The Angels' Share - J. R. Ward Page 0,1

student at Hotchkiss School, she is a chip off her mother’s block.

Lizzie King: Horticulturist who has worked at Easterly for nearly a decade and has kept its gardens nationally renowned showcases of rare specimen plants and flowers. In love with Lane Baldwine and fully committed to their relationship. Not into the drama of the family, however.

Samuel Theodore Lodge III: Attorney, sexy Southern gentleman, stylish dresser, and pedigreed, privileged bad boy. The only man who has ever gotten through to Gin. Has no idea that Amelia is his daughter.

Sutton Endicott Smythe: Newly elected CEO of the Sutton Distillery Corporation, Bradford Bourbon Company’s biggest rival in the marketplace. In love with Edward for years, she has excelled professionally, but stagnated in her personal life—in large measure because no one compares to Edward.

Shelby Landis: Daughter of a thoroughbred racing legend whose father, Jeb, mentored Edward when it came to horses. A hardworking, strong woman, she takes care of Edward—even when he doesn’t want her to.

Miss Aurora Toms: Easterly’s head chef for decades, capable of serving up soul food or Cordon Bleu cooking with a strong hand and a warm heart. Suffering from terminal cancer. Maternal force in Lane’s, Edward’s, Max’s, and Gin’s lives and the true moral compass for the children.

Edwin “Mack” MacAllan: Master Distiller of the Bradford Bourbon Company. Cultivating a new strain of yeast, he is racing against time and limited resources to keep the stills running. Hasn’t been in love with a woman for a long time, if ever. Married to his job.

Chantal Blair Stowe Baldwine: Lane’s soon-to-be-ex-wife. Pregnant with William Baldwine’s illegitimate child. A beauty queen with all the depth of a saucer, she is threatening to expose the paternity of her unborn baby as a way to get more money from Lane in the divorce proceedings.

Rosalinda Freeland: Former controller for the Bradford Family Estate. Committed suicide in her office in the mansion by taking hemlock. Mother to Randolph Damion Freeland, eighteen, whose father is William Baldwine.

Charlemont Courier Journal

OBITUARIES

WILLIAM W. BALDWINE

Mr. William Wyatt Baldwine passed into the loving arms of his Lord and Savior two days prior. A world-renowned businessman, philanthropist and civic leader, he had served as Chief Executive Officer of the Bradford Bourbon Company for thirty-six years. Over the course of his tenure, he ushered in a new era of bourbon appreciation, and took the company to over one billion dollars in annual revenue.

A devoted family man, he is survived by his loyal wife, Virginia Elizabeth Bradford Baldwine, and his beloved children, Edward Westfork Bradford Baldwine, Maxwell Prentiss Baldwine, Jonathon Tulane Baldwine and Virginia Elizabeth Baldwine, and his beloved granddaughter, Amelia Franklin Baldwine.

Visitation and private services are at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the University of Charlemont in Mr. Baldwine’s name.

ONE

Big Five Bridge

Charlemont, Kentucky

Jonathan Tulane Baldwine leaned out over the rail of the new bridge that connected Charlemont, Kentucky, with its closest Indiana neighbor, New Jefferson. The Ohio River was fifty feet below, the muddy, swollen waters reflecting the multicolored lights that graced each of the span’s five arches. As he rose up onto the tips of his loafers, he felt as though he were falling, but that was merely an illusion.

He imagined his father jumping off this very ledge to his death.

William Baldwine’s body had been found at the base of the Falls of the Ohio two days ago. And for all of the man’s accomplishments in life, for all of his lofty pursuits, he had ended his mortal coil tangled and mangled in a boat slip. Next to an old fishing trawler. That had a resale value of two hundred bucks. Three hundred, tops.

Oh, the ignominy.

What had it been like to fall? There must have been a rushing breeze in the face as William had been fisted by gravity and pulled down to the water. Clothes must have flapped as flags, slapping against body and leg. Eyes must have watered, from gust or perhaps even emotion?

No, it would have been the former.

The impact had to have hurt. And then what? A shocked inhale that had sucked the river’s foul waves in? A choking sense of suffocation? Or did a knockout render him blissfully unaware? Or … perhaps it had all ended with a heart attack from the adrenaline overload of the descent, a stinging pain in the center of the chest radiating down the left arm, preventing a lifesaving swim stroke. Had he still been conscious when the coal barge hit him, when that propeller had