Book Review: ‘The Distiller’s Darling’ by Rebecca Norinne and Jamaila Brinkley

Title: The Distiller’s Darling (River Hill #2)

Published: 21st June 2018

Author: Rebecca Norinne and Jamaila Brinkley

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Twitter: @rebecca_norinne and @jamaila




Irish whiskey royalty has no place in Northern California, but that isn’t going to stop Iain Brennan, the black sheep of Brennan Family Distillers, from giving it a shot. River Hill is an unlikely place to launch a new whiskey empire, but Iain’s just reckless enough to make it work. And being out from under the watchful eye of his disapproving father back home in Dublin? Even better.



Goes down as another off my 2019 Bookworm Bingo Challenge – A book by two authors. Even though this is the second book in the series I’d say that it could be read as a standalone as I didn’t feel lost at all with reading it.

So we start off knowing that Naomi and her best friend Noah have kind of had an extra benefit with their friendship for years, as neither really wanted something serious. Perfect set up but that all changed after he met Angelica. Head over hells I’m thinking from book one, leaving Naomi on her own. Not that she really minds as she is more than capable of finding others to have fun with when the mood strikes. With the past history you would think this would make it weird between her, Noah and Angelica but it seems to work, as they are clearly all very good friends.

Naomi is an artist who lives in River Hill, just far enough away from her family so they don’t drive her insane. Her main passion in her career would be her sculptures – though to get really good ones done she may need a muse. To make ends meet though she also does a bit of graphic design. Comes in handy too when Noah suggests that she do some work for someone new in town that he recently met at a bar. Seems they liked the designs on his wine bottles and need something with that vibe for their new Whisky brand. Naomi is up for meeting a potential client but it seems this particular one isn’t a stranger to her.

Her ‘potential’ new client is in fact her very hot one-night stand from a few months back. It seems that when Naomi and Iain met it was lust at first sight, literally feeling it in the air around them. The stuffy function her family made her go to took an interesting turn when Iain brought his families whiskey over to them. Doesn’t take long before they get out of there, and even less time before the chemistry is enough for them to head back to a hotel. You’ve got to love an Irish accent. This was a one-night stand to remember with a stranger not to be seen again. Fate has other plans with the whole one-night though!

Iain’s new whiskey venture, the one where he and his sister Maeve are trying to branch out from the family Brennan name, brings him to River Hill. He needs a graphic designer to help with the branding, which is where Naomi comes in. The tension between them might be high but Naomi doesn’t mix business and pleasure (though he is going to try and change her mind on that front) so gives him an ultimatum.

“You can either hire me to do your labels, or you can come back to my house and fuck my brains out. Your choice.” Well I think we all know what option he will pick, one she is very happy about too! Another go around isn’t enough, for either of them, so you can see how quickly this might change.

His lips quirked up into a smirk. “Why, Miss Klein, are you asking me to fuck you senseless until I board a plane back to Ireland?” – that would be a yes. She decides to take the design logo job to help him. He has two months before he goes back so what better way to spend the time hanging out.

Neither of these two really ‘do’ relationships but Naomi seems to be scared to the point of never doing anything that could even remotely resemble one – like go to dinner after spending the day together. She doesn’t want to lose herself to a guy, which is why she holds back. To be a girlfriend would just make her want to run. Iain’s got his work cut out for him.

I did feel that she had a bit of a double standard thing going on. She can network her art at the family functions she is dragged to but the thought of helping Iain out with the same people makes her run the opposite direction because she ‘doesn’t want to use family ties’ by becoming a Stepford wife – yep a hypocrite.

The sculpture she is working on is very telling about her true feelings. She doesn’t always know how the clay will work until her hands start moving. Seems her inner artistic soul was trying to tell her something. Is she going to listen? Can these two commitment phobes find what they are looking for while keeping their own identities? With the luck of the Irish anything is possible.

4 out of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the authors for my honest review.

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Filed under Contemporary Romance, Reading Challenges, Reading Nook Blog Posts

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