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The Bourbon Kings Audiobook

The Bourbon Kings

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Publisher's Summary

The number-one New York Times best-selling author of 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.

From the Hardcover edition.

©2015 J. R. Ward (P)2015 Penguin Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (1504 )
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  •  
    Mary 07-31-15
    Mary 07-31-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Just Ok"

    Normally I'm a fan of JR Ward and the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Decided to give this a try but found the characters to be just OK. Didn't really get invested in any of them. The narrator's voice was annoying when acting the female characters parts, making them all sound like whiners.

    40 of 42 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cyndi Marie Michigan 07-31-15
    Cyndi Marie Michigan 07-31-15 Member Since 2016

    Addicted to any type of Romance/Erotica audio books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Guess it's just not for me....."

    Dallas Anyone???I was so excited waiting for this release but was disappointed by the narration and the story in general. It was like reading an episode of Dallas. The story was mostly about a very rich southern family and all the ways they are messed up. The characters were all cold and all about themselves, I didn't connect with any of them. There really wasn't much in the way of romance either, yes there was a love story side line but it was very unemotional and not hot at all. The narration was very monotone and his voice wasn't meant for female narration. Maybe I just had to high of expectations because it was JR Ward but needless to say I won't be continuing with this series.

    34 of 36 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katheryne MD, United States 08-30-15
    Katheryne MD, United States 08-30-15 Member Since 2015

    Busy mom who loves to read but doesn't always have the time. I enjoy YA, Romance and the occasional Best Seller.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Yes it's Dallas with Bourbon but I loved it"

    No it's not the Brothers or even the Fallen Angels but I still loved this new JR Ward series. Yes, it was a little cheesy like Dallas - but hey, I don't need real life heartache and drama. I like over-the-top fantasy - it is FICTION after all. If I wanted reality I would write my own book. I love Wards writing style and this one did not disappoint. If she keeps writing 'em I'll keep buying.

    29 of 31 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CAROLYN newark, New Jersey, United States 07-29-15
    CAROLYN newark, New Jersey, United States 07-29-15 Member Since 2016

    I love being swept away by a new romance and thankfully Audible's ever growing Library means I get to indulge myself over and over again

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "JRW OPENS THE DOORS TO HER SWEEPING SOAP SAGA"

    This is the introduction of the Kentucky Bradford family - a very wealthy, privileged and influential Southern family made up of several dysfunctional characters ruined by their heartless, mean, cruel and manipulative Father. This listen is like a Dallas type Soap Opera and slowly introduces you to the the cast of players..... the Father, three of the four Bradford siblings Edward,Tulane (aka Lane) and the only daughter Gin, Tulane's bitchy Southern Belle wife, Lizzie the love of Tulane's life and ex girlfriend and other various lovers and characters. It's rich in descriptive details of the Palatial Mansion, the opulence and indulgence, the upstairs/downstairs roles of the staff and the toxic feelings encountered within those walls. It occasionally flashes back in time to show just what an awful abusive childhood the siblings had at the hands of their Father.

    I've been a fan of J R Ward for many years with her Black Dagger Brotherhood of Vampires, her Fallen Angels series and her standalone listens and with all of them you feel the passion, the romance, the chemistry between all the characters and the love however I didn't feel any of it with this listen. I was so conflicted because as this saga slowly unfolds on the one hand it goes from one depressing drama to another... with both brothers constantly drinking or are drunk, one brother is disfigured, disabled and disillusioned, three cases of lost loves, threats and catastrophic lies, a not very descriptive sex scene and a rape scene. Yet, on the other hand I can see that this is a very intricate and deep foundation of an ever growing and more addictive storyline which includes the Bradford Bourbon Company's shaky future, embezzlement and disappearing funds, accusations, mysteries, secrets, lies, suicide, murder, where is Max the fourth sibling and many other sub plots. However, the bigger focus is on the delicate relationship between the reluctant Hero Lane and the love of his life Lizzie and will she ever forgive him.

    Worth a credit? Told from multiple POV's, a good narrator who had to tackle many different dialects and both male and female voices and a storyline that had a little romance but plenty of angst, heartache, complex characters with broken spirits, twists/turns, drama and, although it didn't leave me with that 'feel good' feeling, it did leave me looking forward to what's going to happen in the next instalment for the Bradford siblings. Yes creditworthy so long as you're not expecting the typical J R Ward listen or a straightforward sexy romance.

    43 of 49 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandi Hardinsburg, IN, United States 07-31-15
    Sandi Hardinsburg, IN, United States 07-31-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Bourbon, intrigue, betrayal & love-a PERFECT recipe!"

    This story is something of a departure for Ward and its a brilliant beginning to what promises to be an intriguing and complex storyline. As someone who works in Louisville in the world defined by bourbon and The Derby, I must say "The Warden" has nailed it! While the story has all the elements of the traditional "romance novel" the story has so much more to offer; anyone who has ever stood in a line hoping for a chance to buy THAT collectible bottle of bourbon-cough, Pappy Van W,cough-will find this fictitious family's business backstory interesting. The information on the challenges and realities of bourbon production and distribution are spot-on and offer an insiders perspective to the making of a product with a rich culture and heritage that is uniquely Kentucky. Wards strong characters -even the caricature ones-shine a light on the struggle to maintain historical ties of southern identity while adapting to an ever-changing society. A very worthy read indeed.

    13 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sweetpea77 08-04-15
    sweetpea77 08-04-15
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    "Extreme Disappointment from a long JR Ward Lover!"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Someone who hasn't ever been introduced to Ward's BDB series, or her FA series. Someone who isn't from the South and can handle the terrible "drawl" of the narrators voice, which didn't change from character to character. Each male character sounded like the same person, hard to distinguish between them, and each female character sounded like the same character also.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    I am not sure yet. Something that will make up for this disappointing listen


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Alexander Cendese?

    I'm not sure. He has a nice tenor to his voice, but his accent and nuances for this book were terrible.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    honestly, no. I was rolling my eyes throughout the whole book. The characters were hard to like and feel connected to.


    Any additional comments?

    Just extremely disappointed in the book and narration both. The characters were hard to like, not really any "fleshing" out of them. Normally JR Wards books stand out as WOW, that's one heck of a plot. This one I've already tried to forget. It was boring and exactly like thousands of other stories out there.

    22 of 28 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jacqueline 08-08-15
    Jacqueline 08-08-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Great start!"

    Exhilarating,great, I love the series already! Do not change the narrator please.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Not disappointed at all . Hurry up with book 2,

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ginger 08-07-15
    Ginger 08-07-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Was different"

    I didn't know what to expect when I got this book, I have enjoyed all of the black dagger brotherhood books and the fallen angels, even have earlier books. This one is different, is about a rich southern family, with a greedy, mean and very obnoxious father, 3 sons, you are only introduced to 2, but it's shows the selflessness of the one brother who tried to get away,but is dragged back in by his fathers greed and his older brother who has been abandoned and destroyed by the same father's greed and his self righteousness.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer B 08-06-15
    Jennifer B 08-06-15
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    "Great read!"

    Worth your time if you need a good book! Highly recommend it! Fell in love with the characters right off the bat!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Renee GLENDALE, AZ, United States 08-06-15
    Renee GLENDALE, AZ, United States 08-06-15 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "J.R. Ward has done it again!"
    Any additional comments?

    J.R. Ward has done it again. The Bourbon Kings introduces us to the Bradford family of Kentucky, giving us just enough information about each character to draw us firmly into their lives, loves, and losses. As owners of a very large, very prestigious distillery they appear to have the world by the tail. Envied by many they reside on their beautiful Kentucky estate, Easterly and, as we step into their world, are preparing for their annual Derby Day fete. Little does anyone know how precarious their world truly is.

    Though this book introduces us to the entire Bradford family, I feel the main focus falls on Tulane Bradford (Lane), the second son, and the love of his life, Lizzie King. Lizzie happens to be the head horticulturist at Easterly. Working class, not moneyed or from an 'old' family. She, in fact, is not even a Kentuckian, residing on a small farm of her own just across the state line in Indiana. Two years ago Lizzie and Lane were passionately involved with each other, up until Lane's former girlfriend showed up on Easterly's doorstep, pregnant and claiming Lane is the father. The Kentucky gentleman that he is, Lane married her, then promptly moved, alone, to New York to get away from her. The illness of Easterly's long-time cook, and the woman who actually loved and raised the Bradford children, has brought Lane home again. Back to his family, his wife, and to Lizzie. It has also thrown him into the middle of the absolute chaos that the family business has become.

    The book is rife with page-turning mysteries, heart-pounding discoveries, and mirror-steaming love scenes. Written as only J.R. Ward can, the story is clear, concise, and compelling; taking you into the Bradford's world of money and privilege and everything that goes along with it. The narrator, Alexander Cendese, is spot-on and made this story flow smoothly, like fine Kentucky Bourbon, from start to finish.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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