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Devil's Cut: A Bourbon Kings Novel (The…
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Devil's Cut: A Bourbon Kings Novel (The Bourbon Kings) (edition 2017)

by J. R. Ward (Author)

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937193,085 (4)1
Member:purpledog
Title:Devil's Cut: A Bourbon Kings Novel (The Bourbon Kings)
Authors:J. R. Ward (Author)
Info:Ballantine Books (2017), 416 pages
Collections:Fiction, To read, Wishlist
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Devil's Cut by J. R. Ward

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
I had been dying to get the final book in this series. I have been hooked on it since I started the series. I love when a book ends on a cliffhanger and leaves me in suspense. The buildup and wait for what happens next is part of the fun in reading stories like this.

This book definitely did not disappointed. There were answers given to questions that I hadn't even thought of. The who, when, where, why... It was all enthralling.

From the start of this series to the end, we get to see each character learn and grow. The character development and changes the characters go through are a big part in what made this series such an entertaining and enjoyable story to read.

Characters I despised in the first two books got some sympathy from me in this book. The heroes from the start won me over all over again.

Kudos to J.R.. She really did outdo herself in this final book of the Bourbon Kings. It was well worth the wait! ( )
  AmberGoleb | Mar 13, 2018 |
DESCRIPTION NOT REVIEW: At first, the death of William Baldwine, the head of the Bradford family, was ruled a suicide. But then his eldest son and sworn enemy, Edward, came forward and confessed to what was, in fact, a murder. Now in police custody, Edward mourns not the disintegration of his family or his loss of freedom . . . but the woman he left behind. His love, Sutton Smythe, is the only person he has ever truly cared about, but as she is the CEO of the Bradford Bourbon Company’s biggest competitor, any relationship between them is impossible. And then there’s the reality of the jail time that Edward is facing.

Lane Baldwine was supposed to remain in his role of playboy, forever in his big brother Edward’s shadow. Instead he has become the new head of the family and the company. Convinced that Edward is covering for someone else, Lane and his true love, Lizzie King, go on the trail of a killer—only to discover a secret that is as devastating as it is game-changing.

As Lane rushes to discover the truth, and Sutton finds herself irresistibly drawn to Edward in spite of his circumstances, the lives of everyone at Easterly will never be the same again. For some, this is good; for others, it could be a tragedy beyond imagining. Only one thing is for certain: Love survives all things. Even murder. ( )
  treehousereader | Nov 5, 2017 |
Devil’s Cut is the final book in J. R. Ward’s Bourbon Kings series. Even though they’re highly dysfunctional, I’ve loved reading about the Baldwine family and all of their trials and travails from the beginning. Where some readers saw nothing but a spoiled rich family, I saw four siblings who were emotionally wounded on a deep level and torn apart by their father’s terrible abuse. I also saw a family in shreds from everything he’d done and their fortunes in question as his death revealed the true extent of his greed and misdeeds. As this story opens, we see that none of the Baldwine siblings – neither Edward, Lane, Max, nor Gin – really care one whit that their father, William, is dead. Quite to the contrary, they’re glad that he’s gone, and I can’t blame them. But with his death, they’ve discovered just how bad of a businessman he was. He embezzled money from both private family trusts and the family owned Bradford Bourbon Company to invest in a string of fake or failed businesses, leaving the family legacy on the verge of bankruptcy, with creditors practically knocking down their doors to get repaid, when they don’t have the liquidity to do so. This leaves them in a very precarious financial position. On top of that, the four siblings have basically scattered to the four winds, each nursing their own wounds from William's mistreatment. By the end of the previous book, it was also revealed that William's death was indeed murder, one which Edward confessed to. Devil’s Cut didn’t end up being quite the mystery I was expecting, though. Instead, it’s about the family pulling together in the wake of their father’s destruction. And perhaps more importantly it’s also about them finding reconciliation in a number of different ways that left me with a warm, content feeling in the end.

As the youngest of the three brothers, Lane never thought he would ever find himself in charge of BBC if and when his father passed away. As the oldest, it was always expected that Edward would take up that mantle, but circumstances changed it all in a heartbeat. Lane is not the businessman that Edward is, so from the start, he’s been having a hard time of it, not only because his skills aren’t as good, but also because of the mess William left him to clean up. With the help of his best friend, Jeff, an investment banker, he’s been slowly making sense of the company books and trying to keep the BBC solvent. On top of that, he’s been doing his best to try to hold the family together, and that’s a big job indeed. Luckily he has the love of his life, Lizzie, to help him out. They reunited in the first book of the series, and she’s been his rock throughout all the problems that have come their way. Even though there have been a few bumps along the road, each book has taken them to the next step of their relationship, which I’ve very much enjoyed. Lane and Lizzie have been the core couple around which the rest of the characters and the plot revolve, and they’re very well-suited to that role.

Edward is the oldest and he has always looked out for his younger siblings. Even when they were just children, he often took the severe punishments meted out by his father to save one of the others. That’s why I never truly believed that he was guilty when he confessed to his father’s murder at the end of the previous book. I couldn’t have blamed him if he had been the perpetrator, though, because William treated Edward abominably, even trying to have him killed at one point. As a result, Edward spent weeks in a South American jungle being tortured, and he’s never been the same since. Broken in both body and spirit, he retreated to his horse breeding farm, The Red & Black, avoiding everyone and drowning his sorrows at the bottom of a bottle. However, he’s always been in love with Sutton, who is the daughter of BBC’s chief competitor and now that her father is disabled, she has become the CEO of their company. Luckily for Edward, his feelings are reciprocated, but before turning himself in to the police, he broke off the relationship of a sort that they’d begun. I’ve always loved Edward for his selflessness, and I also love Sutton for loving him in spite of everything. If anyone in the series deserved an HEA, it was these two.

Gin is the youngest Baldwine, who started the series more worried about where she was going to get the money to continue living in the manner in which she was accustomed, than about anything that was going on with the family or the company. She also has a teenage daughter, Amelia, to whom she gave birth when she was just a teenager herself and whom she’s largely ignored for most of the girl’s life. Gin has basically had a habit of making one bad decision after another, perhaps the worst of which was marrying a man for money who ended up abusing her. It was also pretty crappy of her to not tell the man who fathered her child that he had a daughter. However, William’s death and the subsequent problems that arose from that event have slowly been making an impact on Gin, causing her to turn her life around. The love of her life has always been Samuel T., who is also Amelia’s father. Samuel T. is a brilliant attorney and a playboy who tries to self-medicate with tons of booze and women even though Gin is the one who he’s never been able to get out of his system. Throughout the years, these two have shared a highly dysfunctional, tit-for-tat relationship, where they sometimes sleep together but always end up hurting each other. Underneath all the anger and bad feelings, though, it’s obvious that there’s no one else in the world who completes these two except each other. Out of anyone in the series, I think Gin and Samuel T. showed the most growth. In this book, they really impressed me by finally maturing into the responsible adults they always should have been.

Last but not least, middle brother, Max, was absent throughout the first book with no one really knowing where he was for the past few years. He returned to the family estate of Easterly but was still barely seen in the second book. Now in this final book, he gets a few of his own POV scenes, and what we find is a man who’s hurting just as much as his siblings, but who has tried to run away from his problems instead of facing them. Right before he left Easterly, Max overheard his parents arguing and discovered a dirty little family secret, and that’s why he left. He finally returned, feeling that now that his father is gone, he has a responsibility to tell the truth, but he doesn’t plan on staying. The one person who might change his mind, however, is Tanesha, the woman who got away. Tanesha is the daughter of Miss Aurora's (the woman who essentially raised all the Baldwine siblings) minister and is a resident doctor at the local hospital. She and Max shared some sexy times before Max left town, and both of them are obviously still very attracted to one another. Although I didn’t really get to truly meet Max until this book, I got just enough insights into his character to like what I saw and believe that he deserved an HEA too. Anyone who loves bad boys on Harleys should love Max. That coupled with his extraordinary singing ability and the fact that he dared to engage in an interracial relationship made him all the more appealing. I almost wish we could have gotten an even closer look at this couple, but I’m happy knowing that they’re in a good place by the end of the story.

All of the secondary players who were seen in the previous books return. Jeff is still the acting CEO of the BBC and continues to do his best to help Lane out of a very sticky situation. Mack, Lane’s friend and the company’s master distiller, finally reveals that he’s found a new strain of yeast that could be worth millions, but he might have to give it all up to save the company. Shelby, Edward’s friend and employee, never loses faith in his innocence and is instrumental in bringing the truth to light. Greta, Lizzie’s friend who used to help with the landscaping but is now working as the estate’s new controller, helps sort out the books. Gary, the head grounds keeper at the estate has a big secret. Little V. E., the Baldwine siblings mother, actually seems to be doing a little better now that her abusive husband is gone. Although she’s still suffering from dementia, she’s seen wandering around the estate a few times, which leads to a surprising reveal. The villains, Gin’s abusive husband, Richard, and Lane’s soon-to-be ex-wife, Chantal, also get their comeuppances, which made me quite happy. Finally was Miss Aurora, the family’s cook and the woman Lane calls his real momma. She’s been suffering from terminal cancer throughout the series and in this one is on her death bed, not even conscious most of the time. She’s always been a driving force in the Baldwine’s lives, loving them and being their conscience. I think she can now look down from heaven and say that the sacrifices she made paved the way for the family’s reconciliation.

While Devil’s Cut perhaps wasn’t quite what I was expecting it to be, I very much enjoyed it nonetheless. There are a couple of shocking revelations that very much took me by surprise. In fact, once William's killer is finally revealed for certain, I initially thought it wasn’t real and that the person had other motives for confessing. On the one hand it seemed a little out of character, but on the other, it made perfect sense. I know I’m not being very clear here, but I can’t say much more without giving away spoilers. In any case, it leads to a very satisfying ending. The main reason I read romance is for the HEAs. Nothing makes me happier than getting that wonderful happy ending for the main couple. Well, I got that and more here. After everything William put them through, no one deserved their HEAs more than this family, and nothing could have been sweeter than seeing each and every one of them, even a couple of supporting players, happy and on the road to a brighter future, not only in their personal lives but also as a family unit and in their business dealings. That made Devil’s Cut a lovely and very welcome wrap-up to this family saga that left me with warm fuzzies all over. ( )
  mom2lnb | Sep 16, 2017 |
The Devil’s Cut by J.R. Ward is a 2017 Ballantine publication.

A fantastic conclusion to the Bourbon Kings series-

I have loved, loved, loved this trilogy! The series was inspired by the author’s love for those scandalously delicious nighttime soap operas like ‘Dynasty’.

This trilogy has been like a guilty pleasure, totally sudsy, very dramatic, and wildly entertaining. I loved the family saga which is centered around the Bradford's, an uber wealthy Kentucky family who made their fortune with their own brand of Bourbon.

This last installment finds Edward, the eldest son, sitting in jail after having confessed to murdering his father. Facing a long prison sentence, Edward will have to put aside any chance he may have had with Sutton, who is the CEO of his family’s strongest competitor.

Meanwhile, Lane has taken over the family business, struggling to find a way to keep the company alive after his father’s death.

And then there is Gin- trapped in a cruel marriage, believing money defines her, who has lost, once and for all, the love of her life- Samuel T., but, is secretly working to leave a legacy for her daughter and is finally ready to step up and do what is right.

I could have handled a few more chapters in this series, but if it had to end, this was the perfect way to tie everything up.

I cheered for those who finally broke through, cried over inevitable developments, and sighed over those wonderfully tender moments between lovers and family.

I have enjoyed all the juicy scandals, the biting dialogue and watching from the sidelines while this crazy mess of a family rose to the occasion, showing true grit and determination and proving they had more substance than what you might see on the surface, and that with or without money, this family is loyal despite the obstacles in their way.

There are still many dark secrets and shocking revelations to uncover in this installment and of course it's not short on drama!! The author did an amazing job of wrapping everything up, giving each character a chance to make their own way on their own terms.

At the end of the day, this series has been about family, about facing adversity, about making sacrifices for those you love, and how evil and malice is no match for true love!!

The Bradford’s will land on their feet and will be stronger than ever before!!

Overall, this is a rousing and inspirational conclusion to this amazing family saga!! Bravo, J.R. Ward, Bravo!!

4.5 stars ( )
  gpangel | Sep 1, 2017 |
There's something about J R Ward's writing. It's not what I normally consider good writing. Far from it actually. But for some reason it works so well. Perhaps it's just that the stories and characters always take the books far, so that the writing just falls off as unimportant. I'm not sure, except that I've always liked her stories. This one finished the series up very well. It took care of all loose ends, even the ones introduced in this last book itself. The ending was all very clean and neat, just what I was looking for. Ward is still on my watch list. ( )
  Kassilem | Aug 31, 2017 |
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Dedicated with love to Dominique Boel Freese and Mindy Wiseman, a.k.a. Greta and Lizzie.
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There was someone trespassing down in the garden.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451475305, Hardcover)

In #1 New York Times bestselling author J. R. Ward’s thrilling finale of the Bourbon Kings series, the Bradford family dynasty teeters on the edge of collapse after the murder of their patriarch—and a shocking arrest.
 
At first, the death of William Baldwine, the head of the Bradford family, was ruled a suicide. But then his eldest son and sworn enemy, Edward, came forward and confessed to what was, in fact, a murder. Now in police custody, Edward mourns not the disintegration of his family or his loss of freedom . . . but the woman he left behind. His love, Sutton Smythe, is the only person he has ever truly cared about, but as she is the CEO of the Bradford Bourbon Company’s biggest competitor, any relationship between them is impossible. And then there’s the reality of the jail time that Edward is facing.
 
Lane Baldwine was supposed to remain in his role of playboy, forever in his big brother Edward’s shadow. Instead he has become the new head of the family and the company. Convinced that Edward is covering for someone else, Lane and his true love, Lizzie King, go on the trail of a killer—only to discover a secret that is as devastating as it is game-changing.
 
As Lane rushes to discover the truth, and Sutton finds herself irresistibly drawn to Edward in spite of his circumstances, the lives of everyone at Easterly will never be the same again. For some, this is good; for others, it could be a tragedy beyond imagining. Only one thing’s for certain: Love survives all things. Even murder.

Praise for J. R. Ward’s Bourbon Kings series
 
“A most sinful indulgence . . . The gorgeous Kentucky backdrop will sweep you away.”—Susan Wiggs
 
“Breathless fun!”—Lisa Gardner

(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 11 Nov 2016 14:37:31 -0500)

"When Edward Baldwine is arrested for his father's murder, life for the Baldwine family is thrown into disarray. Tensions at Easterly, the family estate, are already high--the family's bourbon business is hanging on by a thread and Miss Aurora, head of Easterly's kitchen and surrogate mother of the Baldwine children, is in the ICU. Lane Baldwine, the younger and more successful of the Baldwine siblings, has taken control of the Bradford Bourbon Company with Lizzie, head of staff at Easterly, by his side. The two struggle to keep spirits up at the estate. But when a shocking family secret is revealed, Lane begins to uncover the truth about their father's death and makes a discovery that could irrevocably alter their family's fate"--… (more)

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