23355896Sometimes you don’t need fantasy to come up with some pretty messed up ideas.  Not that it’s a bad thing mind, but sometimes out world is rough enough all on it’s own.

The Bourbon Kings in the first in J.R. Ward’s new contemporary romance series of the same name.  It follows the Bradford family who has been making bourbon – and making it well – for generations, and has built up a nice family fortune doing so.

Too bad the inside isn’t as pretty as the outside….

Mummy dearest, the matriarch of the family is suffering from something that requires more pills than strictly necessary.

Daddy dearest, the patriarch, is a man whore who has run the family fortune into ruin.

The eldest son Edward is a survivor of torture orchestrated by his own father so daddy dearest wouldn’t have to part with ‘his’ fortune to pay the demanded ransom. 

 Second son Tulane, our leading man, is in love with the gardener but married to a woman who got married to trap him then promptly aborted the baby and has been sleeping around with daddy dearest.

 Third son Robert is in parts unknown.  No one knows where he is, how to reach him, or even if he is still alive.

 Little sister was a teen mom whose daughter has grown up hating her

 Little sister’s daughter has no idea who her father is, and hates him too.

 The daughter’s father is actually the best friend of the second son, and has no idea his child exists.

 And caught up in all this is the people who work on the grand, sprawling estate. The butlers, maids, cooks, cleaning ladies, pot boys, brewers, distillers, and gardeners, of whom our leading lady is the head of.

 So…Jerry Springer anyone?

 Fantastic read, if only to figure out how all the scandals tie together and I look forward to the rest of the series.

Keeping on with the romance theme for a wee bit longer, we’re going to check out the latest in Sherrilyn Kenyon’s world: Dragonbane is up next.

22719550Out of all the mysterious boarders who call Sanctuary home, no one is more antisocial or withdrawn than Maxis Drago. But then, it’s hard to blend in with the modern world when you have a fifty foot wingspan.

Centuries ago, he was cursed by an enemy who swore to see him fall. An enemy who took everything from him and left him forever secluded.

But Fate is a bitch, with a wicked sense of humor. And when she throws old enemies together and threatens the wife he thought had died centuries ago, he comes back with a vengeance. Modern day New Orleans has become a battleground for the oldest of evils. And two dragons will hold the line, or go down in flames