Book Chat: The Bourbon King’s by J.R. Ward + Giveaway

When a book as anticipated as The Bourbon King’s comes out we here at TBRG had to come up with something new to showcase it so we decided to read it as a book club selection and talk it like that. In case you’ve been under a rock here’s the blurb…

the bourbon kingsFor 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.


Most of the chat happened between Jeananna and Danita with Nathifa adding some. Heather didn’t like the book and didn’t make it past the first chapter, but as she puts it she never liked Falcon’s Crest, Dynasty, Dallas or any of the other shows that were similar to them so she had a hard time getting into the book.

1. Give one adjective to describe each of the characters in this book.


Lane – (beginning) detached – (midway) impassioned
Lizzie – enamoured
Edward – broken
Gin – spoiled
Samuel T – arrogant
William – callous


Lane – isolated
Lizzie – fanatical
Edward – damaged
Gin – egocentric
Samuel T – domineering
William – impassive


Lane – assertive
Lizzie – nonchalant (I did not like her)
Edward – Strong
Gin- pretentious
Samuel T – assured
William – Unemotional

2. How did you experience the book? Were you engaged immediately, or did it take you a while to “get into it”? How did you feel reading it—amused, sad, disturbed, confused, bored…?


I was engaged in the book immediately and just when you think that the family has hit a new low something else happens to another one of them! It was an incredible and horrific roller coaster that I could not look away from. At times I felt I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough, I had to find out what was going to happen next! Even the characters I despised I wanted to read about because I wanted to see them get their comeuppance.

Danita: The book had me from the beginning and I can’t say I had just one feeling while reading it as my feelings ran the gamut.

3. Describe the main characters—personality traits, motivations, inner qualities.  Why do characters do what they do? Are their actions justified?


I’m bad with remembering names in novels but I can say that the main characters cover the gamut when it comes to the different traits in human beings. We have the ‘good’ and we have the ‘evil’. Though I disapprove of the transgressions that many of the characters had I believe that we all take the path that we are meant to take and it will lead us where we are meant to be. Several of the characters are very self-centered and feel they are entitled to what they have which definitely reminds me of a few people I know and then other characters understand how important is to work for what you have. All the characters have a different moral compass which is what makes the novel work.

4. Do the main characters change by the end of the book? Do they grow or mature? Do they learn something about themselves and how the world works?

Jeananna: Our main characters do change in this book, at the beginning I feel like they were living in limbo and avoiding life, pining for each other but when they where rediscovering each other and finally committed to making things work he started to discover how actually screwed up his family and business had become. Do secondary characters change in this book? Absolutely not but that makes me excited for future books!


The characters came into their own and came to understand who they are and how they got there. They still have their flaws but are aware of them.

5. Is the plot engaging—does the story interest you? Is this a plot-driven book: a fast-paced page-turner? Or does the story unfold slowly with a focus on character development? Were you surprised by the plot’s complications? Or did you find it predictable, even formulaic?


I felt like the plot was engaging. First books in a series are usually a lot of information so that we get to know everybody. This was no exception, a lot of information is provided but it made me look forward to what’s to come.

Danita: This was the first book I’ve read by J.R. Ward so I didn’t know what to expect. When I find a book has grabbed me from page 1 and keeps me interested then it’s definitely a well written book that is both plot-driven and a page turner.

6. What passages strike you as insightful, even profound? Perhaps a bit of dialog that’s funny or poignant or that encapsulates a character? Maybe there’s a particular comment that states the book’s thematic concerns?


Lane to Lizzie: “You’re the love of my life, whether you’re with me or not.” When she looked up in shock, he just shrugged. “I can’t change what happened and I know there’s no going back… all I ask is that you don’t fall for appearances, okay? You had ten years around this family, but I’ve been with them and the people who surround them all my life. That’s why you’re the one I want. You’re real. You’re not capable of being what they are and that’s a very, very good thing.”

Lane to Lizzie: “It matters,” he said against her lips. “This matters to me even more than my family. Do you hear me, Lizzie? You have always, and will always, matter most to me.”

Miss Aurora to Lane:

“This is… your time, Lane. God has provided you with the sacred duty to keep this family together. You are the only one who can do it. This is all falling into place because it is your destiny to bind the blood once again. It happens every couple of generations. It’s happening now. This is your time.”

8. Is the ending satisfying?

Jeananna: Hell no! Not in regards to the storyline… (huge cliffhanger – which I am okay with when I know it ahead of time) But for this H/h I think that have what it takes to make it!

Danita: I felt the ending was satisfying as it left me feeling as if I had the answers to all the questions I had. The characters also seemed to have found what they were looking for when the book started.

9. If you could ask the author a question, what would you ask? Have you read other books by the same author? If so how does this book compare. If not, does this book inspire you to read others?


And if I could ask the author a question it would be when can we expect the next installment???please hurry!!!


“Was it difficult to write a novel in the contemporary genre after writing so many in the paranormal genre?” This is the first book I’ve read by this author and will go back and read her earlier books.

Nathifa’s Review:

This book is not a book I would usually try, but I was asked to read it and I wanted to try something new.  It’s amazing when you try something new and you love it.

Lizzie King, Easterly’s head gardener, has made a terrible mistake of falling in love with one of her bosses. The famous, in the lady department, Tulane Bradford, but everybody calls him Lane.  He broke her heart years ago and ran off, leaving her heart on the ground, shattered into a million pieces.

Now, someone he holds dear to him has fallen ill and he returns to the home.  Not wanting to run into him, but not seeing how it can be avoided, Lizzie tries her best to act as if everything is normal.  Normal is hard to achieve when as soon as Lane reaches home, he seeks her out, trying to get her to listen to him.

But how is Lizzie suppose to listen to the man who cheated on her and left her to find out about it in the newspapers.  No! There would be not listening to Lane and the lies he wants to tell.

Lane is frustrated that the only woman to make his heart sing refuses to listen to him.  He hates being back home, the place where his hated childhood was formed.  All he wanted to do was take care of some business he should have taken care of years ago and to leave the house.

Before he can leave, however, his sister was arrested for theft and when trying to get the money to bail her out, Lane discovers something that would affect not only his future but the future of his family as well.

Can Lane get to the bottom of this mystery?  Would Lizzie ever forgive Lane? Find out in the first installment of the Bourbon Kings Series, The Bourbon Kings.

J.R Ward wrote a book that was a filled with deception and lies.  I admit, I was not into the book at the beginning.   Lane was not easy to like at the start.  He was mean to women and to his friends.  I guess that it was expected, seeing as he grew up rich and privileged, but still, his cook brought him up better than that.

Lane did not have an easy childhood.  His father was not a warm and loving man.  In fact, it would have been much better if their father was an indifferent father to his children, but from what I’ve read, it seems as if their father got a thrill out of tormenting his children.  Especially the eldest, Edward.

This book was split up into multiple points of view.  One minute we’re seeing things from Lane’s point of view, then Lizzie’s, then Edward’s, then Gin’s, Lane’s sister, and so on and so on.  I got confused sometimes, but it was all relatively easy to follow along since the author was kind enough to put the name of the person’s whose point of view we are currently reading.

Honestly, this family was messed up.  A screw must have come loose in the father’s head, because seriously, for him to have done all of those horrible things. Plus I did not get satisfaction dealing with him, I wanted him to suffer so bad, but alas, it was not meant to be.

I could go on and on talking about this book, but I’m going to focus on the two main characters now.  Lizzie was full of herself.  Yes, it is true.  She had a handsome, rich man of the highest class, trying his best to get her attention and she thinks that she is better than him.

I applauded Lane for walking away that time when Lizzie refused to believe him.  I understood the first time, but the second time, nope.  She deserved it this time, and she has no one but herself to blame.

I know that I am confusing you with my words, but I’m trying to paint a picture of the book without giving anything way.  The main theme of this book is drama, and all you have to do to enjoy the drama of a rich family is buy the book and stick out the boring beginning.

I guarantee that you would not be disappointed.  (but if you are, please don’t blame me)

Now that you’ve read how Jeananna, Danita & Nathifa felt about this book we have a copy of this book to giveaway. To enter the giveaway just tell us why you want to read this book. **Contest is open to the U.S. only as the book will be coming from the publisher.**


  1. Karin Anderson

    I love most of her other series, so I’d enjoy trying this one out. I’ve heard good things about it, already.

  2. SnarkyMom

    I know that this was a highly anticipated book but I have to admit to being confused when I realized it was a contemporary. My sister is a HUGE JR Ward fan so to find it not be a paranormal was a shock. I have to admit to chuckling at Nathifa’s comment: “….seeing as he grew up rich and privileged, but still, his cook brought him up better than that.” LOL! I’ve got this on my TBR at Goodreads but I’m still not sure where I am with my desire to read it. Knowing it has a cliffhanger frustrates me – I DETEST cliffhangers – so Jeananna, thanks for pointing that out! Was glad to see that Danita was interested in the book from the beginning; it sounds like we are the same with being newbies to JR Ward, so it’s encouraging to me to go ahead & give it a chance seeing that someone else new to the author was caught up in the storyline! GREAT Book Club, ladies!

  3. Lacey Thach

    I love love LOVE JR Ward’s BDB series! So honestly I’ll read anything by her. I’ve been excited about The Bourbon Kings since I first heard about it and am so excited to read it! I think I’ll like the drama in it 🙂

  4. Victoria

    I’m a huge fan of JR Ward’s and I love her work… I really want to read this book because I know it will NOT disappoint and JR writes a hell of a bada$$ alpha :D! Thanks for the great giveaway 🙂

  5. Sommer

    Wow!!! This book seems intense and of course if Jeananna recommends it to me, I’m sure it’s good!!!

  6. donnas1

    Sounds great. I like that its a contemporary, been on a big contemporary kick lately and have heard nothing but good things about her books.

  7. BookLady

    I love J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood and am looking forward to reading her new contemporary release.


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