Monday, August 3, 2015

The Bourbon Kings (The Bourbon Kings #1) by J.R. Ward

Publication: July 28, 2015
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

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 received a copy of this from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

If the old school drama sagas Dallas and Dynasty got married and had a baby, it would be named The Bourbon Kings.

The infamous Dynasty pond scene referenced in the book.  

I'm not part of the BDB fandom (I've only listened to two of the books) but give me a second-chance-at-love story with a southern setting, throw in some horses and tall a glass of sweet tea and I'm sold. Usually.

The summary gives the impression this is Lane and Lizzie's story when really, it's the entire Bradford clan's story, or the start of it anyway. The characters are intriguing, and multiple POVs give it that "bigger picture" feel, but also make it hard to keep track of what's going on. Each time a new character was introduced, I was pulled out of the story which was not only frustrating, but made connecting with or caring about any of them, difficult.

Despite this not being a "me" book, I can appreciate that it's the start of an epic series that readers who enjoy a full cast and lots of drama will love.

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