Reviewed by: Linda Tonis
Shenanigans Pub in Florida is owned by Shane O’Banyon, a drunk and a gambler. The Pub is run by his youngest daughter, Mabe, short for Mabel, and she has done everything in her power to make the pub a success in spite of her destructive ways.
Twelve years ago, Mabe’s oldest sister, Mara, left home and has not communicated with Mabe over the years. The father’s hatred and constant verbal abuse drove Mara to leave. The middle sister, Meg, left two years after Mara at the age of seventeen, and Mabe has only had occasional e-mails from her letting her know she is okay. The only thing Mabe has is the pub; she was the only one who stayed behind to care for it. All her efforts to stop her father from his drinking and gambling failed. She found out the hard way just how much of a failure it really was the day she came home and found him passed out on the kitchen floor.
After arriving at the hospital, Shane O’Banyon was pronounced dead, something that Mabe had long expected to happen. The next day when she is visited by the family attorney and her father’s best friend Gavin, Mabe’s life takes a turn for the worse. Her father borrowed money from a loan shark and he wants it back. She now owes two hundred thousand dollars to a mobster known for his cruelty. Her only hope is that the insurance policy she made her father take out is still in order. Can she convince the loan shark to wait until the insurance money comes in, if there is any? Can she get him to agree to let her pay it off?
With everything that happens, the best thing to come out of it is the reappearance of both her sisters and their determination to help her. Once again she has her family back with one addition, ten year old Emma, Mabe’s niece. Meg never revealed that she became pregnant by her boyfriend Rob, who was in the military. Afraid of what would happen if her father found out, Meg she decided to run away and keep her secret from everyone, including the father of her child.
It would appear that Shane O’Banyon harmed each of his daughters with his total disregard for their welfare. Drinking and gambling were more important to him than his own children. Now those children have to pay his debts. When Aaron Shaw comes knocking offering to buy the pub for much more than it is worth, he is met with a firm no from the sisters. Why is he willing to pay more for the pub than it is worth? What is he up to?
In spite of her mistrust for Aaron, Mabe begins to fall for him, and he for her. Can she trust him? She feels safe with him and trusts him and he has grown to realize that he is dealing with a red headed stubborn Irish wildcat and he likes it. Apparently being Irish and having red hair means a temper; Mabe doesn’t hesitate to show hers.
I loved this story about the three sisters, each carrying her own burden. Mabe has the debt to the loan shark. Meg has a daughter whom the father knows nothing about. Mara is a chef in fancy restaurants in New York living with the sixty year old owner of these restaurants. Can the three sisters find love and happiness? This is a trilogy and I hope we learn more about Meg and Mara.