Title: The King
Author: Skye Warren
Publisher/Year: Amber Shah 6/27/17
Length: 308 pages
Series: Masterpiece Duet #1
The highest stakes…
My father gambles every night, falling deeper and deeper into debt. When he hits the bottom, he places a new bet: his daughter. I’m his entry bet to the biggest underground poker game.
Every kind of danger circles the velvet-covered table, but only one man makes me tremble.
A trailer park princess.
The son of a criminal king.
We don’t belong together, but I’m caught in a twisted game.
His eyes meet mine with dark promise. And when he puts down his cards, I know I’m going to lose more than my body. I’m going to lose everything.
I love this continuation of things from the Castle series, seeing the story around Penny since we met her in the final bit of the last installment. We know that these men, the Scotts are an interesting bunch, with Jonathan being deranged and Damon being exactly what you don’t expect of him given his upbringing. We met him through Gabriel, and we saw the dark side of him but when he saved Penny, we realized that there was so much more.
This first installment of the duet takes us back in time with a young Damon and a young Penny met under difficult circumstances, Penny needed to survive the life that she was forced to live, and Damon needed to survive his father. In order to protect penny from his father, he had to go back into the grasp of the devil.
We watch as the years progress, how there was clearly something between these two even though Penny was just a little child when they met, and how over time, there’s this connection that wasn’t severed. When their paths cross again, and when we know that Penny truly is in danger, it’s Damon who wants to protect her but is afraid to knowing that if he does, she will once again be on his father’s radar.
This series is a story of poverty, gambling, trying to hide the abilities that you have because you know that they will draw the wrong attention, survival and then hope. Each of the characters in this story have some element of each, and the way that they manifest are unique. The nuance in this story though is that Penny is still quite young, even when we get through this first book, but the power that she yields, what she’s able to do and what she’s able to compel is more powerful than women twice her age.
What’s nice though is that we have the overlap from Castle – we see how Avery’s relationship with her started and how it manifests into something necessary. It allows Penny to see things through a different lens and that’s also what propels this story forward. There’s a security and safety that is brought to the forefront, and yet there’s a danger that their friendship creates since both are in a position where they feel trapped, stifled, and they want to take control back of their lives.
We’re left in an interesting place at the end of the first book where we see a power shift, we see eyes open, but we don’t know what it’s going to take to push each over the edge. There’s something brewing and we’re not sure the details and the implications, but there’s this rumble of passion and something more that keeps us engaged and intrigued as readers. So on that note, i’m off to read The Queen and see how this duet ends. Enjoy!