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Review – The Bourbon Thief by Tiffany Reisz

A Family With Bourbon in Its Blood, and Blood on Its Hands

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.

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.

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downloadIn the acknowledgment section of The Bourbon Thief by Tiffany Reisz (she of Original Sinners fame), the author thanks her agent, Sara Megibow, for the “freedom to write books such as this one.”

Freedom. Now that’s a key word. Because The Bourbon Thief is not your average book. It’s certainly not your typical literary tome and it most definitely is not your average romance. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find anything remotely average about it. Makes sense, since it’s not written by your average writer. Tiffany Reisz shines with this story, from crafting a world so hot I got blisters from turning the pages, to making characters so complex and frustrating I wanted to punch my fist against a brick wall – it’d hurt less than watching how the tangled webs…shockingly…devastatingly…inevitably all unweave.

Set in both present day and in a hot summer of the 70’s in the south, The Bourbon Thief could be one of Scheherazade’s finer, darker bits of storytelling. It begins simple enough: man meets woman, man wants to seduce woman, woman goes back to his place, woman pulls the freakin’ rug and the hardwood floor from under his feet. Tiffany wastes no time in setting up the conflict, stakes and characters. And within the very first few pages of the flashback part of the story, she writes such a dazzling display of chemistry between the two main characters that it would make Bill Nye take a step back.

Forgive me if I’m being too vague here or if it all seems too hyperbolic. It’s near impossible to talk about this book with any specificity because it’s so full of twists and surprises. To ruin one might be to ruin them all and trust me, you don’t want it spoiled. This book full of sharp objects and slinky desires. It’s as if the last eight stories and the many (God bless) short stories Tiffany has given us are merely the runway upon which this sleek, stealth-mode, battle-ready jet was built for. The ride is exhilarating, and man does it soar.

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