Title: Whiskey Kiss
Author: V. McFarlane
Rated: 4.2 on GoodReads
My Rating: 4.0
The only thing better than a good whiskey is the love of a good woman.
Some call it running. I call it starting again.
A new beginning isn’t always easy, especially for someone like me.
I’m fighting to keep my troubled past a secret, for both me, and my daughter.
Falling in love would only bring more mess to my already chaotic life but my head and my heart don’t always agree.
Taron Cain was everything I could ever want and everything I couldn’t have.
First I had whiskey, then I had Ripley.
Now I have a feisty little blonde that I can’t get out of my head.
I’m determined to send those walls she’s built crumbling down.
She just needs to let me in, and once I’m in…
I’m never coming out.
As a general rule, I enjoyed the book overall – The author’s writing style is smooth, and I was able to engross myself in the story. It’s a cute romance that makes for an easy read, with fairly short Chapters. That said, I did have a few qualms with it.
Throughout the story, perspective changes are clearly defined, which makes for a good first-person view of how the characters are feeling and interpreting various situations.
One thing that did take me aback a bit was how some sentences had a tendency to run a bit long. There were certain areas I would have liked to see broken up or could have been made a little smoother with some separation. Though it was a bit strange, it didn’t break the flow and still allowed for a good overall reading experience.
The two main characters in the story bothered me a bit throughout. I enjoyed the initial concept of Taron, and the conflict he’s faced with at the beginning of the story, but I was disappointed when this wasn’t explored more throughout the book. Despite being new to fatherhood, he picks it up at the drop of a hat without much struggle. Penny is hinted at being sassy, but her attitude from my perspective was more defensive or abrupt. I didn’t see a lot of the sass or sarcasm promised and didn’t quite see how Taron was so into it.
Her interactions with Taron were confusing, to say the least. One of my biggest frustrations with their relationship was how they seemed to have an instantaneous connection, but constantly had issues that seemed to form out of nothing. She’d hate him over one thing or another, then be enraptured by him and want to kiss him – And not just in the “Wow you’re annoying but in a cute way”, but in the “you genuinely upset me but I guess I’ll get over it because you’re hot” kind of way.
The sexual scenes between them left a lot to be desired – I don’t usually have a hard time getting into these kinds of scenes, but I didn’t feel much of anything when these two went at it. And they did so…A lot. At times, when it felt like it shouldn’t happen (two particular love-making scenes closer to the end of the story bothered me quite a bit…). It felt as if there was more focus on the sexual tension between the two than any actual love. Each time he sees her, he’s so fixated on her body, her lips, all the physical things. She does essentially the same. I couldn’t see them as much more than bodies, because that’s all that seemed to matter.
As far as the side characters go, they’re very…Uninvolved. Rhett was the most interesting of them, and he’s kind of used in a “filler” type manner. He has the potential for a great personality, but we don’t get enough of his involvement. Grace? She…Isn’t the best of friends, as far as her actions go. During a rough period for Penny, she’s nowhere to be found. I understand this is to give Taron the chance to swoop in, but no best friend in their right mind would have left her alone at that moment, and Taron doesn’t stick around long enough to make up for it either.
I absolutely adored Ripley and Ava – But, similarly to the side characters, there isn’t enough of them. I was bothered by how little interaction there was between the kids and their parents. They were just kind of…There, and they behaved like perfect children would. Ava has several moments that could be considered traumatic, but after a cry, she’s, for the most part, fine. Ripley has a big one in the beginning but, for the most part, is fine. You don’t see these kids struggle through their emotions, and their parents don’t address it much either. I would have loved to see a lot more focus on the kids, as two single parents should do. They really should have been more of a priority.
The conflict at the end of the book felt very forced and was incredibly bothersome to me. Most of the above I was able to forgive, but the ending was a struggle for me to get through. There was potential for good conflict with Penny’s past, but this is essentially wiped clean with only a page. I was disappointed, and figured there wouldn’t be a conflict – Which would have been fine – but instead? We go down a route where the conflict is shoved in your face very all-of-a-sudden. The impact of the conflict doesn’t last either; within a Chapter (which, as I’ve mentioned, runs short) all is well, and then it’s the end.
Overall, I think this book is a nice read if you need a breather from something more intense emotionally. As I mentioned, it’s a cute story overall, and easy to read. I would likely recommend this to people who enjoy a calmer reading experience, or are just getting into the Romance / Erotic scene – Though that is not quite my style (as I prefer stories with more intensity / a bit more of a difficult read).