28 June 2016

The Bourbon Thief by Tiffany Reisz

Summary from Goodreads:
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.

An actual Goodreads status update I made while reading The Bourbon Thief: "Ho, that took a left then a few switchbacks, a right and finally that left I was expecting. Well played, Tiffany."

Tiffany Reisz couldn't write a boring book if she tried. Southern Gothic plus crazy relatives plus social justice plus a drop of Scheherazade. And bourbon.  And a dash of historical fiction set both pre-Civil War and in the 1980s.  Reisz uses her frame story of Paris and Cooper and a night-long story to perfection.  I could hardly put this down, even to get work done during the day.  The plotting is just right - every time I thought I could predict where the story was going I was completely surprised.  So fun!

Now, for those who are regular readers of Tiffany Reisz and are used to books like The Original Sinners series, this isn't an erotic novel.  There is a fair amount of enthusiastic sex, especially at the beginning, but it isn't written as a play-by-play and there aren't BDSM elements.  However, there is some squickiness, much expected with Southern Gothics.

Dear FTC: I received a DRC of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss.

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