backSpin the Bottle

  • Spin the Bottle
    Australian edition
  • UK edition
  • US edition

Spin the Bottle

(Called Greetings from Somewhere Else in the USA)

Lainey Byrne is a woman in control, juggling a hectic job, her boyfriend Adam and a family with more than its fair share of dramas.

Things go into a spin when she is wrenched from her life in Melbourne to run a B&B in Ireland for a year. Bed-and-breakfast quickly tumbles into bed-and-bedlam, especially when a reunion with childhood friend Rohan Hartigan sparks an unexpected romantic dilemma.

Meanwhile, back in Australia, her father’s taken to his bed, her mother’s up the walls, her three brothers are running amok – and as for Adam …

It’s going to take more than a game of spin the bottle to sort this one out!

A warm and funny story about love, letting go, friendship and families.

Spin the Bottle

‘Her best yet… a funny and poignant story … a novel which fairly cracks along with a mix of humour, a touch of blarney and insight into the pressures and strains in contemporary relationships.’

The Courier-Mail

‘A heartwarming, romantic and funny story about love, family and relationships.’

Irish Independent

‘A page turner… McInerney has a great insight into human nature and relationships and a good line in humour.’

Sunday World

‘A rom-com with lots of pizzazz… a real page turner to curl up with on the beach this summer.’

Modern Woman

‘Disarmingly funny… McInerney’s story and plot resonates with a Maeve Binchy kind of generosity of spirit… Compassionate, clever and sometimes poignant.’

The Age

‘As fresh, funny and engaging as its popular precursors, A Taste For It and Upside Down Inside Out …This is comfort reading – warm-buttered toast with Irish honey spread right to the crusts.’

The Adelaide Advertiser

Spin the Bottle


Her cat Rex was waiting to greet her as she opened the door to the third-floor apartment. He’d stopped making a dash for freedom every time she came in, instead winding himself around her legs as if he was trying to trip her up. She leaned down and scratched his black head. ‘Guess what, Rexie? I’m off to live in Ireland for a year. Isn’t that funny?’

She kept walking, a little hampered by his figure-eight movements around her calves. She leaned down and picked him up, just as he yawned. She winced at the little puff of fish breath. What would she do with Rex while she was away? She couldn’t take him with her, could she? Perhaps he could go to her parents’ house again. He liked it there and he could sleep on the end of her father’s bed all day, keep him company. She went into her bedroom, swapped her work clothes for a light summer dress, trying not to let herself be overwhelmed by the night’s events.

‘Lainey, are you absolutely sure about this?’ her father had said just before she left her parents’ house that evening.

She’d crouched down beside his chair, taking his hand in hers. ‘Of course, Dad. Honestly, it makes perfect sense that I do it. It’ll be great to be back in Ireland again. And I only have to run the B&B for a year after all.’

Only a year. But a year filled with bed-making, bacon-frying, sheet-washing, daily dusting and vacuuming . . . nothing but housework for a whole year. She fought back the dismay. Stop it, Lainey, she said firmly. Think of it as a work project. It has to be done and that’s that. She just had to be practical about it, take her emotions out of the situation. In any case, it wasn’t about her. She was doing it for her parents, who had emigrated from Ireland to Australia to give her and her brothers a better life. This was the least she could do in return, wasn’t it? Exactly.

She decided to do what she always did when she was feeling overwhelmed. Make a list. She sat at the dining-room table and grabbed a notepad from the pile in the centre. Top of the list? That was easy.


She crossed it out. Focus your mind, Lainey. You don’t have a choice so what do you have to do?

Tell everyone

Rex knew now, so that was the animal kingdom alerted. Adam was next, of course.

Australian edition