Series: The Royals of Forsyth University by Angel Lawson and Samantha Rue
New Adult Romance
February 12, 2021
Review by Jen
This reverse harem series by Angel Lawson and Samantha Rue is VERY intense and if you have any triggers, they’re probably somewhere in one of these books. Seriously. Not a series for the sensitive, check content warnings.
Lords of Pain is the first book. Our heroine Story has a troubled past. She’s no angel, and her mom was a prostitute, her step dad met her mom doing prostituting things and he’s a bad guy. The worst kind of guy. He’s Mafia like, but not in the sexy Mafia romance way. More like the sex trafficking way. Story spends some of her teenage years in her step dad’s house. He sexually abuses her (its not described in deep detail), her step bro and his two friends corner her and the friends sexually abuse her, while the step bro watches. That situation is a bit more graphic. Story escapes, goes to boarding school, yada, yada, has a stalker and in what appears to be an epically bad decision, she decides to find her step bro and his friends at college to get their protection from the stalker.
This is where the book takes a turn towards being a version of Harry Potter, if Harry Potter wasn’t about magic but dirty slutty academia. At Forsyth University, there are houses. Instead of Gryffindor or Slytherin, we have the Lords, Dukes, Princes and Counts. Each house is in competition with the others, collecting points to win something. It’s one big game with different events like raising money for charity and of course, jello wrestling.
Each house picks a female college student to be theirs. The woman fools around with the brothers, has sex with some of them, follows their rules, is often humiliated and does everything she can to help her house win. Win what? I’m still not entirely clear. The upside of being the chosen woman, you get a nice place to live, good food, special VIP access to parties, and even expensive gifts. Story’s step bro and his friends are called the Lords and their special female is called the “Lady.” Story shows up to compete against several other women for the coveted role of Lady. She wants to live in their house because her stalker has gotten increasingly more violent. She beats out all the other candidates and is named Lady.
It’s just like my college days! So familiar.
The guys names are amazing, too! We have Killian (the twisted step bro), Rath (the tortured musician with a learning disability) and Tristen (super rich health fanatic). Oh, and Story is a virgin. Which guy wins her virginity? There’s a points system in place to decide the winner. She basically becomes a sex slave for the three guys. Keep in mind, these are the same guys who assaulted her years ago!!
It was a crazy ride in book one and I was cringing, rolling my eyes and then eagerly reading the next page. I’m a little embarrassed that I really liked this book.
Killian has been obsessed with Story for years, so he makes her life miserable. He’s the mean boy who pulls the girl’s pony tail X10000. Rath is more complex. He didn’t grow up wealthy and connects with Story because they both had it rough. He’s also a total asshat about the points system. Tristen is all about control, voyeurism and has a slight dominant streak. Honestly, none of these dudes are good people. Not one book boyfriend in the bunch.
And yet, I still inhaled every page.
Throughout the series, the guys are trying to control Story, they embarrass her, use her and are sure she’s hiding things. She is and doesn’t want to admit the real reason she wanted to be their Lady. Story gets smarter and stronger through out the series. And there are some good surprises about her step dad, mom and some side characters. To like this series, you have to be able to take a lot of dub con and non con. For me, the whole premise was incredibly unbelievable, so those sections didn’t affect me the way they might in more true to life books. It’s just such a ridiculous concept. By mid book three, I was skipping over some sections. I think the books could’ve been shorter. All and all, I did enjoy them and will be looking through the authors’ backlist.