The Trouble with Whiskey (Whiskeys: Dark Knights at Redemption Ranch) – book review

The Trouble with Whiskey
by Melissa Foster
Release Date: July 20, 2022
Publisher: World Literary Press
Book #1 in The Whiskeys: Dark Knights at Redemption Ranch series
Part of the larger Love in Bloom series
Number of Pages:  422
Kindle Edition
Source:  Amazon Pre-order
Contemporary Romance
Ages 16 and up
CW: death of a loved one
She’s the only woman he’s ever loved, and the one he could never have…
Years after losing one of their best friends to a dare gone wrong, Devlin “Dare” Whiskey continues to live up to his name, endlessly testing fate, while Billie Mancini buried the best parts of herself. Billie is beautiful and tough, and battling demons Dare has no idea exist. But Dare is done watching her pretend to be something she’s not and takes on his most important challenge yet—showing the woman he loves that some dares are worth the risk.

Readers of the Love in Bloom series as a whole have been getting peeks of the Redemption Ranch characters here and there over the last couple of years. I’ve been looking forward to having one of their stories told and it’s finally time. I thought we’d be starting out this series with Jordan’s sister from Then Came Love and Cowboy Whiskey, but this story starts out before Jordan’s sister came into the picture.

Dare Whiskey has been best friends with Billie almost their whole lives. They, along with Eddie, were wild and crazy kids who loved adventure and taking risks. Even after Dare went off to college, they all still stayed tight knit. Until one tragic day when Eddie died and everything changed. I won’t get into particulars, but the accident with Eddie pushed Billie to turn her back on everyone and keep in a safe bubble, which could not include Dare. Too risky. But Dare never gave up on her. Not only because they were BFFs, but because he’s always known he was in love with Billie and nobody else could compare. So here we are, six years later, and Dare is going to push the envelope with Billie a little harder. It pains him, and all those that love Billie, to see her become a shell of her old self.

This story deals with a lot of emotions, a lot of grief. You really get the feel of how nobody grieves the same way and that’s okay and we all have to be given freedom to feel our feelings. Yet it also brings home the fact that we cannot always do it alone. It’s okay to seek out help from a friend, a relative, or a even a professional.

Billie and Dare are definitely meant for each other. Everyone on the ranch and in town has always known it, even if the couple always thought their feelings were one-sided. Once Billie accepts that she can find happiness and that Eddie would even want her to be happy, it was a lot of fun to see her and Dare interact. On top of their connection and them finding a way to their HEA, there are other happenings all around them. I loved Dare’s interactions with a teenage client who comes to the ranch during the telling of this story. It really sets the tone for the person Dare is other than the daredevil risk taker.

Because this is the first book in this limb of the Love in Bloom tree, there is a lot to introduce. We get to understand how the ranch runs and who everyone is on and off the ranch. It’s not over the top or too detailed to seem like you’re reading an explainer. The author does a fantastic job of world building so as the series progresses the reader knows their way around. I’m really looking forward to all of their stories.

4 stars

About Cheri

I'm the mom of two boys and wife to my high school sweetheart. Our oldest, Josh, is living at home while working and paying off student loans. Our youngest, Griffin recently left his active duty Army job and is now National Guard here at home. He moved back to Michigan with his wife Kirsten and our beautiful granddaughter Hazel. I work part time and try to fit as much reading into my life as possible.
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