For anyone coming off a long break since reading The Bourbon Kings, The Angels’ Share starts off with a convenient character glossary, complete with up-til-now historical tidbits on each. Pretty handy if—like me—you can’t seem to read books in any sort of logical order. *wink*
As the heat and cold of our experiences, our destinies, expand and contract our emotions, our thoughts, our memories, we are, like fine bourbon, a different product at the end—and there is a sacrifice involved: We are made of the same core elements we were first constructed with, but we are never the same afterward.
The Angels’ Share opens on a heart-pounding scene with some actual physics to back up the actions Lane has to take to save himself. I love little details like that in a story, and this one is rich with them. The cast of The Bourbon Kings is back in a big way—the only way the Bradfords know how to do anything—and each character shines in his or her own story threads. Intrigue quickly becomes desperation, and even the most solid family members begin to make dangerous reactionary decisions. Moments that should be romantic aren’t always so, and events that should never bring two people together spark a flame.
Samuel T. and Gin have a tumultuous, passionate relationship that burns deep. These two are so bad for each other—on the surface, anyway—but their connection crackles and pops anytime they share space. One of their scenes in The Angels’ Share is heartbreakingly beautiful, brimming with honest emotion, regret, and sincerity. Such a stark contrast to the games that just about every other Bradford character—save Lane with Lizzie—seems to live by.
When she mouthed, I love you, all he could do was smile at her and marvel that for a man who had grown up with great wealth…the woman he had picked was one who reminded him over and over again that money didn’t matter. Possessions weren’t the thing. The car you drove and the house you lived in and the clothes you wore…were nothing but vocabulary. They weren’t the true communication that mattered, they weren’t the connections that were important.
Gin and Edward play larger roles in The Angels’ Share, and I was happy to see both their characters adapting and changing in positive ways. And Ms. Ward’s writing style and word choices are unmistakable. She may be writing about a completely different society in The Bourbon Kings series, but fans of her other story worlds should feel right at home in The Angels’ Share.
Ms. Ward pushes her characters through some wild twists and turns and sets the perfect pace throughout this second installment. The Bradfords—once a family we envied and gaped at from afar, immersed in their opulent, privileged lifestyle—are made a little more human and a lot more relatable by the end of The Angels’ Share. Nearly all the family members have been drawn into the story arc now and have their own special parts to play in this addicting tale of high drama, old money, good Bourbon, and fresh starts.
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New to the series? Read our review of The Bourbon Kings here!
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