This series is simply amazing. Just when you thought the good old fashioned family saga was dead in the water, J.R Ward resurrects it with more glitter, glamour, scandal, drama, suspense and family secrets than you could possibly ask for, and then some!
Just to be clear, this is not a paranormal novel, and it is imperative you read the first book- “The Bourbon Kings” before starting this one.
The Southern Kentucky backdrop, set amid the rich horse racing history, sets the stage for the ongoing family saga featuring the Bradford/Baldwine family who made their very large fortune by producing and selling top shelf, premium Bourbon. They are wealthy beyond belief, but a stunning reversal of fortune has knocked them off their pedestals and forced them to take a good, hard look at their lives.
As the second installment opens, the family is reeling from the shocking suicide of the family patriarch. But, a gruesome discovery on the grounds of the opulent Easterly Estate suggest his death could be murder. If so, the number of suspects appears limitless, and might even include members of his own family!
In the meantime, Lane is left holding the bag after his father all but bankrupted them. Determined to see the family’s reputation salvaged and the business restored to its former glory, he rises to the occasion and begins calling in favors.
Edward will finally face Sutton, admit his love for her, but will soon face a heart wrenching decision as he faces a very uncertain future. And if you think this storyline is explosive…
Let’s talk about Gin. Wow! What a storyline this is! Gin is a character you might love to hate, but one I couldn’t help feeling for, hoping she would find a way out of the horrendous situation she’s found herself in.
This series is like indulging in a wickedly decadent rich dessert, kind of like a guilty pleasure. The secrets, lies, backstabbing, and double crosses and high drama are so mouth wateringly delicious and so much fun!
Family sagas are a little different from what many have become accustomed to in a series. Instead of putting the spotlight on one person, or one couple, in each book, this story picks up pretty much right where the last book left off, with all the surviving characters returning, each getting equal face time, which is how a series is really supposed to work in the first place, in my opinion.
So, for those believing Lane’s story was done, think again. He is actually the main protagonist, the leader of the family, although he is not the eldest. Lane is showing some true mettle here, but I was extremely worried he would become the very thing he hated as his zeal to keep the business afloat had him playing hardball, and it wasn’t always nice. But, Lizzie keeps him grounded, while he thinks fast on his feet.
Gin may see light at the end of the tunnel as she plots to extricate herself from Richard and begins to see her self-worth is not defined by money, but I’m not sure what devious plan she has in her head.
And Edward… well you’ll have to see for yourself what twisted path his life is about to take…
Well drawn characters, razor sharp dialogue and truly stunning twists and turns kept me turning pages faster than I really wanted to, wishing to savor every nuance of this engrossing novel. The high octane drama had me perched on the edge of my seat, with my jaw hanging open, eyes bulging, reading with bated breath as events spiral in one direction, then another, while the family comes to grips with their new life and the fallout of their father’s death.
I loved every minute of this divine, emotional rollercoaster ride!!
This series has endless possibilities and I will be sitting on pins and needles, waiting impatiently for the next installment. Thanks J.R. Ward for bringing back the family saga and doing with such panache!
Fans of J.R. Ward will be in heaven. I highly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys contemporary fiction and family sagas.
#1 New York Times bestselling author J. R. Ward delivers the second novel in her Bourbon Kings series—a sweeping saga of a Southern dynasty struggling to maintain a façade of privilege and prosperity, while secrets and indiscretions threaten its very foundation…
In Charlemont, Kentucky, the Bradford family is the crème de la crème of high society—just like their exclusive brand of bourbon. And their complicated lives and vast estate are run by a discrete staff who inevitably become embroiled in their affairs. This is especially true now, when the apparent suicide of the family patriarch is starting to look more and more like murder…
No one is above suspicion—especially the eldest Bradford son, Edward. The bad blood between him and his father is known far and wide, and he is aware that he could be named a suspect. As the investigation into the death intensifies, he keeps himself busy at the bottom of a bottle—as well as with his former horse trainer’s daughter. Meanwhile, the family’s financial future lies in the perfectly manicured hands of a business rival, a woman who wants Edward all to herself.
Everything has consequences; everybody has secrets. And few can be trusted. Then, at the very brink of the family’s demise, someone thought lost to them forever returns to the fold. Maxwell Bradford has come home. But is he a savior...or the worst of all the sinners?