King of Spades
(#1 within a series)
Publication Date: April 5, 2022
Genre/Tropes: Twisted Fairytale/Dark Romance
Author: Alta Hensley
Take a dive into the Alice in Wonderland theme, but add in ton of dark twists and devious turns.
There is no hiding that I love the Morelli and Constantine Midnight Dynasty world. Every author that has contributed to it has captivated me with their story(ies). I was eager to read what Alta’a dark words were going to add, especially since she was stepping into the Morelli world. While King of Spades held promise, unfortunately it was the actual Morelli heroine that just fell short of a homerun for me.
Lyriope is an illegitimate heir of Bryant Morelli. Hidden in the shadows her entire life, even her famous cousins and half-siblings do not know of her existence. However, there is one man in the city, Nick Hudson, a man who runs his business on information, that does know who her father really is and he will not hesitate to use that information to his benefit.
Lyriope and Nick begin this story with a lot of good tension, she’s terribly naive and he’s very worldly, but more than that, she seeks him out for help in the sticky situation she’s found herself in. Basically running from one bad situation into the arms of another bad man, but on the grounds that he sets her blood on fire and the other party doesn’t, she decides the devil you know is the better choice. Makes sense.
What I didn’t particularly care for is that Lyriope is basically a brat and not in the good sense of the word to build tension. Nick takes her in when her life is in danger and at every turn she’s ungrateful, indigent, and childish. At first I sympathized with her emotions, but as the book went along and Nick was once again explaining her life threatening situation and Lyriope was still just rude, honestly I probably would have let her go and told her good luck. (I also had to remind myself that she sought him out and not the other way around, so a lot of her ungrateful words started to get under my skin.)
However, this book isn’t all bad. The steamy chemistry between them is high, but mainly because Nick distracts her harsh words with other activities, wickedly delicious activities. There is good suspense on the mystery of who is trying to capture and hurt Lyriope as well. Nick will not stop until she is safe, but that in itself creates a quandary because once she is, what will become of his queen.
A point of note, this book does end on a cliffhanger and will return again in Queen of Hearts. A 4.5 star review.
Nick Hudson has a dangerous reputation.
That’s what I need if I’m going to survive.
Desperation makes me seek out a ruthlessly powerful billionaire.
I need protection.
He demands my virtue as payment.
I’m falling into a world of luxury and sin.
With every twist and turn, I need more.
Except this is not a man to love.
This is a man to fear.
His obsession grows. So does the threat, until I’m trapped in a world of depravity. I’ll need more than Nick’s strength to survive. I’m going to need his heart.