Monday, June 11, 2018

Whiskey Business by Avon Gale Audiobook Review


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.

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

Audiobook Details
Length: 3 hrs, 37 mins
Narrator: Kirt Graves

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Dreamspinner Press



Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Angela☆☆☆☆☆
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.



AVON GALE wrote her first story at the age of seven, about a “Space Hat” hanging on a rack and waiting for that special person to come along and purchase it—even if it was a bit weirder than the other hats. Like all of Avon’s characters, the space hat did get its happily ever after—though she’s pretty sure it was with a unicorn. She likes to think her vocabulary has improved since then, but the theme of quirky people waiting for their perfect match is still one of her favorites.

Avon grew up in the southern United States and now lives with her very patient husband in a liberal Midwestern college town. By day, Avon is a hair stylist who loves her job, her clients, and the opportunity to spend her time being creative and making people feel happy and look fabulous.

When she’s not writing, she’s either doing some kind of craft project that makes a huge mess, reading, watching horror movies, listening to music, or yelling at her favorite hockey team to get it together already. Avon is always up for a road trip, adores Kentucky bourbon, thinks nothing is as stress relieving as a good rock concert, and will never say no to candy.

At one point, Avon was the mayor of both Jazzercise and Lollicup on Foursquare. This tells you basically all you need to know about her as a person.

Connect with Avon

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Google+  ~  Instagram



Kirt Graves is a Wisconsin native whose passion for literature is rivaled only by his love of the spoken word. Thanks to years of experience onstage and as a high school forensics coach (some know the activity at speech & debate), Graves is a skilled mimic, compassionate interpreter, and master of long-form prose. A tenor by training, Graves can easily move between characters of any age, genre, gender or ethnic background.

Connect with Kirt

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads


https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free audiobook copy of Whiskey Business (States of Love) by Avon Gale, narrated by Kirt Graves to listen to and review.

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