Title: Whiskey Business (States of Love)
Author: Avon Gale
Buy link: Amazon.com (Second Edition)
Release Date: 28th Dec, 2016
Page Count : 104
Reviewed by: PIU
Heat Level: 3.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
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.
(Part of Dreamspinner Press’s “States of Love” Collection for Kentucky)
“Whiskey Business” is sweet, fun, sexy and has the added incentive of having the best and unique bourbon you could ever taste. The author has done a fantastic job of describing the quirky Kentucky town of Gallows Grove, with its fantastic but questionable history, sweet and over-friendly townspeople, businesses with morbid names (I loved the puns!!!) and last but not the least, its unique water which makes everything taste better.
Ryder Waites (ya, he is named after a tarot deck!) is left with his family distillery after his mother dies. He reluctantly sells the recipe to their famed “Hanged Man bourbon” to a big corporation because it would hopefully put their small town on the map while boosting the existent businesses and also putting them on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. Ryder will do what it takes to benefit his town but that does not mean he has to tolerate the new guy whom the company is sending to snoop around his business. But he is not prepared for the uptight, no-nonsense professional in the suit who is also, God help Ryder, very, very sexy.
Adam Keller is in Gallows Grove to get his job done but he can’t help but feel attracted to Ryder with his tight jeans and band t-shirts. Ryder is like a forbidden fruit to him because mixing business with pleasure is not such a good idea. But when Adam and Ryder do fall into bed, they burn the sheets with some heavy dose of dirty talk thrown in for good measure. Adam is unsure of opening up his heart for fear of disappointment but finally he does realize that Ryder is the guy for whom he can overcome his fears and insecurities and pursue their much deserved HEA.
This book was really fun and romantic. It is funny with the quirky and insane elements which came courtesy to the puntastic and crazy town of Gallows Grave. I really lol’d hard with all the morbid names that everyone came up for their businesses. It has a funeral home with the name “Ever After”, a lawn trimming business with the name: “The Trim Reapers”, a bar named “The Trapdoor”, a diner named “The Last Meal Diner”, I could go on!!! OMG! It was hilarious.
Now for the romance, Ryder and Adam were really sexy together. Their “horizontal tango” (this word comes courtesy of a 70-year old grandma from Gallows Grave, just read itLOL) was stellar along with the steady emotional development which leads to a beautiful HEA. There is a lot of mistrust between the MCs which they had to navigate and separate from their personal lives. The angst was handled very nicely without being too much. Adam was the one who had to struggle quite a bit before finally giving in whereas Ryder was totally in for the long haul from the moment they hit the sac.
All the secondary characters were another nice touch to this excellent story. From Ryder’s grunting and clock-fixing uncle to Heather, his office manager to the sweet free-pie giving waitress, everyone in that small town were just great. Everyone was supportive of the couple and their weird enthusiasm to celebrate a “GAY wedding” was funny and adorable. I loved them all.
Whiskey Business is really awesome and now I can’t wait to read Avon Gale’s other works. Recommended!!!