Monday, August 3, 2015



NAL, July 2015
Obtained via:  publisher
ISBN:  978-0-4514-7526-8
Contemporary Romance


Popular paranormal author J.R. Ward has moved in another direction as she introduces readers to THE BOURBON KINGS, her new contemporary series set in Kentucky bourbon country among Derby brunches, horse races, bourbon production and elite society family dysfunction at its best.

The Bradford family has stood among the bourbon elite of Kentucky for generations on their extensive estate, Easterly.  The Bradfords are Kentucky aristocracy, having made their fortune in bourbon.  They indulge in all that is extreme luxury.  As the annual Kentucky Derby approaches, Jonathan Tulane “Lane” Baldwine, the prodigal son, returns to Easterly to visit the sickly Miss Aurora, the housekeeper who raised him and his siblings and to see Lizzie King, Easterly’s head horticulturist, who Lane had a brief but intense relationship that ended badly, leaving them both nursing broken hearts.  Lane has not arrived alone; he has brought the past back with him and no one will remain untouched by it.  From his morally corrupt and hateful father, his over-medicated mother, his broken and bitter older brother, the ruthless and unwanted wife he despises to the many workers on the estate, secrets are about to come out and as events unfold, only the most astute will survive.

This reader thoroughly enjoyed J.R. Ward’s foray into THE BOURBON KINGS, an epic family saga focused on the wealthy Bradford family.  Reminiscent of the big production 80s serial dramas such as Dallas and Dynasty, THE BOURBON KINGS is filled with complex characters, overlapping storylines, family scandals, sneaky business deals and forbidden romances.  The story pace is quick and fluid and keeps readers riveted to the excitement.  While this first book centers primarily on Lane and Lizzie, a good amount of story time is given to many of the other major characters that are sure to show up in future installments.  For readers who enjoy a good family saga with a lot of intrigue, mystery, scheming and drama, THE BOURBON KINGS looks like it may shape up to be the series to be on the lookout for beginning this summer.  The biggest downside – the rest of the series isn’t out yet.

Reviewed by T. Barringer

"This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book."

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