Title: Whiskey Business (States of Love series)
Author: Avon Gale
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 28, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, Whiskey Drinkin’
Page Count: 104
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 4 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.
Bluegrass Bourbon acquires the recipe for Hanged Man Bourbon and sends Adam Keller to Gallows Grove, Kentucky to perform their due diligence. Adam’s boss reminds him: “Be respectful that they’re a bunch of quirky bumpkins with a goddamn delicious bourbon. Okay?” And yup, the town is weirdly charming as all get-out. There’s the macabre names for every business in town (The Last Meal Dinner, The Perfect Grime Laundromat), the Ever After Funeral Home with all those creepy dolls, and then there’s Ryder Waites – young, slim-hipped, high-cheekboned with coal-black hair “looking like some hillbilly avenging angel and hotter than just about any man Adam had ever seen.”
The bourbon is smooth, subtle and pretty damn good, the sex between Adam and Ryder is hard, dirty and unbelievably hot, and the story is funny, endearing and well-told.
This book is also a great illustration of what makes Dreamspinner Press’ States of Love series so fun to read. Avon Gale really gives us Kentucky’s unique qualities and quirks – UK Wildcat mania, Hot Brown and Derby Pie, whiskey drinking, small-town Kentucky, the Bourbon Trail – and the resulting story is pretty damn fine. 4.5 stars!