Title: The King (The White Years #2)
Author: Tiffany Reisz
Length: 448 pages
Rating: 5 stars, SHORTIES APPROVED
Cunning. Sex. Pure nerve. Only this potent threesome can raise him to his rightful place as ruler of Manhattan’s kink kingdom.
Bouncing from bed to bed on the Upper East Side—handsomely paid in both bills and blackmail fodder—Kingsley Edge is brilliant, beautiful and utterly debauched. No carnal act or chemical compound can relieve his self-destructive apathy—only Søren, the one person he loves without limit or regret. A man he can never have, but in whose hands Kingsley is reborn to attain even greater heights of sin. He plans to open the ultimate BDSM club: a dungeon playground for New York’s A-list that’ll change the scene forever.
The club becomes Kingsley’s obsession—and he’s enlisted some tough-as-nails help. His new assistant Sam is smart, secretive and totally immune to seduction (by men, at least). She and Kingsley make a wicked team. Still, their combined—and considerable—expertise in domination can’t subdue the man who would kill their dream. The enigmatic Reverend Fuller won’t rest until King’s dream is destroyed. It’s one man’s sacred mission against another’s.
This is story of a King, and how he built his kingdom.
I never go in expecting any less because at this point I would 5 star Tiffany’s shopping list. Each of the Original Sinners books have sucked me in deeper and deeper into their personal stories that I’ll never find my way out. Not like I want to anyways and just like The Saint, The King has brought my emotions towards this series to an even higher level. She does such a fantastic job captivating and awakening all of my senses as I’m reading. You think you knew it all from the first four books, novellas, or short stories, think again. Nothing like turning back the clocks and starting from the very beginning.
Tiffany Reisz has done it yet again with The King. If you follow Tiffany on Twitter, you know she has the funniest sense of humor and it shows here with The King via Kingsley Edge. If you’ve read any of Tiffany’s books (and if you haven’t why are reading this review, get to it and start with The Siren), then you already know Kingsley is one funny mofo.
Kingsley goes off to England to visit Grace and Zach Easton and he finally gets to meet baby Fionn. The purpose of his visit is give a gift for baby Fionn and to tell Grace the story of how the 8th Circle came to life.
I went into this book with an expectation of how the story would be, only for that expectation to be blown to bits by the author. And before you misinterpret that statement, just look at my rating. My point is that I expected a light fun book about Kingsley and his shenanigans (if you read Seize The Night, that word choice was intentional). Don’t worry, there are plenty of Kingsley shenanigans. What I didn’t expect was the deep level of emotion to this book.
I always saw Kingsley is the fun loving, lover of all. I didn’t realize how affected he would be at the loss of love, or how hard he would fight for it. This is the man who gets everything he wants, right? Maybe not.
His experiences with Søren as a teenager, profoundly impacted him. Spending years apart, his connection to the man who broke him, doesn’t change. But without the powerful man in his life, there is a sadness about him. A broken quality, worse that the pain Søren inflicted years prior.
“I look at the future, and I see nothing. It’s all black. I have no dreams, no visions, no hope. And you don’t even want me anymore like you used to.”
As a reader of the Original Sinners Series, I was always curious on how the 8th Circle got its name and how it became the biggest kink club in NYC. We get a thorough account on how Kingsley made the 8th Circle his Kingdom for Søren. Kingsley hasn’t seen or heard from Søren in over 11 years so having this night with Justin who reminds him of Søren, is what the doctor ordered. Let’s just say this was one hot brutal scene that Justin loved.
Then one day he receives the call from Søren himself and Kingsley is at a loss. Søren needs Kingsley help to get Nora (or rather Eleanor) out of trouble. Søren reminds Kingsley of a conversation they had a long time ago of finding their perfect match and that he’s found her. Kingsley is intrigued and helps Søren out. Søren tells Kingsley “I found her”. If you’ve read The Prince, who will get the reference.
When Søren returns to his life, now as a Priest, Kingsley’s sadness begins to fade. His spirits rise and he has a new purpose. This book truly captures Kingsley’s love for Søren. It was heartbreaking, yet beautiful at the same time.
Apart for 11 years and yet the first moment they see each other it’s like no time has gone by at all. Am I the only one who wanted to sit on King’s lap and tell him how much I love him? I can’t help it. I thought Søren would be the one to ever break me. I just felt so much hurt for King and what he was going through. Oh, he was stubborn, sarcastic and of course kinky as always, but how that man loves is unexplainable. 11 years?! How? How do you love someone after so long? But that’s the beauty of it all. These characters are made for one another.
I was Laughing Out Loud literally through parts of the book.
“Kingsley, I believe your ex-girlfriend current submissive is attempting to tell you your bartender is a lesbian.” “Why are you in my office?” Kingsley demanded. “You summoned me,” Søren reminded him. “When did you start doing what I asked you to do?” “I promise, it won’t happen again,” Søren said, standing up. If you have no further need of me my divinely inspired quest to build the largest kink club in the world, I have a homily to write.”
God I freaking adore Søren.
And Kingsley’s one track mind . .
“Why can’t we have phone sex like normal perverts?” Kingsley asked.
“The story is found in 1 Kings, chapter three.”
“So that’s a no to phone sex?”
I shed a tear or two as well. The things Kingsley went through was gut wrenching. The love he has for Søren, undeniable yet so sad to read. Just reading the love Kingsley and Søren have for one another reminds me of that song by Journey “Faithfully”.
“You looked for me,” Kingsley said again. This time it wasn’t a question. “And I didn’t find you.” “Why didn’t you tell me you looked for me?” Kingsley asked. “What does it matter? Søren was quiet now, but his voice still resonated.
Two characters you may expect to see in this book, but really don’t, are Nora and Juliette. The latter doesn’t come into the story at all. That is for another time, I suppose. As for Nora, she is often discussed between Kingsley and Søren, but she doesn’t take part in any of the scenes, other than in appearance. I loved when Kingsley sees Nora for the first time, and immediately recognizes something in her that Søren does not. Who knew he was so perceptive?
Grace I’m with you on the first time King sees Nora. Who would’ve known right? He also felt the connection. You know, King may have built that kingdom, but it’s the Priest they all follow.
I found it interesting how Kingsley was at a destructive phase in his life. He needed to hire a new personal assistant, but all the ones he’s ever had he ends up messing it up. Enter Sam. She’s beautiful, funny and a lesbian and, of course, Kingsley wants her (so what else is new). She ends up playing a crucial role in making his dream come true.
I was a bit confused with the direction of the story, as Kingsley is telling his story to Grace. But I should never doubt the talents of this author. She brings everything together and it all makes sense. Also, while I have never truly recovered from the ending of The Mistress, I liked Grace’s role within this story, even as a small one. It made me understand everything that went down, a bit better. Still not past it, but I’m slowly getting there.
Well my dear Grace, there you entered by the Grace of God. Slick Tiffany, very slick. Even more knowing it was Magdalena who predicted all of this. People get your bible studies on. It will help you understand the significance of these characters even more.
This book truly exposes all of Kingsley’s vulnerabilities and how with determination, he built his dream.
Hold off Grace, this didn’t only show Kingsley’s vulnerabilities. What about Søren? He begged King to help his Eleanor. How’s that for the Top Sadist to be on the other side? Priceless. I fall in love with him more and more. Didn’t bother me not one bit Eleanor wasn’t a part of this story. She was so young during these times and our Nora always gets the spotlight no matter what. Look at what King calls her, The Virgin Queen. But Sam, Blaise, Irina and the woman behind Søren and King’s expertise, Magdalena, now that’s a way to bring a story to life.
With Kingsley’s dream, he brings together a group, previously outcasts, giving them a place to expose their true selves. A place where his true love can rule with dominance. And the rest is history, or so they say.
Someone just tell Tiffany I’d like to worship her and is there an 8th Circle out there I can become a part of? Thank You.
Side note: It didn’t really fit into our review, but we all loved Maggie’s inclusion in this story. We shed a tear, knowing what we know happens, but we loved her spirit.
“Daniels’s not my toy. I’m his.”
– YaYa, Michelle and Grace
*Teasers made by YaYa
**An ARC was received for an honest review.
“How much trouble am I in for getting out of the car without permission?” Kingsley asked.
“None,” Søren said, and Kingsley was wildly disappointed. “Let’s go. We can make it back to school by tonight.”
Kingsley followed him back to the car. The driver opened the door for them. When they were alone again, Kingsley said, “Or…”
“Or what?” Søren demanded.
“Or we could find a hotel and fuck in a real bed for once.”
“We’re not on a date. And here I was wondering where the real Kingsley had gone.”
“What do you mean?” he asked as the driver opened the car door for them. He slipped inside and Søren followed. They were on the road again before Søren answered.
“When you were with Claire—I wasn’t sure you were the same Kingsley I know and barely tolerate.”
“Why? Because I like kids?”
“You were good with her.”
“Kids are fun,” he said. What else was there to say?
“I never considered you would like children.”
“Well…I do. So what?”
“Nothing,” Søren said, laughing to himself. “Nothing at all.”
“I know you see me as some kind of pervert,” Kingsley said. “But believe or not, I am a human being. Yes, I like kids. I might want kids someday. I don’t have much of a family anymore. If I want a family I’ll have to make my own. Sometimes I have thoughts that don’t have anything to do with sex. I’m not just your toy, you know. I have feelings and—”
His impassioned “I have feelings” speech ended abruptly when Søren grabbed him hard by the back of the hair and brought his mouth down in a brutal kiss. Kingsley almost pulled away so he could finish his tirade before realizing he wanted the kiss so much more than the fight.
Kingsley returned the kiss with equal and greater passion. Søren yanked Kingsley’s jacket off him and threw it on the floorboard. Kingsley pulled his own shirt off and rolled on to his back on the bench seat. He’d remember the sensation of leather on his bare back all his life.
“Have you ever had sex in the back of a Rolls Royce?” Kingsley asked, trying not to rip Søren’s shirt in his rush to unbutton it. He needed Søren’s skin on his skin right now.
“No,” Søren said. “But ask me that question again in an hour.”
Before Kingsley could respond to that, Søren grabbed his wrists, pinned them over Kingsley’s head and kissed him again—deeper, slower, but no less punitive. Kingsley groaned, and Søren slapped a hand over his mouth.
“Quiet,” Søren said into Kingsley’s ear. “We aren’t alone, and I’ll gag you until you choke if I have to. Understand?”
Kingsley nodded against Søren’s hand. A curtain and partition separated them from the driver. He couldn’t see them, but if they were loud enough, he could hear them. He’d disobeyed Søren’s orders to stay in the car, he’d yelled at him and talked back. He was going to get it this time.
Søren kissed him again. Kingsley kept his sounds of pleasure to a minimum even when Søren reached between their bodies, unzipped Kingsley’s pants, and stroked him hard.
Every muscle in Kingsley’s stomach tightened. He sucked in his breath sharply from the shock of pleasure. It took every bit of self-control not to moan audibly.
“You like this?” Søren asked.
“God, yes, so much,” Kingsley said, lifting his hips against Søren’s hand. He spoke in French and English. He was about to lose control of more than his language skills if
Søren didn’t stop touching him like that.
“I think you like it too much.” Søren rose up on his knees and looked down at Kingsley.
“I don’t. I really don’t. I like it exactly as much as you want me to.”
“You’re pathetic when you’re turned on.”
“I am so pathetic right now.”
Tiffany Reisz is the author of the internationally bestselling and award-winning Original Sinners series for Mira Books (Harlequin/Mills & Boon). Tiffany’s books inhabit a sexy shadowy world where romance, erotica and literature meet and do immoral and possibly illegal things to each other. She describes her genre as “literary friction,” a term she stole from her main character, who gets in trouble almost as often as the author herself.
She lives in Portland, Oregon. If she couldn’t write, she would die.
Do you have a favorite book or author you like to recommend? Do you have a comfort read?
I have a set of books I regularly recommend to people. Want to read amazing literature? Read my favorite novel of all time All the King’s Men by Kentucky author Robert Penn Warren. Want to read the most moving love story I’ve ever read? Read The Vintner’s Luck by Elizabeth Knox. My comfort reads are Sherlock Holmes short stories and Agatha Christie’s Poirot novels.
What is your guilty pleasure?
I’d need to feel guilt to have a guilty pleasure. Buying office supplies I don’t need is probably the closest I get to a guilty pleasure. I buy them and think about all the people out there who don’t have awesome office supplies like I do and I feel bad for them.
Coffee and an ice cream sandwich is my version of a “Power Lunch.” The combination of tastes is glorious.
If you weren’t a writer, what would you be?
My non-writer dream job is train engineer (what? I like trains). My realistic non-writer job would be working in a bookstore. That’s what I was doing when I started my writing career.
If you could time travel, what time period would you visit?
I would have to pick Palestine in the time of Jesus Christ. I have so many questions to ask him!
What made you write Søren and Nora?
Zach Easton did. He came first. Once I had my stuffy Type A British editor nursing a broken heart in need of mending, I conceived of a Wild Child American woman to be his perfect foil and drive him nuts until he gets his head on straight. But I wanted Nora to be able to relate to Zach who was going through a separation from his wife so I had to have Nora separated from someone who was like a spouse to her as well and that’s where Søren came from—he was Nora’s ex-something who she’d never gotten over and knew she never would. Creating the happy endings for Zach, Nora, and Søren in the series has been the most fun I’ve ever had writing.
What gives you inspiration when writing your characters?
Everything. Biographies I’ve read, people I’ve known and loved, people I’ve known and hated. Søren was based on God the Father which is why he’s so scary and so loving. The Old Testament depicts God as being both sadistic and compassionate and that makes for a wonderfully rich character. He’s a joy to write because he’s got these two seemingly diametrically opposed personality traits but in reality they’re just him being him.
Did you get any response from the Catholic Church when you published your books?
Nah. The Catholic Church has better things to do than worry about me. I have lots of Catholic fans. Catholics are good at making fun of themselves. I should know. I am one.
What has been the most exciting has happened in your latest writing endeavor?
The best part of writing is when I get it. There’s always a Eureka! moment about two or three drafts into a book when I realize exactly what I have to do to make the book work. It’s like solving a puzzle or figuring out a math formula or striking oil. Just the best feeling.
Who is/are your favorite book characters?
Other people’s books:
Xas the angel from The Vintner’s Luck.
Sarah from The Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears (I have never loved a female character in a book like I loved Sarah)
Lord Crane in The Magpie Lord by K.J. Charles
OCharacters in my books:
Mick will always be my Angel
Sheridan’s my favorite minor character because she’s just so sexy and yet looks so innocent
Grace (sigh…I loved writing her)
Merrick in Seize the Night – I based him on Mercutio from Romeo & Juliet and like Mercutio, he stole the show
What’s your favorite quote from THE KING?
Upon seeing sixteen-year-old Nora do bodily harm to an obnoxious teenage boy, Kingsley gets slightly aroused and says to himself, “You little sociopath, fuck me until I forget I’m French.”
What will be your next read?
I don’t know! So many great books to choose from. Since it’s almost Christmas I’ll probably read Jesus: A Pilgrimage by Jesuit priest James Martin. I adore Father Martin’s books on his spiritual journey.
What was it like to write an entire novel from Kingsley’s POV?
Fun! Kingsley is a joy to write. He feels everything deeply. Pain and pleasure and longing. He could have been a cliché, the French Don Juan, but more than anything he desperately wants to be a father. That tension between his libertine tendencies and his desire to have children make for some fun drama to write.
Do you have a personal favorite character in the series that you like to write more about than the others?
Søren. I get so happy when I can put Søren in a scene. He just throws everyone and everything in a tizzy when he shows up and he’s just standing there in the center of the chaos being calm and stately and sadistic.
Can you give us a concrete overview of what’s next in store for this series or are there other projects as well that you’re working on?
Yes! So…book seven in THE ORIGINAL SINNERS series is The Virgin. We already know that at a point in Mistress Nora’s past, before she was Mistress Nora, she and Søren got into the fight of fights, and she left him. She hid from him in her mother’s convent because no men are allowed inside and she knew she’d be safe there. While hiding out at the abbey, she meets a young beautiful novice who changes her life. Meanwhile Kingsley runs off to Haiti to lick his wounds after a personal crisis and meets Juliette. You get two erotic romances in The Virgin for the price of one! Nora and her young nun. Kingsley and Juliette. Oh, and you see King and Søren wearing kilts. So there is that.
Is the BDSM club based on a real club?
Yes! The old Playboy clubs used to give their members keys. And the leather clubs (gay leather fetish clubs) had the flag and hanky system that’s used at The 8th Circle.
Was the vision of Søren as Alexander Skarsgard came from him… or when you saw Alexander he just clicked as the vision of Søren?
Actually Søren looks nothing like Alexandar Skarsgard and I’d never ever cast Alexander Skargard to play him in the movie. I wrote The Siren back in 2003/2004 and Søren’s look was vaguely based on Jeremy Irons. If I were to cast Søren now, I’d choose Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. Now HE does look like Søren. Absolutely.
Do you have a favorite adult website & if yes… what is it?
Nope. Not really.
Kingsley’s time spent with the French Foreign Legion has had a huge impact on the man he’s become. Will we learn anymore about that time in his life?
I have no plans on writing about that time in his life in detail. I prefer writing about my Sinners when they’re all together. They’re at their best when the three of them—Nora, Søren, and Kingsley—are in close proximity to each other.
Was there a particular arc for Original Sinners you had planned on that didn’t pan out? If there was, are you willing to share any tidbits?
Well, I had early ideas that were discarded as the series progressed. I thought about killing Kingsley in The Mistress. I always knew I wanted to do a story where Nora was in real danger and had to have someone who wanted to kill her so years ago I thought I’d write about her running off to Ireland to hide from Søren and Wesley drama and she’d get kidnapped by the IRA. I know. Terrible idea. But that desire to put her in real danger led to the plot of The Mistress.
Which character (out of any of your books) are you most surprised by your readers’ reaction? I love how you reveal little bits and pieces of each character slowly.
Thank you! I was pleasantly surprised by how much readers loved Michael and Griffin’s characters in The Angel. I get requests daily for more Mick and Griff stories. I never dreamed a love affair between a 17 year-old boy recovering from a suicde attempt and a 29 year-old ex-drug addict trust fund baby would resonate with readers so much. But it did!
What do you have in store for your readers once this series is finished?
So many weird wonderful books! I hope anyway. The book I just finished writing is called The Angels’ Share and it’s a story of forbidden love, bourbon, and revenge set in Kentucky. Erotic suspense!
Are you a plotter or a pantser? (when you write)
Both. I plot but the book always surprises me so I often have to throw out the outline and start over. Basically I just write and rewrite and rewrite and rewrite until the book reveals its secrets to me.
If you could change places with one of your characters for a day- who would it be and what would you do?
I want to be Kingsley for a day so I could have sex with all the beautiful perverts of Manhattan—men and women. We’d wear out the leather in the Rolls Royce.
You’ve talked about wishing your books would be banned more. Do you think THE KING is the one to do it?
I don’t really want my books to be banned. It’s quite a nightmare I hear when they are. But if any book was going to do it, The King has a good shot. So much sex and violence and kink and more sex…
Was there one book in the series that was harder to write than the others?
They were all nightmarishly hard to write and took twelve drafts, all of them. But The Siren was probably the hardest since I was starting from scratch. With the other books I at least had some characters I already knew to work with. The Saint was probably the next hardest simply because I had to throw out almost the entire first draft and start over. But that’s the book business for ya.