The Bourbon Kings

On July 28, New York Times best-selling author J.R. Ward returns with a new series, The Bourbon Kings. Her latest book won’t arrive until next summer, but EW has an exclusive first look at the cover (above) now.

Best known for her Black Dagger Brotherhood series, Ward’s latest endeavor is a contemporary story that follows the intertwined fortunes of several wealthy Kentucky families who have made their money from bourbon. EW has also learned that Bourbon Kings has already been optioned for television by Endemol Studios, the same production company behind Hell on Wheels, Kingdom, Big Brother and Deal or No Deal, among others. Here, Ward answers a few questions about Bourbon Kings.

EW: What is the new series about?

J.R. WARD: The Bourbon Kings is a modern-day Downton Abbey set on a huge estate owned by the Bradford family, major players in Kentucky’s bourbon industry for generations. The Bradfords are like the Carringtons or the Ewings, and there’s a lot of upstairs-downstairs drama and intrigue. Actually, it’s got a lot in common with my Black Dagger Brotherhood series: big emotions, epic story lines, surprises jumping out at you, coupled with soul-deep love stories.

What do you think of the cover?

I love this cover! It captures the essence of the series: sex, power, and scandal, all rolled up in an aristocratic package. And who can resist a man in a tux?

How do you feel about the possibility of a television series?

I am so excited about Endemol Studios optioning the series for TV/film. They really get the story lines, and they’re bringing the same level of passion and intensity I do to the work. Fans of big, juicy sagas with family secrets and scandals will love it.