Thursday, 1 September 2016

Review ~ The Angels' Share (The Bourbon Kings #2) by JR Ward

Book Description:

#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?

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Our Review:

Reviewed by Donna ~ 4 stars

“The angels had to have their share, however, as was their right and their due.”

After The Bourbon Kings my head was a mess trying to piece together who was related to who, who was interconnected and who had slept with who etc. So much was packed into that book but it is now that I appreciate it. This series is literally like Dallas on speed and after the many many layers of foundations were laid in The Bourbon Kings, The Angel’s Share was not so frenetic and so made this a compelling, easy read. This book is literally the fallout from The Bourbon Kings, the ramifications and yet even more conspiracy theories, arrests and potential bankruptcy.

“A reversal of fortune is a social disease with no inoculation. Nobody came.”

Thanks to the death of William Baldwine, the Baldwine legacy is hanging on by a thread. The family finances are in dire straits and with loans being called in Lane has to fight to keep their current predicament out of the press all the while trying to find money he just doesn’t have. Calling in favours left right and centre, his forensic friend is going through the financials trying to find where the money has gone and it is no easy feat. It is a painstakingly long task and one that Lane just doesn’t have the time for but is a necessary evil. It seems though William Baldwine is still casting a black cloud from beyond the grave as more secrets are revealed and a lot more “other stuff” comes out of the woodwork, but my lips are sealed.

“Don’t try to own problems or faults that aren’t yours. It’s not a good long-term strategy.”

Lane and Lizzie really cement themselves as a couple throughout this book and they are each other’s anchor in very stormy seas, but their love is so strong that these two could weather anything. Lane really steps up to the plate in this book as the family are depending on him, something that he never saw coming and deep down never knew he wanted.

“…And fight to keep the company going. And fight to keep the house and the land of his ancestors. And fight for his family. He was a warrior. He had learned that the hard way. He had earned that title the hard way.”

Edward’s story just gets more and more upsetting and this is one Baldwine that I desperately want to know more about. His story is heart breaking and as his story unfolds you cannot help but become more and more invested. His past is full of evil and dark and has stripped him of everything he once had, all at the hands of his father. Once the heir to the Baldwine legacy, Edward feels incredibly alone and unworthy of anyone and everything. All he sees are his scars, not the selfless human being underneath and it seems his acts of selflessness are not yet finished.

“How codependent of you…But I’ve be tortured for eight days by people who were going to kill me, and in my case, that is not hyperbole. If you think there is anything that you can do to get me attention, you are delusional.”

Gin Baldwine, the prodigal daughter, I couldn’t stand her in the first book. She was a typical “princess” who thought the world owed her a living and treated her “servants” like slaves and something she scraped off the bottom of her shoe. Gin finally grows up in The Angel’s Share, it seems that she finally has the nous to do something for herself even though you can see it only bringing more trouble in the long run. Her daughter however is intriguing and I cannot wait to see how she fits into this story going forward. However, Gin and Samuel T, holy chemistry, I just want these two to get it on finally and their biggest skeleton to finally come out of the closet.

“You’re better than this. You deserve better than this… You’re priceless, Gin, no matter what’s in your bank account.”

Overall this was an addictive read and one that I actually couldn’t put down. JR Ward really captivates the reader with this Southern soap opera and a family that is so screwed up that you cannot believe it is real. But, that is the funny thing, I bet this has happened and does happen all the time. With wealth people lose themselves, how much is enough? People lose their identities only being measured by their bank accounts and social standing and that constant pressure of being better than Tom, Dick or Harry leads to dubious decisions and all scruples and morals being thrown out of the window. This is what JR Ward brings to the table, effortlessly. I can see this as a TV programme and as much I looked forward to the Alexis and Krystle fights I can see the Baldwine’s giving them a run for their money. Never mind who shot JR, who killed William Baldwine?

“We are permanently altered. If we are lucky and we are smart and we are freed at the right time, we are improved. If we are aged too long, we are ruined forever. Timing, like fate, is everything.”

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