BOOK REVIEW ~ THE KING BY TIFFANY REISZ

Cunning. Sex. Pure nerve. Only this potent threesome can raise him to his rightful place as ruler of Manhattan’s kink kingdom.  Bouncing from bed to bed on the Upper East Side—handsomely paid in both bills and blackmail fodder—Kingsley Edge is brilliant, beautiful and utterly debauched. No carnal act or chemical compound can relieve his self-destructive apathy—only Søren, the one person he loves without limit or regret. A man he can never have, but in whose hands Kingsley is reborn to attain even greater heights of sin. He plans to open the ultimate BDSM club­: a dungeon playground for New York’s A-list that’ll change the scene forever.  The club becomes Kingsley’s obsession—and he’s enlisted some tough-as-nails help. His new assistant Sam is smart, secretive and totally immune to seduction (by men, at least). She and Kingsley make a wicked team. Still, their combined—and considerable—expertise in domination can’t subdue the man who would kill their dream. The enigmatic Reverend Fuller won’t rest until King’s dream is destroyed. It’s one man’s sacred mission against another’s….

Having read the first five books and never giving much of a second thought to Kingsley, I was surprised but happy to finish this book thinking that he just might be my favorite out of the Sinners group. This book is all about Kingsley, his beginnings, his experiences, and how his kingdom, the Eight Circle, all began. I loved how dynamic his character was, and he’s so charming, playful, and witty and while crude and often times dismissive, he has so much love for the people he cares about. Though the book unfolds in the form of a story Kingsley tells to a side character, the plot didn’t feel narrative at all and I very much felt like I was physically in the book, on the outside looking in like a third wheel.
“Twenty years ago…it feels like yesterday. Yesterday and a lifetime.”
In present time, Kingsley is on a journey and his first stop is with Zach and Grace (first introduced in book 1), where he basically tells Grace his life story from his twenties and beyond. In the beginning, it’s revealed that he’s a lost soul. Damaged from war. Dying slowly bereft of the one man he loves. Living without a purpose. He drinks, he fucks, and he repeats the cycle. As destiny would have it, an incident involving a young Nora places Soren in King’s path again and like moths drawn to flame, he feels alive and invigorated to do what he was always meant to do: build his one-of-a-kind BDSM club for others that take pleasure from pain.
“A promise made long ago…A promise he would keep. A king must have a kingdom after all.”
With Soren back in his life, it was equally heartbreaking and heartwarming to see King’s interactions with him. There are just so many barriers preventing them from ever being together, and deep down I know Soren belongs with Nora, but sometimes I can’t help but want there to be a decisive, clean-cut way for Soren and King to be together. Just them.
I have to say though, this book and the rest of the series is probably the closest I’ll ever get to reading M/M. Not that I have anything against it, but it’s just not something that appeals to me for the time being so any erotic scenes with the two of them together I pretty much put on my big girl panties. They were hot. They were sensual. And the love and their ‘BDSM chemistry’ was 100% undeniable.
“You beat me this early before.
I was attempting to wake you up.
With your alarm cock?”
Though I didn’t expect to, I fell irrevocably in love with his character, every bit of him. He’s too irresistible, one minute charmingly witty and the next deadly serious. He’s such a people-person and no matter what side character that comes into contact with him, it’s always a joy to read, especially his banter with his assistant Sam (only briefly mentioned in previous books).
“Party time. Have fun fucking half your guests.
What are you going to do?
Fuck the other half.”
Just like the other books, this book will always be hardcore erotica first as the main genre with a very unconventional romance hidden within. While I do think some scenes were dragged out a little and towards the end the book lost a little momentum, nevertheless, this is a story that grabbed me from the beginning. And I mean the very first line. Tiffany Reisz’s writing is a true wonder and evokes so much emotion whether it’s laughter, pain, sadness, or love.
“…his confession hadn’t been to a priest but about a priest, the priest he loved not despite all the sins they’d committed against each other but because of them, because the sins were what bound them together. And the love. Of course the love. Always the love.”
One of my very best book decisions was choosing to read this series a year ago. Erotica has never been the same for me and any and all erotica books I read I hold to the standard of this series. Excellent, phenomenal writing became synonymous with Tiffany Reisz’s writing. And top-notch storybuilding will always be compared with the intricate plotline of this series. Reading these books truly make me feel like I’m coming home, and no matter what, I can always trust and count on Tiffany Reisz’s stories to be winners for me again and again.
The King is the 6th book in The Original Sinner series, 2nd book in the White Years quartet within the overall series. This is not a standalone and must be read after the first 5 books in the following order: The Siren, The Angel,The Prince,The Mistress, and The Saint.
ARC provided by Harlequin via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Please note that all quotes are from an advanced copy and subject to change in the final edition.