Happily Ever Crowned (Underworld Royals #1)
by Lexi C. Foss and Anna Edwards
5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Wow. Dark, powerful, gut-wrenching, twisted, steamy and amazing.
This book takes you to the depths of hell literally as well as figuratively, and whilst not the very blackest of black it certainly had its moments. Whilst a lot of the darkness is implied or referred to in retrospect there are still plenty of edgy dub-con and non-con moments. In fact we get a very graphic and disturbing scene fairly close to the start and totally necessary to set the tone of the story.
I absolutely adored both Valora and Adrik, they had depth and, despite being paranormal creatures, felt both real and believable. Valora could so easily have felt weak but somehow this talented pair of authors kept her head above water and gave us a woman with huge depths of compassion and an inner strength that even she never suspected at. There was some pretty decent world building too, perhaps not the most complex I’ve read but more than sufficient to allow the story to hold its own.
Adrik had every intention of being a bad man but just had far too kind a heart. He was a wonderful hero and, for me, the story worked better that way as opposed to Valora having a magical vajayjay that miraculously alters his personality! It was great to see both characters grew and mature during this story, and in a way that felt entirely natural. Their connection and relationship was also well portrayed, and again was totally believable.
The story had an excellent mix of passion, evil and intrigue with some twists at the end that will leave your head spinning – even though the authors dropped a few little breadcrumb clues at the start! I loved that there wasn’t instant forgiveness of certain people for their actions but that Valora didn’t rule it out either.
And that little epilogue has me panting for the next book!
Two words that signed over my soul to a monster, all to save a kingdom I knew little about. This isn’t a fairy tale. No knights in shining armor, only kings fighting for power. And my heart is the key.
A game designed to shatter even the harshest of resolves.
My husband wants to debase me. To break me. To destroy my spirit. To possess every inch of my soul through acts so heinous, I can hardly breathe. And he’s using six men to do it. Including him. Adrik, Prince of Noxia.
Such a wicked twist of fate. Happily-Ever-After may not exist here, but amorous energy rises after a night of unbridled passion. A night I should hate, but don’t.. A night I long to repeat.
“I love you.”
A statement I will never say. Not even to him–my dark prince who plays in the shadows, engaging me in a forbidden dance of hope and adoration. He promises me a new crown, in exchange for my heart.
I will not be owned.
I will rise above them all.
And the only crown I will wear is the one drenched in their blood.
Author’s Note: This is a dark paranormal romance. Please read the author’s note at the beginning (available in the “look inside” feature) if you have any concerns about dark content.
“No permanent damage,” Necros finally said. “She might be barren, but I want her alive.”
Of course you do, I thought. He wanted her power, same as I did. “So only leave wounds that will heal under immortality?” Again the question was for the benefit of our audience. It would be such a shame to harm someone so gorgeous.
Necros nodded. “Blood is fine. You can even break bone. But only if she can recover without a scar. If I can’t breed her, I might as well use her body for other means.”
Another benefit of having her trained, I supposed.
Not that I agreed with any of this.
But I had to play along to get what I needed–her heart.
“Understood,” I murmured, tracing the tip of my dagger down her corseted top. Her breathing remained steady as she floated in some faraway place, her imagination overtaking her reality. Alas, I couldn’t allow her to stay there. I needed her focus and compliance to achieve my goal. “I want to teach you something, Valora,” I said, my weapon nearing her belly button. “An important lesson on participation.”
5 stars – This is a book I will not forget and would definitely read again.
4 stars – I really enjoyed this book, I might not read it again but I would definitely recommend it to others.
3 stars – This story was good but either forgettable or just very typical of its genre.
2 stars – Whilst the book was readable I either didn’t enjoy parts of the plot or just could not connect to the main characters.
1 star – This is a book I simply could not finish for reasons listed in the review.