Release Date: July 28, 2015
Format: Hardcover & Audio MP3
Pages: 400 pages (ebook) | Audio Length: Approx 13 hours
Narrators: Alexander Cendese
Source: Kindle & Audible
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romance
Review Date: January 13, 2016
Rating: 4 bookmarks
Synopsis: 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.
Let's move on to the main characters. Overall I liked them. I especially liked Lane. He's that classic too sexy for words bad boy that's fallen in love and he's trying to convince the one that got away that he's changed and that he wants only her. Lizzie has a lot going for herself. She's book smart, successful at her job, she's more attractive than she thinks and she's a bit naive. There's nothing surprising about this pairing nor the characters themselves, yet I found myself wanting them to end up together. While at first glance they appear cookie cutter, I still liked them. It's something about Ward's writing style - she lets you peek behind the curtain. We're able to see what they want to say but don't, what they're thinking and feeling, and that adds additional layer of intrigue and depth to the characters. Beyond Lane and Lizzie, there are lots and I mean lots of secondary characters and that balances the story.
Regarding the audiobook, Alexander Cendese narrates and he did a notable job. I really enjoyed his narrating from the Mercy Thompson installment 8.5, Shifting Shadows, so when I heard his voice on this title, I was thrown back for a minute. He's got a deep and distinctive voice that stays with you. He effortly handles all of the different dialects, both male and female voices and manages to keep the sex scenes from seeming utterly cheesy (as they can sometimes seem on audiobook).
To be blatantly honest, if you're a BDB fan and are looking for more BDB style writing, you won't find it here. On the flip side, if you enjoy a good drama filled contemporary romance set amongst the upper crust of Kentucky society you'll want to add this to your TBR list. Personally I'm looking forward to seeing what's in store for the Bradford siblings.
On another note, not only did I like it, apparently so did NBC. Congrats J.R.Ward on your TV option! As I mentioned earlier, I suspect that it will have that family drama theme of Dallas, but that's been done recently by ABC and it was called Blood & Oil which was cancelled after a shortened one season. I hope that when NBC gets their hands on The Bourbon Kings, they will do it right and it'll be a success like Dallas instead of the fail known as Blood & Oil.
What about you? Have you read The Bourbon Kings? If so, please share your thoughts. If not, will you be adding this one to your TBR?
Before you go check out a few of my favorite quotes.
“You’re the love of my life, whether you’re with me or not.”
“There is no fight – I’m yours. If you want, here and now. Or later. A week, a month, years from now.”
Happy Reading & Listening,