Book Review: The Bourbon Kings Series – by J.R. Ward

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Sexy, Sultry, Dynasty meets the surprisingly cutthroat world of the Bourbon Industry!  I’ll be honest with you, I was very hesitant to read this series.  J.R. Ward is the beloved author of the Black Dagger Brotherhood.  She has kept me up far into the night in the world of vampire warriors.  But she took a break from her sexy vampires, and decided to write a trilogy inspired by her current home in Kentucky. 

I just wasn’t sure how she would do with real men and real-life.  I was afraid it would be boring when no one was bitten or staked.  But wow!  Was I just completely wrong.  This was just a wonderfully written story that I really wish would have been expanded on.  So many characters I would have loved to learn more about.  And I don’t even like bourbon!

This trilogy is set in Kentucky and is about a family famous for their bourbon distillery as well as their scandals.  It centers around the three brothers and baby sister.  We have a playboy who’s fallen in love with the help (gasp!) but married the debutante as the family wants.  We have the oldest son who was kidnapped and tortured for ransom and now wants nothing to do with the bourbon industry and spends his days a shell of man lost in a bottle but hopelessly in love with the family’s main competitor.  We have a brother who doesn’t even show himself until book three because he just can’t begin to handle the family.  Dark and mysterious but drawn back for the love of his life.  Then the baby sister.  What a mess that one is!  You will hate her.  She is the poster child of the rich and pampered.  So many bad decisions.  As her character developed I tried to keep hating her because she did some truly awful things, but in the end she won me over.  The one character I guarantee everyone will love is the mom.  Of course, not the real mom; but the head cook for the family.  She is one of the most vibrant characters and she keeps everyone in line while supplying much needed love to a very toxic family.

If just the fun group of characters isn’t enough, this trilogy has murder, fraud, tawdry affairs, suicide, car accidents, fights, theft, arrests, and domestic violence.  With lots of questions of whose the dad, mistaken identities with prostitutes, and countless run ins with the law, its like Jerry Springer for the rich and famous.  But in the heart of these four siblings is a fierce love and loyalty for one another and the ones they truly love.  And they will fight all the odds to get their beloved Bourbon Distillery back.  So yeah, no one was bitten or staked, but J.R. Ward definitely proved she can write anything!

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