All Hail- the QUEEN! In Reign of a King, Jonathan King brought us all to our knees- the captivating, alpha who made us all willingly bend the knee, even his captive. But now, well now the King wants the queen- and he’ll bring the whole world to its knees just for her. This story is nothing short of ADDICTIVE. Psychologically riveting, emotionally intense, passionate, sexy, and suspenseful, Rise of a Queen is another Rina masterpiece- a totally consuming romantic thriller with an anti-hero you’ll swoon for and a heroine you can admire.
Book 2 picks up right from the shocking cliffhanger that rocked our (and our characters’) worlds as we knew it. And the passion, the twists and turns, the heat, and the mystery moves at a frenetic pace. There is so much happening in this story- and I don’t want to reveal a thing. But, I could not put it down- it is brilliantly paced, the perfect balance of heat, suspense, and heart, and full of all of that psychological intrigue I love about Rina.
Y’all...Jonathan King has totally crept not only into my fantasies but into my heart. Rina has somehow saved our most addictive and captivating hero in this series for last- because Daddy King owns me. My ovaries exploded. If you thought he was deliciously sexy in book one, just wait until Rise of a Queen- this man is even hotter, even darker, even more possessive and dominant and controlling, but also more nuanced, more emotive, newly protective and supportive- he’s giving (in his own way, of course) and he’s TENDER. OH MY. You’ve seen nothing yet- when Rina unleashed this version of Jonathan, the man who would burn the whole world down for his woman-SWOON!! Be still my frantically beating heart! And Aurora is such a riveting and inspiring heroine, who really stands out in the canon of Rina women. She’s strong, resilient, loyal- altruistic and brave. She’s got a vulnerable fragility to her, but one steeled by an iron will and devoted and tenacious heart. And together? They are pure magic.
Book one was really about a connection of bodies- a catalyzing and sizzling physical attraction that scorched the earth. The union of two broken characters who didn’t even realize how broken they were who somehow find what they need in the very last person they expected- the ruthless tyrant and the deviant carbon copy of a ghost. Book one created that tentative and begrudging alliance, but book two is really about a merging of souls, the fusing of hearts. Watching these two crawl so deeply inside each other and reforming themselves is nothing short of addictive. Rise of a Queen is everything I love about Rina- emotive, psychologically intense, and riveting story telling. With a new Rina edge- a love story wrapped in the warm embrace of a suspenseful thriller.
But this story has LAYERS. Entertaining, yes, but it is more than that. Underneath the edge of your seat mystery- the dark and suspenseful thriller that is the backdrop of this story- and underneath the YUMMY erotic moments, Rise of a Queen is really about the metaphysical evolution of two lonely characters- characters who need connection, who need emotional safety and belonging- even if they didn’t yet realize it. And they find that with each other. That connection was formed and deepens- and now both Jonathan and Aurora face an existential crisis. Feisty and independent Aurora is grappling with the weight of her demons, the fear of a self-fulfilling prophecy: is she crazy or at risk like Alicia OR does she have psychopathic tendencies like her murdering father? And in confronting that, she’s Aurora forced to come to terms with something perhaps even more jarring - the reality that the enemy, one of the most feared men she knows, is somehow what she needs- is her solace, her safety, her home. The man who set out to own and destroy her completes her- he speaks to her soul. But when is his control freeing and when is she trapped? Can she rise above her past and Jonathan’s machinations, can she reclaim herself? And Jonathan- our control freak, alpha king whose sole ambition is to win and protect his family finds himself at a crossroads- what happens when his priorities change? When the man who has always done nothing but take is suddenly willing to give. When a man who wants to conquer the world doesn’t want the world for himself anymore, but wants it for his queen. Jonathan has to ultimately realize the truth he knew all along- in a game of chess, the most powerful piece on the board is always the queen. And the king, well the king exists in service of the queen- and he only wins if the Queen stands victorious in the end. The man who never loses has to figure out that to ultimately win, he actually has to cede. Will our anti-hero become a hero?
These two existential journeys are SO psychologically and emotionally captivating. A relational crescendo in a titillating and consuming symphony. As the mystery implodes around them, these two immerse themselves in each other. The more they fall, the more connected and entwined their souls are, and the more enthralling their chemistry. While they are piecing together the puzzle of the mystery, they are slowly chipping away at each other. And somehow, what started as a story about power morphs into a sweet and sexy story about belonging. The tyrant king learns to trust and give, to let another rule by his side. And the reluctant queen rises out of the ashes of her past, a bold and vibrant partner. Two characters, bound in heart and soul, somehow born anew.
I LIVE for Jonathan and Aurora- I am obsessed with them. Rina never ceases to amaze- there is a reason why I one click everything she reads. Only she can make the obsessive, the carnal, the dark and depraved feel so sweet, intimate, and tender. Hands down one of my favorite age gap stories to date, but also one of her best books to date. I bow down - to the queen AND the king.