Book Reviews

The Bourbon Kings by J. R. Ward

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List Price: £4.99


Kindle Edition: 434 Pages.

Published: 28 July 2015 by Piatkus

Edition: 0



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.


5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars  by Anne

Excellent family saga

I came to this book because I have read this author's urban fantasy novels and enjoyed them but I stayed because I found this family saga captivating.

This is the story of a rich but highly dysfunctional family whose wealth is based on the production of bourbon. The patriarch of the family is a tyrant and his wife is ineffectual and insubstantial. Cruelty and riches have affected each of the children of the house in different ways and I suspect that each of the books in this series will tell the ongoing story but concentrate on one sibling and their relationship issues.

This book concerns Tulane who has mostly escaped the family to earn a living as a poker player but returns because of the illness of another character. Lizzie is a gardener on the estate (I thought that the details of how the estate runs were fascinating). The two of them have had a relationship in the past which failed but still find themselves drawn to one another. Lane finds that things are not well with the business and even less well with his siblings and the story reveals these issues whilst following Lizzie and Lane's relationship.

I thought that the author created lots of entertaining characters - most of whom are self-destructive which adds a touch of excitement to the story. This first book sets the scene beautifully for what might be coming as well as being entertaining in its own right. The rich characters in this book have their own world and live a very alien life (much as this author's vampire characters do elsewhere) and this is well reflected in the story. The large number of characters and sub-plots are handled well and I never got lost. The story is told from multiple points of view and in short chapters. For clarification - this is a contemporary family saga and the supernatural is not included here.

I very much enjoyed this book and am looking forward to the sequels

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