Book Review: Tennessee Whiskey by Donna K. Ford

Release Date: Nov 1, 2019
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books

Finding roots in the back woods.

Dane has been rattled. She fell prey to a significant trauma that has her questioning her place in the world. She heads back home, the one place she was anxious to flee as soon as she had the chance. She has never had a great relationship with her widowed father, and he will not tell her anything about her mother’s life before them. She sets out to find out about her mother’s history on her own. Dane meets a bartender, Emma, and her brother Curtis at a local bar and ends up renting a room with them for awhile.

I liked the relationships Dane develops with Emma and Curtis. She seems to come into their lives and fit like a missing puzzle piece. It isn’t lost on the reader that they become something that Dane needs as well. All of their interactions were well paced and feelings grew naturally.

The main arc in this story is Emma’s brother Curtis and his ability to get into trouble with the local riff raff. He is a mentally challenged young man because of lack of oxygen during birth. So even though he means well, he doesn’t make the best decisions. This part of the story was super strong and engaging. It seamlessly connected with Dane’s search for answers.

Had this story had fade to black intimate scenes, I would have rated this 4 or 5. Unfortunately, the quality of writing felt really inconsistent with the rest of the book and left me disappointed. I wanted to like this book more, but I was so taken out of the interesting story by the weird explicit scenes. I am not a huge fan of sex in books, but I can handle it in most cases. But the use of a very clinical sounding ‘clitoris,’ and the frequency in which it was used (8 times during their first encounter), really had me skimming and losing interest in the main character’s relationship.

So I will recommend this book because of the overall story of searching for history, trying to find a place to belong, and building lasting relationships. This also had an interesting back woods setting and unique characters. But I have to put a disclaimer that the intimate scenes may have you scratching your head.

This is for those who want to read about Tennessee, bar ownership, ranch houses, drug dealing, survivor’s guilt, romance, family drama, frog eggs, and the excessive use of ‘clitoris.’

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