Momma Says: 4 stars⭐⭐⭐⭐
Absolutely scorching hot! I could go on and on about Kingsley and Aspen, but those three words pretty much sum up their relationship all the way through this book. Enemies to lovers is one of my favorite romance tropes, and I love the enemies with benefits label here. This pair has chemistry in spades, and they can't keep their hands off each other. They don't just cross that thin line between love and hate, they stomp all over it repeatedly.
As delicious as these two are together, there's so much more to this one than just the steamy goodness. Parts are absolutely heartbreaking, especially learning everything Aspen and Kingsley had to overcome to get where they are. Then there are fences to mend and a relationship to forge between Gwen and Aspen. On top of all the family stuff - and there's a lot of family stuff - many of these characters are not what polite society would consider good people, and it's safe to say that some of their associates are not law-abiding citizens. To avoid spoilers, I'll just say that I found myself rooting for some characters that I certainly wouldn't be rooting for in real life. Of course, that's part of the fun, part of the enjoyment of getting a break from reality.
Since I had the pleasure of listening to Empire of Lust, I have to add a few words about the narration. Connor Crais and Mackenzie Cartwright give voice to these characters, and their performance is everything I could've hoped for. I've listened to the seductive voice of Connor Crais before, so I already expected good things from him here, and he didn't disappoint. This was my first time listening to Mackenzie Cartwright, but it won't be my last. These narrators captured the emotion as well as the lust, and every character was distinctive from the rest.
This is my first book by Rina Kent, and I can now say that I understand why she's been recommended to me and why I've heard such good things about her. The writing is good, the story is compelling, and the characters are engaging. This is part of a series, but Kent gives us everything we need to read it as a standalone.
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