I have had A Love Letter to Whiskey by Kandi Steiner on my tbr for a few months now and I saw that there was the Fifth Anniversary Edition available (on Kindle too) and I really didn’t understand the difference, but I got that one. I mean, I understood that in the anniversary edition it included a novella called Love, Whiskey which is told from the POV of the mmc in the novel and some other bonus content, but I didn’t appreciate it until I read the book. Full disclosure, this was only a 5 star read for me because of the novella or else it would not have been!!
The novel is the epitome of the right person, wrong time trope and takes place over the course of 13 years. Brecks or B Kennedy (It’s explained why she hates her name) meets Jamie Shaw, a senior, when she is a junior in high school when she literally bumps into him while jogging with her best friend Jenna. She had an immediate crush on him, but he noticed her gorgeous best friend and they begin dating. Although she had an initial crush on Jamie, the two become good friends if not the best of friends because they spend so much time together since he is dating her best friend. They also realize they have a lot in common considering he’s a tall, built basketball player and she is petite and into books and writing. They both like classical music and surfing and bond over those things.
As the years go by there are times when it seems like fate has brought them together (ending up at the same college in California, running into each other randomly after not taking for multiple years etc.) but every time something happens that keeps them apart i.e. dating other people, moving to another state, etc. This novel is B’s love letter to Jamie (he has whiskey colored eyes and she uses the metaphor that she’s addicted to him like whiskey throughout the novel) and explains her side of their story – explaining the decisions she made that she felt were good at the time, etc. The whole novel was an emotional rollercoaster and had me so frustrated and with an aching heart half the time (or more). I felt like B made so many choices that were the reason for her heartbreak (like she brought it upon herself half the time) and Jamie made dumb decisions, not realizing the impact of his choices that he thought were not a big deal at the time (maybe he’s just a typical guy). Despite all the heartache and frustration, I couldn’t stop reading because I needed them to finally get together and be happy!
I will tell you this, the original ending is a HEA, but it is sort of open-ended and not at all satisfying. Seriously, when you read the end you’re like wtf that’s it?? So reading the fifth anniversary edition which has 10 or 11 chapters told from Jamie’s POV including bonus epilogue and content is a must. It is the perfect ending and will definitely leave you satisfied. It is the only reason I gave the book 5 stars on Goodreads because if I had just read the original edition I would’ve knocked off a star for that ending. And Kandi Steiner must know how the ending was received because in one of the Jamie POV chapters in Love, Whiskey he says to B after reading her book “It has the worst fucking ending I’ve ever read.” and she replies with something like I was hoping we’d write the epilogue together.
I loved B and Jamie and the novel, but again you must read the new edition that includes Love, Whiskey or else it will just not be as good or fulfilling! Read this if you want a spicy, angsty, friends to lovers, right person wrong time novel.
A Love Letter to Whiskey
“I saw him first, but it didn’t matter. Because he saw her.”
“So, you see, B was right about a few things when she told you about the first time we met. But she was wrong about one very, crucial point. I didn’t see Jenna first. I saw her. I just didn’t think she saw me.”
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