This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.The Bourbon Kings by J.R. Ward
Published by Penguin on July 28, 2015
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Contemporary Women, Sagas
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The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Black Dagger Brotherhood delivers the first novel in an enthralling new series set amid the shifting dynamics of a Southern family defined by wealth and privilege—and compromised by secrets, deceit, and scandal....
For generations, the Bradford family has worn the mantle of kings of the bourbon capital of the world. Their sustained wealth has afforded them prestige and privilege—as well as a hard-won division of class on their sprawling estate, Easterly. Upstairs, a dynasty that by all appearances plays by the rules of good fortune and good taste. Downstairs, the staff who work tirelessly to maintain the impeccable Bradford facade. And never the twain shall meet.
For Lizzie King, Easterly’s head gardener, crossing that divide nearly ruined her life. Falling in love with Tulane, the prodigal son of the bourbon dynasty, was nothing that she intended or wanted—and their bitter breakup only served to prove her instincts were right. Now, after two years of staying away, Tulane is finally coming home again, and he is bringing the past with him. No one will be left unmarked: not Tulane’s beautiful and ruthless wife; not his older brother, whose bitterness and bad blood know no bounds; and especially not the ironfisted Bradford patriarch, a man with few morals, fewer scruples, and many, many terrible secrets.
As family tensions—professional and intimately private—ignite, Easterly and all its inhabitants are thrown into the grips of an irrevocable transformation, and only the cunning will survive.
♦ I love the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, so I was worried about the change J.R. Ward was making in going to a contemporary family saga type series. I had pre-reserved but had put off reading it till now. And for the first half of the book I was thinking that I had been right to worry. But then the second half started and I suddenly could not stop reading. Looking back, the first half was all set-up and introductions which are never super gripping; I see the need for that as this is not a stand-alone novel it is the first in a series. So once the intro was over and the meat of the story started it was fantastic. (Also keep an eye out for the Dynasty reference). The interplay between the siblings, Edward, Gin and Lane, and the expectations put on them by their parents and society was at the heart of the story. What others thought was a driving force in their lives and showed that even with vast wealth you can still feel like nothing. This made the Bradford children sympathetic even while they were wearing Gucci and Louboutins. This is another well-built world by Ward showing that Caldwell is not a fluke.
Other book reviews online for The Bourbon Kings –
◊ Favorite lines from Chapter 45 – “You didn’t have to like the failure. You didn’t have to feel really fucking great about the way things turned out. And you certainly didn’t walk away from the shit scot-free, without being seriously damaged by the loss, crippled even. But you needed to let that stuff go, because expending the energy wasn’t going to get you anywhere, and you might as well get on with getting used to the loss.”
¤ Biggest Cliché – Seriously people! You. Are. Adults. Please speak to the person you claim to love before you just leave them. Stop listening to things third hand. Δ What change in writing style have you been happily surprised to see from an author you enjoy?