Maggie Blackbird

Romancing Canada's Indigenous People

As promised in my Saturday, April 9th post, today I am reviewing King of Spades, a contemporary romance by USA Today and Amazon Top 100 bestselling author Alta Hensley.

Title: King of Spades
Series: N/A
Author: Alta Hensley
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Dangerous Press
Publication Date: April 5, 2022

Nick Hudson has a dangerous reputation.

That’s what I need if I’m going to survive.

Desperation makes me seek out a ruthlessly powerful billionaire.

I need protection.

He demands my virtue as payment.

I’m falling into a world of luxury and sin.

With every twist and turn, I need more.

Except this is not a man to love.

This is a man to fear.

His obsession grows. So does the threat, until I’m trapped in a world of depravity. I’ll need more than Nick’s strength to survive. I’m going to need his heart.

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****

Lyriope is the bastard child of the powerful Bryan Morelli, the family secret nobody knows about, I’m thinking, except for Lyriope’s cousin Sasha.  When Lyriope sneaks into a party hosted by her powerful father (who does not acknowledge her), she finds herself in big trouble because a hitman is present, a hitman sent to execute her on behalf of another powerful family she borrowed money from to save her useless stepfather and irresponsible mother.  The time is up to pay back her debt, and she doesn’t have the money.

Enter Nick Hudson, a powerful man in his own right who informs Lyriope he can save her but for a price…her virginity.

I signed up to review this book because I liked the premise I read in the blurb.  And the guy on the cover looked ruthless enough to intrigue me.  Plus, I love dark romance.

The heroine starts off a true spit fire during the first portion of the book.  She’s egging Nick on, even teasing him while they’re alone in a room at the Morelli mansion, but when she appears at Wonderland, she isn’t as confident as I thought she was.  I will say I liked this.  She sounds noticeably young, so I didn’t expect her to have the chutzpah of someone who’s older and experienced in life.  This makes her very likeable.  She’s trying to stand her ground in a big situation that she’s way over her head in, but being young and inexperienced, she’s failing at times.  Very realistic and something I enjoyed.

As for Nick, at first he comes across as a ruthless man taking advantage of the predicament a young woman finds herself in and uses that to extort her into being his sex slave.  I did find that sort of creepy, but as the novel rolls on, he’s not creepy.  There’s more going on with Nick than what appears on the surface.  He’s a scarred man.  And I’m not talking about the scars covering his body that he hides with tattoos.

The suspense of the novel is also exciting because what readers are led to believe isn’t what we think it is.  This ups the stakes and grows the conflict another ten inches.  Clever work, author.  And here I thought it was going to be another tried and true plot, but it isn’t.

The writing is impeccable.  I really enjoyed the author’s voice and the POV from each main character.  The push and pull between the hero and heroine are full of lust and hate, as expected to be.

I didn’t know this was part of another series that included the Morelli family, or that the first part of the story was a short story previously published, or that this was a trilogy, so the ending does come with a big cliff hanger.  Be prepared for that.

If you’re looking for a dark read full of mystery, families at war, suspense, and lots of sex, this is a book that I recommend, but do keep in mind you have to invest in the trilogy.  From what I understand, the second book is now available titled The Queen of Hearts.  Do yourself a favour and get yourself a copy.

Have you read King of Spades?  If so, do you agree with my review?  If you haven’t read the book, are you willing to now?

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