Book: Whiskey Business
Series: States of Love
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publication date: December 28, 2016
Length: 117 pages
Reviewed by Erin
Ryder Waites will do anything to keep the tiny town of Gallows Grove, Kentucky, from vanishing off the map—even sell his family’s whiskey recipe to Bluegrass Bourbon in Lexington. Hopeful that the larger company can provide necessary improvements to the distillery, Ryder’s ultimate goal is to get Gallows Grove on the Bourbon Trail… and bring in much-needed tourism revenue. But to keep producing Hanged Man Bourbon in Gallows Grove, he’ll have to convince company liaison, unbearably stuffy and seriously hot Adam Keller, that he's worth the investment.
Adam comes from an old-money family, but he’s determined to make his own way in the world. When he’s sent to Gallows Grove, he questions the life choices that led him to a rented room in a funeral home, in a town full of macabre-themed businesses. And he doesn’t know what to make of Ryder, the descendant of bootleggers who’s on a mission to save his strange town from extinction. When Adam and Ryder put aside their initial mistrust, the results are as smooth as good whiskey. But after Adam’s assignment ends, he’ll have to decide if small-town life and a future with Ryder is to his tastes.
Avon Gale is one of my most favorite authors ... of any genre. Her unparalleled way of mixing wit, sexy times, and humor makes it so no matter what she writes, I'll grab it up in a hot second. So yeah, her Scoring Chances series is all about hockey, and I LOVE that, but her newest release, Whiskey Business was such a refreshing and fun read that I hope she keeps surprising her readers with new and different stories for a long time to come. That's not to say that Whiskey Business isn't pure Avon Gale brilliance, because it surely is. Ryder and Adam were barrels (see what I did there with my reference to whiskey?!) of fun and were totally sigh worthy, too.
There is no doubt that Avon loves her home state of Kentucky, it shines through boldly and beautifully all through the book (which I wish was longer because I'm greedy like that!) She knows her people, her whiskey, and she sure knows how to write two people falling in love better than just about anyone else out there. Quirky secondary characters added to the enjoyment of Whiskey Business, not to mention what might be a slightly haunted funeral home, complete with a room full of creepy dolls! There's a touch of magic or mysticism just sizzling beneath the story of Ryder trying to save his family's business. He loves his hometown of Gallows Grove (omg the puns with all the name's of the towns businesses were too much fun!) just about more than anything and he's even willing to go so far as to sell the secret family recipe for Hangman's Bourbon to a big distributor to help save the town. Enter one stuffy and cool Adam, who by the way has dirty talking in the bedroom down to a science. Just damn. When these two finally give in to their combustible sexual attraction to one another, it's a wonder the whole town didn't explode!
Seriously people, Whiskey Business is such a fun read from beginning to end. How Avon Gale manages to pack so much --town history, family history, well-developed characters, sizzling sex scenes, and plenty of snarky banter-- into such a short book is beyond me, but she managed and then some. I want more of these two, but I always want more of her writing. This book is romantic and swoony, funny and full of feel good feelings. Don't let this one pass you by, you'll be sorry if you do!
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