Friday, June 24, 2016

The Bourbon Thief Review

Title:  The Bourbon Thief
Series:  N/A - A Standalone Novel
Author:  Tiffany Reisz
Publisher:  Mira
Release Date:  June 28, 2016
My Rating:  5 Scandalous Hearts
First Thoughts:  Reisz has woven a visual story that felt so real I could feel the sultry Southern air settle over me, hear the wind whisper scandalous secrets through the trees, and feel the enormous depth of both Tamara's pain and joy as she fought for the life she wanted with the man she loved.  It's a tale of sinfully giddy highs and devastatingly brutal lows, one of lies, deceit, and betrayal, but also truth, loyalty, and love

*Many thanks to Reisz, Mira, and Netgally for an ARC of this book.

Synopsis:
From the internationally celebrated author of the Original Sinners series comes a brand-new tale of betrayal, revenge and a family scandal that bore a 150-year-old mystery

When Cooper McQueen wakes up from a night with a beautiful stranger, it's to discover he's been robbed. The only item stolen—a million-dollar bottle of bourbon. The thief, a mysterious woman named Paris, claims the bottle is rightfully hers. After all, the label itself says it's property of the Maddox family who owned and operated Red Thread Bourbon distillery since the last days of the Civil War until the company went out of business for reasons no one knows… No one except Paris. 

In the small hours of a Louisville morning, Paris unspools the lurid tale of Tamara Maddox, heiress to the distillery that became an empire. But the family tree is rooted in tainted soil and has borne rotten fruit. Theirs is a legacy of wealth and power, but also of lies, secrets and sins of omission. The Maddoxes have bourbon in their blood—and blood in their bourbon. Why Paris wants the bottle of Red Thread remains a secret until the truth of her identity is at last revealed, and the century-old vengeance Tamara vowed against her family can finally be completed.

My Review:
Some people are natural born storytellers - words flow like molten gold from their lips and/or pen.  They hold you mesmerized in the palm of their hands while they weave their stories, spin their tales.  A masterful storyteller hypnotizes you into a trance-like state - his/her voice/words the only thing you hear/read as you're held captive by the magic of their gift, of their art.  I believe Tiffany Reisz is a master storyteller - one of the best at what she does.  I was totally consumed by her Original Sinners Series - wasn't sure I'd escape the series with my mind intact, but I did - although months later, Soren, Nora & the others still weigh heavily on my mind.  

I've just finished reading an arc of The Bourbon Thief and once again, I'm spell-bound by Reisz.  I'm left with my head spinning & heart racing, reeling from the sheer depth of this epic saga of unspeakable betrayal, scandalous behavior, and blood thirsty revenge/vengeance.  Yes, Queen Tiffany has done it again.  What a masterpiece! Totally intriguing!  Totally all-consuming!  Totally outrageous!  Totally shocking!  Totally one of the sweetest, yet most heartbreaking love stories I've ever read.  I'll give you a brief overview, but I promise No Spoilers as this book must be a first-hand experience.  Please - avoid all spoilers and read this book with an open heart & open mind.

Once upon a time, the Maddox family of Kentucky ruled the South and the bourbon business with their famous "Red Thread" distillery.  It was a time where blood lines mattered more than love, where one's last name or race either opened or closed doors, where legacies were handed down from father to son to son to son and so on . . . if they had sons.  What if they didn't?  How far would they go to ensure their bloodline?  When the Red Thread distillery mysteriously closed down, one bottle of its finest 150-year-old bourbon remained - with the original red ribbon still tied around its neck.  Many years later, this bottle of bourbon was sold at auction for a million dollars to Kentucky billionaire, Cooper McQueen.  When a beautiful, seductive woman named Paris spends the night with him, she tries to steal the bottle, making claims she is the legal owner.  Cooper makes a deal with her - her story for the bourbon.  

Cooper & Paris settle in with a glass of bourbon (of course) as she begins telling the story of Tamara Maddox, Bourbon Royalty, and Levi Shelby, the stable hand hired by her grandfather.  For me, this is where the story begins, where I became sucked into the tale, unable to stop reading even though a feeling of impending doom settled over me.  Afraid of turning the next page and yet unable to stop myself, I plunged ahead and lost myself in Tamara & Levi's tragic love story - one cursed from the beginning by the spirit of a Maddox family slave girl of many years ago who habitually wore a red ribbon in her hair and one who placed a curse on the Maddox family when she was forced to leave in shame.  I can't and won't disclose details of this story because of spoilers.  I will say Reisz weaves a visual story that felt so real I could feel the sultry Southern air settle over me, hear the wind whisper scandalous secrets through the trees, and feel the enormous depth of both Tamara's pain and joy as she fought for the life she wanted with the man she loved.  It's a tale of sinfully giddy highs and devastatingly brutal lows, one of lies, deceit, and betrayal, but also truth, loyalty, and love.  In typical Reisz style (as if Reisz can ever be called "typical"), this story is anything but a typical love story.  With pages heavily laden with a dark, edgy feel, Reisz delivers again . . . and I'm left with Tamara & Levi in my head, unable to yet let go of this fated couple.

The Bourbon Thief is a visual, emotional train ride - one that often had me feeling like the girl tied to the tracks with a runaway train racing toward her.  I couldn't escape.  I couldn't stop reading.  I couldn't avoid the shockers that left me reeling page after page, chapter after chapter.  There was only one way out for me - read through until the end.  The enormity of this story overwhelmed me, and yet, I'm so glad I read it.  It's beautiful, yet scandalous - a story filled with despair, loss, vengeance, but one also filled with hope, trust, and pure love.  An absolute Must Read!  A Page Burner!

My Rating:  5 Scandalous 's . . . And that's the truth!

Cross My Heart . . . xxx
Sandra









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