Thursday, 16 October 2014

The King by Tiffany Reisz

The King (2014) (published 25/11/2014 / 5/12/2014) (Harlequin MIRA)
Tiffany Reisz
Grade: A
Genre: erotica
Sex scenes: HOT
Source: NetGalley
The Original Sinners: (prequel) Seven Day Loan, (The Red Years): (1) The Siren, (2) The Angel, (3) The Prince, (4) The Mistress, (The White Years): (5) The Saint, (6) The King 
Romance RBC 2014: A book with a title referencing the peerage 

The year is 1993 and Kingsley Edge is ready to drink himself to death while sleeping with half of Manhattan in the process. The year before, he was shot while working as a spy for the French Foreign Legion and dying from an infection in a hospital in France. He remembers little of his time there, except Søren appearing out of the blue one day after ten years, demanding that the doctors treat and heal Kingsley. Once discharged, Søren is gone but Kingsley has the best part of $30 million dollars in his bank account – blood money from Søren. Now, he lives in a palace in the city that never sleeps and owns a strip club where, behind closed doors, the rich and sexually deviant can give in to their erotic desires.

Reunited after 11 years, things aren’t quite the same anymore. Søren has been ordained as a Jesuit priest and Kingsley has embraced life as a Switch, comfortable as both a Dominant and Submissive – though of course he doesn’t want anyone knowing about the latter. Still, Søren is still used to things done his way and orders Kingsley to stop his self-destructive behaviour (if not the debauchery) and make good on his promise when they were teenagers to build a place for people like them – where they can safely and freely engage in their sexual proclivities without fear or censure from society around them. The next thing he knows, Kingsley is up against the all-powerful Reverend Fuller for possession of a Church-owned building that King knows is the perfect home for his BDSM club. With his new lesbian assistant Sam as his right-hand woman, King takes on what will be the most important task of his life: building an institution that will cement his role as the King of New York’s Underground.

This is not a book about Nora Sutherlin – at least, as indirectly as a book in this series isn’t about Nora. The King takes place simultaneously as The Saint (both in the past and the present) and it is only Tiffany Reisz that could manage something as great as this, making events intertwine this seamlessly, yet still have each story run its own separate, independent course. Now that Nora and King are caught up in the present after the events of The Saint and The King, I cannot wait to see how their relationship will evolve from here on out in The Virgin.

This is the story of how Kingsley Edge started the journey to becoming the Kingsley Edge that is so feared by Manhattan as we know him today. His self-destructive behaviour reminded me a little of Griffin in a way, though there are still elements to the story left unanswered. Not that I didn’t love King before, but The King has served to endear me more to him, if that was even possible, and if anything, this is possibly the closest The Original Sinners series has ever gotten to a happy ever after. I naively assumed that since The White Years are a prequel series, they would all be about Nora. I still haven’t learnt that it’s dangerous and outright naïve to assume anything about this series and these characters. They all deserve for their stories to be told and I’m thrilled that we finally got to see so much of the previously-elusive Sam, who was, fantastic.

Can this series get any better? I don’t doubt it. Tiffany Reisz was breath-taking in The Siren, yet she’s still managed to improve with every book, novella and short story. Her output is prolific and it’s almost impossible to find yourself wanting for the next book, because each break between Original Sinners novels is punctuated with something to keep fans going, be it a contribution to an anthology, or a free short story on her blog. From the summary of book 6, tentatively titled The Virgin, The King now looks like the calm before the storm in comparison. Book 6 will see pivotal moments unfold for two characters that defines them as we know it in The Red Years. It’s going to be explosive, and April is just too damn far away.

Image courtesy of FF Adults only.

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