Whiskey Business, by Avon Gale
Collection: States of Love, Kentucky
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 28, 2016
Narrated By: Kirt Graves
Audio Release Date: April 18, 2017
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)
Enemies to Lovers
I think I’ve had a hard time of it when it comes to Avon Gale’s books. I have not disliked them, but so far I’ve just been a little bit underwhelmed. So I’m forever searching, looking for the book that will change my mind. I don’t like giving up on an author, not based on only a couple of books. Especially if, for the most part, I liked them. So, I’m really glad I keep trying because I very much enjoyed Whiskey Business.
For the story itself, I enjoyed the feel of it. I guess this book made me feel like I should kick back on the porch with a big glass of sweet tea, put my feet up, and listen to the birds sing. It was really relaxing, easy to read and follow. It’s a sweet story with enough humor vs. seriousness that felt natural. And the characters? Ryder is this sweet, compelling guy I just wanted to hug tight and thank him for his openness and honesty. Adam is this sort of stiff and prickly cactus I wanted to throttle for a bit but ended up loving just as much as Ryder.
And the town? Holy cow, the town! Talk about your quirky small town with the weird macabre store front names. So clever, wonderful and fun! I want to live in a small town just like Gallows Grove, Kentucky.
All of this in a little novella is quite the package, but when you add in the narration of Kirt Graves, you get golden sunshine. My goodness… his voice is smooth like the finest whiskey. (I totally meant to do that pun.) I wanted to drink it/him up. Graves does a good job with voices, keeping the pacing tight, and taking me into the world in which I’m reading. I often like to read while listening, but this time I found myself setting my book aside so I could just listen to the narration and immerse myself in this small town, with it’s wonderful people, and these two men who work to not only help this little whiskey distillery, but put the town of Gallows Grove on the map, and maybe carve out a little place for the two of them… together.
Avon Gale was once the mayor on Foursquare of Jazzercise and Lollicup, which should tell you all you need to know about her as a person. She likes road trips, rock concerts, drinking Kentucky bourbon and yelling at hockey. She’s a displaced southerner living in a liberal midwestern college town, and she never gets tired of people and their stories — either real or the ones she makes up in her head.
To find out more about Gale and her books head over to her website.
You can purchase Whiskey Business from:
Barnes & Noble
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.