Author: Avon Gale
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Rating: 4 stars
Received from Publisher
Blurb: 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 aims ultimately 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 are to his taste.
Review: I pretty much loved this one. I know! Super shocked I loved an Avon Gale book. There’s something very real about the characters she creates while also making them engaging as well as entertaining. This novella length story is about a small quirky town in Kentucky. A town whose history is based on their running of whiskey during the times of prohibition. The story itself is set in present time but you feel the richness of the back story which just further warms you to the plight of Ryder. For a more prosperous future for his hometown. This is the kind of story that takes a town that most people would scoff at living in and shows it’s charm. I loved all the puns and twisted names of the businesses. Gale also captures the Kentucky pride and spirit throughout the story.
Ryder is determined to help out his home town. Even if it means selling his family’s legacy. Hanged Man Bourbon. He signs a deal to sell off the name rights to his whiskey in the hopes of getting his town listed as a stop on the Bourbon trail which will boost tourism. The company who bought the rights sends down Adam to assess the the distillery. Adam and Ryder clash right away. They’re also totally attracted to each other. Despite both knowing they shouldn’t they give into their attraction. Ryder is open to what’s happening between them but Adam isn’t. He’s not exactly out. He’s mostly just afraid of taking a risk and embracing change.
I adored Ryder. He’s sexy and honest. Totally lovable and fun. I also liked all the Tarot Card elements sprinkled in letting us in on why Ryder is the free spirit he is. Adam is a little more complex. He’s smart and very good at his job. He comes from a very wealthy but cold family he really wants nothing to do with. And yet they still manage to control his life. I really enjoyed how being with Ryder and living in that odd little town allows him to embrace life. He learns to take chances and be open to love. That he doesn’t need a big city to be happy. He can find success and everything he’s ever wanted with Ryder in the small town known as Gallows Grove. This book was utterly charming with lovable characters. Lots of fun and sexy dialogue. It’s also a great love story. I’d love more stories based in this town. I absolutely recommend this book!