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Review: The Angel’s Share by J.R. Ward

51iCub-gw1LThe Angel’s Share by J.R Ward
Genre: Drama, mystery, romance,
Publisher: NAL
Date: July 26, 2016

The Bradford family knows three things: Bourbon, Money, and Drama. They haven’t lacked in any of them over the years. But something big is happening and no one is going to escape it unscathed. Especially not Lane Bradford  the family rebel who returned  home to find anything but the status quo. Through a series of events that would make the Ewing family’s cowboy hats fairly shrivel up in shock. The Bradford family is going to have to make some serious adjustments to their lives.

If you haven’t read the first book in the series, The Bourbon Kings,  you may want to halt here and go check that one out. The reality is that you can pick up the series right here without too much difficulty, but if you are like me and you want to start from the beginning, you’ll want to get the Bourbon Kings first. If not, this review might spoil that one for you.

Still here? Excellent!

When we last left our intrepid hero, Lane Bradford, he was juggling some major changes in his life. Always as separate from the Bradford clan as he could manage without losing his trust fund, he’d spent years avoiding family drama and politics. But at the end of book one, he’s practically drowning in it. The family fortune is in jeopardy. The business might have to close shop for the first time in over 200 years. His sister’s about to marry an obnoxiously rude but very rich southern playboy to make their father happy. Oh and his father is dead. He jumped off a bridge – leaving Lane to pick up the pieces. Unfortunately, that last sentence is pretty literal as, in the end of the book, a finger with the senior Bradford’s ring on it has been found underneath his mother’s window.

So who killed the King of Bradford Bourbon? And is there someone else on their list? Can  Lane keep the company together and moving forward?

The story unfolds in the rolling hills of Kentucky where tradition doesn’t just live – it was born there and the roots run deep. Society has rules. For decades the Bradfords have not just lived by those rules, they created many of them. So as things begin to unravel, the drama is rich, multifaceted, and its everywhere. There’s no escaping it. This plot, in fact, runs, just as fast and deep as those traditions. It’s fast paced and  honestly, there are moments you might really feel for Lane because there is little to no time to catch your breath before the next revelation comes along.

J.R. Ward had created a wonderfully flawed, rich, obnoxious family with just enough long-suffering characters that you can’t truly hate them.  As much as you may dislike Ginny, Edward, Maxell or even Lane, there are moments that you cheer just as much for them.

The mystery is twisty, exciting and surprising even  if you did pick out the culprit early on. The reveal is just surprising enough to still make you shake your head.

I loved this second book in the Bourbon Kings series. I have no idea if there are more books planned, but if there are, count me in. This series is exactly what a guilty summer pleasure read should be!