The Bourbon Thief [Book Review & Giveaway!]

The Bourbon Thief [Book Review & Giveaway!]
Hello there!
Title: The Bourbon Thief
Author: Tiffany Reisz
Publisher: Mira
Published Date: 28th June 2016
Rating: 4 Stars
*Thanks to the publisher for the review copy*
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.


Review: The Bourbon Thief is definitely not
going to be an easy novel to review, so please bear with me as I try to do my
best with this. This novel was unlike anything I have ever read. Honestly, if
you asked me what book I could see as comparable to this one, there really
isn’t any. I would even struggle to describe it to you. Nonetheless, I am going
to try.
The plot of this novel definitely is a whirlwind. We have
the modern day, where Levi and Tamara’s story is being told to a millionaire
because a woman wants him to hand over a bottle of priceless bourbon. The story
is supposed to make him give it to her for free, and is a true story. So we
alternate between the present day and the past, where we are hearing about Levi
and Tamara. The novel starts and ends in the present day, and we have very
short intervals where we are put back into the right timeline from time to
But when it comes to Tamara and Levi’s storyline… now.
This one starts from when Tamara is very young, and she is in love with her
stable manager. However, he is just a lowly man, and he is also black. This is
set in the past, so of course it cannot be. Her family are the Maddox’s and own
a very large and flourishing bourbon company. They have no male heir to be able
to continue the line… and Tamara’s grandfather is hooked on making sure there
is a male heir. One day, Tamara and her grandfather are left alone in the
house… and you can probably imagine what happens next.
But a lot more happens. Somehow, her grandfather ends up
dead, there is a flood, and Levi is gone… I’m not going to mention anything
more about the plot other than it is certainly twisted and there is a lot of
blood, sex, betrayal, lies and plot twists in this one. Just when you think the
character’s might be able to be happy at certain points in the novel, something
happens to throw them right off of that happy path.
As for the characters, the majority of this centers
around Levi and Tamara. Levi was mostly a calm man, who just wanted the best
for himself and his family. He didn’t want to get tied up in too much trouble
(as most men of colour from that time period would have wanted as well.) So
when Tamara blurs into his life, he is faced with a lot of challenges he didn’t
expect to have to face. I have to admire the calm face he puts on throughout
the whole novel though.
And as for Tamara… a third of the time I thought she was
incredibly clever. The other third, I thought she was insane. And for the rest
of it, just a young woman/teenager trying to get by in life. A lot of horrible
things happen to her, and a lot of time she loses sight of what she needs to
keep hold of in life. But she is a very driven and determined little lady, and
she will stop at nothing to get revenge at those who have wronged her. She may
be spoiled, and used to getting what she wants. But even when everything is
taken from her, when she aims for something, she gets it. Even though I didn’t
always understand her, I always felt for her.
This novel is very graphic. It has a lot of sex in it,
and it is not a clean romance. There may be some themes you wouldn’t agree with
or don’t want to read about, such as rape. In that case, this wouldn’t be a
book for you. It’s a very adult read and despite the fact that I review young
adult all the time, this is not a YA read.
I still don’t know what to make of this book. When I
think about it, I don’t know whether I should laugh or cry or scream. It
definitely felt realistic though, and that’s for sure.


Gif Summary:

Giveaway! Enter to win an advanced copy of Reisz’s next novel, The Night Mark. Open to Northern Americans only.

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Links: Goodreads and Amazon!
Olivia’s Question: Do you prefer standalones or series?

Olivia-Savannah x

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