Jenn + Lana’s Review: The King by @skye_warren

THE KING
Series: The Masterpiece Duet #1
Genre: Dark Romance
Author: Skye Warren
Release Date: June 27, 2017

The highest stakes…

My father gambles every night, falling deeper and deeper into debt. When he hits the bottom, he places a new bet: his daughter.

I’m his entry bet to the biggest underground poker game.

Every kind of danger circles the velvet-covered table, but only one man makes me tremble.

A trailer park princess.

The son of a criminal king.

We don’t belong together, but I’m caught in a twisted game.

His eyes meet mine with dark promise.

And when he puts down his cards, I know I’m going to lose more than my body. I’m going to lose everything.

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LANA’S REVIEW

Damon Scott traded himself for me. He’s the only reason I’m safe. And I’m the reason he’s not.

Well…holy hell. I mean, damn, people. When Skye Warren first intrigued me with Damon and Penny back in The Castle, never in a million years did I imagine the depths of hell that these two truly go through. I don’t know how I’ll survive the wait until book two, because this book completely ruined me. It’s dark and gritty with barely any ray of hope to it. It builds the foundation to one incredibly powerful backstory and I couldn’t tear myself away until I read the entire book in one sitting.

Frustration flits beneath his calm surface. Even a hint of vulnerability. How many people can see it? I know that not everyone sees the kind side of him. He has weapons and suits and a million kinds of armor, all designed to shield his humanity.

Growing up in poverty to an drug addict mother and a gambling addict father, Penny barely had a chance for a normal life. Her genius mind and her gift for numbers her only hope to escape the meager life and hope for something more, until she catches the eye of one of the most dangerous men, a man that will eventually cost her everything.

The King takes you back years before the events in The Endgame trilogy; when Damon was just a young boy and Penny a seven year old girl. That fateful meeting sets in motion a chain of events that will forever change the course of Penny’s life.

Damon is the son to one of the most ruthless and evil underground criminals. A desperate attempt to escape his fate doesn’t go the way he hoped. To save a young girl from a fate worth than death, he makes the ultimate sacrifice. Now years later, when his father may be the King, he’s now the Prince of the underground crime. Dealing in drugs and women, his name is almost as feared as his father. When fate brings Penny crashing into his life again, nothing will ever be the same again.

There’s this heat coming off him, like he’s a fire and I’m thawing out. I know it’s not safe, being this close. He could burn me. But there’s also a small part of me that feels alive, only when he’s here. Only when he’s on top of me, his warm breath on my forehead.

Don’t expect much light with this book. It’s dark. Penny’s life is not an easy one and her ultimate fate is beyond devastating. The time transitions are smooth and flawless, eventually bringing us to parallel the time line in The Endgame. While you knew from the events in The Castle, that Penny suffered something horrendous, nothing prepares you for the true reality of it.

Admittedly, it was a tough pill to swallow, Penny being only 15 years old (eventually 16) in the present part of the book and Damon being 25. The age difference should be cringeworthy, and yet, it’s not. It’s hard to explain, and not wanting to give away parts of the book, I won’t even attempt. But if you’re worried about the age gap, don’t be. Penny lived a hard life and her 15 would be a sheltered girl’s 25. Skye Warren truly knows how to develop incredibly multi-layered characters full of depth. The King gives us only a hint, a small taste of the story between Damon and Penny. It gives us the backstory that I’ve been desperately craving, but now it leaves me even more desperate for the conclusion.

While this is a spin-off from The Endgame and could technically be read as a standalone, I highly recommend reading The Endgame first to truly appreciate everything that is Damon. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to rock myself in a corner somewhere until September.


JENNIFER’S REVIEW


I couldn’t gush enough about Skye Warren. If you know me at all, you know I am a HUGE fan. This series is one of my favorites of hers, after the Stripped and Endgame series. Lol. Ok. I love all her books. Leave me alone!! Her writing is able to capture beauty in the darkness. And there is A LOT of darkness in her books. Just gimme all the darkness.

à la Mode St. » fashion

We have something in common now. We’re both monsters. Not the kind you can see on the outside. He wears a secret smile on his handsome face. Bruises faded back to pale skin on my naked body. It’s only inside that something can never be repaired. Only inside that I never really leave the water. Inside that I learn to need the dark.

à la Mode St. » fashionThere was a turning point in this book that I loved. I could literally FEEL the words turning to a dark place. There is a pivotal before and after to Penny’s story, and to be completely honest, I prefer the AFTER. Skye’s writing just hits me harder when it’s darker and gritty and honest.

Penny. She is young and very smart, like genius with numbers, rain man style. Penny’s father has a gambling addiction, and Penny gets caught in the crossfire of her father’s addiction, and it doesn’t end well. Her body and mind are dragged through the fire, and let me tell you, I am glad that Skye didn’t give us all the details on this because I don’t think I could have handled it. Penny is ruined in this book, and Damon is on the other side to throw his soul off a cliff for her.

Damon. He is a tortured soul….literally. His father tortured his body and his mind when he was young. I am aching for more of him. I really appreciate that Skye included The Prince as part of the prequel to this story because it gives us more little morsels into what makes Damon tick. But I really do need MORE of Damon!!

Damon & Gabriel. Gabriel & Damon. Just put me in the middle of that delicious sandwich, please. I loved the snippets of Gabriel in this book (BECAUSE HE’S MINE!!).
à la Mode St. » fashion

Gabriel Miller is as bold as thunder, rumbling, unmistakable. Damon Scott is lightning, so bright he’ll blind you. They’re both forces of nature but only one will kill you just to touch him. Only one will burn you in a flash.

à la Mode St. » fashionMost of this book is a re-telling of the Endgame series, but from Penny’s pov. It definitely helped to fill in the blanks with Damon and Penny and how they get to where they are at the end of the Endgame series.

Yes, this ends in a cliffy. Do I care?

Not.

One.

Bit.

Skye could write cliffhangers all day long, and I wouldn’t stop reading them. It’s her words that matter and her words that I love.


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