Series: The Bourbon Kings #3
Published by Ballantine Books on August 1st 2017
Genres: Fiction, Sagas, Romance, Contemporary, Contemporary Women
Reading Challenges: 2017 COYER Summer Reading List
Buy on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks
In #1 New York Times bestselling author J. R. Ward's thrilling finale to her Bourbon Kings series, the Bradford family dynasty teeters on the edge of collapse after the murder of their patriarch--and a shocking arrest. At first, the death of William Baldwine, the head of the Bradford family, was ruled a suicide. But then his eldest son and sworn enemy, Edward, came forward and confessed to what was, in fact, a murder. Now in police custody, Edward mourns not the disintegration of his family or his loss of freedom . . . but the woman he left behind. His love, Sutton Smythe, is the only person he has ever truly cared about, but as she is the CEO of the Bradford Bourbon Company's biggest competitor, any relationship between them is impossible. And then there's the reality of the jail time that Edward is facing. Lane Baldwine was supposed to remain in his role of playboy, forever in his big brother Edward's shadow. Instead he has become the new head of the family and the company. Convinced that Edward is covering for someone else, Lane and his true love, Lizzie King, go on the trail of a killer--only to discover a secret that is as devastating as it is game-changing. As Lane rushes to discover the truth, and Sutton finds herself irresistibly drawn to Edward in spite of his circumstances, the lives of everyone at Easterly will never be the same again. For some, this is good; for others, it could be a tragedy beyond imagining. Only one thing is for certain: Love survives all things. Even murder.
Praise for J. R. Ward's Bourbon Kings series "A most sinful indulgence . . . The gorgeous Kentucky backdrop will sweep you away."--Susan Wiggs "Breathless fun!"--Lisa Gardner
The final installment in J. R. Ward’s The Bourbon Kings series tied up all the loose ends, solved a murder mystery, and gave the characters the endings they deserved. The novel was an engrossing read that I found difficult to put down, despite me wanting it to never end. J. R. Ward captivated me with the Dallas like shenanigans that the glamorous Baldwine clan got involved in. The series is straight soap opera. From the sweeping locations, the high fashions, and the sneak peeks into the life of Kentucky high society.
When we last saw the Baldwine’s, Edward confessed to murdering his father, William Baldwine, and was arrested by the police. Prodigal son Max returned just in time for dear old dad’s funeral. Gin was preparing for the possibility that her new husband’s abuse might kill her, leaving her daughter Amelia alone. Lane, the former playboy, has now found happiness with old flame Lizzie King, but now must step up into the shoes his brother Edward left behind and save his family from ruin. All of these characters’ destinies depend on the family’s bourbon company, which has fallen into bankruptcy.
I really enjoyed the Devil’s Cut. Ward tied up all the loose ends she left dangling from her two previous novels and solved the murder mystery in a believable way. The novel was filled with the usual outlandish antics, dramatic fights, and intrigue. Even though the story may come across as over the top, it’s definitely right up the alley for fans of soaps. However, there are two things that bugged me about this novel. One, I didn’t think Max was very well-developed. Two, the ending seemed very rushed.
Though mentioned from the very first novel, Max Baldwine didn’t physically appear until the end of the second book. Even then he wasn’t fleshed out much, but I didn’t mind because I figured he would in this book. Yet, there seemed to me too many loose ends to tie up that Max never got as developed as the other characters. Despite trying to provide him with his own ending, I didn’t feel as invested in his resolution as I did his siblings. That brings me to the rushed ending. I wish that there had been another chapter to wrap up this story. Everyone got the ending they deserved, but I kind of felt like a curtain was dropped over the stage while the characters were still performing the last act. This put a damper on everything I’d read before, and the characters (and readers) deserved better.