Tag Archives: dark romance

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Book Review: The Dark King, by Gina L. Maxwell

I received a copy of Gina L. Maxwell‘s The Dark King through Netgalley.
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I thought a weekend away would be the perfect escape. Until I woke up married and trapped…by the king of the Dark Fae.

For Bryn Meara, a free trip to the exclusive and ultra-luxe Nightfall hotel and casino in Vegas should’ve been the perfect way to escape the debris of her crumbling career. But waking up from a martini-and-lust-fueled night to find herself married to Caiden Verran, the reclusive billionaire who owns the hotel and most of the city, isn’t the jackpot one would think. It seems her dark and sexy new husband is actual royalty—the fae king of the Night Court—and there’s an entire world beneath the veil of Vegas.

Whether light or shadow, the fae are a far cry from fairy tales, and now they’ve made Bryn a pawn in their dark games for power. And Caiden is the most dangerous of all—an intoxicating cocktail of sin and raw, insatiable hunger. She should run. But every night of passion pulls Bryn deeper into his strange and sinister world, until she’s no longer certain she wants to leave…even if she could.

Soooo, I didn’t love this. Granted, I didn’t hate it. But it elicited exactly zero feels from me or endeared itself to me in any way. Now, the writing is fine. It’s easy to read. The editing seems clean. So, this is largely a personal taste sort of ‘meh.’ I can acknowledge that it’s a finely written book, while also saying it wasn’t one to light me on fire.

I did actually like the characters. I especially liked that Bryn stands up for herself consistently. And the world seems interesting. My issues were that I just never truly felt Caiden and Bryn’s love. It’s instant and then we’re more told about it than shown it. I didn’t think that the BDSM aspects were well integrated into the plot. So, it always seemed to stand out to me as artificial. the dark king photoAnd it doesn’t live up to it’s own hype.

Caiden is supposed to be sooo dark and dangerous. He goes on and on about how she could never handle his kinks. Heck, the book is called The Dark King. But it’s actually quite sweet, the kink is on the mild side, and the book isn’t even that spicy, comparatively. So, I felt like it built up a promise it didn’t keep.

All in all, it’s a meh for me. I didn’t hate it. But I probably won’t remember it next week.


other Reviews:

One More Book: Review – The Dark King

 

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Book Review: Dancing With the Devil, by Gayatri R.

I accepted a review copy of Dancing With the Devil, by Gayatri R./Gayatri Ramchandran. It was also featured over on Sadie’s Spotlight.
dancing with the devil cover

Corvo:
They didn’t call me “The Raven” for no reason.
I’m known for being ruthless, lethal, and dangerously magnetic. I’m a shadow, the monster pirouetting in the dark. I’m feared yet loved by all, and the entire city surrenders to my name as I rule them with an iron fist.
People always look both ways before crossing me.
Until Bianca Romano turned my life into a storm with just a single glance.
She became mine to keep.
My obsession.
My beautiful temptation.
I broke my rules for her, but that doesn’t mean she can control me.
She’s staying, and she wants to play my game.
But I’ll show her exactly who’s in control.

Bianca:
They call him “The Raven.”
Legend has it that if you look at him, there’s no going back. But I bent my rules for him, and now I’m his, with no way out.
Corvo De La Rossi isn’t the monster he claims to be.
Because I know underneath that brutal exterior lies a lot of pain.
If he’s the monster, the beast in this fairytale, then I’m the beauty who will put back the broken, lost pieces of him-the one who will tame him.

my review

I am in a really, really awkward place reviewing this book. So, I’m just going to lay it on the table. I received an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book. And often ARCs come to reviewers before they’ve had their final editing pass. So, it’s not uncommon to find the occasional editing mishap. I’m used to that. We look over them. But Dancing With the Devil seemed to have come to me before it had any editing, despite releasing only days after I read it. The file I read was really quite rough. I would have DNFed it if I hadn’t been committed to the review.

I normally wouldn’t talk about this in a public review. It, of course, isn’t pertinent to those purchasing or reading the book after it’s had further editing. Presuming it does; we reviewers generally take it on faith that the books will get that additional, final pass. But I feel like I have to mention it here, because I’m not wholly able to disentangle how much of my dislike for the book was because of how unpleasant and uncomfortable it was to actually read and how much was not liking the actual story and writing style itself. Do you see my difficulty? I don’t think I can fairly review it without including this note on a possible conflict.

At the end of the day, I gave this a 1-star. I might have been willing to grant it an extra star if I had a dancing with the devil photocleaner copy and knew some of the over-inflated dialogue was toned down and smoothed out. But I don’t think it ever would have been a real winner. Raven talks in catch-phrases, monologues like a super villain pretty much constantly. The plot judders along inconsistently. I was never even wholly able to decide if Raven’s demonic descriptions were meant to suggest he physically had a demonic form or was just poetic license, on the author’s part. (So, I literally don’t know if this is a paranormal or contemporary book AND I’VE FINISHED IT.)

All in all, the best I can maybe say for Gayatri R.’s Dancing With the Devil is that I finished it.


Other Reviews:

Dancing With the Devil

Cheryl’s Booknook: Book Review Dancing With the Devil

 

 

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Book Review: Bloody Kingdom, by Kayleigh King

I received a signed paperback copy of Kayleigh King’s Bloody Kingdom in a Supernatural Book Crate book box I purchased. I think it was maybe the August one.
bloody kingdom kayleigh king

This isn’t a fairytale.
I dethroned Prince Charming long ago.
They call me the King of darkness and death.
Ruler of the underworld.
My reign is ruthless, my word is the law.
If I want it, I take it, regardless of the bloodshed.
But then she walks into my life.
I don’t want her, I need her.
She can fight, she can beg, but her fate is sealed.
Until her debt is paid, she’s mine.
She ran from her old life, but she can’t outrun me.

Welcome to my Bloody Kingdom, Quincey Page

my review

This is a fine Beauty and the Beast retelling. Though I don’t know why authors insist on trying to tie every damned story into a retelling. Why can’t a story just be a story? I digress. This is a fine Beauty and the Beast retelling. But it does not live up to the blurb at all. I expected this to be dark vampire romance, maybe even erotica. Instead it really isn’t particularly dark and there isn’t even a sex scene until around page 225. It’s a fine sex scene, but it’s not especially impressive or dark. And there’s not even very much sexual tension up until that point. So, that blurb makes promises the book does not deliver on. Hell, the story isn’t even particularly bloody. So, even the title is misleading in that regard.

Having said all of that, once I let go of the expectations the title and blurb set up, I enjoyed it well enough. It was entertaining. The love was basically insta-lust that morphs mysteriously into insta-love and the whole thing ended on a cliffhanger. So, admittedly, it’s not super satisfying. But I did enjoy the time I spent reading it. I’d be winning to read book two, if I could get it at the library or as a freebie. But I don’t think I’d be willing to pay for it. (That’s kind of my go-to system of deciding how much I like or dislike a series; would I pay for more of it?)

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Other Reviews:

The Phantom Paragrapher – Review: Bloody Kingdom

Bloody Kingdom by Kayleigh King | Book Review