Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

Review + Excerpt: The Distiller’s Darling | River Hill Series by Rebecca Norinne and Jamaila Brinkley


Today we are celebrating the release of THE DISTILLER’S DARLING by Rebecca Norinne and Jamaila Brinkley. This is the second standalone title in the River Hill contemporary romance series. Check out an excerpt from the book below.

Available Now

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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. Wine Country is an unlikely place to launch a 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.

Naomi Klein has spent the last ten years ignoring her society family as much as possible while building a career as a renowned sculptor. She’s found a home in River Hill, but has no interest in dipping her toes into the commitment pool. Just the idea of forever gives her hives. Which makes a rootless Irish wanderer the perfect fling. And shocking her mother? Just a bonus.

But as cozy autumn nights turn into lazy winter mornings, Naomi and Iain realize that they’re getting close to something neither of them wants: love. When Naomi discovers Iain’s not quite as rootless as he seems, she’ll have to make some tough decisions. And when the Brennans and the Kleins descend en masse to collect their prodigal children, River Hill may never be the same.


New Adult | Romance | Contemporary

***Received an Advanced Readers Copy during a blog tour hosted by InkSlingerPR in exchange for an honest review***

Oh my lanta, I love any kind of Irishman with some tasty whiskey in my romances…. ah, activate the beaver drool on that cover too! I just, ah I love it. Honestly for just the synopsis and the backbone of the characters it is something worth mentioning; I have no problem with having covers with zero significance to the plot on books but when they do and they look like this, queue the swoonage. The colors, the characters in the front looking emotionally captivated – you just have to appreciate it. 

Well, now that I mentioned that tidbit I feel better, I just love a good warm feeling cover… gives me tugs at my heart.

I will admit a great deal that I enjoyed The Distiller’s Darling. The characters were adorably charming, sweet and entertaining. The build of their romance was both amusing and heartwarming. Not only was the build of the main characters romance being the highlight but their back story and the involvement of the secondary characters made it that much more fascinating. I especially loved the parents – probably my favorite moments were the banter between Naomi and her mother or Iain and his father. And don’t get me started on the heated scene between the four of them together… in one room. HILARIOUS! The bickering of that one scene left me completely laughing I couldn’t stop. 

Iain and Naomi are definitely of the same cloth type personalities. They were both accomplished adults, I enjoyed their independence they held for themselves. Not only were they in-charge adults, ones that are go-getters that I could respect and relate to, they were charming, sweet and really fun. Iain was probably my favorite. I just appreciated his personality more, how he handled himself and how he was with Naomi.

They definitely had a really great connection. It was very much insta-lust that really steamed up the novel. Because they had this charismatic dynamic, they had a witty, steam filled relationship that started to build to a more  emotionally dependable type romance. Pillow talk turned into relationship building – trusting each others opinions, hanging out as friends turned into getting to know one another. It was really just a sweet romantic build. 

Hands down this was a fast, great feel-good type of read. Overall, I liked it, I just didn’t love it like I had hoped. Reasons mostly because just something with Naomi’s personality irked me, this just caused that lack of ability to connect with chemistry. Don’t get me wrong, I liked her to some degree, I loved that she had this independence, the need to prove her worth to herself mentality, but at many points she was rather self-absorbed whether she could admit it or not. Her idea of keeping Iain at a distance as an emotional guard was logical but at a point she become more or less hypocritical to me…

Again, I overall enjoyed the romance. The characters were fun, charmingly sweet and the romance was great. It was a quick read. It was intriguing enough that kept me swooning while feeling the emotional dynamics of the characters that took my breath away. I definitely want to continue this series! 


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Naomi slowly opened one eye and examined the ceiling until she remembered where she was. Ah, yes. The gala. The hotel. The Irishman. Yum. She yawned and stretched, feeling the burn of muscles well-used. Iain’s elevator antics had been just the start of their fun last night.

Fortunately, his room was only on the fifth floor. The elevator’s security cameras might have burst into flames if they’d traveled any higher. They’d stumbled out of the compartment and down the hall in a haze of lust, and her dress and his pants had dropped on top of each other right inside the door to his room. And then … well.

Naomi pointed her toes and smiled, feeling satisfaction spread like warmth through her body as the muscles in her legs stretched and loosened. They’d had a very good night. Iain had made good—very good—on his dirty promises of a feast. Her body had been his appetizer, entrée, and dessert … and then she’d returned the favor happily. They’d spent a great deal of time gasping, panting for breath, and moaning—and quite a bit of time laughing as well.

On the whole, she thought, definitely a night to remember.

And now it was time for the part that sometimes turned awkward: leaving.

She turned in the bed, and found him watching her through lowered lashes. “Hello,” she said.

“Good morning.” Iain reached out a lazy arm and wrapped it around her waist, tugging her body flush against his. She relaxed against his warmth for a moment, then stretched up for a quick kiss.

“Can I use your shower?”

“Be my guest,” he said with a yawn.

She slid out of the bed with a final pat on his extremely well-muscled thigh. “Thanks.”

Knowing Iain was watching her walk naked through the room, she put a bit of flair into her bend as she snagged her dress from the floor on the way into the bathroom. She heard a quick intake of breath behind her and grinned. It was nice to leave a lasting impression.



Amazon US | iBooks | Nook | Kobo


About the Authors

Rebecca Norinne writes sexy romance from the heart. Her heroines are bold and headstrong, and her heroes will do anything for the ones they love.

When not banging away at the keyboard, she is watching rugby, enjoying a pint of craft beer, or traveling the globe in search of inspiration for her next book.

Originally from California, Rebecca currently resides in Dublin, Ireland, with her husband.

Author Links

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest


Jamaila Brinkley writes historical romance with a hint of magic. Her Wizards of London series features thieves, duchesses, witches, and more indulging in mayhem and romance in Regency England. She is a member of the Romance Writers of America, and was a finalist in the Romance Through the Ages contest in 2015.

Jamaila came to romance as an avid reader of fantasy and science fiction, and found that her favorite historical romances seemed ripe for an injection of magic. Her favorite historical period is currently the Victorian era, and she’s never happier than when immersed in a multi-book family series.

Jamaila lives outside Baltimore, Maryland in a house that is perpetually under renovation with her husband and twin toddlers. You can find her blogging about romance, writing, parenting, cooking, and more on her website at, and posting pictures of her lunch on Twitter as @jamaila.


Author Links

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Newsletter | Goodreads


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