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How steamy is it? Sizzling

Publisher's Summary

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 the 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.

©2016 Avon Gale (P)2017 Dreamspinner Press

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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4.5 Stars

Any additional comments?

Whiskey Business is sweet, funny, and sexy with some wonderfully filthy dirty talk thrown in. Add in smooth, easy to listen to narration and this audiobook hit the spot just like a good bourbon.

I really liked that Gale wonderfully describes so much of Kentucky and the people I felt like I'd been there.

Adam isn't exactly Ryder's enemy, but the two have a rocky start, even though they both obviously want each other. I love that the chemistry between Ryder and Adam is so combustible even from the start. Coupled with all the humor that Gale infuses into the story, this was just the kind of quick, fun story I needed.

I liked that it wasn't all fun and games, and that Gale interwove some much needed conflict pretty expertly without it devolving into unnecessary angst.

Kirt Graves, and I just cannot help chuckle every time I see his name associated with this particular story - it just fits so perfectly, does a great job with character voices and so well with the sometimes macabre humor in the story. It's dual POV is narrated really well, and it's an enjoyable, quick (at under 4 hours) listen.

If you're looking for a short, but fun story that has some dirty talk with the sexy times and a lot of love - for both the characters and the setting - than wet your whistle with this one

Recommended.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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I want to go back to Gallows Grove!!!

I received a free copy of this audiobook to listen to and review for Wicked Reads.

The first time I listened to Whiskey Business, I fell in love with it, but I wasn’t sure how much of my love of the audiobook had to do with the story and how much was due to the narrator. Even having listened to it several times since then, it wasn’t until I listened to it again today that I realized that while my initial draw to it may have been due to Kirt Graves, ultimately, I kept coming back just as much for the story as for the narration.

Ryder Waites’ hometown of Gallows Grove, Kentucky makes for a fascinating setting for the story. Not only is there something magical about the water that makes their Hanged Man Bourbon special (hush child, I can call it magical if I want), but the punny names of the town businesses never failed to put a smile on my face. That the townspeople try so hard to make sure Ryder knows his homosexuality doesn’t matter to them that their social missteps are often terribly politically incorrect was absolutely endearing to me as a reader. They clearly loved Ryder, they just didn’t always have the right words to express it. This became even more apparent when Ryder’s initial resentment and hostility toward Adam took a backseat to his attraction to the man. The subtle and blatant encouragement the two received when they were out together made the story even more entertaining than the creepy dolls did (lol). And while there were plenty of things to laugh about in the story, I think I laughed hardest at the pony play conversation – I literally fell over on my bed in a fit of giggles when Adam told Ryder to stop laughing. But that levity was necessary to balance the seriousness of the situation, especially once Ryder understood what the full ramifications of him selling his family’s recipe were – that production could be moved out of Gallows Grove, which was the exact opposite of what he’d intended when making the deal. Despite this being a novella, Avon Gale strikes the right balance of laughter, seriousness, sexy times, and development of the romantic relationship that Whiskey Business felt like a full-length story and my need for more was because I wanted to spend more time with Ryder and Adam to see how their relationship continued to grow, to see the progress on the distillery expansion, and to spend more time with the folks of Gallows Grove. Seriously, if the author decides to make this a series, I’m there.

I’ve already said that the narration likely had a lot to do with my initial response to the story. You see, Kirt Graves’ narration of Wolfsong made it one of my favorite audiobooks of all time, and while Ryder has hints of Ox in his voice, Graves does an impressive job of mixing up his repertoire of voices to keep Ryder from sounding just like Ox. While I’m unfamiliar with exactly how a Kentucky accent sounds, I am familiar with a Southern accent and Graves does a nice job of giving the characters a southern sound without the overdone drawl that set Ryder’s nerves on edge at the beginning of the book. And the subtle difference between Ryder’s small-town accent and Adam’s more formal speech merely added to the characters’ depth. For me, listening to an audiobook is similar to listening to a movie from another room, where you have to rely largely upon the characters’ words and tone of voice to understand the emotions they’re trying to convey as there are no faces or body language to read, and Graves does such a wonderful job of conveying Ryder and Adam’s amusement, resentment, attraction, exasperation, resignation, disappointment, and hope that I was able to sit back and enjoy the show, so to speak. I have enjoyed my visits to Gallows Grove every time I’ve listened to Whiskey Business and am already looking forward to spending time there again soon.

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It was really good.

This was such a fun book. I really loved the author's sense of humor. It was nice story with charming characters, great chemistry, a lot of whisky and some creepy dolls that made of this book an amazing experience.

Ryder is trying to sell his family's whiskey recipe to a big company, trying to improve his business and expecting to bring more tourists to town. The future of his family business in now in Adam's hands, who gets into town to evaluate if the distillery is worth the investment. After some initial disputes, it's clear that both men are attracted to each other, but when Adam's assignment ends, they have to decide if their feelings are strong enough to consider a future together.

The main characters were lovely. The story was told from both points of view, and I enjoyed Ryder's so much more than Adam's. But I had nothing against Adam, he was good as well, but there was some charm on Ryder that Adam lacked. I enjoyed a lot the town where the story was set, it was so nicely described and the town's folk were so fun, everybody so endearing. The writing was really good. One of the things I liked about it was the sense of humor. I found myself laughing so many times. It was really refreshing.

The romance involved in the story was also really good, sure there was a lot of lust too, but at the end I felt liked there was so much more than just that. Ryder and Adam had great chemistry. They start with a lot of issues involving the business they were getting into, but when they left work aside, they made a fantastic couple. They fit so well with each other. I liked how everything wasn't perfect, they had a lot of problems to solve before getting together, but I guess there wasn't too much angst involved. The only part I didn't liked about their relationship was that it felt a little bit rushed at the end of the book.

The audio version of the book was fantastic. The narrator made a great job giving voices to the characters. I enjoyed Ryder's accent a lot. The narration was easy to listen to, it flow nicely. A very enjoyable story as well as the way it was narrated. Overall a very entertaining book. I would recommend it to any reader looking for a fun, low on angst read

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Whiskey Business

Any additional comments?

Ryder was born and raised in tiny Gallows Grove, Kentucky and though small, the town had a lot going for it, if only people knew about it. Ryder's family owns a distillery and Ryder is determined to use the distillery to make their whiskey better known and to get people to their town. After meeting with several different whiskey distributors, he finally decides to sell his family's whiskey recipe. As part of the deal, he wants the whiskey to continue to be made in their town and he wants Gallows Grove added to the Bourbon Trail. Bluegrass Bourbon agrees to the deal but they are sending in their employee, Adam Keller, to study the feasibility. Adam Keller comes from a well to do family, but wants to make a name for himself. Ryder decides to ignore the stuffiness and uptightness of Adam and instead show him the charm of their town before Adam's assignment ends.

I loved both Ryder and Adam's characters! Though Ryder was young, he knew what he wanted in life and it wasn't all about making things better for him. He wanted to take care of his town and the people. He was the only gay person in the town and unlike many small towns, the people were very accepting though not very PC about their acceptance. They were excited to experience all their first gay everything because of Ryder. And, when they figured out Adam was also gay, the town full of matchmakers could not have been more obvious in their hope for a gay wedding but more importantly, because they loved Ryder just as much as he loved them. Adam was so uptight, but he had the dirtiest, most filthy mouth and I loved it!

This story was about more than Ryder and Adam, and that's what made it even more special. This book was so full of rich details about Gallows Grove, its morbid name, detailed history and every puntastic business' names! Honestly, this is a level of details that I don't often see in novellas and it didn't come at the expense of the characters. Though this is a novella, it absolutely did not feel like one, the pages were packed full of story! This is an absolute must read!

The narrator of this story was Kirt Graves. I don't know this narrator, but if this wasn't his natural accent used in the storytelling, he did a fantastic job with it! Well, he did a fantastic job either way, but if you listen to this story, his accent was well done! This is a fun story with a gallows humor, and the narrator did it justice! He was well-paced, with no weird pausing and brought the characters and story to life! His voice had a great tempo and made this story just as fun to listen to as it was to read!

Overall: 4.5 Stars
Performance: 5 Stars
Story:4.5 Stars

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Very enjoyable !

Enjoyable endering sweet funny and sexy nasty talk.
Smooth like a good drink.
Narrated well.
Lovely charactesr and fabulous setting and back story.

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Another winner from Avon Gale!

Hands down, this is the absolute best story in the “States of Love” Collection that I’ve read, and I’ve read 6 of the 10 so far published. But, that’s not really telling you how much I LOVE this book because I do – I really do!

I’m a huge fan of the author, it’s no secret, and her humor is what sells me most on her writing.

This story is chock full of puns – the town is Gallows Grove and all the stores have macabre names and the MCs aren’t afraid to acknowledge the “color” in town and make a few plays on words themselves.

The romance is sweet. It moves along fairly quickly and with a bit of very hot dirty talk and smexy times to go with the talk. The ending is both heart-warming, satisfying and a little sentimental too.

It’s also my favorite kind of story, one where the underdog wins and gets his man and his future all in one fell swoop!

So, I highly recommend this to fans of the author, the series, romances full of humor and fans of macabre puns.


Audio

Kirt Graves is fairly new to me as a narrator. While, I haven’t been on his bandwagon previously, I have to say that I think he did a really great job with this!

What I liked: Adam’s voice! Yum! Really smoky and smooth, with a subtle accent. I’m not sure how much of this was intentional, but the accents he uses for both Ryder and Adam are very subtle. In fact, sometimes I can hear more “twang” in the non-dialog parts than the dialog itself!

Ryder: I thought his voice really suited him, especially the cadence and pacing of his dialog.

The overall story is narrated consistently and with fairly good timing – which is so important when narrating stories with as much humor as this one.

What I didn’t “love”: I still find Graves’ non-dialog narration style to be a bit flat. It’s not something that really detracted from my overall enjoyment, just something that I noted because it was in such contrast to his dialog.

All in all, listening to this was a fantastic experience! I was reminded – again! – how funny Avon is and how much I love her sense of humor. Graves’ narration (ha-ha – isn’t it funny that’s his name for this Gallows humor-filled story!) – is really good and definitely added to my overall enjoyment of this book.

5 of 5 stars

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  • Cat
  • Missouri
  • 05-27-17

A fast paced, fun, quirky story!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Yes. It was such a fun read and its short enough to listen to in one sitting.

What other book might you compare Whiskey Business to and why?

Dumped In Oz by Andrew Grey. It also has the cutesy themes in the town, and one character is from the bigger city.

What about Kirt Graves’s performance did you like?

He has a smooth voice and i liked the performance.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I loved all the puns Ryder and Adam used and the names of the places in Gallows. It was a hoot to listen too. I wanted more!

Any additional comments?

I absolutely loved this story, from the quirky names of business in Gallows, to charming Ryder and stuffy Adam. It's a perfect blend of characters, location and plot.There is seriousness in Ryder trying to help his town and then the humor of the gallows related names and the puns the guys come up with in conversation. There is also just enough heat to make a good romance. This is why I love Avon Gale books!