Book Reviews, Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Year of Reviews - 2021

Review – Empire of Desire by Rina Kent

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Empire of Desire; Empire #1 
(An interconnected standalone)

Publication Date: November 4, 2021

Genre/Tropes: Marriage of Convenience/Age-Gap/Workplace/Forbidden Romance

Author: Rina Kent

Review Rating: 5 Gold Stars



This may not be Kent’s normal dark romance, but it’s a well written, outstanding story that contains a lot of forbidden tropes.

Nate Weaver, my favorite lawyer, is here and everything I was hoping for. Nate  may not be the kind of man to openly show that he cares, just ask his nephew, but he is a ninja carer. What does that mean? He basically sneaks in undercover and without you knowing he takes of everything in your life and you never even have a chance to thank him for it. Especially don’t thank him, it makes him uncomfortable. I love how unattached he seems, it’s delightful.

Nate’s circle is small, he doesn’t like emotions, but he’s also really amazing. Like, will drive a person crazy kind of amazing, but once he’s under your skin he’s impossible to to kick out. Ask Gwen who’s been trying for years.

Gwendolyn Shaw is the daughter of Nate’s best friend, Kingston. A daughter that King had during his last year in high school and Nate has been there every step of the way. Nate never once saw Gwendolyn as anything other than King’s daughter, until she kissed him on her eighteenth birthday. That is when everything changed.

Gwen has been in love with Nate since she understood what that meant, outside of familial love. She has had a singular focus when it came to loving Nate, her favorite flavor in the world, which is vanilla, and loving her dad, which should be hard considering Nate is her dad’s best friend, but the heart wants what the heart wants.

Gwen never thought she’d get a chance with Nathaniel, considering he didn’t give her the time of day, but when everything in her life careens out of control, he’s there taking charge and suddenly her husband.

While this isn’t a dark romance, it also isn’t a happy-go-lucky romance either. It’s forbidden and sinful, while also being emotional (and remember Nate doesn’t like those). Rina really captures everything that is important in an age-gap romance that makes that soul deep connection burn and thrive, but also makes you cheer for the HEA. It’s delicious.

 He’s my dad’s best friend, my new boss, and my forbidden fantasy. 


My forbidden husband.

I kissed my father’s best friend and it kind of didn’t go well.
Not only because he’s eighteen years older than me—but he also didn’t like it.
Not one bit.
In my defense, I didn’t mean to fall for him. It just happened.
Nathaniel Weaver is the most attractive man I’ve ever seen with enough charisma to blind the sun.
He’s bigger than the world, owns half of it and conquered the other half.
He was forbidden.
So I totally got over him. Or so I told myself.
Until we’re forced to get married.
Now I’m trapped.
But maybe he’s trapped too.
Because we’re both reaching for that forbidden fruit dangling between us.

Empire of Desire is a complete STANDALONE. No book should be read prior to this.
Note: This is NOT a dark romance.

Forbidden age gap, father’s best friend, marriage of convenience romance.


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