Author: Avon Gale
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 12/28/2016
Length: Novella (~ 15K-50K)
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)
Avon Gale is one of my favourite contemporary romance authors, and I love her style and that she brings so much of herself to her books. I am totally clueless with US sports, but I get passion and devotion – and all her characters have so much of this.
This was delightful, from the moment I started to read it I was sucked in to Gallows Grove in all it’s macabre delight, and I thought Ryder was lovely. A caring local boy, treated as something of a gay treasure by his compatriots, with a sense of love for his town , the whiskey and his families identity. Characters like this are a joy to read.
Adam is the antithesis of Ryder, in control- always. From a cold clinical family he was the perfect number cruncher. And the chemistry between them sizzles , they skirt round this for a while, but this is a novella and they get sexually involved fairly quickly, and when they do it’s electric.
The language in this is so evocative of place, and used well – you don’t drown in it, there is a flavour, so that know you’re in Kentucky but its not a pastiche. The relationship is strong, angst free but not tension free, and the ending is glorious.
This book made me want to kick off my shoes, drink some whiskey and relax.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
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