The Freshman; Kingmakers #1
(#1 within a series)
Publication Date: March 30, 2021
Genre/Tropes: Mafia/Love Triangle/New Adult Romance
Author: Sophie Lark
This was my first Sophie Lark book and what a better time to jump into her world than with a new series. Every student attending the Kingmakers Academy are the children of past characters, which I personally had no knowledge of, but Sophie did a great job of blending the past into the present story so I was never lost while I was reading. The three main characters in The Freshman center around Leo Gallo, Anna Wilk, and Dean Yenin.
We enter a world where the mafia from all over the world send their children to one central location to learn everything they can (like college) before returning home to either take over their families enterprise or help run it in some capacity. I loved the classes that the students attended such as; money laundering, sniper class, mafia history, combat training, etc…these children were learning every aspect of how to run their organization from the ground up and what made them successful. This is a very clever concept.
On top of just learning there is a contest every year, similar to Harry Potter, but deadly and certainly without magic, where each class has to work together to compete and eventually be the last class standing. With so many “top dogs” on campus how students handle the games is an adventure every year, but for the incoming freshmen it’s a new experience all together and they have never won. With this new class can they pull it off?
While students are attending classes, playing the wicked games, we also have a love triangle going on between Leo, Anna, and Dean. This part of the story is a little slow to play out at first, but I think it’s because there is so much of the meaty storyline to pack in. This is the first book in the series which means there is a lot to set up. History, background, secondary characters, etc…everything that may seem to drag the story will be pertinent, but it just takes a bit to finally get there. Once Leo, Anna, and Dean finally get the ball rolling the plot really takes off and it doesn’t stop until the very end.
As for Leo, Anna, and Dean their whole love triangle will constantly pull at those angsty love strings. GAH! I was flipping all over the place and I really did not see the end coming. They say every villain is the hero in his own story so this was the perfect beginning.
Leo Gallo (son of Sebastian & Yelena)
Mafia families from around the world send their children to Kingmakers Academy to learn the skills of criminal enterprise.
Under the rules of Sanctuary, students are forbidden to fight or kill. But rivalries are high, tensions inflamed, and forbidden love arises in the most unlikely places…
Welcome to Kingmakers