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‘And that was how I found myself fallin’ for Augusta Belle again. Slow and steady, one beat at a time, mostly to the sound of my music.’

This was our first experience reading an Adriane Leigh book and what a perfect place to start. Whiskey Girl was a raw, gritty, emotion-based, somewhat sombre second chance romance threaded with a country music theme about first-time love, second chances, regrets, heartbreak and a love that never ceased to burn despite everything that stood in its way.

Whiskey Girl is mostly told through the pov Fallon Gentry, with flashbacks from Augusta Belle Branson. Fallon is a thirty-three-year-old country music star who, at one time, had Nashville at his feet yet now spends his days performing from one dive bar to another, finding solace in the bottom of a whiskey bottle. Fallon is still bitter and heartbroken some ten years after his first love, Augusta Belle disappeared from his life – disappearing without so much as a goodbye.

‘My Whiskey girl my damnation and my salvation.’

Fallon has always wondered (and secretly hope) if he would one day run into Augusta Belle, and the story begins with a gripping confrontation as Augusta re-enters Fallon’s life. Ten years later, she’s back and he’s got a lot of hurt to unleash on her, demanding answers August Belle is slow to provide as the memories are agonisingly painful for her to recall.

‘We had a lot to atone for, Augusta Belle and Me.
Maybe too much’

The story switches from present to past in effortless prose as Augusta slowly begins to recount the moments leading up to the day she left Chickasaw Ridge, their hometown without so much as a backward glance. What drove her away, and why has she tracked him down all these years later?

‘When Augusta brought the sunshine, it inevitably caused a burn.’

There is a somewhat forbidden feeling to Whiskey Girl, as Fallon and Augusta were opposites in every way. Young teenaged Augusta came from a wealthy family, Fallon was the older nomadic son of a drifter, living in a mobile home on the rougher side of town. Their first meeting when Augusta was only fifteen set the pace for an intense and sweet first love that would endure so much, yet show a resilience that would withstand years of separation, bitterness, hurt and heartbreak.

‘August Belle Branson was embedded like barbed wire around my soul.’

Adriane Leigh delivered a purely emotion based and beautiful slow burn second chance romance that truly made us feel. The angst and physical never overwhelmed the emotion of the story as we lived every moment with Fallon and Augusta, standing next to them every step of the way through their dreams, hopes, and heartache.

An at times painful, at times tender, and always a natural journey, with twists that made our hearts plummet and soar. As their pasts collide with their present and future, Fallon and Augusta must learn to let go of their baggage, open their hearts, to heal, to trust, and to overcome.

‘Truth was, I didn’t want her love if she couldn’t love the man I was now.’

A hauntingly raw sombre second chance romance we loved from start to finish. As our hearts bore the brunt of so much through Fallon and Augusta’s story, our only gripe is that we would have loved the epilogue to have taken us a bit further into the future, you know….just that little bit further……

“I’d save you if I could.”
“You already have.”

 

Synopsis

She was the one thing holding him together.

Until she was gone. 

And then there was whiskey.

Fallon Gentry has spent the last decade reliving one dark night in his head. The moment he lost the woman he loved when a single blink cascaded into a series of events that stole both of their lives. Now his nights are spent playing music in southern honky-tonks and nursing the memory of her the only way he knows how at the bottom of a whiskey bottle.

A brief stint in Nashville, a hit song, and a brush with Hollywood couldn’t bring him closer to God, but when the ghost of Augusta Belle Branson appears in his corner of another lonely dive bar late after dark, he’s forced to confront everything he thought he knew about that fateful night and a few things he didn’t.

He’s her contradiction, she’s his salvation. 

A firestorm of emotion consumes them when they come together after ten lost years, every moment more revealing, more unpredictable, more intoxicating than the next until the only reckoning left for Fallon is the one he must make with himself. But this time, fate may have left an after-burn too bitter to swallow. This time, he may lose his whiskey girl for good.

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