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Book Review: Stolen Queen, by Jesi Donovan

I picked up a copy of Jesi Donovan‘s Stolen Queen as an Amazon freebie.
Stolen Queen cover

They are handsome.
They are monsters.
They are my husbands.

My grandfather stole from the Mad Kings; now they’ve taken me prisoner to pay his debts.

They know that I’m innocent. They know I don’t deserve to be caged like an animal. But they don’t care. They will break me and make me their Queen. They will mate me and make me the mother of their children. No matter what it takes, the Mad Kings will have what’s theirs.

my review

Yeah…I hated this. To each their own, but this was not for me. I have so many complaints, but I’ll state up front that the mechanical writing is fine. It’s perfectly readable. That’ll be my only compliment.

This might be a little spoiler-ish, but it doesn’t give much more away than is in the blurb. The kings kidnap her, throw her in the dungeon, and are consistently horrible to her. However, their goal is for her to become their queen, bear their children, and eventually (hopefully) love them. Nothing about that plotting makes sense. If you, by chance, think, “Well, maybe in context…” No, not even in context does it make sense. It simply does not make any sense.

None of the characters are even tolerable, let alone likable. We are given all four character’s POVs. One might hope that even as the men are being horrible to her, their internal monologue shows them to have some affection for her. But no, they are all about getting a return for their investment, deserving to get their dick wet, entitled to her, etc. They want her because she is the rightful queen (we’ll just overlook the fact that her grandmother is apparently still alive, so….) and will therefore legitimize their rule. She literally might as well be a physical crown for how much concern they have for her as a person, even in their own thoughts. There is nothing romantic or erotic about any of it.

Then, on page 142, I came across this quote and decided I was done. “…[B]ehind closed doors, whatever happens, happens. If we take the Queen by force and it happens to work in our favor, so be it. She will come around, boys, because we’ll make her.” Yeah, that’s them deciding amongst themselves to rape their queen. Ho-hum. They then gang up and coerce her into sex. It’s the only sex in the book, minus one totally out-of-place touching scene. I skimmed the rest stolen queen photoof the book to finish it. But there was no redeeming the story for me. Again, there is nothing romantic, despite being called a Dark Captive Romance. Not even the dark can bring this in line with romance.

I recently commented in another book review that enemies-lovers tropes (which captive romance basically is) need push and pull to work. These men consistently push, but there is no pull for the reader to get invested in. I hated this and just want to go wash my brain out now.

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