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  • Writer's pictureJulie Mackin

It's a long way to Ennisbawn

As this is Saturday and I like to feature books of places I like to travel to, I am posting this review of a fun rom-com set in a rural Irish town. I am missing travel a lot these days and Ireland especially, so this book fit my mood perfectly


The Matchmaker by Catherine Walsh

In which we learn you should never question your granny’s matchmaking skills


Will you like this book? You might if you like:


  • Small towns in Ireland

  • The MatchMaker with Janeane Garofolo

  • Can do attitudes

  • Secondary character love stories



When I was reading this book, I wanted to be sitting in a garden at an Airbnb in Tipperary, enjoying the summer. After a few hours of reading, and maybe a nap,I would walk myself down to the pub, have a pint and some fish and chips. For me, that was the mood of this book and I hope that is what Catherine Walsh was going for because she succeeded!



Katie Collins lives in the small town of Ennisbawn with the Granny that raised her, surrounded by her best friends and the people she has known her whole life. She is a bartender at the lone pub in town, Kelly’s, where she makes fun mixed drinks and organizes event nights with the grudging approval of the pub’s owner. Ennisbawn used to have a Matching Festival but it has fizzled out and there is just not much call for people to visit this corner of Ireland.


But the local nuns sold their convent to a developer and now, the quiet and peaceful Ennisbrawn is overrun with construction trucks, bringing noise and dust and preventing Katie from getting a good night's sleep. At her wits end, Katie marches over to the construction site to complain and meets Callum Dempsey, the construction foreman. It’s a fun meet-cute, with Katie in her pjs and a slightly amused Callum. Katie and Callum spar as the project gets bigger and threatens to tear down Kellys and displace part of Ennisbawn’s main street. So to save the village, Katie decides to resurrect the matchmaking festival, enlisting the entire town to help, hoping to bring publicity to help stop the destruction.


This is the love story of Katie and Callum, but it is also a love story about a small village and the people that inhabit it. There is a good roster of secondary characters, a few of whom get the chance to fall in love. Katie and Callum are ordinary people, they have normal jobs, they live in a normal town. Callum isn’t an undercover billionaire and Katie doesn’t have a hidden talent that she has ignored to stay close to home. These two people fall in love and they are going to figure out how to make a life work for them. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good secret millionaire hiding out in a small town ready to sweep the heroine off her feet, but I also love books like these, where people grown up a bit and come into their own,


I'm starting to add the below ratings to my reviews of romance novels to help readers get a better sense of the romance part of the romance novel. For a breakdown, please the post of about the ratings.


Series: No, stand alone

Spice level: 🌶️🌶️🌶️ There are a few descriptive scenes.

Sexy times: 🧨🧨🧨🧨 Katie and Callum had great chemistry, the tension was there and you could feel the attraction. The build up was good and it did not disappoint when they got together.

Adorable Pets: Yes, Plankton the sheep dog with a minor supporting role


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