For a while I thought this would be a 3 star book (4 on Amazon), good but not great. However I’m now debating between 4 and 5 stars! The start was slower, less intense than previous books, we met several new characters and also learnt a lot more about some of the supporting characters. On reflection this world and character building was vital, building up to the most emotional of endings. Karina and Uilleam are not the people they once were, and I’ve gone from loving to hating and back to loving them at various times through both this and the DoM series. I can’t wait for this pair to get the HEA they so very much deserve.
As already mentioned there is a huge bombshell of a twist, you start getting hints half-way through the book. The signposts for the big reveal are intentionally very obvious and easy to spot because the beauty of London Miller’s writing is in the subtle, tiny, little details. She weaves seemingly irrelevant snippets of information into complex stories and she breathes such life into her characters that you feel, live and breathe their emotions.
Whilst much anticipated resolutions are attained, suddenly the rug is pulled out from under our feet and we discover that the bad guy was someone else all along. Now I’m left wondering just what will happen in the next book, Alpha Omega, and hoping that London finds time, amidst becoming a first-time mom, to continue writing this series.
PS will we ever find out what happened to Uilleam’s uncle?
First came love. Then came hate. And now? Now, there was only war.
When he crossed paths with Karina Ashworth all those years ago, Uilleam Runehart didn’t expect his world to get turned upside down—but he also hadn’t known what it meant to love someone as he loved her.
But greed can corrupt so easily, and what he possessed, he lost just as quickly.
Even knocked off his feet, however, Uilleam isn’t one to back down without a fight, no matter how impossible the odds.
There’s a reason they call him the Kingmaker, and now it’s time to show everyone what that title really means.
From Romantic Suspense Author, London Miller, comes the next thrilling installment in the Kingmaker Saga where emotions run high and love may be the thing that saves them all …
Ratings 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.
For the last few years I’ve written a post on my top 12 books of the year, and my top 12 series’ of the year. This time I’m going to do thinks a little differently and talk about my top 3 reads in various categories/genres/tropes.
First category is Contemporary Romance.
This is a genre I’ve found myself reading less and less of, at least in terms of ‘straight’ contemporary. My first, and greatest, love in reading was the sci-fi/fantasy genre with authors such as Anne McCaffrey, Julian May, Katherine Kerr, Andre Norton and David Eddings being amongst my favourites. Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams will forever hold a special place in my heart, and prominence on my book shelf. Of late I have found myself drawn back to the genre, but preferring those books which also combine it with a good love story.
However I have read some excellent contemporary romances this year, and actually struggled to narrow the group down to a top 3! Colour me surprised because I didn’t actually expect to find even that number to include.
This is one seriously under-recognised author. Her writing is superb and I just wished she was more well known, Eris thoroughly deserves it.
It’s the story of a seriously messed up pair, who are dysfunctional to the extreme yet who somehow come together to create something wonderful. It’s one of those “so wrong, it’s right” stories and I loved every minute of it.
This is part of an ongoing series, which really needs to be read in order to fully enjoy and understand the back story. Each book features one couple, Cutter, the hero in this one, is a complete alpha-hole but in the best way possible. He’s constantly brought down to size by the bad-ass heroine that is Valentina.
I did have a fourth book, Rebel’s Redemption by Lexi C Foss, that I also need to mention. It is A-MAZ-ING and it’s only because I’m going to be featuring this author in other categories that I didn’t feature the book more widely here.
Next are my favourite 3 books containing BDSM. This was a category that I DID struggle with deciding on, I could easily have included many more books. In fact I’m featuring a series as one of my choices.
There are 6 books in the series, the final one was released a few days ago and I am currently reading (and loving) it. The first book, Sparks, is free. It is more erotic, less dark than the subsequent books, which take us into a dark, underground world full of danger and kink.
These have been amongst my most favourite reads of the year in any genre/trope. The author writes with a subtle humour and her characters are always strong. In fact along with Cari Silverwood, she has written some of my favourite heroines.
Let’s face it, Kitty Thomas is the QUEEN of the dark romance. If you haven’t read Comfort Food I can only say – “Why?”. It’s not an easy read but it is amazing, as is Twisted Fates which is part of the interlinked Pleasure House series and may be read as a stand alone story.
Whilst it’s a morally dubious story, it doesn’t contain non-consent and the dubious consent isn’t all that dubious either. On paper we should hate the hero, and in real life I’d want to see him locked away from society for a very long time. However Kitty persuades us that not only is Lyndsay perfect for Shannon, but she made me love him too.
Technically the Black Light books can be read stand alone, though part of this story builds on a short story by the same author in the Celebrity Roulette anthology. The book features two separate couples, mainly focusing on two new characters, Shane and Nalani, but also concluding Piper and Nolan’s story that began in Switched.
This book should have a trigger warning – there is a very violent and detailed rape scene. It wasn’t added just for the shock factor and the aftermath was handled well, in my opinion.
The link will take you to all 5 books of the Russo Saga. It’s a series of interlinked books, all of which I can highly recommend, but the duet of Absolution and Redemption are definitely my favourites. T
he story takes you to hell and back, along with the anti-hero and heroine. There were times. whilst reading Absolution, where i had to take an “feelings break” in order to recharge my emotional batteries.
Book #1, White Rabbit: The Rise, was listed amongst my favourite reads of 2018. The series has gone from strength to strength this year, with the release of 3 further books and the imminent release of book #5, Dark Horse.
White Rabbit: The Fall, Black Swan and Red Herring continue the story of Belladonna and The Kingmaker, otherwise known as Karina and Uilleam. And oh what a twisty, cat-and-mouse, game-of-chess, power-play story it is. London Miller has an amazing talent for weaving a complex tale where a seemingly random array of threads pull together at the last minute to form an intricately detailed tapestry.
Part of the Blaire’s World collection, and based on Anita Gray’s books of the same name, this is a dark and delicious duet. It delves into the underbelly of society, a world of pain, cruelty and evil and it doesn’t pull it’s punches.
One could argue that this belongs in the “Dark” catagory, below, but it’s my post so it’s my rules.
Again, I need to mention a Lexi C Foss book, this time it is the amazing Scarlet Mark. Part of the Cavalieri Della Morte series, it was the book that brought the author to my attention. When I discovered this was her first foray into Romantic Suspense I was gobsmacked to say the least. I tell you, she hit this one out of the ball park, and then some.
I’m going to finish today’s post with my top 3 Dark Reads of the year, and will be back tomorrow with 4 other categories of goodness to share. I think this was the hardest group to pare down to just 3 books, but I did it eventually!
No list is complete without a Lily White book, she is an expert at knowing how to mess with your mind. She’s had some personal struggles this year, so has been very quite for the last few months, but we are expecting a new release soon and I, for one, can’t wait to read more by this wonderful author.
The Five is typical Lily White, and was a very popular Book of the Month over in the Dark Erotica group on Goodreads. It’s not your typical romance and is very psychological, testing your morals, pushing your boundaries and challenging your judgemental side. It was a book that seemed to have a marmite effect, dividing readers into loved it or hated it. I was most definitely in the former camp and highly recommend it.
This story started life as Cocoon in the ‘Just Breathe‘ anthology, but has since been extended and improved, even though I didn’t feel that was possible as I thought the original was already perfect.
This is not as dark a piece of work as we are used to from Ms Bene. It does contain strong elements of dub-con, hence including it in this group. Crazy Broken Love spoke to me deeply and left me questioning my own prejudices, however unintentional they are.
For some reason the link only takes you to the first two books of the trilogy. Book #3, Forbidden, can be found here. The trilogy of books are NOT stand alone and must be read in order, they feature Ethan and Lily, the parents of Conor, who is the anti-hero of the original Dark Necessities trilogy.
Despite not liking Ethan for most of the story, my love for Lily (and her love of Ethan) made this one gripping must-read series for me. It’s dark and Ethan is not a good man, not a good man at all. But he does love Lily and that was his saving grace for this reader.
Despite feeling like I have a mountain of arc books to read (a situation I really need to resolve by perhaps stepping down from several teams) I’ve recently been struggling with having enough reviews to share. So I’ve gone into the Goodreads vaults and dug out some from several years ago. My eye was caught by the Den of Mercenaries series, particularly since I know there is another book in the linked Kingmaker series due out soon. If you haven’t read her yet I highly recommend London Miller’s work to you. She is an amazing author who writes romantic suspense/organised crime/mercenary plots that are deep, multi-layered and very complex. The strands weave together into the richest of tapestries sporting the most stunning of patterns.
Sadly whilst I have read the first book, coincidentally named Red, it was in the days before I religiously recorded every review on Goodreads. So I’m starting with the second book of the series, which features an Irish art thief and the innocent girl who gets caught up in his world.
I loved Amber and I loved Celt. I do need to ask though, why does no-one ever warn the hero that keeping secrets will only lead to trouble?
Celt is just such a well written, captivating and incredibly twisty romantic suspense. The main characters have genuine depth, felt like real people you could meet tomorrow (even despite one being a mercenary!) and had amazing chemistry. Celt is just such a swoon-worthy hero, completely stealing my heart. His intention was to use Amber, but very quickly she came to mean the whole world to him.
The intrigue feels totally plausible and is combined with little breadcrumb hints of mystery, enough to send your brain into a frenzy. Celt is packed with action, adventure and peril that has you turning pages as fast as you possible can. There is also a wonderful love story that totally draws you in. Finally there is the ever mysterious, slightly sinister Kingmaker, pulling so many strings behind the scenes.
I really enjoyed this, although it is part of a series it can easily be read as a standalone. However I will warn you that once you enter the world of the Den of Mercenaries you will not be happy until you know just what Uilleam is up to and exactly how he has manipulated all the characters into their current positions. London Miller’s writing will enthral you and leave you needing more.
I definitely recommend not just the book, but the whole series.
RED HERRING (The Kingmaker Saga #4) by London Miller
This book, this series, this story is the epitome of fantastic writing. And that ending, oh boy will that ending send you into a spin!
Did the author have the entire story mapped out when she first started work on Red? Did she know then that once the Den of Mercenaries series was finished that she would be writing about Karina and Uilleam? And I also have to ask how, HOW, does she keep all the events in line? How does she weave strands from each mercenaries story with strands from Karina and Uilleam’s stories and make them all fit perfectly? Not to mention just how the heck did she ever dream up such an amazing story arc?
This book dropped on my kindle and that was it for me. I had the day off work and within minutes of picking up my kindle was totally absorbed into this complex, astounding and outstanding story. The book repeats a lot of what was in the Den series, but from the point of view of the puppet masters who pulled the strings. If you’ve very recently read the WHOLE Den of Mercenariesseries then you might not need to read this. However it’s been a while since I did, so this was an excellent way to remind myself of all the manipulation and scheming. Seeing it through Karina and Uilliam’s eyes also gives us a valuable insight that would otherwise be missing.
This isn’t a stand alone book, and there seems little point in talking about Karina and Uilliam as characters. If you’ve got this far in the series then you know just how amazing, twisted, manipulative, caring and broken they are.
I cannot praise this series highly enough. I cannot recommend it enough either. This series is fast proving to be my favourite of the year and you really don’t want to miss out on it.
What goes up must always come down …
Uilleam Runehart has never faced an opponent like Karina Ashwroth—he’s certainly never had to battle against a woman that held his heart.
But if she forces his hand, he’ll have to show her why they call him the Kingmaker.
Except … Karina knows all too well why most fear him—she’s just not afraid.
She knows his strengths.
She created his weaknesses.
And in the end, she’ll show him what no other has been able to—what it means to lose …
From Romantic Suspense Author, London Miller, comes the fourth installment in the Kingmaker Saga following the man whose hubris is his weakness and the woman who will use it against him.
I adore Karina, I’m slowly forgiving Uilleam (though he still has a long way to go yet) and I am desperate for this pair to find everlasting happiness.
I have to wonder way, way back in the past, when Ms Miller wrote Red, the first book in the Den of Mercenaries series, if she had this entire story arc in mind. The imagination, planning and the painstaking recording of details needed to make this series work, to have it blend so seamlessly with the Den series of books, leaves me in absolute awe. Her talent for story telling is second to none.
This book, THIS. BOOK. It held me spellbound. It broke my heart. It shredded my soul. It made me ache and despair for the two lost and wounded individuals within its pages. At times it had me on the very edge of my seat, the tension so very palpable that my heart was racing, my hands were clenched tight and I couldn’t read quickly enough. Other times I gazed on in wonder at the sheer audacity of the plans and schemes. Mesmerised with how the intrigue was like a tightly ravelled ball of string wound just perfectly, so that the slightest tug on a loose end saw it unravel before my very eyes.
The fact that I’ve already witnessed so much of this story through the eyes of other characters didn’t matter a jot. Every line brought something new. Each paragraph held meaning, gave context and revealed secrets that I hadn’t even known existed before that moment. I actually had to put this book aside a couple of times just to let my brain process everything I had read. I had to give myself time to recover from the depth of emotion this stirred within me. Allow myself space to soak in the sheer brilliance of the story. I also needed to try and eek the story out for as long as possible because I just knew I’d go into a massive book hangover upon completing this.
In the aforementioned DoMseries, I really didn’t care for Karina. In the first two books of The Kingmaker Sagawe see the woman she was before betrayal, pain and misery shaped her into Belladonna. That this agony befell her, ultimately, at the hands of the man whom she loved with all her heart provided me with a very different perspective of the character. Karina is a woman who only ever saw the good in others, a woman who cares too much and too deeply for her own good, especially when it comes to Uilleam Runeheart.
Whilst not an easy man to always like, mainly due to his arrogance and high handed manner, Uilleam did win me over both in the Den books as well as the first book of the Kingmaker saga. However much he loved Karina, despite how the situation broke his heart, there was never anyone more to blame for events than himself. Yet despite this, despite knowing he is selfish, despite knowing he is manipulative and despite knowing he doesn’t always care enough about the innocents caught up in his schemes, he is slowly worming his way back into my heart.
I simply can’t begin to guess how this story will proceed. I do know that it is a series that you will happily read again and again, each time noticing another little facet, hint or clue that you missed on previous reads. If you love romantic suspense, if you love a well written story, if you enjoy books that involve your mind, heart and soul then this is for you. It needs to be read after the first two books, White Rabbit: The Rise and White Rabbit: The Fall. You might possibly also want to read the Den of Mercenaries books, which this series overlaps with, it isn’t strictly necessary but they are also incredibly well written stories too.
As an investigative journalist, Karina Ashworth’s job involves delving into New York’s black market of criminals and mischief where sin is almost too tempting to ignore.
When she crosses paths with a man whose smile is a little too cunning—and his power a little too vast—she learns very quickly that dancing with the devil is far more enjoyable than she had ever imagined.
But Uilleam Runehart is not at all what he seems, and as a notorious fixer with a thirst for power, he’ll do anything to obtain his title.
Ruthless. Sinful. Seductive.
How much would you pay to be a king?
From Romantic Suspense author, London Miller, comes the first book in a sexy, thrilling new series following a man with too much power and the only woman that can bring him to his knees.
With a degree in Creative Writing, London Miller has turned pen to paper, creating riveting fictional worlds where the bad guys are sometimes the good guys. Her debut novel, In the Beginning, is the first in the Volkov Bratva Series.
She currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and two puppies, where she drinks far too much Sprite, and spends her nights writing.