Standalone – a sweeping and addictive story of betrayal, revenge and greed
When Cooper McQueen wakes up from a night with a beautiful stranger, it’s to discover he’s been robbed. The only item stolen—a million-dollar bottle of bourbon. The thief, a mysterious woman named Paris, claims the bottle is rightfully hers. After all, the label itself says it’s property of the Maddox family who owned and operated Red Thread Bourbon distillery since the last days of the Civil War until the company went out of business for reasons no one knows… No one except Paris.
In the small hours of a Louisville morning, Paris unspools the lurid tale of Tamara Maddox, heiress to the distillery that became an empire. But the family tree is rooted in tainted soil and has borne rotten fruit. Theirs is a legacy of wealth and power, but also of lies, secrets and sins of omission. The Maddoxes have bourbon in their blood—and blood in their bourbon. Why Paris wants the bottle of Red Thread remains a secret until the truth of her identity is at last revealed, and the century-old vengeance Tamara vowed against her family can finally be completed.
Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte
‘Perfection was for heaven, and when you tried to bring perfection to earth, you paid a heavy price. A perfect face withered with age. A perfect love died from neglect. Bourbon was a perfect spirit, which was why the angels took so much of it while it aged.’
What a story! What a deliciously intoxicating, riveting, breathtaking and intriguing story of revenge, greed, betrayal, lies, lust and secrets. A sweeping saga that felt so decadent, so enthralling we couldn’t pause for a minute, hanging on Paris’s every word right along with Cooper McQueen engulfed in this tale of opulence and tradition right until the very end.
Not once did we feel as though we were spectators in this story. We were there….perched forward, waiting for more, urging Paris on, desperately wanting to hear her recount the story relating to a bottle of Bourbon that held more history, pain and heartache than one small bottle should.
‘Daddy liked to say the Devil owed him a debt and Momma was how Satan paid him back.’
Tiffany Reisz is an awe inspiring author of that there is no doubt. Her exceptionally vivid prose and her impeccable use of metaphors ensured we felt every emotion, lived every painful moment as this story unfolded. Her words as smooth as the expensive bourbon of which she writes flowed effortlessly over the page. She is the Monet of the written word; so evocative, realistic, picturesque and beautiful was her prose. Not a supplementary word was written in this magnificent story.
“I didn’t know who I was before you. I don’t know who I would be after. But while I was with you, I knew myself.”
It all starts with a meeting between the mysterious Paris and Bourbon Baron Cooper McQueen which sees a moment of passion ensue at Coopers sweeping mansion. It soon takes on something much more when Paris is caught stealing a rare bottle of Red Thread Bourbon from Coopers private collection worth over a million dollars. But why did she steal it? That’s the million dollar question!
“Are you scared?”
“Scared? Scared of you?”
“Of what I’m telling you? Are you scared of this story?”
Instead of turning her over to the police, Paris tells Cooper why she stole the Bourbon, the history of the bourbon and the Maddox Family saga behind the Red Thread distillery, a history spanning 150 years and WHAT A STORY IT IS! So many twists, turns, lies and deceit lined the halls of Arden house, the family home of the Maddox’s, with moments that left us completely open mouthed with shock. Oh yeah, there were some things we did not see coming!
“We tell ourselves lies to survive when we know the truth will kill us.”
“It didn’t kill you.”
Paris begins to tell the love story between the 16 year old Tamara Maddox and 28 year old stable hand, Levi Shelby who is of mixed race and who Tamara is very smitten with. What unfolds is a heartbreaking, pulsating and gripping tale with every emotion being elicited from us.
‘The one-drop rule had never made any sense to him. If one drop of black blood made you black, why didn’t one drop of white blood make you white? And hadn’t anyone noticed yet that everybody’s blood was red?’
We lived and breathed this story and we’re loathed to divulge any more than we have already done because you need to learn the secrets as they unfold in order to experience every revelation as it comes to light, to do otherwise would be a travesty to this authors words.
“Fate is just another name for a train that cannot stop until it reaches its final destination.”
We could feel the golden bourbon slipping down our throats, smell its sweetness, feel the tangible humidity in the air, and breathe in the atmospheric beauty Tiffany Reisz created, becoming swept up in an exquisite family legend that left us mesmerized and riveted to the spot. An absolute hands down 5 star indulgent and captivating read!
“A family with bourbon in its blood and blood on its hands.”
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