Reviewed by Chris
TITLE: Whiskey Kisses
AUTHOR: Anna Martin
LENGTH: 69 pages
RELEASE DATE: October 24, 2017
In a small town about an hour’s drive outside Dublin, there’s a whiskey distillery.
Jim has worked in the distillery as its business manager since he returned to his home town after getting his degree. Whiskey is a slow business and rural life is quiet, but Jim takes it in his stride. That is, until the handsome and mysterious Mr Aiden Rooney moves into a room above the local pub and sets off a flurry of gossip.
Aiden’s an artist, and his devil-may-care attitude is a revelation to Jim. But he still lives in a small town in rural Ireland, and he’s not even sure if he wants to be out and proud. The choices they make could change everything, if only Jim dares to follow his heart.
This is a pretty short story about two guys in a small town in Ireland who meet, fall for each other, and have to decide just how much of themselves they can or should show the world. And for the most part that is the entire story. There are some interesting side characters, but they don’t get a lot of page-time, and I’m always up for reading books set in the UK/Ireland area, but there wasn’t really enough of the setting to really bring this world to life. And while I found that some of the scenes were well done, this short story came across feeling a bit half-baked. There was plenty here that could be really good, but it wasn’t given enough time to rise to the occasion and so the story was a tad flat.
Anna Martin is usually a total must-buy for me, so I was looking forward to this story. But unlike some of her other books, this one didn’t quite have a sense of purpose, place, or character that her stories normally do. I’m not sure if that is because the story was so short it didn’t have time to get comfortable in itself, or if it was just lack of care in the writing, but this wasn’t an enthralling read.
Granted, it is not the worse short story I’ve read this month, but I can’t really see myself going back to it. There were also times when it reminded me a bit too much of Avon Gale’s Whiskey Business and compared to that short, which I loved, this one is really lacking.