the bourbon kings, by j.r. ward

the bourbon kingsWow! I read this book in 2 days. I picked it up and couldn’t put it down. This is a new contemporary series by J. R. Ward that I heard is going to become a t.v. series–congrats to The Warden!

Ward describes The Bourbon Kings as a cross between Downton Abbey and Dynasty and that about nails it. Then again, she wrote the book, so she should know.

Lane Baldwine is from old money; old Kentucky bourbon money. Lizzie is the lead horticulturist for the family’s sprawling estate–Easterly. Two years ago, lies tore them apart and Lane fled to New York, not to return–until a family emergency brings him home. Now he’s back, just when Lizzie was almost over him.

There are more lies and secrets anew now that Lane has returned to Easterly. His older brother Edward, has distanced himself from the family after an awful life-altering tragedy. Gin, the only Baldwine daughter, is such a misguided self-preservationist that she sells her soul to the highest bidder. And then there’s William, the patriarch of the family, who is as cruel and ruthless as J.R. Ewing and shows no remorse for any of his actions.

Ward is a master of weaving multiple storylines together and she does so seamlessly in this tale. There’s intrigue and drama up to the very last page. The plot is well-written, though we do see a lot of cliché’s throughout its telling. And while there is some predictability, there is enough originality to keep the reader interested–not to mention all of the loose ends that are yet to be tied up.

Personally, I can’t wait for this story to come to the small screen. In the meantime, the next chapter in this hit series, The Angels’ Share, comes out on July 26.


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closer than you think, by karen rose

closer than you thinkUGH!!! That’s pretty much how I feel about this book. Closer Than You Think is the first Karen Rose book I have ever read and I have to say, it will probably be the last. Which is disappointing on so many levels because she has a series set in Baltimore, which is where I currently reside.

This book was not poorly written. The characters were likable. The plot was interesting. This sincerely could have been a 4-bookmark book, except… My single biggest gripe–it was entirely too long. It was 624 pages on my Nook and could’ve been a great read if it were literally half that length. Can you say editor, please? Let’s dive in…

Deacon is an incredibly cool FBI agent and liaison with the local police, and has a unique look all his own. He’s recently moved back to Cincinnati from Baltimore to help his doctor sister, Dani, raise their younger brother, Greg, who is a deaf teenager having a hard time living with their aunt and uncle. Deacon’s Cincinnati police officer cousin Adam, helped Deacon get his job/transfer, though something is going on with Adam–he’s very angry and resentful of Deacon–but we never find out what exactly the issue is.

Faith, a psychiatrist, is on the run from a sex offender she used to counsel and helped put in jail. He’s attacked her multiple times and she’s just moved from Miami back to Cincinnati where she grew up. She’s also just inherited a house that has clearly upset someone in her family, though her twin uncles claim neither have an interest in the estate. Throw in Faith’s mother’s suspicious death; her mistrust of police because of her past, including her police officer ex-husband, and you almost forget that the main plot is supposed to be about a serial killer who’s on the loose. Only you can’t forget, because essentially, everyone in the book is a suspect so then you’re just confused.

There were so many sub-plots and suspects that I was exhausted reading this book before I was even halfway through. (I also attempted to explain it to a friend of mine over breakfast this past weekend and she stopped me after I was 2 minutes in because it as so convoluted.) It was one thing after another on top of another. This is a new series for Rose and the 2nd installment is due out next year. Needless to say, I will not be reading it.


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