Monday, December 9, 2019

Melinda's Review: All the King's Men Duet

The Kingmaker by Kennedy Ryan
Publisher: Kennedy Ryan (October 25th, 2019)
Series: All the King's Men Duet, 1
Genre: Contemporary Romance (M/F)
Dual 1st POV

Rita Award-winning author Kennedy Ryan delivers the epic first installment of the All the King's Men Duet.

Power. Passion. Betrayal.
Raised to rule, bred to lead and weaned on a diet of ruthless ambition.
In a world of haves and have nots, my family has it all, and I want nothing to do with it.

My path takes me far from home and paints me as the black sheep. At odds with my father, I'm determined to build my own empire. I have rules, but Lennix Hunter is the exception to every one of them. From the moment we meet, something sparks between us. But my family stole from hers and my father is the man she hates most. I lied to have her, and will do anything to keep her. Though she tries to hate me, too, the inexorable pull between us will not be denied.

And neither will I.

Where to Buy*:
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The Rebel King by Kennedy Ryan
Publisher: Kennedy Ryan (November 17th, 2019)
Series: All the King's Men Duet, 2
Genre: Contemporary Romance (M/F)
Dual 1st POV

RITA® Award-winning author Kennedy Ryan delivers the gripping conclusion to the All the King's Men Duet
Ambition. Revenge. Love.
Raised to resist. Bred to fight. Survival is in my blood and surrender is never an option.

Though surrender is what Maxim Cade demanded of my body and heart, I had other plans. We were fast-burning fascination and combustible chemistry, but the man I trusted with everything was a trickster. A thief who stole my love. If what we had was a lie, why did it feel so real? The man I swore to hate will have it all, and wants me at his side. But power is a game, and we're the pawns and players.
Facing insurmountable odds, will we win the world, or will we lose it all?

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    Melinda's Review:

    This is a complicated review to write because I felt these two books were so disconnected from each other but also I think of them as one large book. The Kingmaker and The Rebel King are a duet of books that came out 3 weeks apart – and was a very smart publishing decision Kennedy Ryan made since book one ended in a very large cliffhanger and we ALL know how most of us think of those…not very well. But I truly loved book one and still do!

    I spoke about The Kingmaker on RomBkPod and how much I loved the indigenous rep in it – Lennix is truly a powerful female main character and from page one I was sold on her. Kennedy Ryan’s research is obvious and the care she has taken with all of the subjects in these books is apparent and that is her strong suit, and has been clear in all of her previous books as well. Book one is one long road block to Lennix and Maxim getting together, which is essentially all romances. And a lot happens but at its core it’s about the two of them circling each other – across various countries and even continents -  and getting together.

    But in The Rebel King I felt the plot really went off the rails. So, so much happens that it was over the top.


    There is a kidnapping, a brief other man drama, a brief other woman drama (NO CHEATING TO BE CLEAR), parents hating the significant other, threat of rape, violence, killing, assassination, the press discovering an affair on a campaign…honestly I could pick just one of those things and have one full book. But having all of them in one book was just too much and while I wanted to love it I didn’t. I wish that book 1 had the conclusion I wanted for it – it did end in an OTT cliffhanger, but if it had concluded that cliffhanger and stuck that landing, Lennix and Maxim still could have had their HEA and the readers still could have had an amazing political romance with the indigenous representation we desperately need.

    Beyond Kennedy Ryan’s research her strength has previously been in realistic drama. She’s written with incredible nuance about racial relations, police tension, and domestic violence. She brings so much of that here to Maxim’s tension between his falling in love with a woman who is Indigenous and fighting for her people, and coming from a literal oil tycoon family. I loved seeing Lennix fight for her rights and struggle with how to do the best thing for her people – I just wanted more of those things in book 2 instead of the over the top drama that was delivered.

    I gave book 1 5 stars and book 2 I honestly don’t know how to rate because on its own I’d give it a different rating than thinking of it as a duet with the first book.

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    Source: Bought

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    Thanks for the review, Melinda! 


    Until Next Time,

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