About WHISKEY SECRETS (Whiskey and Lies #1)
Sparks fly between a former cop-turned-bartender and his new innkeeper in the first installment of a Montgomery Ink spin-off series from NYT Bestselling Author Carrie Ann Ryan.
Dare Collins is a man who knows his whiskey and women—or at least that’s what he tells himself. When his family decides to hire on a new innkeeper for the inn above his bar and restaurant, he’s more than reluctant. Especially when he meets the new hire. But he’ll soon find that he has no choice but to work with this city girl and accept her new ideas and the burning attraction between them.
Kenzie Owens left her old life and an abusive relationship behind her—or so she thought. She figures she’ll be safe in Whiskey, Pennsylvania but after one look at her new boss, Dare Collins, she might still be in danger, or at least her heart. And when her past catches up with her despite her attempts to avoid it, it’s more than her heart on the line. This time, it might mean her life.
This time when Dare moved toward her, he didn’t hesitate to run his hand through her hair. “I’m glad you told me. That you trust me.” He leaned forward, resting his forehead on hers. “I know it wasn’t easy, and I want to go and beat the shit out of both of the men in your life, guys that should have protected you, but I won’t. I’m so fucking sorry you went through that, but you have to know that you’re so damn strong for standing here and telling me. For living. You laugh with your friends. You’re making new connections every day that you work here and meet new people in Whiskey. You’re not hiding. You’re thriving. I don’t know how you do it.”
She met his gaze and licked her lips. “One day at a time. It’s the only thing I can tell myself.” He leaned back and traced her jaw with his fingertip, sending shivers down her spine.
“One day at a time,” he repeated.
“Will you kiss me?” she blurted, surprising both of them. “I mean…”
He blinked. “That’s not where I thought this conversation was going.”
“I know, but I don’t want to talk about the past anymore. I don’t want to live in it. I want to worry about the future and the now. So, will you kiss me? Will you help me just be?” She couldn’t believe she was asking that of him and yet she knew it was what she needed. She might not know what was coming next, and this was probably a mistake, but it was her mistake to make.
In answer, he leaned down and took her lips.
He licked and sucked on her mouth, making her ache, and forcing her to press her legs together to relieve the tension. Because she didn’t want anyone else to barge in on them, they both stopped kissing long enough to for her to lead them both to her small apartment. They were both breathless by the time she got her key in the lock and the door closed behind them but Kenzie didn’t want to let her brain think too hard about what she was about to do. If she did, he might pull away, mistake or no.
“What do you like?” he whispered against her mouth, pulling her closer with his hands on her butt. His rigid erection pressed into her stomach, and he bent down so he could run his teeth lightly over her ear.
“You.” She moaned, leaning her head back. “Just… just don’t hold my arms too tightly. Anything else is what I want. Anything.”
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Whiskey Secrets introduced me to a new author I hadn’t read before, Carrie Ann Ryan. Let me say that she had me with her dedication at the beginning of the book. I will let readers see that for themselves. She stole my heart right then and there, and the storyline and characters kept my heart. I fell in love with Dare and Kenzie.
Dare is an ex-cop who now owns a bar and restaurant that is attached to his family’s inn. He has mixed emotions when his parents announce that they are going to re-do the inn and hire someone to manage it. He’s happy that they will finally have time to enjoy their lives, but he isn’t happy with their choice…Kenzie. He thinks she is a “city girl” who knows nothing about his family’s inn or town. He makes his feelings well known to Kenzie.
Kenzie is beginning a new life, leaving behind pain and an abusive ex-husband. She is struggling but determined to have a happy life, and she won’t let Dare’s obvious displeasure stop her even if he does stir feelings inside her she hasn’t felt in a long time.
Dare and Kenzie have a lot of baggage between them so getting involved would be the worst mistake ever. However, the heart doesn’t always listen to the mind. They both have painful pasts, but somehow when they are together, the darkness seems to disappear. Neither one of them are perfect, so that makes them realistic. The chemistry between them is sizzling, but the romance is also very sweet. With the addition of the secondary characters, it makes it even better.
As I said, I have never read anything by Carrie Ann Ryan, but I’m so excited I found her. Lucky for me, she has so many good ones to choose from until the next book in this series.
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About Carrie Ann Ryan
Carrie Ann Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance. Her works include the Montgomery Ink, Redwood Pack, Talon Pack, and Gallagher Brothers series, which have sold over 2.0 million books worldwide. She started writing while in graduate school for her advanced degree in chemistry and hasn’t stopped since. Carrie Ann has written over fifty novels and novellas with more in the works. When she’s not writing about bearded tattooed men or alpha wolves that need to find their mates, she’s reading as much as she can and exploring the world of baking and gourmet cooking.