Published by NAL on July 26th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Reading Challenges: COYER Summer Vacation
Buy on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks
#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?
The Angels’ Share is the second installment in J.R. Ward’s newest series, The Bourbon Kings, and picks up a short while after the events in the first novel. The Bradford patriarch has died, and now the family must put his body to rest. However, his demise is just one of the family’s problems. It looks as if dear old dad was murdered, and everyone is a suspect. Add to that the dire financial situation the family finds themselves in, and the stakes are even higher than anyone every thought.
I really enjoyed this one. In fact, I think I loved it more than the first novel. The character development was a lot better, and the story seemed better thought out. Lane and Lizzie’s relationship seemed more believable, and became one I could root for. However, this book was really Edward-centric. The eldest Bradford child is still battling the bottle, and his love for Sutton. It was great to see him get more story this time around, as I found him to be the most interesting character in The Bourbon Kings. Aside from Edward and Lane, Gin and Samuel T’s storyline picked up a lot of steam as well. I can’t wait to see what Ward has in store for them, and hope they become the focus of the 3rd novel.
The Bradfords aren’t the only characters that got action this time around. Jeff, Lane’s former roommate, is at the estate combing through the company’s finances. He and Lane have some very interesting scenes together, and I think he’ll become a bigger character in later installments. Jeff isn’t the only one getting moved towards the forefront of this exciting world. Mac, the company distiller, and Maxwell, the youngest Bradford sibling, both make appearances. Both men are fleshed out more, and in terms of Maxwell, will undoubtedly have larger, exciting storylines in the future as well. I, for one, can’t wait to see what the supposed “wildest” Bradford may have up his sleeve.
This contemporary romance series is very soap operaesque. There are lots of characters who do outlandish things, and have over-the-top reactions to events. As a long-time soap fan, I love it! Even if you aren’t a fan of soap operas, you might still want to check out this series. It’s an easy ready with an exciting story, and a great cast of characters, making it a wonderful beach read. The Devil’s Cut, the third novel will be released in 2017.