Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Bourbon Kings by J.R. Ward 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.
Amazon Link- http://amzn.to/1Shy0QO
My Thoughts:
4.5/5 Stars
* Thank you NAL for the ARC *

The Bourbon Kings was Southern Charm meets The Royals... It was classy with a whole lot of drama. This was my first read by J.R. Ward and I can now understand why everyone recommends her. The writing was top of the line and the story was intricately weaved and filled with angst, romance, and drama.
The overall gist of the story is that a wealthy family is not as well off as everyone thinks. Each family member is living in their own personal hell. Secrets are being revealed left and right and scandal is behind every door. The tension within the house is thick and the staff are just as intertwined in the plot as the family.
Lizzie is the head gardener and bourbon son, Lane's, ex-lover. What they have isn't on the surface though, it’s buried deep within layers of secrets and lies. They are finally getting their second chance at love and a darkness surrounds them. It's edgy, all consuming, and at times, just plain frustrating. My heart was quickly consumed by their fast paced roller coaster ride of a relationship.
The feel is what sucked me in.  I felt like I needed a big beautiful hat on my head and a mint julep in my hand. I could feel the air blowing as I read about the statuesque mansion and when things got dark… I could feel the egg shells cracking beneath my feet. It was a thrilling story that kept me hooked with all the intense mystery. While I loved the story a lot, I did feel that the ending was lacking depth. I think the biggest issue was that it was a lot of ideas being pushed into too few words. I would have liked to see certain parts better developed, with more definition. There were a lot of great scenes that were grazed upon and I just feel like they could have been amazing if fully explored.  
With all of that being said I think it was a GREAT  book that is a MUST READ. I highly recommend it!

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