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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.

BOOK REVIEW: The Bourbon Thief

Tiffany Reisz


“You’re the only thing I still love from before. You’re the only thing I love that I’ve always loved.”

Not many authors can blow my mind quite so effectively with every single book they write, but when it comes to Tiffany Reisz, I eagerly submit my mind to her every word, knowing her superb prose will never fail to impress me and hold me captive cover to cover. So different yet immediately recognisable in her inimitable style of storytelling, this book is an alluring tale of revenge and deceit, set against a century-old legacy of family secrets and lies. But as we slowly climb the wicked branches of the Maddox family tree, we also discover a shocking tale of love, loyalty, and absolution, a story so full of unexpected turns of events that we find ourselves left breathless until the very last page. A magnificent addition to this author’s already remarkable repertoire, an absolute must-read for anyone seeking a true page-turner.

“Of all the bars in all the world… you walked into mine to steal my bourbon.”

A tale within a tale, this is a story that begins in the present as a mysterious femme fatale clad in a red dress walks into a bar and seduces the owner—the richest man in Kentucky and a well-known bourbon collector. But as their night of passion culminates with his most prized bottle of bourbon stolen right under his nose, we are transported back in time, to 1978—the day when the Kentucky River broke its banks, leaving devastation in its wake, and marking the beginning of the end of the mighty Red Thread Bourbon Distillery. We meet a sixteen-year-old Tamara Maddox, the only grandchild of the owner of Red Thread, on the very day when her innocence is forever stolen from her, changing her every perception of the world she was raised in and of the person she wishes to be. Hurt and disillusioned by all she once believed to be true, Tamara sets her young life on a warpath of vengeance and destruction, her only ally becoming the very man her family tried to take away from her.

“You ruined me before. You’re gonna ruin me again.”
“I said I’d make you rich.”
“That’s not what I meant, Rotten. Not what I meant at all.”

Once in charge of the Maddox family stables, Levi Shelby’s life changed drastically on the day a spoiled-rotten little princess persuaded him to give her her very first kiss on her sixteenth birthday. But when she comes looking for him a year and a half later, with an offer he never could have even imagined, his life takes another turn that would forever change its course. With a shared purpose and a shaky plan in place, Tamara and Levi must learn to trust one another while they work together to uncover a past that affects them both, a past that threatens to change everything between them in an instant.

“Aren’t we in this together?”
“I don’t know what ‘this’ is. And I don’t know why I’d be in it with you.”

But when a family legacy is built on lies and unfathomable acts of cruelty, its every branch will grow to become tainted and twisted, and only a swift slash at the roots will prevent its poison from seeping any further. Especially when that past promises to destroy a young love that has had to battle for survival from the very start.

Love what they destroyed.
Destroy what they loved.

I truly cannot tell you any more about this story without robbing you of all its incredible plot twists, but I can promise you that your mind will never stop spinning. Because Ms Reisz writes with such intelligence and fluency, the result is never less than life-changing, and this story knocked my socks off. As always, her characters are opinionated, strong-willed, self-aware, and the visual ferocity of her every scene makes us feel the crushing devastation of her characters’ hearts as the story slowly unfolds. A book reader’s nirvana start to finish, and I, for one, am already queuing for the next Tiffany Reisz adventure.

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“I didn’t know who I was before you. I don’t know who I would be after. But while I was with you, I knew myself.”

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