Cunning. Sex. Pure nerve. Only this unholy threesome can raise him to his rightful place as a ruler of Manhattan's kink kingdom.
Bouncing from bed to bed on the Upper East Side, Kingsley Edge is brilliant, beautiful and utterly debauched. No carnal act or chemical compound can relieve his self-destructive heartache—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.
Kingsley's plan to open the ultimate BDSM club—a dungeon playground for New York's A-list—becomes his obsession. His expertise in domination can't subdue the one man who wants to stop him. The enigmatic Reverend Fuller won't rest until King's dream is destroyed, and so the battle lines are set; it's one man's sacred mission against another's…
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
"I am nothing but scars."
If you would have told me a year ago that Tiffany Reisz would become a favorite and an auto-buy author for me, I would have laughed. But now, I am truly in awe of her talent. The way she weaves her tale, the way she uses her words, and the way she makes you accept things that you normally wouldn't accept is truly remarkable.
The King is the second book in the White Years Quartet and the sixth book of the Original Series. For those who are fans of the series, the King means only one thing -- or should I say, person -- Kingsley Edge. Kingsley is the king of the New York BDSM scene. His club the 8th Circle is the creme de la creme. This book give readers a glimpse into how the 8th Circle came to be.
Told in Ms. Reisz trademark storytelling, the King touches on Kingsley's ascent to become the king of New York underground BDSM scene. More importantly, this book also gives us more insight into Kingsley and Søren's relationship.
We all know from reading the Prince that after what happened with Kingsley's sister, the former lovers haven't seen each other. In this book, we witness their reunion of sorts. And my heart broke for Kingsley all over again because while Søren is definitely now back in his life, things between them have changed. I just loved the tension and the lingering angst between them.
Oh, those flashbacks. Especially those flashbacks from when they were totally consumed with each other were delicious. The intensity of their emotions and their desperate need for one another was palpable.
Another thing that I really appreciated about this book was we get another perspective on Søren. In the previous books, we get to know him almost exclusively from Nora's perspective aside from the Prince. But in this book, we get more of Søren from Kingsley's perspective. I've always loved knowing Søren from his perspective because I've always felt that Kingsley knew him best. Yes, Nora and Søren have this undeniable connection but Kingsley has always been a constant in his life.
Speaking of Nora, although we didn't get to see more of her in this book, her presence is still felt throughout the book. And yes, I did miss her snark. As much as I loathe to see another man fall at her feet in worship, she is Nora and she very much a part of Søren and Kingsley.
Aside from Nora, there's one other woman who played a huge role in Kingsley's life, and that is Sam. We've only gotten a glimpse of her in the past books, but here, she figured quite prominently. Her relationship with Kingsley was one of the most surprisingly emotional aspect of the book. I kind of expected it with Søren but I wasn't expecting it with Sam and King.
He saw a building, old, Gothic, crumbling, like he was - awaiting rebirth. And people filed into it, people with secrets. They needed him, needed his protection, needed his knowledge. They needed to kneel. They needed a king.
Overall, I loved this one. I fell in love with this series despite my initial apprehension and trepidation. I think that's a testament to TR's talent more than anything else.
ARC provided by Harlequin via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
-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
Characters 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 odn’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 writeJ )
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.
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.