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Bourbon Series #1

A Shot of Bourbon

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In the little highway town of Bourbon, Missouri, deadly secrets lurk behind southern charm.

Seventeen year old Charli Valentine didn’t expect to spend the last few weeks of summer break nursing a broken heart, icing a black eye, and watching her ex kiss another girl. Since being a good girl has gotten her nothing but heartache, Charli decides to give rebellion a try. She pigs out, drinks, and hangs with Luke Parker, the son of the infamous Bourbon Butcher.

But there’s more to Luke than meets the eye. His tough exterior and terrible dialect hide a good person despite his bad boy reputation. No matter how hard he tries to fight it, Luke is drawn to Charli’s innocence and finds her clumsiness too charming to resist. Though they’re from opposite sides of the tracks, neither can resist the pull drawing them together.

When Charli discovers a box in her mother’s closet, she pieces together the truth about Bourbon’s past and uncovers a deadly secret about her family. And once Luke learns of it, he vows to protect Charli no matter the cost.

338 pages, Paperback

Published March 29, 2016

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A.C. Land

5 books18 followers

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5 stars
17 (42%)
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Displaying 1 - 20 of 20 reviews
Profile Image for Jessica Calla.
Author 18 books395 followers
March 29, 2016
A SHOT OF BOURBON is a great read! This mature YA features a thoughtful plot and complex, imperfect characters. Beware: This is not cookie-cutter YA. Charli and Lucas will frustrate you as they work through the plot and their feelings for each other but in the end, you'll be left wishing for more. The talented Ms. Land has perfected the voices of the MC's--both the rich, inexperienced girl from the good side of the town as well as the "he-slut"-yet-charming boy from the infamous family in the trailer park. Written to perfection! Can't wait for Book 2.
Profile Image for Shelby (Grace with Books).
513 reviews209 followers
November 21, 2017
I received the book via email about a month back and my first reaction was from the cover. Book covers give you an insight into the author’s mind before we even open the first page. A Shot of Bourbon has a dark cover which gives us insight that it’s going to be mystery type of book. I love analyzing covers and applying my english class skills in real life

Here is my full review:
Profile Image for Anna (Adventures with a Book Nerd).
186 reviews59 followers
March 30, 2016
More reviews like this can be found on Adventures with a Book Nerd.

Actual Rating: 2.5 stars

*My thanks to the BookFish Books crew for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions in this review are my own. Also, I kind of go into a rant in the third paragraph, so mild spoilers might occur (but I mean pretty mild in my opinion).*

I don't know what to rate this! I honestly don't! Because I hated the first half, but I really like the second half! I really hate when this happens...

In this book we follow Charli, and all of her various friends as she tries to to figure out her her biological father is. To be completely honest though, this seemed more of a soap opera than anything else.

Sex! Sex! Sex! That was the first half of this book. You may not see it, but it's there. The majority of the first half of this book was about sex, and a very annoying relationship in the making. And this isn't necessarily a bad thing. It is though when when that's it. I mean, we already had the question of who is Charli's biological dad, and almost no major plot development happened! It was all about her relationship! What!?! You have the big question, so I want more clues, and want more development. And yes, you could argue that there was some development, but not nearly enough in my opinion. I think, that if the big relationship development part was taken out (practically the whole first half), the book could have been cut in half. You still would have gotten to the same ending, but with half of the moody teenage hormones.

Can I just talk about Charli for a bit, because she was so annoying! I don't think that I have read about such an annoying character sense The Selection Series. Except that Charli was more of a baby. I mean, there's a thing between having a protective boyfriend, and just being completely dependent on him. And some of the things he said were really concerning! For example...

"Get your little ass outta the car, Charli Chip."

He then threatened to set the car on fire if she didn't get out. Let me ask you this, if you were in this situation, would you A.)get out of the car, and go with him into the vacant garage; or B.) punched him in the face and run away? I know what I would do. Is this how women let guys talk to them now a days? Am I that antisocial? Honestly! This is concerning to me! I get that their just two teenagers having fun, but in my opinion, you should never let anybody talk to you, or threaten you like that. Other than Luke treating her like that (and he doesn't treat her like that for the whole book), I kinda liked him. He was brutally honest, and it was refreshing!

I know I am saying all of these negative things about the book, but there were some things that I liked about it. One of them, the second half of the book. I though that it was really well mapped out and well written. I really enjoyed reading the ending, and I'm happy how things turned out. Also, that epilogue was amazing! It really hooked me in from the ending, and now I really want to read the second book. I honestly don't know how it happened. This really shows you the power of a good ending and epilogue! Guess that I'll see you guys in the fall when the second book comes out.
Profile Image for Natshane.
537 reviews54 followers
April 8, 2016
I'd take a shot of Bourbon for the cover and another one just for Luke Parker.

I'm usually a sucker for romance (even the cheesy kind!) so how could I pass up on the opportunity of reading Charli and Luke's version of Romeo and Juliet? I was infatuated with the characters to the point where Luke Parker appeared in my dream and kissed me on the lips, just like what he did with Charli, and I woke up feeling extremely longing (don't judge! The dream was that vivid :p)

My Luke!

Anyway, I got to stop thinking with my ovaries and start writing some serious review.

I really enjoyed AC Land's writing, the story was narrated from both Charli and Luke's perspective therefore we got to experience the story from dual perspectives, which made the reading experience much more better. I was caught up in the story right from the start and the writing kept me curious till the end. The quest to find out Charli's birth father was a great build up to the story, there were so many puzzling questions that were introduced in the prologue that prompted the readers to delve further into the story, making the book an engaging read.

The chemistry between Charli and Luke was sizzling hot, and I particularly enjoyed the fact that the secondary characters were given as much thought as the mains, I really loved how the author narrated Collin and Luke's bromance and Lonna and Charli's friendship and it made me connect with the story even more. However, there were also times where I felt the story progressed rather slowly, and I was irritated at the fact that Charli was so accepting of Bo's behaviour (I totally would call on his bullcrap!), but when everything falls into place in the ending, it was all worthwhile :P

I can't wait for book 2! Thank you Lola's Blog Tours for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Posted by,
Natasha @ Dreamland Teenage Fantasy: My Tour Stop

*US ONLY* : Stand a chance to win an Ipad Mini by participating in A Shot of Bourbon's Blog Tour taking place from 29th March to 11th April. You can find the full tour schedule at Lola's Blog Tours
Profile Image for Ang -PNR Book Lover Reviews.
1,720 reviews139 followers
April 3, 2016
A Shot of Bourbon
by A.C. Land

Unfortunately this one want for me! I felt like i needed a shit ton of bourbon to get through this one.

This one was a little over dramatic Young adult, Perfect for the #BookLovers that love dramatic young teen romance and all that jazz.

The two characters, gah!

But for me, no i couldn't do it. I really wanted to love this, i adore the cover a lot!

This was told in dual POV. Honestly this was not your easy YA typical read, this was angst. #NotAngFriendly

Charlie and Lucas will frustrate you, make you want to scream and pull your hair out.

Most of the time I wanted to scream and roll my eyes… wait I did!

I couldn’t connect with the characters, the writing was good but it wasn’t my cup of tea.

Honestly if I read this maybe 8 years ago I would have been all over it like a bad rash!

I can totally see a younger audience loving this, they can fall in love with these characters.

3 stars
Amazing Cover!

Arc provided
Ang, PNR Book Lover Reviews
Profile Image for Amanda  B Gillespie.
507 reviews15 followers
March 29, 2016
17-year-old Rich girl left alone for a week while parents are overseas anniversary trip and no one expects trouble? Well, trouble is always to be found. In this case, Charli is interested in finding why she doesn't know her birth father and why her mom clams up at the mention. Add in the one boy mom says to stay away from no matter, an overbearing, confused, borderline abusive sometime boyfriend, and an overprotective best friend with her own issues and we have a roller coaster ride in the making. Seeing Luke and Charli become friends and overcome their differences and allowing them to learn about each other, regardless of prejudice of economic barriers and fight to save each other was worth the ride. The question is, will they both be saved or will one take the fall to prevent the other from the pain of surviving this heartache in the making?

The cliffhanger at the end isn't atrocious either. It makes me interested in the battles to come!
Profile Image for Siobhan Davis.
Author 100 books7,788 followers
April 12, 2016
Actual rating 3.5 stars.

Charli has had quite a sheltered upbringing and it shows. Her mom has a genuine reason for keeping her protected, and away from the Parker boys, but, in all honesty, she did her no favors. Charli is way more innocent than her BFF Lonna, and the boys run rings around her. She also has a tendency to wear her heart on her sleeve which was cringeworthy at times. Bo was an asshat for the first two-thirds of the book but he showed a slighter nicer side toward the end. Though Charli professed to be in love with him, she changed her mind pretty quickly, however, that is totally a teen prerogative and it was believable.

Luke Parker is not your stereotypical bad boy though it may appear that way at first. I loved him, even if I did have a few minor irritations. He was rough around the edges, but very sweet and protective of Charli, and I always adore that in the male lead.

I thought their chemistry was good and the romance was well written.

The writing is excellent, especially considering it's a debut work, and the words flowed effortlessly. The pacing was also decent and I didn't skim or feel like any part dragged. I liked the world building and the setting.

I really enjoyed the subplot with the Bourbon murderers and wish it had been more of a focus of the story. Though it was predictable, it was interwoven well around the highs and lows of contemporary teen life. The suspense ratcheted up in the last few chapters and there is plenty of potential for development in the next book.

The biggest issues I had with this book were characterization and voice. Charli spoke and acted very immaturely at the start, more like a fourteen-year-old than an eighteen-year-old. She also had zero self-esteem and she let Bo and Luke treat her terribly at times. She was too weak to be completely likeable and I hated how she treated Luke when Bo and the other idiots he calls friends turned up at her house. I also disliked the friendship between Lonna and Charli. I actually thought Lonna was pretty mean to her, even though she is presented as the protective friend. She came across as a bitch to me. And Lonna and Gage's abusive relationship was not pleasant to read. I don't understand why she let him treat her like that. One thing I hated was Luke's vernacular. Uh. It pulled me out of the story every time he used the 'dumb speak.' Now, it's explained at the end, and it had me laughing at the genius of it, but it still irritated me no end while I was reading it. I found several of the conversations between characters awkward and unnatural and consistency was lacking at times.

I am intrigued to know where the story is progressing. I think the next book centers on Lonna and Colly, and I am definitely engaged enough to want to continue!

I would recommend this for a mature YA audience as a lot of the focus is on sex. Definitely not suitable for younger teens.

All in all, this was a decent debut and a solid start to this series. I look forward to reading more!

And I love that cover - very striking!

I received a copy of the book from the author via Lola's Blog Tours in exchange for my honest opinion.
Profile Image for Samantha Kilford.
176 reviews78 followers
March 19, 2016
For more book related content visit my blog

Thank you to Lola's Blog Tours and A.C. Land for letting me be a part of the Bourbon Blog Tour and sending me a copy of the novel!

I feel like this is one of those books where if you gave it to me five or six years ago, I would've loved it. Wait, hear me out!

Before you think War and Peace has turned me into a YA snub, it hasn't. I haven't read Young Adult fiction in quite a long while so it was strange to jump straight back in. A Shot of Bourbon follows the Young Adult recipe very closely and has some key ingredients. Good girl deciding to turn to the wild side. Check. Over dramatic wouldn't-happen-in-real-life action. Check. A alluring sex pest of a bad boy. Check. Switching POVs. Check.

Two characters that particularly stood out to me were Lonna, Charli's best friend, and Colly, Luke's brother. While I will admit that Luke and Charli had some very adorable moments in the novel, I feel like Lonna and Colly's story would've been more interesting as opposed to the whole Bourbon Butcher plotline. Popular girl falling for the lovable outcast guy. Sure, it's been done before but I cared more about those two than I did the main characters and that's never good.

That being said, A.C. Land's prose is excellent. The story may not have pulled me in enough and you can blame that on me either growing up and growing out of the genre or on a few months engrossed in heavy classical literature, but I cannot fault how poetic some of the writing itself is.

I can see a much younger reader eating this up and falling in love with Luke and Charli's romance. For me, it wasn't that bad. It passed the time between exam revision sessions and made me reminisce on what it was probably like to be fourteen or fifteen as this was the kind of book that would've made me squeal and swoon. Damn, maybe I am getting too old for this!

Either way, if you're a young teen girl or someone who solidly reads Young Adult fiction all the time then I know you'll love Luke Parker and you'll love this book.
Profile Image for Diana.
319 reviews32 followers
April 4, 2016
When I first started reading A Shot of Bourbon by A.C. Land I wasn’t quite sure what the story was about. Of course I kept reading till the end. It basically is a story of the good rich cheerleader girl and the bad tat boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Except there is a lot more to the story. I felt the author did a great job of building up to the peak moment and then did a great finish with an epilogue of what is to come next of the story. This story had a lot of fun and plot twist. Like I said I was interested in this story all the way through to the end.
The start of the story is Charli hiding in the closet and her parents come in the room, she is too young to understand what is going but as readers we kind of have an idea. Next Charli is in high school. She is a cheerleader along with her best friend. They are both dating a football player from the same back ground they are. Of course she has known the bad boy Lucas all her life from school. But Charli is a sweet good girl. She sees Lucas at the drugstore trying to buy Sudafed. But they wouldn’t sell it to him. She figures that either he or his brother is sick and she buys him some and takes it out to him. He was very surprised.
I know the above is just a start. Also the blurb about the book tells more. I think the blurb doesn’t even tell it all. There is so much in this story. Charli wants to know who her real father is even though she is happy with the man who has raised her since she was born. She is just curious and when Lucas finds out who her real father is all he wants to do is protect her.
I would say I enjoyed reading this book. It is a pretty quick read, I can’t wait for the next one to come out. I also liked that there was Charli’s POV and Lucas’s POV, I found it is great to read both of their POVs. There are some bad language and talk of sex. I would say this is for the mature YA.
I did receive a copy of this book from Lola’s Book Tours for an honest opinion and this is all my opinion. I received a free copy of a book in exchange for an honest review
Profile Image for Ara Prado.
164 reviews9 followers
May 4, 2016
Here's the thing, I had such high hopes for this book because the blurb really set me up for something so high, that I found myself left hanging a little bit when I finished reading the last page. I'm not saying it was bad, I'm just clarifying that it wasn't as amazing or exciting as I expected it to be.

But that doesn't mean I didn't enjoy reading A Shot of Bourbon. Most of the characters were interesting in their own merit, but I find myself more attracted to Luke's brother, Collin. If I had one character who I didn't really feel connected with, and honestly felt annoyed with it will be Charli's best friend, Lonna. I feel like she uses her beauty and appeal to mess with people's feelings but when push comes to shove, she doesn't really have much of a backbone. Maybe there's a story behind that, but for now, I don't like her all that much.

The story was really interesting; there were a lot of layers and twists that start to unravel once secrets start pouring out. I just feel like the potential of the story was a bit overshadowed by the way the author wrote the scenes. I had a hard time imagining the scenario by how the author wrote them. There are moments when I felt like a scene should be filled with tension and action but ends up being chaotic in terms of the execution. There were also some parts in the book that made me question the sanity or relatability of the characters based on their actions and dialogues.

I can't deny the chemistry between Charli and Luke though, and the ending managed to make me anticipate the following installment in the series. So all-in-all, an okay read.

FULL REVIEW: http://thebooksnakeetc.blogspot.com/2...
Profile Image for Amy Neighbors Senethavilay.
205 reviews7 followers
April 4, 2016
A Shot of Bourbon offered a look into the tangles webs we weave in life and the idea that fate has a way of playing out in the future. It is about looking past the differences we hold to discover true friendship. As 17 year-old Charli Valentine tests her new found freedom when her parents leave her alone for ten days, Charli decides to toss aside her good girl ways to push the limits. So when her broken heart and compassionate ways lead directly into the path of Luke Parker, the son of the notorious Bourbon Butcher--a boy all parents warn their girl's way from-- she finder herself conflicted. Although Luke is known for his bad boy reputation, Charli sees past the tough exterior to find there is a reason for all Luke does.

While struggling with heartache, confusion, and pieces from her past that begin to fall into place, Charli begins to uncover the truth about her father and the secrets her mother has worked so hard to keep hidden; secrets meant to protect. But once those secrets are no longer hidden and the wrong parties discover the truth, Charli and Luke's relationship will be put to the test.

While this is a YA, it does contain some mature content. The characters are young and immature and their understanding of relationships follows those lines. However, as situations unfold and action take place, Charli begins to find out just how innocent she is about love and what is means to find someone who could truly love her unconditionally. And while this is a cliffhanger, it leaves the readers with some answers while opening up the next installment with plenty of opportunities as to what obstacles may develop.

I was gifted a copy for my honest review.
Profile Image for Kristi .
448 reviews37 followers
April 12, 2016
Yeah - I was pulled into this book from the very beginning. There is a mystery introduced in the prologue and it is kept under wraps for most of the book. I had an idea - but of course my first thought was wrong (for which I was very happy!) Anyway - loved the book. It kept me up way passed my bedtime.

I don't think the blurb above does the book enough credit. She ends up getting together with Luke more by accident than be design. She does discover a box in her mom's closet - but others seem to piece together the secret long before she does. She is naively innocent and doesn't really see what is right in front of her.

I loved the chemistry between Charli and Luke though - and also the relationship between Luke and Collin - his brother. You can't help feeling for these boys - that they have been dealt such a raw deal and yet they are really trying to be good kids. They just can't seem to get a break from anyone because of their parentage. Of course, living with their drug addicted brother Midgey doesn't help any.

Being the first book in a series, while you get some answers - the ending is wide open as to what will happen in the second book! Looking forward to it's release this fall.
Profile Image for Cindy Dorminy.
Author 15 books129 followers
May 5, 2016
I loved this book. A.C.'s characters are so real and flawed. The story has such depth. I got so attached to the characters that I didn't want it to end. I cannot wait for book 2!
4 reviews
September 7, 2021
This is a dear friend of mine and these books are AMAZING!! I got hooked immediately and had to read them all....now I wish for amother one soo bad!! Growing up in a small town of Bourbon, MO...I couldn't relate more! It's a must read!!
Profile Image for Michelle .
1,990 reviews222 followers
April 1, 2016
**You can see this full review and more at Book Briefs: http://bookbriefs.net**
A Shot of Bourbon is the first book in the Bourbon series by A.C. Land. It is an upper young adult (really, could be new adult based on the subject matter.) suspense/mystery/romance/dark book. It had a gritty and edgy vibe that I was digging a lot. This is the kind of book that I have to be in the mood to read, and I was in just that kind of mood. It struck me at just the right time. I didn't love the main character Charli, but she grew on me enough as the book went on.

At first, Charli rubbed me the wrong way. I found her to be too whiny, but as you fall into the swing of the mystery and the pace of the book picks up considerably, she didn't bother me nearly as much. Probably because there were enough other things going on to shift my focus away from her. A Shot of Bourbon is a book that builds. It started out as just a decent read, but in the second half I ended up liking the story. I was intrigued enough to want to continue it. The mystery of who Charli's father is and just what the connection to the Bourbon Butcher was enough to hold my interest.

Bottom line: If you are really into gritty mysteries, that have a darker edge to them, and you can look past a slightly immature character, A Shot of Bourbon is a very well done plot driven novel.

This review was originally posted on Book Briefs
Profile Image for Heather.
136 reviews11 followers
May 2, 2016
*This review has been edited from a previous and slightly meaner version. It's still one star for me though*

So I reviewed this book on my phone as soon as I finished reading it and it was full of word vomit and kind of mean spirited. I don't want to be a person who rants about the things I didn't like without giving credit for how hard it is to write and finish a book. I have plenty of book ideas, but how many have I written down beyond a few pages? None. It's a lot of work and it's not always easy to make your ideas translate from your mind to the page.

Having said that, I still feel like this book was a 1 star book for me. It wasn't something that I felt was really up my alley. I would have probably passed it over, but since I'm from the town the book is set in, I wanted to give it a shot and support a local author. This kind of book, one that is kind of sexy romance with a good girl falls for bad boy vibe is just not something I really am into. I prefer my books to have a little more meat to them and to kind of break out of the usual script that these stories can follow. I didn't relate to the characters and was exasperated by how often other characters would refer to Charlie as "innocent" or fragile or vulnerable. It was even more exasperating to see her in one scene both trip walking into a room and walking out of it. I felt like the world building was good but the mystery was pretty obvious and lost is suspense once you figured it out. The epilogue was pretty interesting, but honestly not enough to come back for book two.
Profile Image for Alison.
878 reviews65 followers
April 4, 2016
This is a YA book .. in some ways it is typically suited to teens in other ways I would recommend it to a more mature audience.

It took me a while to connect with the characters and at times they really annoyed me but that was part of the appeal. It comes across as very ‘American’ not sure if it’s designed that way due to the location it is set in, as a Brit it’s quite endearing. Charli is a mixed bag, she certainly has her problems and perhaps this accounts for her behaviour or maybe she is just an immature whingy teenager. At times I felt sorry for her though.

Luke is the type a young reader is likely to fall for .. bad boy from the wrong side of town but hiding a deeper protective side or could it be controlling .. not sure on him but can see his attraction.

Charli’s mission is to find out about her biological father and she enlists the help of her friends. Quite a good mystery, with plenty of steamy sessions, follow it through to the end because the epilogue is intriguing and hooks you into wanting to read book two! An entertaining story and definitely one for the youngsters. Thanks to Bookfish Books for a copy of this in exchange for my honest opinion.
Profile Image for Emmyjo.
394 reviews8 followers
December 20, 2016
This book is so awesome. I finished in one day and couldn't get enough of these characters.
It's told from two different point of views, Charli and Luke.
When Charli's parents go away for 10 days, she can't wait to go through her parents things with her best friend and find out who her real father is. However by doing this it opens old secrets that she was never meant to find out. Which includes brothers that she has been told to stay away from.
Luke who is a bad boy and lives up to being rough never thought he would be friends with Charli a rich girl who doesn't run in the same circles as him and his brothers.

But a chance encounter changes both of their lives forever. Will Luke realize he is good enough for Charli? Or will be destroy a starting friendship to prove he isn't good enough for the likes of Charli?
1 review
May 1, 2016
I've just recently got into reading again and I fell into a book funk with some bad books. I picked up this book because I'm from Bourbon. I'm really glad I gave it a shot (pun intended). I definitely had to treat it as fiction because the author took a lot of liberties (specifically about the poverty level). More people fit into Luke's class than Charli's (which doesn't really exist here).

Luke and Charli were amazing. At first, I thought they were simple (bad boy meets rich girl--which has been done and done again), but their layers slowly peeled away and imagined it all playing out like a movie or TV show.

Luke's bromance with his brother, Colly, made the story. I feel invested in their lives and i cannot wait until Collin and Lonna's book comes out.

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