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The Bourbon Kings
by J.R. Ward

Published: 2015-07-28
Hardcover : 432 pages
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The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Black Dagger Brotherhood delivers the first novel in an enthralling new series set amid the shifting dynamics of a Southern family defined by wealth and privilege—and compromised by secrets, deceit, and scandal....

For generations, the ...
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Introduction

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Black Dagger Brotherhood delivers the first novel in an enthralling new series set amid the shifting dynamics of a Southern family defined by wealth and privilege—and compromised by secrets, deceit, and scandal....

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.

Editorial Review

An Amazon Best Book of August 2015: A modern-day Southern family that’s far too rich for its own good, every year the Baldwines cement their titanic social status with a fancy Derby brunch at their estate for 700 of their closest friends. Just before this year’s event, the return of prodigal son Lane from self-inflicted exile sets off a chain of events that yanks family skeletons out of the closet and thrusts each family member out of his or her familiar orbit, spinning them toward disaster.

A Yankee transplanted to the south, J. R. Ward describes wealthy southerners and their eccentric habits with the clear-eyed affection that only an outsider brings, evoking memories of John Berendt’s spot-on details in Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. With The Bourbon Kings, Ward has stepped out of her own orbit of penning bestselling paranormal romances, and readers will be glad they’ve taken this journey with her. Secret babies, shocking affairs, fiery racehorses, battling bourbon empires, a despicable family patriarch, and an unfortunately-timed suicide (or is it murder?) are just a few of the wild cards Ward throws into the mix, delivering mayhem among the moneyed crowd in this tremendously fun read. – Adrian Liang

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