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Last Call at the Local Book Cover Last Call at the Local
Sarah Grunder Ruiz
January 2, 2024
Paperback, Ebook, Audiobook

Opposites attract when a free-spirited American singer-songwriter with ADHD teams up with a charming Irishman to revitalize his family's pub in the next heartfelt romance from the author of Luck and Last Resorts.

Raine Hart is used to the challenges of living with ADHD. It’s why she ditched her life in Boston to busk around Europe as a traveling musician. No boss. No schedule. No one to disappoint but herself. But when a careless mistake in Ireland leaves her unable to perform, she sees no other option but to give up her nomadic life.

Since inheriting the Local, Jack Dunne has wanted to make the pub his own. But the baggage of running a family business and the intrusive thoughts that stem from his OCD make changing things a challenge.

Over a pint with handsome, tattooed Jack, Raine accidentally insults him and the pub. Instead of taking offense, Jack, impressed by her vision of what the pub could be, offers her a job bringing it to life.

But when Raine and Jack develop feelings for one another their opposite lifestyles won’t accommodate, it becomes clear the pub isn’t the only thing that needs reinventing. As the end of their business collaboration draws near, they’ll have to find a way past the limits they’ve placed on themselves or let go of a love that could last a lifetime.

Photo by Yan Ming on Unsplash

“Last Call at the Local” by Sarah Grunder Ruiz is exceptional, and I’m sure that I’m going to be raving about this book for years to come. I wish that I could go back and read it again for the first time.

I’m a sucker for books set in Ireland.

Don’t bother even telling me the rest of the blurb, just hand me the book and step away slowly. I’ll be back to talk to you in anywhere from 5 hours to 2 business days.

There’s something about the Emerald Isle that keeps me enthralled. It could be the call of my ancestry, the mesmerizing lilt of the Irish accent, or the hope that Irish people really are just a tad more lucky. Who knows? I don’t really need the answer if I’m being honest. I just need to keep those Irish books coming.


Raine gives up her spot in medical school and a lucrative career in order to follow her heart. She leaves her family and her safety behind to travel, busk, and meet new people. I can’t imagine actually having the nerve to do the same, but I live for that kind of bravery in books. Who doesn’t dream about picking up and heading across the world to have new adventures and experiences? It’s a testament to Grunder Ruiz’s writing that I was completely invested in Raine’s journey and 100% believe that she could be successful as she traveled the world.

Photo by Luke Ellis-Craven on Unsplash

Unfortunately, after arriving in Ireland, Raine ends up down on her luck with most of her things stolen. She manages to make her way into The Local bar. There’s either magic in the air, or Ireland really is as lucky as they claim, because Raine manages to land herself a job and a room with the understanding that she’ll help reinvent the bar while she saves up money to replace her things. Call it serendipity. Call it luck. Call it fate. Whatever it is, Raine was destined to meet Jack that night, and I love how that makes me feel in my soul. Like magic still exists.

Mental Health Rep

While this romance has serendipitous timing and continually makes me believe that fate is real, that’s not to say that the relationship between Jack and Raine doesn’t come without it’s struggles. Raine craves adventure and freedom, and her ADHD sometimes leads her onto her next path. She’s a little chaotic, but Jack finds beauty in her chaos because he knows what it’s like to live alongside ADHD. In addition to ADHD, Jack also has intrusive thoughts due to OCD.

Some people regularly joke about having OCD when they like things clean and orderly. Sarah Grunder Ruiz quickly and delicately sets the expectation through Jack that OCD covers a lot more range than just wanting a neat and tidy home. Jack is absolutely tortured by the disorder, and works really hard to acknowledge it and manage it with healthy coping mechanisms. Sharing Jack’s POV helps me understand just a small fraction of how someone with OCD might be affected.

Final Thoughts

“Last Call at the Local” gave me everything it promised, and then some.

I’m so glad that I got to spend some time in Ireland with Raine and Jack, that I was able to understand a little more about ADHD and OCD through magnetic characters, and that these two beautiful people get the love story that they deserve with their own romantic accommodations.

“Last Call at the Local” by Sarah Grunder Ruiz is my first SGR, but it most certainly won’t be my last. This is the third book from this author, and while I understand that it brings in some characters from the first two novels, this can absolutely be read as a stand-alone novel. Though, if you’re like me, you’re going to immediately add ‘Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships” and “Luck and Last Resorts” to your TBR, too.