The Bourbon Kings

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

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.

My Review:
Watch out General Hospital, stand back Young and Restless, move over Days of Our Lives, the Bourbon Kings stole your drama. JR Ward's new romance has all the makings of a daytime soap opera including its bone deep broken family, money, emotionally absent father, and every abuse on every level you can imagine including a love affair between two people that don't have any chemistry or any emotional depth. Both Liz and Lane are dragged through the theatrics surrounding every person in the book acting on both impulse, and on automatic as they both appeared to just go through the motions as their lives are completely turned upside down. The extremes of depravity know no bounds for any character involved as JR ups the ante and depravity page after page.
The only redeeming character in the entire book is the cook who practically raised the children as her own in their traumatically abusive house hold praying that the kids would reunite and strengthen their family name even though she knew the abuses they all were forced to endure. All the twisted secrets the rich and privileged behold behind the beautiful facade that is their home.
Their relationships and interactions give way to reveal all the insanity hiding behind the beautiful faces dripping in wealth and all the plots and schemes that can be imagined and planned by those hoping to increase and hold on to that wealth.
I have some really mixed feelings as to where its all going because of the epic cliff hanger ending and what potential the book really has to continue on, there are several things I felt could have been changed and some of the plot that was placed toward the end of the book that could have been added in the middle leaving out a lot of the extra filler that seemed to drag out much of the time.
While not a lot of the story is unique a lot of it is surprising because I simply wasn't expecting the author to "go there" and yet the horrors continued on. Its interesting all the various plots JR came up with and all the insanely broken people she has created. These broken souls that are forced to endure dig into you and at the same time some of the theatrics involved in the story could have been done without. Its this heady mix of intrigue and annoyance that kept me reading. I almost fear whats to come in the next installment, because how much worse can it get? But at the same time I want to know what happens next. Is that sick of me to be drawn to want to read more or is that on behalf of the authors writing? Oddly enough even though I didn't believe in Lix and Lane as a couple I want to know what happens next, I want to know how they survive in that world and what's the deal with the finger any way? Is the mother really a drug induced veg? Really? Will Lanes father and wife get away with what they've done? Curious minds want to know.

My Rating:
4 Stars

Reviewed By: Krissy's Bookshelf Reviews

I received a print copy in exchange for an honest review from Berkley.