Friday, July 24, 2015

The Bourbon Kings by J.R. Ward


From Penguin:

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.

Bourbon Kings is like marathoning Dallas.  I felt like a complete voyeur and couldn't put it down.  These people are either horrible people or had horrible things done to them.  There are no saints in this story.  It is riveting and consuming and makes you glad for your normal life, with normal problems and concerns.  It's possible that I forgot to eat, drink, or even pee while reading this book.  Yes, I was so entranced with reading their trainwreck lives, that I finished all 421 pages in one sitting (we won't tell my boss that's why I am going to be late for work in the morning - it will totally be because of traffic!).  

BK has everything; mystery, intrigue, and perversions for all shapes and sizes.  We've got cheaters, thieves, frauds, and murderers all lined up for your entertainment.  I defy you to not become completely engrossed in this book.  

I admit, there's some of Ward's writing style that I'm not in love with, but even that couldn't stop me from gorging myself on this soap opera.  Will I read the next book in the series?  Absolutely.  Like any good voyeur, I can't wait for the action to start again.  Ward expertly leaves us with questions that must be answered, things we must know.  Truly, if you've ever enjoyed a soap opera with mystery and intrigue, this is your book.  Thanks Penguin, for reminding me, yet again, that I have no self-control.

~ Shel

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