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Our Review

The Bourbon Kings was reminiscent of a sweeping, indulgent Southern aristocratic soap opera with all the drama, lies, deceit and doublecrossing on hand…and oh the grandeur of it all!

“What exactly do you want from me.”
“Anything you’ll give me.”

This really did have the feel of one of those opulent and addictive melodramatic soap operas we loved from the 80’s so it’s no surprise to hear this has already been optioned for a TV Series. We can just see this playing out on the small screen! Think Dynasty. Think Dallas. Only the Carrington’s & Ewing’s in this case are the Bradford family and oh what a tangled web they have woven for themselves.

Outwardly they seem the epitome of wealth and propriety but open those majestic front doors and what lurks behind is a family in ruins. From their mother who is so dependent on painkillers she never leaves her bed, to a father who seems to have no feelings or scruples at all.

The story mainly focuses on Lane (Tulane) Bradford Baldwine, one of the Bradford clan and Lizzie, the woman who works at their estate and who has captured his heart, though we also hear multiple pov’s throughout form Edward and Gin (Virginia) Lane’s brother and sister; Lizzie, Samuel T (a long-time family friend and the man Gin is in love with) and Sutton (the woman who has stolen Edwards heart) with each change of voice playing out like an episode of a TV show.  There is another brother, Max but we didn’t hear a whole lot of his story so he is definitely a bit of a mystery at this stage!

Wow! The drama, drama, drama! At times we were gasping and clutching our pearls! Everyone has an agenda, everything is fascinatingly effed up and nothing is as it seems. It appears there are some people to whom stooping to levels knows no bounds.

Lane and Edward were interesting characters but it was Edward’s story in particular that brought us to our knees. This man…..the tragic turn of events this man endured broke our hearts.

‘Edward was ruined now, and not just physically.’

The relationship between Lane and Miss Aurora, the housekeeper who loves Lane like a son stole our hearts. Their relationship was so sweet and tender with Miss Aurora giving Lane the love he was so starved of as a child.

“I got God…and I got you. I am rich beyond means.” Miss Aurora

There was a lot going on and much unfolding in this affluent, luxurious society and to be honest we were at times left breathless waiting for the next big reveal.

“You’re the love of my life, whether you’re with me or not.”

We enjoyed The Bourbon Kings immensely and can see ourselves becoming hooked on this series! There were times it did feel a little too dramatic but it did tantalise our gossipy tastebuds. JR Ward uses analogies to perfection to a point where we could see, hear and feel this story played out before our eyes! She brought all the opulence, wealth, secrets and scandal to life in this rich and delicious tale of treachery, love, loss and deceit and we’ll be back to see how it all unfolds when we catch up with the Bradford in the next fabulous installment!

**Reviewed from an ARC copy provided by Berkley/NAL, with thanks.**

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.

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