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review 2017-07-16 18:20
The Bourbon Kings by J.R. Ward - My Thoughts
The Bourbon Kings - J.R. Ward

Holy potboiler, Batman!  The combination of  insomnia and a book that was written to be breezed through made this book a quick read.  J.R. Ward is known for her Dark Brotherhood books that people have been raving about for years.  (I have the first one and yet to read it - but it's in paperback, not ebook, so I'm less inclined to just pick it up.)  This book is the first in a family dynasty epic, romance, mystery, soap opera trilogy.  Well, unless she decides it needs to go further.

For me, the most interesting character in this saga is the eldest brother, Edward.  He's had terrible things happen to him and he's really mostly a shell of a man when we meet him, but I couldn't tear my reading eyes from him.  Broken, beaten and more, scarred and ill - the man is a conundrum. :)

The heroine of this tale, Lizzie King, is the head horticulturist at the estate of the uber-wealthy bourbon barons, the Bradfords.  And she has history with the youngest son, Lane.  I alternated between enjoying her independent self and rolling my eyes at her silliness.  I wanted to pinch her, hard, more than once. 

Much of the book, the characters, the setting, the feel of the thing is cliché, but it's enjoyable!  The writing is okay - Ward writes for the present, lots of pop culture references that will be out of date in another 10 or less years and those inner dialogue asides that almost but not quite break the fourth wall.

I'm going to read the next book, but I will most definitely wait until it goes on sale.  I may even check out that Dark Brotherhood book I have up in the bookcase. 

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text 2017-07-14 18:19
The Bourbon Kings By J. R. Ward $1.99
The Bourbon Kings - J.R. Ward

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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review 2017-07-14 18:06
Blood Vow: Black Dagger Legacy - J.R. Ward

Book two was so much better than book one, Blood Kiss. I loved the fact that it focused a lot on Rhage and Mary so it was very much a continuation of The Beast. Definitely, read The Beast before this book. Axe and Elise were also great. They were a strong set of characters, their plot line was strong and well developed, and the conflicts kept the story moving along great. Axe was the tough guy type with a heart of gold and he believed that Elise was the "spoiled little rich girl" type but as he got to know her he comes to realize that she is his perfect match to fill the void he has had since he lost his father in the raids.  Elise has been drawn to Axe since the moment she met him and even his rough and rude edges won't keep her away from him when he is hired to be her body guard. There isn't anything I didn't like about the story or characters. The passion was great, the emotional turmoil for Rhage and Mary with their daughter Bitty was hard to watch but a great story line, love them as a couple.

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review 2017-07-08 19:03
The Beast - J.R. Ward

This one was good.  I enjoyed watching Rhage and Mary's journey to parenthood and Bity was just too cute. There was emotional tension (Rhage was seriously injured in the beginning) and he doesn't understand why there has been this distance between him and Mary until he holds L.W. then it is like he just got blindsided by the fact that he wants to be a father but knows Mary can't have any. Mary feels guilt for the fact that in the back of her mind, she fought to save Rhage not because she couldn't live without him, but rather that she didn't want to leave Bity all alone. I very much enjoyed watching Rhage and Bity together, and Assail is becoming more and more prominent in the battle against the Brotherhoods foes. The action was great, Layla does have her twins, Zcor is in the Brotherhood's custody, and the plot just flowed really well and had strong conflicts. This one was good.

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review 2017-07-08 18:47
Blood Kiss - J.R. Ward

I'm not sure what I expected from book one of the spin-off series, but this one just left me bored. Paradise and Craeg fell kind of flat for me. Their relationship wasn't as passionate as it could have been with how a BDB book typically goes, passion-wise. I wanted more. The strongest part was watching Butch and Marissa deal with some lows in their relationship. I wanted to like this but it just didn't keep my attention like I needed it to. The back story for Craeg and Axe was strong and the action on the first night of training was intense but once the 7 chosen candidates started actually training it came across almost YA-ish like we were dealing with teenagers and the romance was good just not BDB good. I hope Axe's book is better.

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