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

The Bourbon Kings JR Ward

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

Release Date: July 28, 2015


The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Black Dagger Brotherhood delivers the first novel in an enthralling new series set amid the shifting dynamics of a Southern family defined by wealth and privilege—and compromised by secrets, deceit, and scandal....

For generations, the Bradford family has worn the mantle of kings of the bourbon capital of the world. Their sustained wealth has afforded them prestige and privilege—as well as a hard-won division of class on their sprawling estate, Easterly. Upstairs, a dynasty that by all appearances plays by the rules of good fortune and good taste. Downstairs, the staff who work tirelessly to maintain the impeccable Bradford facade. And never the twain shall meet.

For Lizzie King, Easterly’s head gardener, crossing that divide nearly ruined her life. Falling in love with Tulane, the prodigal son of the bourbon dynasty, was nothing that she intended or wanted—and their bitter breakup only served to prove her instincts were right. Now, after two years of staying away, Tulane is finally coming home again, and he is bringing the past with him. No one will be left unmarked: not Tulane’s beautiful and ruthless wife; not his older brother, whose bitterness and bad blood know no bounds; and especially not the ironfisted Bradford patriarch, a man with few morals, fewer scruples, and many, many terrible secrets.

As family tensions—professional and intimately private—ignite, Easterly and all its inhabitants are thrown into the grips of an irrevocable transformation, and only the cunning will survive.


5 out of 5 stars

From beginning to end this was amazing! I was completely fascinated by the world these characters lived in and wanted to know everything about them and their lives. It was a rich, full, drama filled story and I couldn't read it fast enough.

I loved Lane and Lizzie, they were great characters. Lizzie was strong and full of life and I loved the presence she exuded. Lane was fantastic as well. So in love with Lizzie but dealing with so many things from his past and the present, I loved the discovery of it all as the layers got peeled back. Lane and Lizzie have a lot of history and a complicated relationship but it was so sweet and sexy, I loved their reconnecting and coming together. Their ups and downs created great tension and drama, as well as a lot of animosity and hotness. I was hooked!

There are so many facets to the story besides Lane and Lizzie's evolving relationship. There are multiple stories and characters at play between family, friends, and staff as well as multiple POV's. It was elaborately detailed, keeping me on the edge of my seat. I loved all the rich history, friendships, sex, love, manipulation, mystery, and intrigue that was going on! Throughout I had so many thoughts, the main being: what the heck?! these people are crazy, I love it! Give me more!

There were characters I loved and some I despised and it just pulled all these different emotions from me. No matter if I liked them or not, they were all extremely well written. This was an excellent read, emotional and intense. There were a few lighter moments as well, not a ton but enough that they were timed just right when you needed a bit of relief from everything that was happening.

While there is some closure at the end, this story is far from over. So many things need to be resolved, so this definitely falls into the cliffhanger-ish category. I'm rooting for Lane's siblings Edward and Gin. I have a million questions still and need answers! I have to know!

Fantastic writing. Excellent pace and build. I am thrilled with how it all played out. I loved how everything developed and all the twists and turns! Can't wait for the next installment.

Complimentary copy received for honest review.


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J. R. Ward knows how to rock a vampire and the paranormal. Be sure to check out the Black Dagger Brotherhood Series.