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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.
the dark king cover

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 its 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: Magic Dark, Magic Divine – by A.J. Locke

I borrowed an audio copy of A.J. Locke‘s Magic Dark, Magic Divine through Hoopla.

magic dark magic divine audio cover

Falling asleep for almost 300 years was never part of Pennrae’s plan.

Of course, when you’re a mercenary with magical abilities and defy a spellbinding prophecy…bad stuff happens.Now, magic is long gone from the world. So Penn works as a karate instructor, trying very hard to dodge her hot, flirty, and super annoying colleague, Callan. All is well until a Jigori—a nightmarish magic-eating monster—shows up at a New York City street fair, forcing Penn to use her Shaper magic, which allows her to transform wood and metal into deadly weapons.

Now, the Jigori’s master has her scent, and their eye on stealing her 300 years of life. If they succeed, Penn succumbs to centuries of sleep again, and magic will be unleashed on a completely unprepared world.

And to add to her ridiculously complicated life, something isn’t quite right with Callan. Which she could figure out if it weren’t for that evil, apocalyptic plot she’s trying to stop. But Penn may not have a choice—Callan could be the secret weapon she needs to save the world…

my review

There is a lot to appreciate about Magic Dark, Magic Divine. Not least of which is the awesome cover. The main character is likeable. The world is creative and Locke has obviously put a lot of thought into it. The side characters are fun. And I really appreciate the way they’re all immigrants of one sort or another. One is a castaway in time, another an adoptee, a third the son of actual geographic immigration, the fourth a refugee from a secret, cloistered culture. They’re all outsiders of a sort and, partly as a result, the found-family aspect of the book is very strong.

However, I need you to understand that I am a binger. When I read a book or series I like to do it in as few sittings as possible, one being the most ideal. So, when I tell you that I had to TWICE check this audiobook out from the library (21 days each time) before I managed to finish it, you should understand this to mean I was super disengaged. It took me almost a month to finish this book and I just wasn’t bothered that I’d not finished it for most of that time.

I think the biggest issue for me was boredom. The book felt overly long and the pacing off. As I said, Locke obviously put a lot of thought into the magic systems and mystical creatures, etc. But all the way up to the end of the book the reader is still being told this leather comes from such and such animal, etc. It felt like the world-building never quite finished. Then, the villain (who had been a mere shadow throughout) was defeated quite anti-climatically and everything wrapped up pretty as a picture.

It wasn’t necessarily bad, just too slow for me, I think. In a sense, I set myself up for the disappointment. I didn’t recognize the author as someone I’ve read before (way back in 2016). I didn’t get along with that last book either.

The narrator (Bianca Drew) did an OK job. I thought sometimes she did great and other times her narration felt choppy, with pauses in odd places in sentences. Now that could be how it’s punctuated in the book. In which case that’s not her fault.

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Other Reviews:

Magic Dark, Magic Divine by A.J. Locke (Review)


fury unleashed

Book Review: Fury Unleashed, by N.J. Walters

I grabbed a copy of N.J. WaltersFury Unleashed when it had a free day on Amazon. Fury Unleased NJ Walters

Maccus Fury, a fallen angel, is trying hard to keep his sanity. Seems being an assassin might be catching up with him. Now, Heaven, or Hell, has sent a beautiful assassin to kill him. Lovely. She’s pretending to seduce him, and he’s okay with that. She’s smart and snarky—but she has no idea what she’s walked into. And he’s more than peeved that they only sent one person. They’re going to need an army if they want him dead.

Morrigan Quill is one of Hell’s bounty hunters. She sold her soul to keep her sister safe, and now she’s working off her contract by catching bad guys and dragging them back to hell. When Lucifer makes her a new offer––that’s definitely too good to be true—she can’t say no. All she has to do is kill a powerful and crazy-hot fallen angel, who will totally kick her ass in battle.

Good thing he won’t see what’s coming next.

my review

This was an OK version of what it is. Unfortunately for me (because it’s not really what I wanted), what it turns out to be is pretty darned close to PWP (porn with plot). The lust is INSTANT. I’m talking they meet, tell each-other their names, have a little bit of a distraction in which they separate (maybe ten minutes), then he kisses her, and they go to his house for 5 orgasms and about 400 ‘I should just kill them, but I want to have more sex firsts’.

Having said that, once I accepted that the plot was gonna be pretty flimsy, the book and I got alone fine. I liked both Morrigan and Maccus. They showed a true desire to support one another and had plenty of chemistry.

I did feel that the ‘nevers’ were a little over played. He’d never been happy, even before his fall. She’d never had a friend, apparently even before her mom died. He’d never told anyone; she’d never realized, etc. He’d never, she’d never, he’d never. There were a lot of things they’d never had or done, which seems unlikely for a man who’s lived for millennia. But whatever. All in all, as a set up for a further series, it wasn’t a total flop. I’d read another. I’d just be going in a little more prepared for what to expect this time.

fury unleashed