Book Review: The Dark King by Gina L. Maxwell

Check out my book review of The Dark King by Gina L. Maxwell to see if this is a steamy fantasy romance book worth reading.

*Disclosure: This post may include affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

The Dark King is one of the new romance book releases for September 2022. See all that's new in romance on She Reads Romance books.

The Dark King
by Gina L. Maxwell

Category: Contemporary Romance, Fantasy Romance
Tags: Dark, Fantasy, Vegas, Oops marriage, Billionaire, Alpha male, BDSM
Series: Deviant Kings
Published September 2022
Amazon Goodreads
Rating: ★★★
Boyfriend Rating: 💍💍💍

For Bryn Meara, a free trip to the exclusive and ultra-luxe Nightfall hotel and casino in Vegas should’ve been the perfect way to escape the debris of her crumbling career.

But waking up from a martini-and-lust-fueled night to find herself married to Caiden Verran, the reclusive billionaire who owns the hotel and most of the city, isn’t the jackpot one would think.

It seems her dark, hot new husband is actual royalty—the fae king of the Night Court—and there’s an entire world beneath the veil of Vegas.

Whether light or shadow, the fae are a far cry from fairy tales, and now they’ve made Bryn a pawn in their dark games for power.

She should run. But every night of passion pulls Bryn deeper into his strange and sinister world, until she’s no longer certain she wants to leave…even if she could.

This was my first Maxwell romance and won’t be my last!

I honestly picked up The Dark King once I heard it described as Neon Gods meets Fifty Shades of Grey because I loved the mix of erotic and fantasy.

While I can see some similarities, I’m not sure I’d make the same compairison as it stands on its own.

Maxwell starts off with a bang introducing us to Caidan – the man about Vegas, owner of a swanky hotel and most of the city who also happens to be king of the Dark Fae.

I loved the first look at his power, heart and control!

The man turns heads everywhere but it’s Bryn who turns his head when she checks into his famed hotel. The girl hasn’t had luck as of late, losing her parents and her job, but it sure is changing quickly.

One look hooks these two and after one night they wake up married and tied to each other in more ways than one.

I think this is a great start to a fun series. I’d describe it as a contemporary romance with an alpha male and mix of fantasy and BDSM.

The fantasy and BDSM elements were just tidbits (no major fantasy world-building – just enough with no major displays of magic and just two BDSM scenes) so even if these aren’t your favorites, you’ll enjoy this.

I was actually hoping for more fantasy but maybe that will continue to build as the series progresses.

Overall, the writing was excellent though I wish there was more to Caidan and Bryn’s first night to really build their connection before a cut to black. I felt like they also needed more interactions within the manor as well after they were married.

It was hard to believe Bryn just accepted the fact that she was being held there when she was described as such a strong woman. I’d think she’d be worried about getting home and finding a job to pay her bills but hey that’s me.

You also have to accept that Caidan just decides he can’t be without her after he ignores her for two weeks and hardly knows her.

This story has been done before but I liked Maxwell’s spin on it even if I think it could have gone a bit deeper.

I’m super psyched for how she’s set the state for book two in the series and can’t wait to read it.

I’d recommend this one for lovers of alpha males, BDSM and fae.

*I received an advanced reader copy. All opinions are my own.

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Check out She Reads Romance Books' book review of Gina L. Maxwell's The Dark King to see if this is a fantasy book worth reading.
Leslie Murphy is the owner and writer of She Reads Romance Books.

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Leslie is the founder, writer, and producer of She Reads Romance Books (and the She Reads Romance Books Podcast), an online book community focused on romance books and the readers who love them because life is better with a love story.

Leslie reads 150 romance books a year and has been called a "book expert" by CNN. Reading romance is her passion and she cultivates her book lists with the best books worth reading in the genre. Leslie graduated magna cum laude from Davidson College where she honed her writing skills and also holds two Master's degrees. Join her community in the She Reads Romance Books Reader Lounge.

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