotland, which is a beautiful backdrop to the story. I would love to go there one day, and the author brought the country to live in the rich and vivid imagery and descriptions. Ruby rents a place in a small town, and she becomes quickly immersed into the comings and going of the locals. I love the charm of this small community. It’s a place where everybody knows each other, and they create a little found family for Ruby. There are so many unique and interesting characters to love! Of course, my favorite is Brochan, the handsome, bearded handyman and the perfect grump to Ruby’s sunshine.

The friends-to-lovers romance between Ruby and Brochan is slow-building and heart-warming. I love how these two slowly form a friendship and how that friendship turns into so much more. They have such fantastic conversations and get to know each other on a deep and meaningful level. Plus, Brochan sounds like an absolute dish!

I enjoyed this book. It was light and fun, and it was just what I wanted after reading several heavier fantasies. It’s a story about starting over, finding your place in the world, and opening yourself up to love. Also, be prepared to get hungry and thirsty when reading the book. All of the delicious food talk and the whiskey drinking, and I wanted to raid my fridge every time I picked up the book. I need Ruby’s Cookbook! Special thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Books for providing m e with a copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.



Favorite Parts:

  • The romance.
  • The found family.
  • The setting.


This is a great contemporary romance for readers who enjoy:

  • Scotland setting
  • small town charm
  • grumpy/sunshine
  • found family

6 thoughts on “Book Review: Ruby Spencer’s Whiskey Year by Rochelle Bilow

  1. Omg, this sounds like less of a want but more of a need—I need to get my hands on this book 😍 This sounds so good and I love reading books set in Scotland. It’s one of my fave places to visit (granted I’ve only been to a few places, lol)! 💜 Their romance sounds so wonderful. Great review, Julie!

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