In Charlemont, Kentucky, the Bradford family is the crème de la crème of high society—just like their exclusive brand of bourbon. And their complicated lives and vast estate are run by a discrete staff who inevitably become embroiled in their affairs. This is especially true now, when the apparent suicide of the family patriarch is starting to look more and more like murder…
No one is above suspicion—especially the eldest Bradford son, Edward. The bad blood between him and his father is known far and wide, and he is aware that he could be named a suspect. As the investigation into the death intensifies, he keeps himself busy at the bottom of a bottle—as well as with his former horse trainer’s daughter. Meanwhile, the family’s financial future lies in the perfectly manicured hands of a business rival, a woman who wants Edward all to herself.
Everything has consequences; everybody has secrets. And few can be trusted. Then, at the very brink of the family’s demise, someone thought lost to them forever returns to the fold. Maxwell Bradford has come home. But is he a savior…or the worst of all the sinners?
The Bourbon Kings ended with the mystery of the patriarch’s death; consequently laying the foundation for this installment. And since this is JR Ward, I didn’t expect that death to be the only story arch in this book. There was the ongoing saga of Gin’s trainwreck of a life; the lingering pest that was Lane’s ex-wife, and the long-lost brother who decided to show up for the funeral. But where has he been? If you’ve read the first book and are dying to know, you won’t get your answer, unfortunately. Not to be outdone, Edward -scarred and battle-worn as he was, struggle with his feelings for two women: one, a long time family adversary, and another, a young ranch helper left in his care.
So the patriarch is dead. And the suspicion fell heavily on one of the Bradfords. Particularly, the eldest son. The long tumultuous history between Edward and his father went as far back as when he was only a child himself. Cumulating to when Edward was abducted for ransom in South America only to find out that his father orchestrated it all. To say the two had bad blood is putting it mildly.
No one is free of guilt and Tulane can also be a suspect if revenge is the name of the game. After all, their father had an affair with his soon-to-be ex-wife, who, by the way, is carrying his father’s child. So his enemy is a mile-long list. The majority of the book was also about the non-existent family fortune. It turns out that millions of millions of dollars have swindled by their father. Close to being destitute, the burden now rests on Tulane’s shoulders since Edward wants nothing to do with the family and Maxwell is still MIA.
The majority of the book was also about the non-existent family fortune. It turns out that millions of millions of dollars have been swindled by their father. Close to being destitute, the burden now rests on Tulane’s shoulders since Edward wants nothing to do with the family.
The plot thickens.
JR Ward has kept up the same pace with The Bourbon Kings. Lots of intrigues and mysteries; excess and gossip. Lane and Lizzie are working hard to keep their heads above the water, but it’s been a constant struggle. In this instalment, we also see a change in Gin’s and Samuel’s attitudes toward the other. I’m glad to see it, as they were exhausting in the first book. They finally realize how destructive they’ve been and that perhaps now was not their time. We also see a bit more clarity with the Edward/Shelby, Edward/Sutton quasi-love triangle. I’m glad it didn’t go the way I thought it was going to go. But oh, man. Things are not going to end well for dear Edward but I’m keeping fervent hope that it’ll all workout.
Folks, this is the kind of soap opera I could waste my brain on.
I can’t wait to see Lane bring their family fortune from the brink.
I can’t wait to find out where Maxwell has been all this time.
I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen to Edward.
And lastly, I can’t wait to see Gin and Samuel’s song and dance come to an end.