The Bourbon Kings : Bourbon Kings

  • by J. R. Ward
  • Narrated by Alexander Cendese
  • Series: Bourbon Kings
  • 12 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


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.
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- CAROLYN "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"

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.
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- Mary

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-28-2015
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio