Review: King by T.M. Frazier

Reviewed by Joanna

You know you’re in for an interesting read when the opening chapters of a book have the male protagonist, King, aged eleven and beating up people while planning a future as a drug dealer. And then you’re set for sure when the first time he sees the female protagonist, Doe, he’s choking the woman he’s screwing (who’s pussy he just tattooed a pussy cat on) but his orgasm comes from linking eyes with sweet-looking girl at his door. Phew, right? Darkness, grit and lust follow in spades.

He’s a drugs and guns-type criminal, fresh out of jail for his latest crime. She’s a girl with no memory past a few weeks ago, found in her own blood in a dumpster, with no ID and no one apparently looking for her. Doe = Jane Doe.

Doe has no idea how old she is, but she knows that, even though she’s starving, she isn’t into the scene her temporary street friend Nikki introduces her too – a biker party where she’s advised to cuddle up to one of the great unwashed and maybe he’ll take care of her for a while. It might get her fed but she’ll not be getting her meal for free. What a choice.

Doe is sent upstairs at the welcome home party to ‘entertain’ King. He’s done with the other woman and sitting on his own, wallowing in whiskey and misery. He gives Doe the down-on-your-knees order, but stops her in her unzipping tracks when he realizes she isn’t into it. This is the same guy who was screwing a semi-conscious woman half an hour ago. Not sure why he’s suddenly grown a conscience, but he stalks off, leaving Doe alone in his room. Then things go wrong(er) – Doe’s junkie friend robs King, and he holds Doe as a prisoner assuming she’s in on it.

Being chained to a bed is certainly an interesting way to start a relationship, and thus begins the push and pull between this pair.

King isn’t in the motorcycle club, but his friends are and his life is heavily linked to the Beach Bastards MC. He and Preppy (his childhood friend) grow and sell drugs, but they’ve pissed off a bigger fish of a drug distributor whose profits they are eating into. So the backdrop of the falling in love is a threat from this bad dude and his cronies. There’s also the matter of King’s daughter, Max, who he wants to gain custody of.  Fat chance with a life like his.

Though King and his world are very rough around the edges, I enjoyed this story. I hated Preppy to start with – he’s a coked-up rapist (he takes the aforementioned pussy-tattooed girl from King’s room to have sex with her, even though she’s now fully out of it – he prefers them this way) but the author seemed the change her mind about his character and tried to make him more likeable by the end. It didn’t work for me. He could be as cute as pie but he’s still scum.

King’s another matter. He’s no angel but he doesn’t go over the bridge of no return behavior-wise, and I wanted him to be enslaved to Doe by his love for her. There’s nothing quite like seeing a tough guy brought to his knees with no idea what’s happening to him. Example, he has her draw on his hand a sketch of a dark bird, then he tattoos it into his skin. He sees it as reflecting how she sees him. I found this poignant.

But King’s priorities conflicts with his loving the girl with amnesia, and this tale is left on a cliffhanger with their story concluding in book two – Tyrant. There were a few editing and plotting issues, but despite this, I’m leaping on to read how it all works out.

Rating: B

Note the following warning which comes with this book: This book contains graphic violence, consensual and nonconsensual sex, drug use, abuse, and other taboo subjects and adult subject matter. Although originally slated to be a standalone, KING is now a two part series.

Click to purchase: Amazon

King
by T.M. Frazier
Release Date: June 15, 2015

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