Series: The Bourbon Kings #1
Published by NAL
Publication Date: July 28th, 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Family Saga, Romance
Also in this series: The Angels' Share
Also by this author: The Angels' Share
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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 lost my chance with you once, Lizzie King–that is not going to happen again.”
Wow! You ever read something and not realize just how desperately you needed to have a story like that in your life? That’s how I feel about The Bourbon Kings. It was unlike everything I’ve ever read before. The Bradfords/Baldwines, the dynasty of bourbon makers, is Kentucky’s very own royal family. They are beautiful, rich, and so very twisted. I didn’t know if I should have been entertained by their antics or horrified by them. Shows like Dynasty and Dallas were ahead of my time but if I could liken The Bourbon Kings to anything it would basically be every soap opera I’ve ever watched, with a dash of Southern flair, and basically airing on HBO.
“You’re the love of my life, whether you’re with me or not.”
True to Miss Ward’s brand of storytelling there was a LOT going on. If you’ve read her BDB series then you know the drill. There are MANY characters and there are quite a few storylines already set in motion. Like all the drama surrounding the Bradford/Baldwine children. There is Lane, the charming playboy, who has fled all the way to NYC to not only get away from the clutches of his family but to nurse his broken heart. Circumstances force Lane to come back to deal with not only his demons, but Lizzie, the one who got away. Their love story is tumultuous and heartbreaking. Then there is his sister, Gin, who I am most intrigued by. She is the quintessential poor little rich girl; deceptive, promiscuous, and utterly fascinating. As much as I wanted to dislike her I ultimately felt the most connected to her. Then there is Edward, the oldest of the four siblings, and the most damaged. Edward kind of broke my heart. And last but not least there is Maxwell Baldwine, View Spoiler » who has yet to make an appearance. « Hide Spoiler He is the most mysterious of the four siblings and I am dying to find out more.
“Until this moment, she had assumed her family’s position was set in stone. Now, she feared it might be sand.”
This is one of those books that can be intimidating at first. I admit that I picked it up and set it down a few times in the very beginning because I was worried that I would be overwhelmed. By 6% I was already messaging my girlfriends telling them to clear their calendars on the 28th because this is a must-read! As someone that is an EPIC fan of BDB, I can honestly say that I was very satisfied by Miss Ward’s newest foray into contemporary. I am a sucker for damaged characters, dysfunctional families, impossible love, and a whole lot of scandal, and The Bourbon Kings had all of those in spades. I cannot wait to see what those Baldwine’s have in store for us next!