The Angel’s Share is the second novel in the Bourbon Kings saga about a wealthy family living in Charlemont, Kentucky. The Bradford family are struggling to maintain a facade of privilege and prosperity while secret and indiscretions threaten its very foundation.
Firstly, I had no idea that this book was the second in a series. Perhaps I mis-read the blurb. BUT, in saying that, I had no problem reading this book and following the storyline, so don’t feel discouraged when you see that this is a ‘sequel’. At the beginning of the book, there is a list of all the characters with descriptions and a paragraph explaining what has happened up until this point. I did have to flick back to that page a couple of times, but after about 100 pages I was well aware of who was who and I could follow the story easily.
The Bradford family are the centre of high society. They’re like Mr Darcy, Mr Bingley, The Van Der Woodsens and the Waldorfs all rolled into one. There are many secrets, multiple love affairs, and it’s a gorgeous, juicy, brilliant novel. The family are wealthy because of their exclusive brand of bourbon, but the head of their family and the head of the company has committed suicide and it’s starting to look more and more like murder.
This is a showcase of characters who are all sacrificing things to keep their family above water. And not just that, to keep appearances. They want people to think that their family is still stable and managing, despite the fact that Lane is desperately trying to pick up the pieces of the company and solve its financial problems. Gin’s teenage daughter is home from boarding school and has more attitude than ever, and her father is also staying at the mansion but has no idea that he is the father. Gin marries a wealthy man not because she loves him or wants to be with him, but because he’s wealthy and powerful and she needs the stability. Even though he’s horrible, and even though he abuses her. She’s brazen, courageous, sarcastic, and I can’t wait to see what happens with her character in the next novel.
No one is above suspicion over the death of William Baldwin, especially his children. Edward is physically impaired because his father arranged for his kidnap and torture in the previous book, and every one knows the bad blood between them. Could Edward have killed William?
J.R Ward is a wonderful writer. Although this novel feels slow at times, she builds suspense well and she juggles all of the characters with ease. J.R drops subtle hints along the way and she also leaves a lot of questions unanswered so that you’re forced to pick up the next novel of the series and keep reading.
I really loved this book and I highly recommend it, although perhaps pick up the first in the seriesm, The Bourbon Kings, before delving into this one. Even though you don’t need to read The Bourbon Kings in order to understand The Angel’s Share, I’m sure it would help.
Thanks to Hachette for sending me a review copy in exchange for an honest review.