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)
(Book reviewed here previously)
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.
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
Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review