Also by this author: The Shadows, The Bourbon Kings, Blood Kiss (Black Dagger Legacy, #1), The Bourbon Kings (The Bourbon Kings #1), The Beast (A Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood), The Chosen (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #15), Devil's Cut (The Bourbon Kings, #3), Blood Vow (Black Dagger Legacy, #2), Prisoner of Night (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #16.5), The Savior (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #17), The Sinner (Black Dagger Brotherhood #19), The Jackal (Black Dagger Brotherhood: Prison Camp, #1; Black Dagger Legacy, #5), A Warm Heart in Winter (Black Dagger Brotherhood #18.5), Lover Unveiled (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #19), Lover Arisen (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #20)
Series: The Bourbon Kings #2
Published by Penguin Audio, NAL on July 26th 2016
Genres: Literary Fiction, Family Saga
#1 New York Times bestselling author J. R. Ward delivers the second novel in her Bourbon Kings series—a sweeping saga of a Southern dynasty struggling to maintain a façade of privilege and prosperity, while secrets and indiscretions threaten its very foundation… 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?
#TheAngelsShare #KentuckyBourbon #JRWard #BourbonKingsSeries @JRWard1 @alexcendese @PenguinAudio
Do you like soap operas? Did you love those trashy, but gripping, family sagas Dallas, Falcon Crest, and The Carringtons? Do you love a series with lots of characters who live, love, laugh, cry, sin, and occasionally redeem themselves from chapter to chapter? Then grab yourself a copy of The Angels’ Share, book 2 in J.R. Ward’s Bourbon Kings series. This book is just as detailed and complex as book 1, The Bourbon Kings. There are plots and subplots with characters who have HEA’s, characters who can’t possibly have HEA’s, and characters who could have HEA’s if they would only learn not to shoot themselves in the foot. There is money earned, money stolen or lost, and there is money hidden away. There are characters who are evil, characters who are good, characters who are slutty, and characters who are good even though they’re slutty. See? I told you! A real soap opera!
J.R. Ward’s latest visit to the Bradford-Baldwine family of Charlemont, Kentucky is going to be one of those books I referred to in last week’s review as being elevated above the written word by the performance of its narrator Alexander Cendese. Not that I didn’t like the story . . . I liked it very much, but the smooth Southern drawl with which Mr. Cendese performs the book just took it to a higher level for me. His accent was authentic without being redneck and since I was born and raised in the South, I know authentic when I hear it. I loved the fact that Mr. Cendese not only read each character’s dialogue with the appropriate accent, but he also read the narrative with such a sweet Southern cadence it was hard for me to remember that “he’s not from around here.” In addition to being taken with his Southern accent, I had to smile every time he spoke as Lane Baldwine’s friend and shanghaied accountant, Jeff Stern. Mr. Cendese nailed that New Jersey accent and accurately portrayed Jeff as the smart, funny, irreverent man the author wrote.
There are many things to like about The Angels’ Share. I especially like the way J.R. Ward ended this book in a way that leaves her readers wanting and anticipating more from the characters, but without one of those annoying cliffhangers that make me want to push the author off a cliff. There’s no excuse for that. A book with an unsatisfying ending is, well . . . unsatisfying. It doesn’t have to be an HEA. It doesn’t have to be a perfectly solved crime. All the loose ends don’t have to be tied up in a neat little package and carried off into the sunset by a man on a white horse. What it needs to be is “The End” not “What the heck?” I think J.R. Ward shares at least one distinctive quality with all the gifted series writers. She has the ability to keep her readers coming back, not out of necessity to see what’s at the bottom of the cliff, but because she’s engaged them with the characters and the story. There is one “hmmm” moment I feel compelled to mention. A pivotal scene in the drama is a high stakes poker game played toward the end of the book. I am not a poker player, but my expert consultants, Lover Yesi and her husband JJ, think the author’s version of the Texas Hold ‘Em game is improbable in reality. There could be a number of explanations for this: it could be an editing or beta reading glitch, it could be artistic license, or it could be that one of my favorite characters, a lady named Miss Aurora Toms, has a direct conduit to God! ? So…with that teaser, I encourage you to treat yourself to the audio version of The Angels’ Share and prepare to be captivated by this latest installment in The Bourbon Kings.