Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5
Drunk on love.
Like a well-aged whiskey, master distiller and old-money entrepreneur Malone Kensington is elegant and refined. Unfortunately he’s also a perfectionist who is more dedicated to the success of his generations-old company than his own love life.
That company needs a public spokesman.
What Colton Hale lacks in sophistication, he more than makes up for with the charisma that’s allowed him to survive on the street from a young age and charm his way into the lucrative—if overwhelming—public position at the Kensington Distillery. When Mal takes Colt under his wing, hoping to polish off his rough edges, opposites attract and a passionate romance blossoms despite the differences in age and background. But can it survive a Kensington Board of Directors who believe Colt is nothing but a gold digger and a kidnapper determined to profit from the love of Mal’s life—dead or alive?
I enjoyed Whiskey and Moonshine, a Dreamspun Desires title by Elizabeth Noble as I do most of her romances. She created two wonderful main characters in Colton Hale and Mal Kensington, as well as including a age difference/economic level advantage to make it interesting. On top of that? The basis and foundation of Whiskey and Moonshine is a famous family held whiskey/moonshine distillery along the line of Jack Daniels so the reader gets some fascinating inside details on how whiskey is cured and stored. I really could have used a little more of that. But what we get is enough to provide an authentic “flavor” and framework for Mal and the Kensington Distillery.
I actually found the novel the strongest when it had Colton working in the janitorial department and scanning the company boards for jobs to work his way up in a company and place he was clearly meant to be. Touching, real, and given his background, easy to connect with his struggles to move forward. And delight in a company that continued to accept him.
When the company chooses Colton to be the ‘face” of the distillery, then the novel moves into several new stages. The romance stage and changes in dynamics for many of the relationships here, including Colton and Mal. We lose that intimate connection Colton was having with the distillery oddly enough as he becomes it’s spokesperson and it removes him from the actual jobs itself. Colton keeps saying he wants to learn the business but that’s impossible when your job is public relations and “the road”. That’s one hole that never gets completely filled in this story.
The warm, loving relationship between Mal and Colton is lovely and sweetly based on complete truths on Colton’s background. A nice changeup from other novels. But it’s also a bit of a reality bump for me in the story. I didn’t have issues with their relationship, not the age difference or anything else for that matter. Mine was more of a corporate common sense one. Colton had lived on the streets for years, turning tricks and doing what he had to survive. He told Mal and the people who hired him. Admirable and truthful. Hire him for lots of things. But not the very public “face” of Kensington Distillery who appears on The Tonight Show for all his former johns to see. I really don’t see that happening in RL, nor that he didn’t have even one charge for soliciting after all those years on the streets in Toledo for someone to find. So that all that strike me as realistic? Uh, no, not really. That strikes me as a public relations nightmare.
Does it come up? No. Other things yes, this huge one no. So there are things here you either just pretend to overlook or they don’t matter to begin with, because you are enjoying the romance so.
And that’s ok, it’s a really sweet romance with some angst and drama in the wings. It all gets sorted out in time for a HEA in the Smokies. If you like contemporary romance, Elizabeth Noble, and the Dreamspun Desires line, then Whiskey and Moonshine is another story you will want to grab up.
Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza has done a fine job with the cover and story elements. Great job.
ebook, 238 pages
Published January 15th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language English