Read The Bourbon Kings by J.R. Ward Online

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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 susThe #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 iron-fisted 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....

Title : The Bourbon Kings
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780349409900
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 432 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Bourbon Kings Reviews

  • Emily May
    2019-02-13 15:35

    “Everybody’s interested in me.”“Not him.” Jeff Stern, the host and roommate, tossed in a thousand dollars’ worth of chips. “Ain’t that right, Lane?”“Are you gay? Is he gay?”Lane moved the queen of hearts next to the king of hearts. Shifted the jack next to the queen. Wanted to push the boob job with mouth onto the floor.”I actually hated this book. I'm not even trying to be dramatic - I HATED it.Even though Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series was a little cliche and more than a little repetitive after a while, I confess to quite enjoying it. Especially the earlier books. So when I heard that she'd moved away from vampires and turned to Southern family drama for her latest series, I was ready to settle into an entertaining - if not mind-blowing - read. But not only was this book one big cheesy cliche after another, I just despised the characters, found the sexual chemistry completely absent, and was a little uncomfortable - almost offended - in parts.Firstly, though, how many times do I have to read this story?:A rich, gorgeous and arrogant guy has fake-boobed, dyed-haired "bimbos" throwing themselves at him, but he is uninterested and too good for these dehumanized women. Yes, that's right - dehumanized into descriptions of their clothes and plastic surgery. Or referred to like this:"Lane sat back and addressed the fool that had brought the chatty accessory."Yeah, that chatty accessory is indeed a woman.This rich dude, however, only wants a nice girl - a Mary Sue who doesn't wear make-up or have surgical enhancements:“Her face was free of makeup, the skin tanned and glowing, the bone structure reminding him that good genetics were better than a hundred thousand dollars’ of plastic surgery.”Plus, Lane - the guy in question - is pretty much a rude dick to everyone he doesn't want to fuck. Is it supposed to be sexy when he talks down to and rudely dismisses the staff in his family home? He also has a wife who is a racist piece of shit, which is used to justify him threatening to beat her:“Don’t be ridiculous. Besides, she’s black— ”Lane grabbed Chantal’s arm and yanked her up close. “Don’t you ever talk about her with that kind of attitude. I’ve never hit a woman before, but I guarantee I will beat the shit out of you if you disrespect her.”I honestly don't even know how to feel about that exchange. Should I hate her for being racist? Or hate him for being abusive? In truth, I just couldn't stand either of them.The whole story is supposed to be about Lane meeting his old flame - Lizzie - after years apart. They could not be together because he is heir to a huge Bourbon empire and she's one of the gardeners. But now she's back and old emotions resurface (etc., etc.) and both of them must try to resist the pull of their pasts.Now, I admit that there's something really sexy about old lovers with unsolved angst meeting up again. But Ward manages to drain every bit of excitement out of it. There is no build-up, no tension; even the supposed obstacles feel contrived and unrealistic. This isn't unique to Ward's work, though. It seems to be the modern thing - happening in almost every NA romance I read. Does no one want a slow build of chemistry and tension anymore? Do readers only want instant gratification? Erections popping up and juices flowing as soon as they set eyes on one another? Am I one of a small few who is turned off by this?Maybe. I don't know. I only know that this book was a mess. And it didn't even manage to be entertaining.Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr

  • Christy
    2019-02-14 18:25

    4.5 starsWell, that was quite a ride. Have you ever read a book where so much was going on your head was just spinning when you finished? Thats kind of how I feel right now. There was so much going on in this book, so many characters, storylines and drama drama drama! And I loved it! I loved that Ward could write a book like this and have everything come together so perfectly. Honestly, even with everything happening, I had no trouble keeping track of the characters or story line so that is a huge plus. I was consumed when listening to the story. This book focuses on the Baldwine family. Including Lane, Edward and Gin. Along with their father William and brother Max who isn’t talked about much. Lane and Lizzie are who I would call the main characters of The Bourbon Kings.Lane and Lizzy have a complicated past. It’s been two years since they’ve seen each other. Two years since Lane has seen anyone in his family. Now he’s home. He’s determined to get things together and fix things with Lizzy, if she’ll have him.“I can’t go back, Lane. I’m sorry. I just can’t.”He fell silent. And then after a long while, he nodded. “All right, but can I ask you for one thing?”No. “Yes.”“Just don’t hate me anymore. I’m doing plenty of that on my own time.”
Lane was by far my favorite character of the bunch, with Edward being a close second. I can’t wait to read the next in this series. I’m interested to see if it will focus on Edward or Gin. Either way, I hope we get more Lane and Lizzy. I don’t see their story as over. J.R. Ward is one of those authors that can do no wrong. Whether it’s writing my favorite paranormal series thats full of action and emotion, or writing a story about a wealthy Kentucky family that’s full of drama and secrets and twists and turns, she masters it all. This is a total win for me. I was addicted to this book and couldn't stop listening! The only issue I had with the story is that there was so much going on, it didn’t really focus on the main couple like I would have wished. Also, I wonder if when the next book comes out I’ll have trouble remembering everything because SO MUCH happened! Overall, it was still a fantastic read and one I would highly recommend!

  • Natasha is a Book Junkie
    2019-02-16 19:32

    FULL 6-STAR REVIEW NOW POSTED:“You’re the love of my life, whether you’re with me or not.”I have the biggest book hangover ever. I am literally struggling to find things to occupy my mind with just so I wouldn’t go back to re-read this fabulous, oh-so addictive, sinfully moreish book, because at the end of the day, no matter how many times I flip those last few pages, no new ones are going to appear. The first instalment in The Bourbon Kings saga, this is the devastatingly compelling story of a very prestigious Southern family from Kentucky—the Bradfords—and it follows the four Bradford siblings and all the scandals and heartbreak entailed upon them by being born into such wealth and privilege. The best way I can describe the feeling of reading a book such as this would be to say that if Dynasty and Downton Abbey had a baby, this would be it! I am telling you, this book will ruin you, break you, steal your breath away so many times, you'll be breathing into a paper bag by the end of it, and once you recover, you’ll be begging for more more more!!“I was almost over you, Lane. I was getting my breath back, my life back.”While the story as a whole is comprised of a number of intertwined subplots as we get to hear several distinct voices belonging to each Bradford son or daughter, as well as their romantic interests, this book in a way belongs to the youngest Bradford child—Jonathan “Lane” Tulane Baldwine—and the woman he lost two years before but never got over—Lizzie King. Lane has been wasting his life away for two long years, hiding from the world in New York City and spending his days either drinking or playing poker, but the ill health of the only quasi-parent he’s ever loved suddenly brings the prodigal son back home, to a house he never wanted to see again, forcing him to face the woman he cannot stop thinking about.“The one man she never wanted to see again . . . was going to come home.”Lizzie has been working at the Bradford Family Estate for ten years, working her way up to become one of their most valuable employees. Independent, diligent, proud of her hard work and determined to make it on her own in life—nothing prepares her for the return of the youngest Bradford son, her body betraying her from the moment they lay eyes on each other again, but two years of separation have not even dimmed her heartbreak or the sting of his betrayal. Lane, however, is a changed man, unwilling to let the love of his life slip through his fingers once again, and prepared to do whatever it takes to convince her to trust him again.“I’m prepared to be a very patient man when it comes to you. I will seduce you for however long it takes—give you space if you need it or follow you tight as sunshine on your shoulder if you’ll let me. I lost my chance with you once, Lizzie King—that is not going to happen again.”Lane is not the only Bradford we get to fall in love with in this book, his sister Gin’s and older brother Edward’s storylines being even more captivating and intense at times. Virginia “Gin” Baldwine, is a woman who lost her self-respect a long time ago, a woman who feels deeply and hates herself for all her downfalls, and yet for all those around her she maintains an air of pride, perfection, superiority, and complete emotional detachment. Spoiled by a lifetime of depraved luxury and blessed with good genes, Gin is used to getting her way in everything, especially the men she sleeps with, but ever since she was a teenager, she has loved one man and one man alone—the only man she can never have. For almost two decades, she has played a torturous and unhealthy cat-and-mouse game with Samuel Theodore Lodge III—Samuel T. to his friends—a successful attorney and old family friend, always one-upping each other with their sexual conquests while maintaining a very casual friends-with-benefits arrangement between them. But when two very headstrong people play a cruel game with each other for too long, they eventually end up forgetting why they started playing it in the first place, possibly losing the only chance they get at finding their happily-ever-after.“To sacrifice her body at the altar of money? Fine. She would do what she had to.”And then there is Edward Baldwine, the eldest son and heir apparent to the Bradford ‘throne’, a man whose broken body coupled with a lifetime of physical and emotional abuse at the hands of his father have forced him to leave his old life behind, and become a recluse who spends his days training horses and his nights drowning himself in self-pity and alcohol. But even as a shadow of his old self, his heart continues to ache for Sutton Smythe, the daughter of the Bradfords’ biggest competitor and Edward’s best friend since childhood, a woman he never claimed when he had a chance to but secretly loved all his life.“You must know that I fell in love with you a long time ago. You must know it. How could you not? I’ve been following you around for years— is that why you hate me?”While he fall head over heels with each Bradford sibling and the people they are destined to love forever, we also see them facing one common problem, a monumental setback that would change all their lives collectively and would require them to either join forces...or watch reality as they know it disappear in a puff of smoke.A sinfully addictive telenovela-esque collection of jaw-dropping twists and turns, secrets and lies, set against a very enthralling backdrop of Southern wealth and privilege, I never wanted this book to end. Ever. I loved all the main characters, felt heartbroken over all their storylines, and cannot wait to see where the series takes us. In the meantime, I’ll be the one rocking in a corner, begging the universe to make the wait for the next book as short as possible.“This is . . . your time, Lane. God has provided you with a sacred duty to keep this family together. You are the only one who can do it. This is all falling into place because it is your destiny to bind the blood once again. It happens every couple of generations. It’s happening now. This is your time.”[6 STARS]See this review on my blog! | Follow me on Facebook! | Follow me on Twitter!Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1wFXekeAmazon UK: http://amzn.to/1wd1YhcAmazon CA: http://amzn.to/13co6xq

  • Jennifer Kyle
    2019-01-28 21:25

    3.75 “I ‘m going to need a Venn diagram.” StarsFirst off, please forgive my casting laziness as there are a ton of characters in this story and although not identical to any television show it sure has the night time soap opera feel.…the Bradfords truly did take dysfunction to whole new levels.”As enjoyable as this story of one of the wealthiest family’s in Charlemont, Kentucky is, I think I jumped the gun reading it at this time. I’m not sure how much I’ll remember until the next book is released. Old money, debutantes, trophy wives, deceitful men and ill equipped adults top notch soap opera feel of it all! This story brought the DRAMA…in forms of embezzlement, affairs, no protection, arranged marriages, hidden paternity, possible murders or suicides, rape and love.The story centers around Lane, the prodigal son who returns home after word that his mother is ill. He runs right into his wife and his lost love Lizzie King both of whom he hasn't seen in two years. Lizzie is the love of his life and his family’s head horticulturist.”You’re the love of my life, whether you’re with me or not.”We are treated to many povs and thus along with Lane/Lizzie we meet Edward. Edward is Lane’s big brother who has survived being kidnapped in South America and is now disfigured and broken. He owns and runs Red & Black Stables. I enjoyed Edward’s story line the most. I could read a entire book based only on him and Sutton Smythe.”I wish I had done this before, “he said in a voice that cracked. “My body was once something worth seeing. I should have… I should have tried to have you before, but I was too much of a coward. I was an arrogant coward – but the truth was, I could have withstood anything except you turning me down.”Gin is the only daughter of this family and has a sixteen year old daughter that no one knows her true paternity and has a love hate, tit for tat relationship with Samuel T. Her father, the king pin and assuming manipulator of all that happens in this book, insists she marry another.”I love you Samuel T. This is who we are, who we’ve been since we were teenagers.”There is another brother Max who is supposedly hard to get in contact with and so that makes a total of four children to William Wyatt Baldwine and their mother who is bedridden. The siblings were raised by Miss Aurora who is ill and the reason Lane came home. There are suicides, deaths and a ton of money missing, all the while Lane tries to figure out what is going on and him and Lizzie fall back in love. The story ends on a crazy cliffhanger and left me with a MILLION QUESTIONS and THEORIES.Unless you have an impeccable memory, I would suggest you wait closer to book two’s release to dive in. I know it sounds harsh and I have never recommended this course of action before but time will only tell how much I actually retained from my crazy ride with the Bradfords.

  • Laura
    2019-02-08 20:25

    | ARC kindly provided by NAL via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you a lot! ||4.6 stars|Blurb: 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 won’t lie, guys, there are a lot of things going on in this book.I’ve come to realize that this is the kind of story you will love or hate. It could be all full of clichés or it’ll be a brand new adventure for you. I’m in the amazing side of things and I have only good stuff to say about this book.Gosh, I don’t even know where I should start.After reading this book I was like “man, I’m glad I’m not rich” because, hell, that was pretty messed up. Totally dodged the bullet.Get it? LOL... kay, I suck at joking.The story follows the children of this new generation of the Bradford family. There are three men: Edward, Maxwell and Tulane, and the woman, Virginia… Gin, if you like. They’re all messed up, yeah? But we don’t actually see Max in this book, only flashbacks.The main thing here is that Lane wants to get his old love, Lizzie King, back but he also has to try to do things right and make amends but his family gets in between. Well, more like his father and his businesses get in between.I really have to say I was more invested in the side characters rather than in our MCs but hey, their storylines were very good.Here we have Edward, right heir to the Bradford Empire, yes? We’re told shown this man was once full of life and he was smart as fuck and ruthless when it came to business but also gentle and good person. We see glimpses of that but this Edward? This is a very broken man, a weak shadow of the person who used to be. After the events of his kidnapping and torturing, well, how can you be whole? The scars are not only on his body but he is a living reminder of what was done to his persona. He’s become an addict-an alcoholic, a loner and a prostitute user.His character was so interesting, I think he was the one I enjoyed reading the most.I liked every aspect of his personality, I’m not saying that he was right about how he was dealing with his life but I can tell you I understand the whys. I even liked that he had a crush (Was he madly in love?) on Sutton Smythe, heir to Sutton Destillery a.k.a. Bradford’s “enemy”.I liked Sutton, I truly did but she and Edward don’t work for me. I rather they end up as friends but something tells me they’re endgame. Would I be okay with that? Yeah, I guess. Do I have another person in mind for our broken guy? Hell yes.Guys, meet Shelby Landis.She’s the daughter of the man who got Edward back on tracks. Jeb Landis told her daughter to go find Edward when he died. Since Edward owed the man, he got Shelby a job and a place to live while she works with his horses.I really loved her character, even though there was little of her in the book. “I’m not lookin’ for no handouts. I need a place to stay and work to do. I’m good with horses, just like my father, and bad with people— so you’re warned up front on that one. I got no money, but my back is strong and I’m not afraid of nothing. When can I start.”That’s how she was. She was blunt and she didn’t give a shit whether she could hurt Edward’s feelings and she gained his and my respect. I think that’s exactly what he needed after all this time. No pity looks but someone who treated him like a regular alcoholic dude. I’d like to read more about her in the following book and I’d love for them to be together even though she’s 22 and he’s almost 40 or past 40. I don’t care, really. Or at least I want them to grow closer and closer because there’s some serious potential awesome friendship there.Those two were my favorites, what can I say.Now, back to our MCs…I had a bit of a hard time liking Lane. I mean, he was a sweetheart, yes. He was sexy as fuck, yes. He had honor, yes but I just don’t know. We really didn’t hit it off.He used to be a bad boy two years before the events happening here and there was already a story created between him and Lizzie so maybe that’s why I couldn’t fall in love with them.I’d say I know Lizzie better than I know Lane but still, I was almost done with the book and I still couldn’t say I knew for sure who they were.I’m not saying that I know Edward and Shelby and Sutton like the palm of my hand but I like them more so that helps.Lizzie is a really strong independent woman (Don’t you think we say this a lot? “she’s such a strong, independent woman…” like it’s a rarity in this world. Why don’t we say “he’s such a strong, independent man…”? I feel rather annoyed with this. It’s not Ward’s fault but just the thing in general. We have to educate ourselves and women that being strong, capable and independent are not ultimate qualities to conquer and show off and to attract people but adjectives to describe us because that’s what we are, not what we got to be.) who works for Lane’s family. Now, I don’t think I’d be working for the family of the man who left me to marry other woman (I know, I know what happened but she did not know) because, on top of that, I’d be working for that woman too. That’s self-torture, Lizzie. She’s a really good person and she wants to finish the payments of her farm and all of that but I would have found another place to work. Anyhow, I liked the girl but that was it. Y’all know honest-to-God-pure-of-hearts characters and I don’t get along well so maybe that’s why she wasn’t my favorite? And honestly I didn’t really care about her and Lane. If the two of them had managed to make a good impression as a couple, I’d have root for them but I felt like I was reading just part of their story and not the most interesting part.With that being said, I still want to read more about them because I want to give them another chance because of what happened with Chantal, Lane’s wife ex-wife, well, I couldn’t appreciate them.Now, the deal with Gin is a whole different thing.She’s the party girl. The woman who makes terrible decisions and is often humiliated. She’s also the manipulative kind of woman.She has no advance education and she lives off her family money. Yep, she’s the typical spoiled heir.I have to say I somehow care about her. It’s hard not to, really. I didn’t want to because I just hate this type of person but Gin isn’t cruel nor a despicable villain. Her survival instincts are just strong enough to move mountains and that’s, uhm, something great.Her relationship with Samuel T. is something I don’t think it’d work. Ever. They go back and forth with this sex fest they have and I could understand why they kept their relationship but I just think it’s a bit way too sick to me. Granted, they care about each other but they haven’t been adults in the situation. They’re not teenagers anymore and the way they behave is just beyond stupid at times.It was entertaining for sure but, in the end, it’s not healthy for anyone and now that Gin has made up her mind, well, she chose her well-being first.Like I said, it’s hard not to sympathize with her and I know everything will come back and bite her ass. After much introspection, she had come to acknowledge a fundamental truth about herself: She couldn’t survive in any other world. And Richard could give her this lifestyle she needed— even as her family might no longer be able to.It was going to cost her, apparently . . . but she had lost her self-respect years ago.To sacrifice her body at the altar of money?Fine. She would do what she had to.I mean, yeah, I should totally hate the woman but I haven’t been able to.I’ve found TBK more than entertaining and I enjoyed reading it so much. I love when I jump from conclusion to conclusion. Sometimes I spoiled myself but it is too fun.I liked the villain, Lane’s father, but I wish we could have more of him. We all see his evil acts for afar or just the results and I really wanted to see him in action. I mean, being the complete SOB that he was.Guys, I like me some refined evil minds and on top of that the man was a total asshole so I’d want to read about him and despise the living shit out of that bastard. I hope we get that in book two. (view spoiler)[I doubt that will happen considering the tiny little fact that said asshole is dead. But we could totally have character development even if he’s dead. I trust Ward to do it right. (hide spoiler)]This is rather slow paced book and sometimes it can be a bit too slow but I loved every second of it. The setting was great and this is the first time I read this particular kind of plot. It reminds me of Dallas and I only watched like 5 episodes but I love the secrets, conspiracy, the dead bodies pile getting higher and higher…Now I have huge expectations for the second book and this is what I think it would wish happen.(view spoiler)[1.With bastard #1 being dead, I’m thinking about his wife. What if she’s not medicated and it’s fake? What if she knew he was having an affair with Rosalinda (his now dead assistance) all these years and recently with Chantal (Lane’s wife) andgot her pregnant. Maybe she did know, maybe she didn’t but what if everything is for show and she let him think she was sick and let him also do his things so she could kill him later? What if she was the one who killed Rosalinda and he knew something was up and then she killed him or made him kill himself? I’m thinking about this, guys, really.2. I know shit will hit the fan when Max comes back. Why was he away all this time? Not that I blame him because his family is batshit crazy but it’s suspicious and everyone tiptoes around his name. Something is going to happen. Maybe he knew about the money? Maybe he knows about her mom’s real condition? Perhaps he was helping her?3. I know that the book ended with Lizzie telling Lane how much she was sorry and how much she loved him but I want them to split. This has to happen in book 2. I’m telling y’all, I need to like them so I first need to know them.4. Gin and Richard won’t get married and the truth about Gin’s daughter, that Amelia’s Samuel T. daughter, will come out in the worst possible way. Maybe Samuel T. takes away Amelia and yes, more hate for Gin.5. Miss Aurora dies, Jeff dies and shit hits the skies.And I could totally go on and on and on because I have so many theories going and my mom says it’s the butler because, apparently, it is always the butler. And maybe he is. (hide spoiler)]The thing is, you either love the book or you don’t. I’m a fan already.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish
    2019-01-25 16:19

    No star rating - I'm DNFing this one.Normally I adore JR WARD's storytelling and I've never DNF'd one of her books, until now. One might assume I DNF'd this one because of the genre, but that's not the case here. In fact, I loved her earlier contemporary romances written as Jessica Bird and can't wait for some of those stories to continue. Not holding my breath, though...So, what's the problem, you ask? Well, here's my take on this first installment of The Bourbon Kings...First, let it be known that I went into this story with no 'high expectations' so that's not the issue. Honestly, the short and bittersweet of it...it just didn't draw me in. The world JR WARD created just didn't do it for me. I wasn't a fan of of the night time dope-opera, Dynasty, and couldn't give a frog's fat ass who shot J.R. Other than the narrator's luscious voice there was nothing to keep me invested, nothing that had me excited about - or mildly interested in - continuing. And that kinda breaks my heart.As a rule I don't rate stories unless I read more than 50%, and I didn't make it that far into The Bourbon Kings. When book 2 comes along, and if it can be read as a standalone story, I'll give it a shot. This is the WARDen, afterall.

  • Jacqueline's Reads
    2019-02-04 15:35

    NOW LIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!5 Bourbon Neat Stars PleaseBourbon Kings is part of the Bourbon Kings series, it can be read as a standalone, but like I said, it’s also a part of a series. I’m a mega fan of J.R. Ward and when I heard about The Bourbon Kings I think my panties got wet (just a little bit). If you are a fan of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, just know that The Bourbon Kings has the same writing style, but it’s nothing like the paranormal BDB series. The Bourbon Kings has mixed reviews and it’s because of two things (the only thing I can think of). The book is not focused on one main couple. The story is about the Bradford siblings. There are four of them, Max (who isn’t in the story, but is mentioned) Edward the eldest, Lane and Gin (the sister). The “main” couple is Lane and Lizzie, but a huge chunk of the book includes, Edward, Gin, Stephen T (the family laywer), Sutton (heiress to a competing competitor) and Shelby (a staff member). The “main” couple is Lane and Lizzie (she works on the flower arrangements for the family and has been for over ten years), but like I said there’s a huge chunk of the book that includes the other siblings. Just my two cents, I loved this. Because J.R. Ward included the other siblings, I felt like the story moved fairly quickly and there was PLENTY of stuff to keep me happy. Also, I felt like I was getting a solid foundation on every character (each have their vices). - Lane and Lizzie’s Story - Lizzie has worked for the family for a long time. When she was just hired, Lane was in college. They had a short fling that ended badly (you will find out why, but I think it’s best to leave it as a surprise). When the fling ended, Lane went away for two years and now he is back. Lizzie still loves Lane, but he hurt her badly. It’s really bad in my opinion and you feel for Lizzie. Lane tries to redeem himself and he wants to make it right with Lizzie because he still cares for her. You’re the love of my life, whether you’re with me or notIt matters… this matters to me even more than my family. Do you hear me, Lizzie? You have always, and will always, matter most to meI loved Lane and Lizzie’s story. It’s so tortured and so dramatic. I was just consumed by the problems and I wanted them to fight, make-up and have steamy you know what. Lane tries really hard to win Lizzie back and I love it when the Hero chases the Heroine. You also feel for Lane. Lane is a complex character, he has major daddy issues. Lane is kind of the butter to the family. He keeps everyone together and he has a lot on his shoulders. He’s the guy you go to fix problems.- Gin and Samuel T. and other people - Gin is the sister and she is a spoiled princess. She doesn’t have any empathy and she spends her days shopping and having relations with anyone she wants, married or not. When you first meet Gin, it’s really hard to like her. She basically is self-centered and really mean. BUT I have a soft spot for these girls. They are the way they are for a reason and Gin has her reasons. Samuel T is the family’s lawyer. He grew up with the siblings so don’t think he’s the creepy old guy. He’s good friends with Lane and he’s helping Lane with some problems. Samuel and Gin have a past. They have a very abusive and explosive relationship that I am just addicted to reading! If you could think of a love/hate kind of relationship, they are it. They are all about hurting and using each other.I really enjoyed reading the small parts with Gin and Sam, I found them fascinating and completely different from Lizzie and Lane. I liked how dark their story was and I loved the direction J.R. Ward was taking them.- Edward / Sutton / and maybe Shelby - Edward is the oldest and he’s story is the saddest. I don’t want to give anything away, but some stuff has happened to him in the past that has forever changed Edward’s outlook on life. He’s basically just a shell of a person and you can see his self-destruction. I really liked Edward’s story because you just couldn’t help, but want to cry for him and give him a big hug. He, like Lane, has daddy issues too and it has left him with many open wounds.Sutton is the heiress to a competing competitor (her family and the Bradford’s have be rivals, they are both successful). Sutton is introduced a little towards the middle of the book and her story is adorable. I really like Sutton and she’s the kind of girl you want to be friends with. Her interaction between Edward is minimal but it’s really important to the story. That’s all you are getting from me.Shelby is a mystery to me and I am not sure what role she plays in the book, but I do like her, even though I am confused by her presence. I have a feeling there’s something big that will happen in the future books with her. My thoughts…I am not sure if you wanted to read about each character, but it’s was the easiest way for me to break down the story. What really worked for me is how every character interacted with each other. It’s not a book that is broken up by three couples, no, each person is somehow related to another person and they all have a story kind of woven together. That right there made the book for me.Some people wonder if there are too many characters to follow and my answer to you is no. J.R. Ward writes in a way that is easy to follow along and is completely captivating. I may be a little biased because I married a Southerner (yes, including southern accent) so all of this is something I understand. It’s all about how you are presented towards the outside, but not everything is what it seems.There are some negative comments about the “romance” in the book. Let me tell you here, it’s not an overly “romantic” book, but there’s plenty of “love” if that makes sense. The thing is, these characters are so messed-up, confused and have major chips on their shoulders, it’s hard for them to “love”, but they do have passion, lust and high emotions. There was plenty of tension to keep you happy, so do not be let down by the few steamy scenes there are in the book. Because, just like J.R. Ward fashion, when she does write a steamy scene, it counts and in a major way. Finally, there is a main major plot in the book and it kind of ties all the mini stories together. I really liked the overall plot and it starts out as a mystery and as you read, more and more is discovered. I simply loved this. If you are a J.R. Ward fan, you will not be disappointed by Bourbon Kings. It has everything you are looking for in a J.R. Ward book, with tension, drama, complex characters and overlapping plots. I LOVED it and I can’t wait to re-read it via Audio.An ARC was providedAMAZON

  • Katie Michaels
    2019-02-15 17:35

    If you ever enjoyed the night-time soaps of the 1980s, get ready for the next generation of big-money, family dynasty drama. The Bradford family made its fortune in bourbon, not oil, but all of the major elements are in place: a southern palatial estate, high end cars, private jets... class divisions, a spoiled daughter, and a dastardly patriarch that could put JR Ewing to shame.But this is JR Ward, you say. How does it compare to the Black Dagger Brotherhood? Simply put, it doesn't. This is in no way, shape, or form like the BDB books. There's no street slang nor product placement. Nobody's "gotchu." Nobody is drinking Grey Goose. Oh --and spoiler alert-- both the hero and the heroine survive the entire book. So there's that.The books follow the four grown children of the Bradford clan... three brothers and a sister, though one of the brothers, Max, appears only in flashback in book 1. There's the oldest brother, Edward, who was once the heir-apparent and is now recovering from a horrific event that we learn about as the book progresses. There is Gin, the sister, who is a stereotypical rich girl with no skills or redeeming personality traits. And then there is our hero, Lane, the family playboy who left town after breaking Lizzie's heart.Obviously, Lizzie is our heroine and serves as a horticulturalist on the Bradford estate. She fell in love with Lane despite herself and it has taken her the past two years to try to get over him. Now that a family emergency has called him back home, the two of them realize that what they had between them never went away and Lane makes it his mission to wipe every obstacle from their path as he tries to rekindle their romance.It isn't easy... thanks largely to his wife. Now before you get all worried that this is a cheater book, it's not. You'll be ok with this. Just give it a chance. In the meantime, there is a major family calamity unfolding and it threatens the only life the Bradfords have ever known.I was a little surprised to find that I enjoyed the book, much in the same guilty pleasure way that I binge-watched Dallas in reruns while I was in college. It's over the top, but that is part of the indulgence. I've never been a huge fan of the playboy-hero, but Lane really isn't that; it's who he was before he met Lizzie. Now, he's all about fixing his mistakes and finding a way to save his family.As for Lizzie, she is a little too good to be true at times. I mean, would you keep working for the family of the man who broke your heart, just to prove your fortitude? Would you serve his wife? Put everything aside and feed him lasagna? This is an educated and independent woman. She could do anything. But she chose this path I found a little unlikely. I also felt like I missed something because of the fact that these two fell in love long before I entered the picture. I wanted them to get together, but I didn't burn for it, you know?I found I was more invested in the set-up for Edward's story. I love a broken hero. (And I am kind of excited about the fact that all of the players in these books are at least in their 30s. Imagine... romances about people who are full-grown!) Anyway, I am so intrigued about his life and ill-fated feelings for the daughter of the rival bourbon makers.And then there is Gin. I can't say I like her, but her story is a doozy. There is at least one really hardcore scene with her... and the only real emotion I felt in the book came from what happened when she put her heart on the line.So... final verdict? I liked it. Don't read it looking for what you're used to from Ward. But if the premise intrigues you, I think you'll like it too. I will definitely check out the next installment.Rating: B*ARC provided by publisher

  • Aestas Book Blog
    2019-02-14 22:34

    Oooh!! New series from JR Ward that has already been optioned for TV/film as well!! I can't wait :-) ...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....RELEASE DATE: July 28, 2015

  • Amy (Foxy)
    2019-01-27 15:26

    TWO POINT SEVEN-FIVE STARSWell, I'm not sure if my lack of 'loving' this book is because I listened to it instead of reading it or if this book just didn't grab my attention. Either way I did listen to all 13 hours of it because I'm OCD like that. *lol*In true Ward form - she created an interesting secondary story lines that will most likely have me reading the future books in the series to see what happens. The Bourbon Kings reads like a 1980's night-time soap opera set in modern times. As a child I didn't get to watch soaps but I did watch some in college. They're addicting!*lol*SERIES: The Angel's ShareContinuing story

  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)
    2019-02-04 22:47

    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/Be forewarned. This review????For approximately 152,847 years my GR friends have been trying to get me to read The Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Since I am terrified of all of my friends here I’ve stayed far far away so they won’t hurt me if I hate it (I have already failed them once with Darkfever). This one popped up on the library’s “recommended you to since it’s been a minute since you read some trash” window and I took the bait like a good little fish. And let me tell you, things went swimmingly (see what I did there?). First things first: This book is probably terrible. There’s a chance you have to be a dinosaur to truly appreciate the beauty of this epic family tale. Lucky for me I was born in the Mesozoic Era! When I was a wee little girl my most favorite thing to do on Friday nights was have a sleepover at my Grandma and Grandpa’s house where we would all gather ‘round the ginormous 19 inch television set in order to watch . . . . I dreamed of the day when I would be able to kick the dust off of my smalltown life and get whisked away to a place like Southfork in order to rule the place with an iron fist like I just knew I was destined to do. And while the Bradford family made their money in bourbon rather than oil, this was just as delicious as my old favorite primetime soap and I ate the damn thing right up. So much so that I was practically screaming down the hallway about how much fun I was having during my lunch hour while I was reading it. Of course, since 99% of the people around me are fetuses, their reaction was sort of like . . . . If you grew up on the guilty pleasures which were Dallas or Dynasty or Falcon Crest or Knot’s Landing, there’s a solid chance this might work for you too. It had all of the money, the sex, the secrets and the dialogue those provided. Stuff like . . . “You are a bastard.”“Not according to the dictionary. My parents were well and truly married when I was conceived.” He cocked a brow. “Which I don’t believe you can say about your own daughter, can you.”Really, the only thing it needed more of was this . . . . There is a solid chance that I’ll return to this series for the next book. I mean I just have to know what the deal is with Max, right? And Edward. Poor broken Edward. This whole damn family, man . . . .

  • ♥Rachel♥
    2019-02-01 19:20

    4.5 stars. If I had to use one word to describe The Bourbon Kings it would be: addictive. The story centers on the Brandford/Baldwine family, who are old-money rich and Kentucky’s equivalent to royalty. I think the comparisons to the nighttime soaps of the 80’s like Dynasty and Dallas are apt, because each chapter ends on a hook so that I felt completely compelled to keep going to find out what happened next!Jonathan Tulane Baldwine or Lane, as he’s nicknamed, fell hard for Lizzie King, head horticulturist of his family’s estate. Unfortunately, rotten circumstances pulled Lane and Lizzie apart, and Lane’s stayed away for two long years. With his “mama” sick, Lane rushes home to see her, knowing he’ll have to deal with his estranged wife, Chantal, as well as Lizzie, the woman he’s never stopped loving. Lane is prepared to set things right this time, and win back Lizzie for good. Lizzie is rightfully cautious, as her heart was shattered two years ago, but she can’t deny the powerful feelings she still has for Lane. Lane and Lizzie’s romance sizzled off the pages, and tugged at my heart! It hurts when a love that’s so right is derailed. I desperately wanted things to work out for them. I also wanted Lane’s spoiled witch of a wife, Chantal, to take a long walk off a short bridge! I was happy, though, that she didn’t present as much of a problem as I thought she would, because I stress out of this kind of romantic drama! I didn’t want Lane vacillating between these two women and thankfully from the very start there was only one woman for him: Lizzie.While Lane and Lizzie are the romantic focus, there are other stories and romances going on as well. Edward’s story, the oldest Baldwine brother, really moved me. From a young age Edward was a brilliant business man, and it was thought he’d take over as head of Bradford Bourbon Company. But he’s separated himself from the family, refusing to be anywhere near his father, William, after surviving a kidnapping/hostage situation that left him a broken man. Instead Edward passes his days building up the family’s equine (race horses) business, and drinking. There is a history, more like unrequited love, between Sutton Smythe, the heir to Smythe Distillery and chief competitor of Bradford Bourbon, and Edward. I am totally rooting for Edward and Sutton! I can only hope that Shelby doesn’t become a love interest for Edward, as well, turning this whole thing into a love triangle! Please don’t do it Ms. Ward! At first, I had a hard time feeling sorry for, Gin Baldwine, Lane’s sister. Her actions were so selfish! From the way Gin treated her daughter, Amelia, to the way she treated men just ticked me off. Yes, her daddy’s an asshole, (understatement!) and I wouldn’t want to marry a man my father insisted I did to bail out the family’s finances, but Gin went through life taking, taking and taking. She didn’t use the advantages her privileged life afforded her to make herself a better person, and stand on her own. Grow up Gin! You didn’t like how your parents raised you? Then why are you raising your daughter the same way?! There is a lot of messy, ugly baggage between Gin and Samuel T., her one true love in life. Their timing truly sucked. I really, really hope they get their HEA. I have a feeling Gin has a world of hurt and torture coming her way with the decisions she’s made. Gin has potential for some real character growth and I hope to see it in the coming books. I do love it when an author manages to turn my feelings around on a pretty unlikable character.As a side note, where the heck is Max Baldwine?! Just another piece missing in this intricate family puzzle.J.R. Ward started The Bourbon Kings off with a bang! The story was thoroughly unputdownable! Secrets, murder, lies, manipulations, and romantic entanglements abound. There is so much going on, and every single piece was riveting! I’m dying to get my hands on the next book!A copy was kindly provided by NAL in exchange for an honest review.

  • ~IreneOust~
    2019-02-19 19:31

    I am done. I am also sleep deprived, emotionally drained AND nursing ONE HELL OF A BOOK HANGOVER but I REGRET NOTHING!!I don't have much to add to the stuff I said in my 'half way thoughts' below but I'll say this:This book ... THIS BOOK! It is so opulent! So full of lies, deceit and love connections that are so beautiful and heartbreaking at times. The plot kept me on the edge of my seat and the ending/preview of what's to come is making me want to get my hands on the sequel IMMEDIATELY! The events in this book take place over the span of one weekend yet I feel like I've lived a thousand lives with these characters. The way J.R. Ward gives you their backstory is absolutely brilliant! I honestly feel like I just finished a series of novels that told a story of each one. It's hard to pick what I loved the most about 'The Bourbon Kings' but the dynamic between the siblings, Lane's relationship with Miss Aurora & Samuel T. & Gin's twisted game of hearts are all up there, among some of my favorite moments. I LOVED every minute of this family saga and can't wait to continue! I am also glad that I decided to read this NOW, with book 2 being only a few weeks away, vs back when this novel was first released because I wouldn't have been able to wait an entire year for Part II!This is an absolute MUST READ for anyone who appreciates exceptional family drama with a twist! ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT! From start to finish!'Half way' thoughts:I've only done this once before - pause half way to rate and write a review for book I am currently reading because it's so overwhelmingly good and I just can't keep all the feels inside me so here goes ...I've fallen head over heels in love with a book. I am talking truly, madly, deeply IN LOVE! OK, maybe it's not the first time [and probably won't be the last] but some books manage to get under my skin and make me realize that I've stumble onto something truly special from pretty much page one and 'The Bourbon Kings' just happens to be one of those books. There are very few authors whose work consumes me to the point that everything around me seizes to exist. JR Ward is doing just that with this incredible story. I don't think I've yet to read a story that had so many layers! Not to mention ALL the complex and fascinating characters this book is filled with! It's like I manage to gasp at something at the end of almost every paragraph. The writing is incredible and so vivid that when you don't feel as if you are actually THERE, with the characters, you feel like you are watching a brilliant TV drama unfold and, luckily, you don't have to wait till the next episode to find out what happens ... all you have to do is flip the page and go onto the next chapter!Books such as this one is the reason why I love to read! Nothing beats losing yourself in a story that takes your breath away, makes you speechless, keeps you up till the wee hours of the morning and has you thinking about nothing BUT what's going to happen next all day! I am a sucker when it comes to family sagas and this book exceeded EVERY. SINGLE. EXPECTATION! and then some (and I am only 44% in!). I think I feel a little better that I got all this off my chest so I am off to try and finish this amazing story! And, as much as I want to get to the end, I am not quite ready for this story to be over just yet. This is DEFINITELY going into my 'reread' pile because HOW CAN YOU NOT???Cheers!

  • Shawna
    2019-02-12 15:31

    1 – Big Disappointment stars-Uber annoying audiobook narrator-Over-the-top-Melodramatic-Dynasty/Dallas-esque soap opera theatrics -Appalling, annoying characters-What happened to the ‘romance’?-Too many characters and multiple POVs to keep up with-Dissatisfying, unresolved, abrupt ending

  • Naoms
    2019-02-14 22:29

    Originally Posted at:Confessions of an Opinionated Book GeekLoudly, before a single note about the book, the synopsis for The Bourbon Kings says “from the author of The Black Dagger Brotherhood series” and I get it. BDB is a popular series of 13 published books, a spin-off on the way and a rabid fandom that included myself. But, the truth of the matter is that fans of BDB this book was not written for us.The Bourbon Kings reminds me of that TV show from the 80s that my grandmother and mom used to watch about a rich and powerful oil family from Texas. Basically, it’s a soup opera. With over the top situations and twists seen from up the block, around the corner and through the bend. This book is convoluted, melodramatic, and at parts, offensive.Lane made a mistake, he married the wrong woman. It takes him a few years, an accident of his beloved black servant and a couple glasses of bourbon for him to finally get off his ass and do something about it. He returns home to see his beloved Miss Aurora and to finally set things right. It’s been many years since he’s touched foot on his family estate, the entirety of his marriage really and he’s unsurprised to find nothing changed. His mother is still reclusive, his father is still a douche, his sister a caricature and his wife a bitch. His Gardner, and spurned lover Lizzie is still working for his family despite the fact that he told her he loved her the day before his wedding was announced in the papers.Soap opera. I found myself doing the unthinkable and skimming through this book. I just wanted to see if all my predictions came true in the end. It did. There is not an original thought or storyline in this book. Like most books by this author The Bourbon Kings is long. Too long. Why was it so long? This book lacks some important aspects that Ward is famous for. 1. Sexy men who you want to take care of but hide behind when danger comes cuz they are bad as fuck. 2. Strong female characters who are comfortable in their sexuality but not over the top and manage to be feminine even as they are tough. 3. A complex story with twists and turns where you understand both characters even as they miscommunicate.The only thing I will say that TBK has over Ward’s popular vampire series is that the characters speak like adult males and not pubescent teenage boys that don’t understand that hip hop isn’t just a way of dress.I did not like the characters. I didn’t like Lane for being a douche and taking too long to fix his issues. I didn’t like Lizzie, because she was dumb enough to still love him after he stomped all over her heart. I didn’t like Gin because she used her body to manipulate people. I didn’t like Samuel T because he used his body to manipulate people. These two also have the sickest ever relationship where they one-up each other in an attempt to hurt the other. If Samuel has sex with Gin’a friend, Gin will have sex with Samuel’s brother and make sure that Samuel sees. They will seduce innocent bystanders in the game between them and then they hurt each other just for the pure pleasure of having the last laugh…But, they’re like in love and are meant for each other………And of course then there is Miss Aurora the only character of color in this book who spends her days cooking for this white family and her nights praying for this white family with no sign of having a life or family of her own. It wasn’t enough for JR Ward to appropriate black culture with her hip hop loving, slang speaking brothers in the BDB series, now she has written a veritable Aunt Jemima whose entire life is lived for and in service to her white masters.Why are white authors still writing characters like this? Is this how you view us? Are we just here to serve, protect and love you?This book is so bad it ruined The Black Dagger Brotherhood series for me. I’ve been struggling through the series for the last few years as it got long winded. But, after reading this book I’ve decided not not waste my time on her books anymore. I’m just not impressed by her writing, by how predictable her stories are, how she appropriates black culture, and how she keeps going and going just because she can.

  • Vilma Iris
    2019-02-16 18:21

    Scandalous, sexy, suspenseful and unputdownable.Southern opulence, closeted scandals, feuding families, dysfunctional romance, and a bourbon empire on the cusp of collapse. This is the backdrop of the fantastically captivating and vividly depicted world imagined by USA Today and New York Times bestselling author JR Ward in her latest novel, The Bourbon Kings. In this sweeping, soap opera like drama, Ward introduces us to the Bradford family… the kings of bourbon. For generations, the Bradfords have not only dominated the industry, they’ve also relished a life of privilege, prestige and power, while living at their lavish estate, Easterly. With a household staff of seventy two, every luxury is theirs to enjoy, every whim is theirs to be satisfied.But behind closed doors, dirty, dangerous secrets lurk as money, sex and power dominate. In Ward’s typical style, we experience multiple point-of-views, uncovering the characters’ tortuous and duplicitous lives. There’s the head of family, the depraved William Baldwine, whose malice and apparent greed drive a violent fracture through the family. Virginia Bradford, the dynasty’s matron, spends her days in a drug-induced haze. And finally, the heirs to the empire—Lane, Max, Gin and Edward—each have a story to tell. A story steeped in heartbreak, scandal, sex, and of course, secrets. We also meet some richly developed secondary characters, with intertwined histories and thorny secrets of their own.One of the central characters in this first installment, is Lizzie King, Easterly’s head horticulturalist. Not so long ago, Lizzie let her heart wander past the uncrossable line between the help and the privileged, falling in love with Lane Baldwine—the irresistible playboy and prodigal son of the family. But now, more than two years later, Lizzie tries to heal, despite being reminded of a love gone horribly wrong each time she encounters Lane’s pretentious wife. But when Lane surprisingly returns to Easterly, wounds are savagely reopened and dirty, buried secrets are unearthed that threaten to bring down the Bradford dynasty… and perhaps even their renowned bourbon empire.The Bourbon Kings is fantastically and compulsively engrossing, as readers will undoubtedly fall through an irresistible rabbit hole that leads to murder, adultery, kidnapping, embezzlement, sins, lies and love.✦ ✦ ✦ ✦ Follow Vilma's Book Blog:Website | Facebook |Twitter

  • Jenny - TotallybookedBlog
    2019-02-18 16:42

    41/2 starsThe Bourbon Kings was reminiscent of a sweeping, indulgent Southern aristocratic soap opera with all the drama, lies, deceit and double-crossing on hand…and oh the grandeur of it all!“What exactly do you want from me.”“Anything you’ll give me.”This really did have the feel of one of those opulent and addictive melodramatic soap operas we loved from the 80′s so it’s no surprise to hear this has already been optioned for a TV Series. We can just see this playing out on the small screen! Think Dynasty. Think Dallas. Only the Carrington’s & Ewing’s in this case are the Bradford family and oh what a tangled web they have woven for themselves.Outwardly they seem the epitome of wealth and propriety but open those majestic front doors and what lurks behind is a family in ruins. From their mother who is so dependent on painkillers she never leaves her bed, to a father who seems to have no feelings or scruples at all.The story mainly focuses on Lane (Tulane) Bradford Baldwine, one of the Bradford clan and Lizzie, the woman who works at their estate and who has captured his heart, though we also hear multiple pov’s throughout form Edward and Gin (Virginia) Lane’s brother and sister; Lizzie, Samuel T (a long-time family friend and the man Gin is in love with) and Sutton (the woman who has stolen Edwards heart) with each change of voice playing out like an episode of a TV show. There is another brother, Max but we didn’t hear a whole lot of his story so he is definitely a bit of a mystery at this stage!Wow! The drama, drama, drama! At times we were gasping and clutching our pearls! Everyone has an agenda, everything is fascinatingly effed up and nothing is as it seems. It appears there are some people to whom stooping to levels knows no bounds.Lane and Edward were interesting characters but it was Edward’s story in particular that brought us to our knees. This man…..the tragic turn of events this man endured broke our hearts.‘Edward was ruined now, and not just physically.’The relationship between Lane and Miss Aurora, the housekeeper who loves Lane like a son stole our hearts. Their relationship was so sweet and tender with Miss Aurora giving Lane the love he was so starved of as a child.“I got God…and I got you. I am rich beyond means.” Miss AuroraThere was a lot going on and much unfolding in this affluent, luxurious society and to be honest we were at times left breathless waiting for the next big reveal.“You’re the love of my life, whether you’re with me or not.”We enjoyed The Bourbon Kings immensely and can see ourselves becoming hooked on this series! There were times it did feel a little too dramatic but it did tantalise our gossipy tastebuds. JR Ward uses analogies to perfection to a point where we could see, hear and feel this story played out before our eyes! She brought all the opulence, wealth, secrets and scandal to life in this rich and delicious tale of treachery, love, loss and deceit and we’ll be back to see how it all unfolds when we catch up with the Bradford in the next fabulous installment!**Reviewed from an ARC copy provided by Berkley/NAL Publishing, with thanks.**✦✦✦ TB Blog :TotallybookedBlog✦✦✦ Come say Hi : TB on Facebook✦✦✦Follow us: TB on Twitter✦✦✦Check out: TB on Pinterest✦✦✦ We're on TSU: TB on TSU

  • S.M. West
    2019-02-14 19:33

    5 No. 15 STARSGAH!!! I picked a winner to pop both my audio book and JR Ward cherry! This was a phenomenal saga that takes place in Charlemont, Kentucky with all of its Southern ways. I easily got wrapped up in the Bradford family with their old world money, Bourbon dynasty and their many troubles and travails. There was scheming, mayhem and ruthless struggles for power and greed at the heart of it. Amidst all of this are stories of loves lost, stalled or only dreamed of with wonderfully flawed, complex characters that you can't help but yearn for, hurt for and love. I seriously can't wait for book 2!-------BEFORE READING:My first audio book and my first JR Ward book! Serious cherry poppin' going on!!

  • Alex is The Romance Fox
    2019-02-07 21:24

    Well, JR Ward does it again!!!Whether you like it, love it or hate it…..there’s no denying that it will have people talking and discussing her latest book, The Bourbon Kings!!! Oh, I think the book title is totally brilliant!!!! Sexy, mysterious and so totally delicious!!!So what category do I fall into? Well, let’s just say that it’s between I liked it and I loved it!!Being an undying fan of the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series, I was keen to find out what the author could do with a modern day version of Gone with the Wind!!!!! An epic family saga set in the beautiful state of Kentucky, of southern drawls, rich and gorgeous men and beautiful women, bourbon and horses!!!! Of course, the lives of the Bradford’s also have a lot more!!!The story started a bit slow for me….I wondered if I was going to continue or just give up like I did with The Shadows….but then my interest perked up….in fact, so much so that I found myself totally immersed into this world and couldn’t put the book down….kept me up until 4am, when I realized I had to sleep …just a few hours and then it was back to the world of the Bradfords!!! Was I sucked in??? You bet!!!Drama..lots of it! Feuds, dirty family secrets, villains, tension, murder, betrayals, madness, power, greed….it’s a never ending soap opera!What I lovedLane Baldwine – this is a guy that has seen rock-bottom. Discarded, betrayed, lied to and who has made some really stupid decisions. But then, we see the side of him that made me really like him. He’s actually a good person, who has seen some really bad things in his life but ultimately makes the decision to take control of his life again. He’s the genuine hero. Kind, caring and dependable. And all he wants his to get back the women he has always loved and never forgotten…Ms Aurora, who has been an anchor in Lane & Edward’s life. I was a bit puzzled why she didn’t have the same connection with the other brother, Max and the sister, Gin!!Edward Baldwine– this is really a broken man in every way. What he endures in his life is beyond belief and yet, something deep inside his soul …..is still fighting to make sense of his situation. He got to me…the scene where he takes a bath …almost brought tears to my eyes. How does one survive the pain and torture he experienced and come through the other side!!! I can’t wait to learn about him.Sutton Smythe, Edward’s lifelong friend and who he’s loved all his life. I want so much for them to be together….if anyone can heal Edward, it will be her….Gin Baldwine, the only daughter in the Baldwine family – self-destructive, spoilt, lost, sad…..my heart bled for her. The scene where she’s packing her bags and pulling her bag….such desolation and loneliness. In love with a man who rejects her, despite his feelings for her. And the secret she carries……can’t wait for the fall-down when it’s revealed. Her life is unraveling before her very eyes.. she feels powerless and afraid.“until this moment, she had assumed her family’s position was set in stone. now, she feared it might be sand.”Shelby Landis – daughter of Jeb Landis, who arrives at Edward’s horse farm unexpectedly. Amazing character. I hope you get lots of her in the future. And I’m wondering what role is she going to play in Edward’s life!!!The multi-POV’s gives you an insight into each character.Loved how the author intertwines the multiple characters and subplots in the book.The Kentucky setting was gorgeous, elegant, rich and steamy that had me dreaming of hot and languid summer days, mint juleps and bourbon naturally!! The intrigues and shenanigans in the lives of privilege and wealth and how true the saying is that money does not bring happiness…well, at least not for the Bradford dynasty!! What didn’t do it for meLizzie King – So it’s like the movie Sabrina….gardener falls in love with employee’s son…..Okay, I didn’t exactly hate her but I found her distant and cold and too wrapped in herself….and I hated how she behaved towards Lane… after the manner in which she treated Lane and never gave him the benefit of the doubt…she continued doubt him and his love, even after all those times they shared since his return. She rejects him again….oh yes, when the truth is revealed, she offers to help him…even going as far as giving him her dearly beloved farm so he can have some money….plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz She better “jack” up in the next book or I will personally knock her down and beg Lane to get a woman who deserves him.!!!!!!The lack of romance – did not feel an emotional a strong bond between Lane and Lizzie - it’s more one-sided. Lack of warmth and connection. I hope that these two characters will develop something deeper in the future.The beginning of the book was a bit slow and I struggled with the first few chapters.What am I WAITING forWhat a cliffhanger!!!! How long do I have to wait for the revelation???? Chantal Baldwine (Lane’s evil ex-wife) to get what she deserves.The evil and immoral Baldwine patriarch….let karma pay him a visit please!!Edward’s bookMore, More Bradfords!!And…THE NEXT BOOK

  • Mandi Schreiner
    2019-02-14 18:19

    Initial thoughts:This is more of fiction than a straight-up romance book. While there is a central love story between Lane and Lizze, the story really revolves around Lane's wealthy family, including his brother Edward and sister Gin- they have as much page time as he does. There is also a mysterious brother named Max.It is very much a southern soap opera - everyone has secrets, and the overall story deals with their father and his very dark secrets he has been keeping from the family. No sex scenes. A sex up against the wall scene (I forgot!)Lizzie is kind of too perfect/goody-goody heroine. I found the romance with Lane to be a lot stronger in the first half of the book. Gin, Lane's sister is the one that intrigued me more. She is a spoiled brat, but very flawed and I liked that. No slang, no product placement like in the bdb ;)The story engaged me - I never got bored with it, but I wanted would have preferred a stronger romance. I didn't love Lizzie like I said. I'll read the next though. I'd give this a high three.

  • Gavin
    2019-02-21 16:25

    As a fan of J.R.Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood and Fallen Angels series I was not all that excited by the prospect of reading The Bourbon Kings. Mainly because I'm not a great fan of the contemporary romance/drama genre. I'm glad I ended up giving this a chance as it turned out to be a fantastic read. Almost as good as the BDB series and probably better than the FA books. This had the feel of a prime time soap opera. It focused on the lives of the wealthy, but incredibly dysfunctional, Bradford family. The family make their money from selling bourbon. Their company produces the most highly sought after and exclusive brands and with a 200 year history this has resulted in generations of wealth and privilege. This first book mainly focuses on the story of Tulane, the youngest son, and picks up as a bit of bad news draws him back to Easterly, the families sprawling estate, after two years of self imposed exile. While back at the estate he has to deal with Gin, his wild sister, Chantel, the wife he loathes and disappeared to get away from, his drag addled mother, his controlling father, and Lizzie, the families gardener who he fell in love with years ago! In true J.R.Ward style we also got plenty of other happenings and POV's. Two more of the Bradford kids had POV's as did the family lawyer and a member from a rival family. I found all of the story arcs and POV characters interesting and engaging. All in all I really enjoyed the story. The characters were not always 100% likeable, but they were easy to root for most of the time. The Bourbon Kings might have lacked the action and cool paranormal stuff we get in the BDB series, but it had more than enough drama, intrigue, mystery, and romance to suck me into the story! Roll on book two! Rating: 5 stars. Audio Note: I was not sure about Alexander Cendese to begin with, but I quickly warmed to his cultured Southern accents and felt like he got the tone of the story spot on.Reread update 11/11/2016: This was not quite as much fun the second time around. I'm not sure if that was because I knew all the plot twists or if I was just less in the mood to deal with some of Ward's usual flaws! That said, I did still enjoy this reread. I'm tempted to lower the rating to 4 stars but I think I'll leave it a 5 stars just because I loved my first read so much!

  • Alessandra Torre
    2019-02-04 20:45

    I loved this! Such a rich setting for a novel, with a super-interesting cast of characters -- I loved everything about this book... except the cliffhanger. It's not a terrible cliffhanger... but the book def ends mid-story. Note: I listened to it in audiobook format, and the narrator has the greatest Kentucky accent -- I highly recommend the audiobook!

  • Sophia Triad
    2019-02-04 23:38

    "Come on. I know you want me."

  • Jennifer
    2019-02-16 18:34

    This....is me....right now.....

  • Cyndi
    2019-01-24 18:20

    Good Lord! Where do I start? First of all if you couldn't wait for the next episode of Dallas or Falcon's Crest, you will love this book.William Baldwine makes J.R. Ewing look like a choir boy. As the story unfolds he just gets more and more evil. Unfortunately he's the father of the current generation and he has damaged them emotionally and physically.Since Ward is a genius I'm not surprised at how well developed the characters are. They are flawed and yearning for some kind of redemption. The plot is totally engaging and I can't wait to get to the next book! 😊💕📖

  • AJ
    2019-01-31 19:19

    Epic romantic family drama 4.5 starsI’m a huge fan of JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series, and have been so excited to see her jump from the paranormal world into contemporary, and she absolutely wowed me with this one. There are some hints of familiarity there, and I love that, but the writing also feels different without the slang and ‘Wardisms’ that pepper her other work. She has written a sweeping family saga that is full of drama, intrigue and romance, featuring deliciously dysfunctional characters and their deliciously dysfunctional family dramas. Passion, romance, secrets, lies, betrayal and death, it’s like a train wreck – horrible and painful at times, but you can’t look away. And with a beautiful second-chance romance threaded throughout, it’s an enthralling read.The Bradfords are the reigning Bourbon Kings of Kentucky and Daddy Bradford has ruled his empire and his family with an iron first. The four Bradford children – Edward, Max, Lane and Virginia (Gin) – have been raised in wealth and opulence. Now in their 30s, they are each in vastly different places in their lives – each of them flawed and damaged by their upbringing in some way and dealing with it in their own, unique ways, the only way they know how. Youngest son Lane is a playboy. He’s never held a real job and spends his time in New York, sleeping on a friend’s couch and playing in high-rolling poker games. He does his best to avoid his ‘real life’ but when he receives bad news he reluctantly heads home to his Easterly, the family estate. Lizzie King is the head Horticulturist at Easterly. She loves her job and she’s worked hard to create a good life for herself, but when the prodigal son returns home, her world is turned upside down. Two years ago she and Lane had a torrid affair. They fell hard and fast for each other before it all went horribly wrong and they haven’t seen or spoken to each other since. After two years of misunderstandings and heartbreak, Lane isn’t prepared to take a backseat in his life anymore. He wants Lizzie back and he is determined to do anything he has to in order to make it happen. “I’m prepared to be a very patient man when it comes to you. I will seduce you for however long it takes – give you space if you need it or follow you tight as sunshine on your shoulder if you’ll let me.” His eyes locked on hers. “I lost my chance with you once, Lizzie King – that is not going to happen again.” “You’re the love of my life, whether you’re with me or not.”Lizzie is a really strong heroine. Her heart was broken when she and Lane split and while she initially has no intention of letting him back in, the woman is only human. Their chemistry is still intense, there are lots of fiery encounters, and you can feel the emotion between them. But with such an uneasy past, their reunion is not an easy one. “I can’t go back, Lane. I’m sorry. I just can’t.”He fell silent. And then after a long while, he nodded. “All right, but can I ask you for one thing?”No. “Yes.”“Just don’t hate me anymore. I’m doing plenty of that on my own time.”The unfolding story of Lane and Lizzie’s reconnection is tied in brilliantly to everything else that is going on in the book. Lane’s personal life and his family are an absolute mess. So as important as winning Lizzie back is, there is a lot more that he has to deal with –not the least of which is his bitchy socialite wife, but also the crumbling lives of his siblings and the state of the family business. This is very much a character-driven story but there is so much happening in this book! And as the story delves deeper and deeper into the lives of the Bradfords and the people surrounding them, you can see just how closely tied and interwoven their individual stories all are. This is such a great bunch of characters - love them or hate them, they are all very well developed and the dynamics between them are fabulous (special shout out to Miss Aurora – the woman is amazing, and those relationships are beautiful!). The book is written in multiple POV so we not only get front-row seats to everything that is going on with Lane and Lizzie, but we get a bit of background information on the family and the business as well. And there are developing storylines for Lane’s siblings Edward and Gin, and OMG, their stories are already incredibly intense! Their own romantic stories are established, and we get an up close and very personal look at those – both of which are an absolute clusterfuck, just like their personal lives. Their stories are bound to be fantastic, and I can’t wait to get to them. But this one is definitely Lane and Lizzie’s love story, and it’s beautifully told. They have a lot to sort through, but their soul-deep love is never in doubt and there are some hot and steamy, as well as incredibly touching moments. Their reconnection is well paced and realistic, with all of the feelings that you would expect them to be experiencing in their situation. I love that they aren’t afraid to admit their flaws and their willingness to make up for their wrongs. And I particularly loved that no matter the situation between them, they unquestionably have each other’s backs through everything that is happening around them. “There is no fight – I’m yours.” I really enjoyed this book. I must admit that I found the beginning slow going, but once everybody had been introduced and the story really got going, I was completely sucked in. It has an epic feel to it which is a bit reminiscent of Dynasty, and the whole time I was reading I kept thinking that this would make a spectacular tv show or mini-series. Ward has given us a multi-layered story with strong characters that is beautifully descriptive, incredibly emotive, and very cleverly tied together. I absolutely loved it. 4.5 stars(I want to give it a full 5 stars, but I’m deducting half for the slow beginning.)An Advanced Reader Copy was generously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.All quotes are from the ARC version of the book.

  • Gitte TotallyBookedBlog
    2019-02-03 19:43

    ✯✯✯✯1/2 addictive stars!The Bourbon Kings was reminiscent of a sweeping, indulgent Southern aristocratic soap opera with all the drama, lies, deceit and double-crossing on hand…and oh the grandeur of it all!“What exactly do you want from me.”“Anything you’ll give me.”This really did have the feel of one of those opulent and addictive melodramatic soap operas we loved from the 80′s so it’s no surprise to hear this has already been optioned for a TV Series. We can just see this playing out on the small screen! Think Dynasty. Think Dallas. Only the Carrington’s & Ewing’s in this case are the Bradford family and oh what a tangled web they have woven for themselves.Outwardly they seem the epitome of wealth and propriety but open those majestic front doors and what lurks behind is a family in ruins. From their mother who is so dependent on painkillers she never leaves her bed, to a father who seems to have no feelings or scruples at all.The story mainly focuses on Lane (Tulane) Bradford Baldwine, one of the Bradford clan and Lizzie, the woman who works at their estate and who has captured his heart, though we also hear multiple pov’s throughout form Edward and Gin (Virginia) Lane’s brother and sister; Lizzie, Samuel T (a long-time family friend and the man Gin is in love with) and Sutton (the woman who has stolen Edwards heart) with each change of voice playing out like an episode of a TV show. There is another brother, Max but we didn’t hear a whole lot of his story so he is definitely a bit of a mystery at this stage!Wow! The drama, drama, drama! At times we were gasping and clutching our pearls! Everyone has an agenda, everything is fascinatingly effed up and nothing is as it seems. It appears there are some people to whom stooping to levels knows no bounds.Lane and Edward were interesting characters but it was Edward’s story in particular that brought us to our knees. This man…..the tragic turn of events this man endured broke our hearts.‘Edward was ruined now, and not just physically.’The relationship between Lane and Miss Aurora, the housekeeper who loves Lane like a son stole our hearts. Their relationship was so sweet and tender with Miss Aurora giving Lane the love he was so starved of as a child.“I got God…and I got you. I am rich beyond means.” Miss AuroraThere was a lot going on and much unfolding in this affluent, luxurious society and to be honest we were at times left breathless waiting for the next big reveal.“You’re the love of my life, whether you’re with me or not.”We enjoyed The Bourbon Kings immensely and can see ourselves becoming hooked on this series! There were times it did feel a little too dramatic but it did tantalise our gossipy tastebuds. JR Ward uses analogies to perfection to a point where we could see, hear and feel this story played out before our eyes! She brought all the opulence, wealth, secrets and scandal to life in this rich and delicious tale of treachery, love, loss and deceit and we’ll be back to see how it all unfolds when we catch up with the Bradford in the next fabulous installment!**Reviewed from an ARC copy provided by Penguin Publishing, with thanks.**♥ ♥ ♥✦✦✦ TB Blog :TotallybookedBlog✦✦✦ Come say Hi : TB on Facebook✦✦✦Follow us: TB on Twitter✦✦✦Check out: TB on Pinterest✦✦✦ We're on TSU: TB on TSU

  • Jennifer
    2019-02-13 18:19

    ★★★½During an interview with Entertainment Weekly, J.R. Ward discussed her new contemporary novel The Bourbon Kings. I enjoy reading author interviews anytime I can in order to gain some insight into their thought processes while writing. With a book like The Bourbon Kings, I really wanted to know what was going on, especially in light of this being the first contemporary under J.R. Ward's name. You can find the full interview at this website. Here's a blurb: EW: What is the new series about? J.R. WARD: The Bourbon Kings is a modern-day Downton Abbey set on a huge estate owned by the Bradford family, major players in Kentucky’s bourbon industry for generations. The Bradfords are like the Carringtons or the Ewings, and there’s a lot of upstairs-downstairs drama and intrigue. Actually, it’s got a lot in common with my Black Dagger Brotherhood series: big emotions, epic story lines, surprises jumping out at you, coupled with soul-deep love stories. So there you have it. From J.R. Ward's own mouth. Personally, I thought this story more appropriately resembled the 1980's Dynasty saga...but I didn't write the book. As Ward started building this family like a Lincoln Log set, I quickly lost interest. I just didn't care about this spoiled, self-centered family who reach into their daddy's bottomless pocket way too much. But a few major developments quickly peeked my interest. Let's just say the drama got real and as things went from bad to worse for these characters, I was totally eating it up!Yeah, that was me. I was in soap opera heaven. If you have been considering reading The Bourbon Kings, I would recommend it. Although I have a few notes for interested readers: 1. Don't expect anything like the other books authored under J.R. Ward's name. If her name wasn't attached, I would have had no idea she wrote this. That's not good or bad...it just is.2. Hang in there - the juicy stuff doesn't happen right away. There is so much character/family setup in this first book - kind of how some fantasy writers have to teach readers about the world their story is set in. In a sense, it does feel like a fantasy world, at least to me. Remember this is a series and this is only the first book. I reiterate, hang in there. 3. There's no shame in taking notes. Just like your typical soap opera, each character has their own crisis going on and the plotline is episodic in nature. I had trouble keeping track at times, but it could have been just me.So in summary, even though this first book was definitely an investment, I have no doubt it will pay off once more books are released. There is just too much craziness going on I can't even stand it (that's a good thing)! I'm pretty excited about this new series, and guess what??? The Bourbon Kings was optioned for TV/film. I think I'm more excited about that than anything! Check it out!Note: I listened to the audiobook version of The Bourbon Kings which had an amazing narrator! His slow and proper deep southern drawl completely melted me and was so appropriate for this book. However, when he tried to alter his voice for feminine dialogue, it was an unfortunate epic fail in my opinion. I plan to read future installments off the page - which might help me keep better track of the story now that I think of it :)My favorite quote:"The windshield wipers were on and periodically they made a swipe that gave her a momentarily clear view of the opposite shore. And it was funny, life was a bit like that wasn't it? You went along doing your thing, not really seeing the full landscape of where you were for all the daily minutia you had to take care of when suddenly things crystallized and you got a brief picture that left you going, "Ah, so I'm here."Click HERE for another interview with J.R. Ward about The Bourbon Kings.

  • FMABookReviews
    2019-02-10 16:31

    Listened to the audio book and loved itI was on the hold list for an eBook of The Bourbon Kings from my library. But, I purchased it from Audible’s Deal of the Day so I started listening to it. When my eBook came in from the library I was at about 70% of the way through listening and chose to not read it. I didn’t want to stop listening to the audio book.There was intrigue, romance, multiple characters with messed up lives, which lead to drama. I am not sure this family could be more of a mess, and I ate it up.There was so much going on with so many changes in characters that I felt like I was listening to a Soap Opera, but a good one. I got a little confused sometimes but quickly got back on track.The only issue I had was with the narrator’s narration of the female POV. Alexander Cendese has a deep, gravely voice that does not match well when trying to “sound” feminine. I found the voices whiny and almost pitiful or childish at times. I was able to ignore that part and I really got into the story. I can’t wait to listen to the next in the series, The Angels' Share.If you have read and loved The Bourbon Kings, GET THIS AUDIO. If you haven’t read The Bourbon Kings, GET THIS AUDIO.

  • Jen
    2019-01-24 16:27

    I love J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood series, so the fact that she was starting a new series was exciting to me. After readingIrene's review last month full of love and enthusiasm for The Bourbon Kings, I immediately put this audiobook on hold at my library. Finally it came in and in true J.R. Ward fashion, this book is full of multiple stories that are intricately woven together to make one lively fantastic story full of emotion and drama. Not only do we have the story about the main characters, Lane and Lizzie, but the entire Baldwine family. I agree that this new series has the feeling of the tv shows Dallas and Dynasty, packed with money, sex, lies and secrets. Lots of secrets!The Baldwine family is one of the richest in Kentucky. William Baldwine is the father of the family. His wife has been medicated on pills for a while, so we don't see much of her. They have four children: Edward, Lane, Gin and Max. Lane and Lizzie are the main characters of this book. Lane and Lizzie have a past. They were dating before, but when his ex, Chantal, showed up pregnant Lane felt forced to do the right thing and marry her, breaking Lizzie's heart. Just because he married Chantal didn't mean he loved her, so he took off to New York City. Now two years later, he has to return home when he receives a call that his mother is sick. While Lane is back, he's determined to make things right with Lizzie. But it won't be easy. Chantal refuses to get divorced and is one royal bitch that you will love to hate. "I lost my chance with you once Lizzie King, that is not going to happen again."Edward is the older brother. When he was younger, he was kidnapped while in South America. He survived, but didn't come back whole. Now he hides on the ranch, taking care of the horses at the stable he owns. He's not very social and keeps to himself. Edward has a mysterious quality about him. When Shelby Landis shows up at his door and demands a job as a favor that Edward owes to her father, things begin to get interesting. Then there's Sutton, the love of his life. Their "prostitute" scene threw me for a loop. I can't believe both are pretending nothing happened. I want, no scratch that, I NEED more of his story. Gin is the spoiled sister and only daughter. She too has her own secrets. She still lives at home, living off of the family name and trust. She has a teenage daughter that only she knows who the father is. She has a tumultuous relationship with the family lawyer, Samuel T. They want one another, but seem to always be trying to one up the other because of their jealousy. But to make matters worse, Gin's father insists that she needs to marry and Gin refuses. I can't wait to read more of her story too. This Richard guy is a real piece of work.When accounts start to go in paid, funds begin to disappear, and mysterious deaths begin to threaten to reveal family secrets and tarnish the family name I couldn't help but become engrossed into the story, continuing to listen and trying to figure out what was going on. I think Alexander Cendese did a great job narrating this story. I'm glad I listened to it since I had just gotten new bifocals and needed to let my eyes adjust to them. I've seen reviews that both loved and didn't love this story, but I consider it a win for me. This story was addicting to me. I can't wait to read the next book.