Review: A Love Letter to Whiskey by Kandi Steiner

Note: This ARC was provided by Southern Belle Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

The Scottish are the only ones who can technically spell whiskey as "whisky". They claim more vowels wastes good drinking time, and I wish I could have realized that then, because that's exactly what I was doing--wasting time. Letting days and weeks and months of incredible, soul-shattering love pass me by because I thought I knew the right way to spell out the path of my life. 
Turned out I was wrong. 
Turned out I had a rare, deliciously aged bottle of whiskey in my grip, but I let it slip through my slick fingers and crash to the floor. 
And I wasn't the one allowed to pick up the pieces.

Damn you, Kandi Steiner! You owe me tissues because this book... It broke my heart too many times, but kept taping it back together, kept making me hope... And now I've got one hell of a major book hangover and I blame you and I blame Jamie Shaw and Brecks Kennedy--Whiskey and B. To have such immense and encompassing love for one person but never being able to fully embrace or pursue it is probably one of the most heartrending experiences an individual may have to go through. Kandi Steiner brought it to life, making me feel each lift and loss in the eleven-year love story of Jamie and B, and it's a different kind of love story because while the love is clearly there, its existence was so desperately denied or pushed aside.

Brecks Kennedy may have seen Jamie Shaw first but it didn't mean he had or held his attention first. But even as his affection was focused on someone else, B and Jamie's friendship flourished, becoming each other's best friend. But if you look closer--deeper--there are feelings and emotions that go beyond the friendship they both cherish and protect. Yet, the timing never seems to be right, the circumstances often wrong, and the rare occasions where they do let go are constrained by both forces on the outside and from within themselves. They're each other's addiction, one that they've been drowning in for over a decade, and  greatest fear is that they will never recover from it. Or maybe, even worse, that they eventually will.

Angst. This novel is, by far, one of the more angst-riddled releases I've come across in a long time. And God, how it made me feel. Just when I think there's no more emotion left to wring out of me, something happens between B and Jamie that twists my heart and I go through a myriad of thoughts and feelings. It's easy to say that the timing was always off for the erstwhile lovers, but in reality, it was as if neither one was courageous enough to take what they probably considered a leap but was actually more of a simple step towards and over that line between love and friendship. How my heart ached for these two, as I cheered them on, got frustrated, rebounded again, and found myself becoming more and more invested in them.

Prior to reading A Love Letter to Whiskey, I had only read one other Kandi Steiner-penned novel--Weightless--though I do have her three Chasers books on my e-reader via my Kobo app. And I loved Weightless, considering it one of my favorite reads this year. But A Love Letter to Whiskey is in a class of its own, and, if you'll excuse the pun, a far weightier feel to it in terms of story. They're both beautiful novels, written undeniably well and with main characters you can't help but empathize with and advocate for, but they're also very different and make it clear just how gifted an author Steiner is. A Love Letter to Whiskey isn't merely a top read this year but has now become one of my all-time favorites. Five-plus stars. ♥

Release Date: 13 October 2016

Date Read: 13 October 2016

Learn more about Kandi Steiner.

Purchase A Love Letter to Whiskey on Amazon.