(Whiskey Wars, #1)
Publication date: May 12th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
A generations-old family feud might ruin a couple’s last chance at love…and tear apart the oldest whiskey distillery in Tennessee in the process.
I need a win. My scumbag ex-boss is trying to drag my reputation through the mud. If I can land my first client, I might be able to get my marketing business off the ground. But when I show up for my first meeting with the owners of a distillery, the gorgeous guy at the end of the table looks an awful lot like the one-night stand I ghosted. So I do what any hot mess in heels would do… pretend like we’ve never met.
The Hatfields and McCoys have nothing on the feud my family’s got going. We’ve been fighting with the Stewarts longer than anyone in Beaver Bluff can remember. Which sucks since we happen to co-own the largest whiskey distillery in Tennessee. Now they’ve brought in a marketing consultant to switch things up. If I can’t fight my attraction to the woman with curves like a back mountain road, she could ruin me.
Lose yourself in the richly crafted world of Beaver Bluff, Tennessee where the whiskey flows freely and love is only ever a few pages away.
He nudged his chin toward my glass. “You ready to try your whiskey?”
“Let’s do it.” I picked up my glass and swirled it around again.
“Here’s what I want you to do. Breathe it in, but keep your mouth open.”
“You want me to breathe with my tongue?” I bit down on my lip to keep from laughing. This was starting to sound like the woo woo mediation class my friend Jolene had dragged me to a couple of years ago.
Instead of laughing, his eyes got more intense. “Yes, exactly.”
He was really into this. I’d been planning on quizzing the guy at the local liquor store to teach me everything he knew before I had to head down for my meeting next week with a distillery, but with Cole willing to share his knowledge, it might save me a few hours of time. Plus, he was at least twenty times more attractive than the grizzly older man who’d been running the family liquor store for the past forty years.
“Can you demo for me? I’m not exactly sure I know how to breathe through my tongue.”
“Why do I get the feeling you’re giving me shit?” His eyes crinkled at the corners, but he picked up his glass, swirled it around, then held it up to his nose with his lips slightly parted.
My entire reproductive system shimmied as I ran my gaze over the sexy scruff on his cheeks, the strong hand currently wrapped around the glass tumbler, and the sight of the tip of his tongue. I could think of so many other things he could use that part of his anatomy for beyond breathing in a beverage.
“There.” He lowered the glass and glanced at my hand. “Your turn.”
Mmm. I cleared my throat and brought the glass close to my mouth. With my lips parted, I took in a breath. The alcohol sent fire racing across my tongue, followed by a wisp of something smoky. I shifted my gaze to Cole. The intense way he studied my mouth made heat hurtle toward my belly.
“You ready to get your first taste?” His voice went low, rough around the edges like a piece of sandpaper lightly scraping against my skin.
I was more than ready for my first taste… of him. “Yeah, let’s do it.”
He lifted his glass. “Let it roll over your tongue, hold it in your mouth for a few seconds, then let it slide down the back of your throat. Okay?”
My chest rose and fell as I took in a breath. “Got it. Roll, hold, slide.”
“That’s right.” He lifted his glass, and I couldn’t tear my gaze away as he sipped, tipped his head back, and slowly swallowed.
Since when did watching someone take a simple sip from a glass make my panties damp? Eager to find out what might happen next, I copied his movements. A slow burn traced its way over my tongue and down my throat, all the way to the bottom of my belly. In that moment, I could feel appreciation for why so many people were drawn to whiskey. It was so much more than taking a nip from a hidden bottle.
It was romantic. It was sexy. It was a whole new world opening up to me.
My mind spun with possibilities for the meeting I had next week.
“What do you think?” Cole asked, liquid fire burning in his gaze.
“I think it was a bit of a religious experience.” For someone who made a living at communicating, I was temporarily at a loss for words. “What do you think about what I think?”
He rested his arm on the back of my stool and held my gaze for an extra-long beat. “I think I’d like to kiss you right now. What do you think about that?”
My stomach clenched. I wasn’t a woman who kissed strangers in bars. Then again, where had that gotten me? Jolene’s words pounded through my head. Take a chance. You deserve it.
Swallowing my hesitation, I tilted my head and met his gaze. “I think I’d like that very much.”
USA Today bestselling author Dylann Crush writes contemporary romance with sizzle, sass, heart and humor. A true romantic, she loves her heroines spunky and her heroes super sexy. When she’s not dreaming up steamy storylines, she can be found sipping a margarita and searching for the best Tex-Mex food in the Upper Midwest.
Dylann co-hosts Romance Happy Hour (https://www.romancehappyhour.com/) with live episodes every 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month and is a founding member of the Romance Chicks group where authors and romance readers can connect.
Although she grew up in Texas, she currently lives in a suburb of Minneapolis/St. Paul with her unflappable husband, three energetic kids, a clumsy Great Dane, a lovable rescue mutt, and a very chill cat. She loves to connect with readers, other authors and fans of tequila. You can find her at www.dylanncrush.com.