Tiffany Reisz combines one part romance, one part mystery, and two parts family dysfunction in this Kentucky bourbon themed novel. At its center are Paris and Tamara, both women driven to have what they want, logic be damned. It pulled me along like the distillery named Red Thread that’s at its center.

Reisz has Paris telling her story to bourbon investor Cooper McQueen, over the course of one night. And she knows intimate details of Tamara’s life. But we don’t learn how the women are connected until the very end. However, love, loss and revenge unfurl along the way like a bright red ribbon.

Paris is really just a device, rather than a character we know deeply. It’s Tamara that Reisz dives into the most specifically. Her life is full of conflict and unhappiness, even as she is unspeakable wealthy. And considering she’s just 17 years old for much of the book, there’s plenty of angst and rebellion too. And while the men in the story play critical roles, none of them drive the story forward as Tamara does.

My conclusions

I like Reisz’s style. She knows how to pace a steamy, intriguing story. Her descriptions of place and character are well crafted. I almost felt the sand under my toes, and the pull of the reins from her horses. And the plot thickens just where it should, right when the twists come into play.

This is a palate-cleanser book. The kind I pick up when my last read was pretty heavy, and my audiobook is intense too. It’s a little light and fluffy, quick read. Is it the best novel ever? That’s a nope. But I enjoyed the escapist story. I do recommend it if you need a few hours away from reality.

Pair with a family-related memoir like Inheritance by Dani Shapiro. Or try Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin for some mystery with your family dysfunction.