Release Day Review: Devil’s Cut by J.R. Ward

Devil’s Cut by J.R. Ward
Series: The Bourbon Kings #3 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: August 1st 2017
Links: Ebook • Hardcover • Audible • Goodreads
Source: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

In #1 New York Times bestselling author J. R. Ward’s thrilling finale to her 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 is for certain: Love survives all things. Even murder.

Devil’s Cut is without doubt my favorite of the Bourbon Kings series. I’ve struggled with the previous two books, mainly because of how long and drawn out the story is, but everything finally comes together in this masterpiece of an ending. I loved every part of this conclusion – there was never a dull moment, and I actually liked the characters by the end. For those of you who have been eagerly waiting to see just how the Baldwine children and their glorious fortune, estate, and company end up, along with who gets together with who (like I did), then you absolutely must read this epic finale!

Picking up right where The Angels’ Share left off, the death of William Baldwine, former CEO of Bradford Bourbon Company and father of Edward (the eldest), Max (the black sheep), Lane (the reformed playboy), and Gin (the only daughter), has been changed from being one of suicide to one of murder. Edward Baldwine confesses to killing his father, the man who hated his existence from the moment he was born and had his son kidnapped, tortured, and almost killed. Edward certainly had motive to kill William, right? But with secrets slowly being revealed and revelations being uncovered, it remains uncertain if Edward was the killer. And if he’s not, who is he protecting?

I don’t want to mention much about Edward and his love, Sutton, because spoilers, but I do want to say how much I adore their Romeo-and-Juliet-esque love story. As the heads of rival bourbon-making companies, theirs was a star-crossed love that could have been… but Edward returned from his almost-death broken. Now, with him in jail, is it possible for these two star-crossed lovers to have their HEA?

Lane has stepped up in his role of being the head of the Bradford household, trying to keep his family together and regain back their assets that his father embezzled away. With his momma, Miss Aurora, in the hospital dying of cancer, one brother in jail, an almost ex-wife pregnant with his dead father’s child, and virtually no money to support the estate, Lane is at the end of his rope. The one constant in his life is Lizzie, Easterly’s horticulturalist, the love of his life, who is sick of all the drama but there to support him no matter what. I was so thankful for Lane and Lizzie – they’ve been a constant for each other and for the series. I could always count on them to NOT create any drama between themselves, unlike all the other couples in the series. I love Lane and Lizzie so much!

Gin has married the abusive Richard Pford – but she’s no longer the dramatic, conniving, manipulate woman she was in the beginning of the series. With the loss of the Bradford fortune, she’s at a loss – is she anything without her money? She too, steps up to the plate by cutting out the drama with Samuel T., the love of her life. She will always love him, but her daughter, their daughter, comes first for her now. She endures Richard’s abuse so that she can provide Amelia with a better childhood than she had up until that point. I ended up completely loving Gin and the transformation she experiences throughout the series. I was rooting for her with not only Samuel T., but also her daughter. Their relationship is definitely the most addictive for me and was one of the main reasons why I kept reading these books.

With Edward in jail and the black sheep of the family back in town, there seems like no end to the mess that is the Baldwine childrens’ lives. I kept thinking, will any of them ever get a happy ending? But if there’s one thing I learned, it’s that I should always trust J.R. Ward because she’ll always do right by the end. The conclusion to the series was exactly what I was hoping for – we get a solid finish for every one of the characters and couples (well, most couples). I do admit I had to skim some parts that seemed to drag, but otherwise, I enjoyed this book immensely. I almost wish we could see more into the Balwine’s lives, but I wouldn’t want to ruin the perfect ending!


lacey


Reading Order: The Bourbon Kings series

  

#1 ~ The Bourbon Kings: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ The Angels’ Share: EbookHardcoverPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ Devil’s Cut: Ebook • Hardcover • Audible • Goodreads


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