Kingdom Duet: Reign of a King and Rise of a Queen
By Rina Kent
October 29th and November 19th
Blackthorn Books, LLC
Reviewed by Jen
My current addiction is bully romance books. I feel a tinge guilty about it because the behavior in real life would have me screaming “call the cops, this guy scares the crap out of me!” But, since this is between us, I’m confessing my love for this genre. I mention this because while The Kingdom Duet is technically romantic suspense, it is a spin-off of Rina Kent’s other series, The Royal Elite, which is a bully romance. I blew through that series in record time. This duet has shades of the bully vibe, too. You can read Reign of a King and Rise of a Queen without having read her other series, but it does help quite a bit (and they were SOOO good, it’s worth it!).
Reign of a King is about Jonathan King. How to describe him…hmmm…. he’s unbelievably attractive, ruthless, has great forearms, and is a dominant jackass. Classic anti-hero. Let’s start there. King is the father of Aidan, featured in the Royal Elite series. King is an incredibly successful and completely heartless businessman in the UK. His wife, Alicia, died over a decade ago in a car accident. Alicia suffered from a mental disorder and their marriage wasn’t wonderful. King’s son Aidan is marrying his high school sweetheart, Elsa. The book opens with their wedding, where we meet Aurora. Aurora attends on the arm of another guest, and her sole purpose for the evening is to save her business. She’s looking for money and support from one of King’s very wealthy guests. Spoiler- there’s a bit more to it…this other guest is King’s arch-nemesis and father of the bride. Such a tangled web Rina Kent weaves!
Here’s the BIG twist….
Aurora is actually the much younger sister of King’s dead wife. Gasp! And, Aurora looks JUST like her sister. King hasn’t seen Aurora in years, since before his wife died. He does recognize her right away and isn’t happy.
This book is a romantic suspense. It’s crazy good. Along with the angry “ we hate each other but our chemistry is off the charts” storyline with King, Aurora’s dad is a serial killer. He’s known as the Duct Tape Killer. He’s a horrible, ghastly man. Her father was finally captured, because Aurora when she was just 16 years old, turned him into the police. Her father is in prison and wants to speak with her. Aurora, meanwhile, is receiving (or is it her imagination?!) mysterious recordings from her dead sister. In each recording, Alicia talks about her own life and her belief that someone is trying to kill her.
The book ends on a cliffhanger.
Book two is Rise of a Queen. I don’t want to give anything away about the cliffhanger or the mysterious recordings of Aurora’s sister. I will say, both of these books are amazing. I had a small gap between Reign of a King ending and Rise of a Queen being released. I was a twitchy mess. King, while still a world-class jerk, truly loves Aurora and proves he would do anything to ensure her happiness. There is also a huge revelation in book two that I didn’t see coming. And, a character introduced just briefly that I want to read much, much more about. The author created what could’ve been an awkward situation for the reader because King married one sister, wasn’t a great husband, and then fell in love with the other sister. I cringe when I read that just now. But, it wasn’t ugly when I read their story. And, any awkwardness that might linger, is resolved by the end of the second book. I hope the author doesn’t end this world; I’d love to read more.
Both books get a grade A