Review: Tyrant by T.M. Frazier

Reviewed by Joanna

This is not a standalone so if you like the sound of a motorbike riding tattooed hard man who’ll do anything it takes – murder, violence, torture – to get his girls back, then go read King first.

If you’ve already read it, or you don’t care about spoilers, read on.

We good? M’kay, so King is crazy in love with Doe, the sweet girl who ended up a prisoner in his house after she lost her memory and her drug addict friend stole King’s money. She’s fallen hard too, though neither wanted to love the other, especially as King is pretty hard to love.

“King snarled. “You seem to have forgotten who the fuck I am, Pup. So I’m going to remind you.” He pressed his hips against mine. “I’m the man who took you against your will and handcuffed you to my fucking bed. I’m the man who wanted you, so I fucking kept you.” He cocked an eyebrow. “Do you really think you have a choice when it comes to being mine?””

However, King knows he’s a bigger asshole than Doe could ever guess. He’s holding a secret – he knows who Doe really is. He did from the beginning. But as he fell in love, he didn’t want to let her go back to her life as a senator’s daughter with money and an all American boyfriend.

He’s also got Max, his little daughter to think about, and when he finally realized he can’t have both Max and Doe, he arranges a trade – the senator gets him custody of the kid, and he’ll hand Doe over.

Of course this doesn’t go to plan, and this book centers around King trying to get a life with both his girls in it, while Doe has other issues to contend with.

The first book in this series was the start of the relationship – the slow falling in love, the reveal of true feelings and the breaking down of barriers. This book is quite different. For one thing, there’s a big part of the story where King and Doe aren’t together. They’re leading separate lives and not really trying to get back to one another. King was all up in his war with another bad guy and Doe was reacquainting herself with her former life. There were reasons why this was necessary but it was a different book on the whole because of it.

The impact this had for me was on the pace. I didn’t feel the struggle for them to reunite, and when they did it was without urgency. The emotions didn’t sustain from their big love affair, apart from at the end where this seemed to come back.

Spoiler on the lack of urgency – King, who Doe thinks is dead, waits for her in her room a couple of weeks or so after he finishes his war. They have sex then he says he’ll be back tomorrow to pick her up and take her home. Why not now? And why was there no overwhelming outpouring of emotion at seeing one another again? Maybe King doesn’t roll like that but Doe does.

Editing is a bit wobbly in all the Frazier books I’ve read but this one has a few places where events or dialogue don’t make sense as they’ve been chopped about. For example, Doe talks to the housekeeper when she goes to her father’s house, and the woman tells her twice where her mother is – either in a spa (drying out house) or in bed with a migraine. Then an iPhone Doe plugs in illuminates to say it’s fully charged – despite her plugging it in days ago. Then she references seeing her father yesterday when again it was days ago. I think this messing with the timeline was the reason for the lack of urgency to King trying to get back to Doe. I’ve no idea where he went and that’s probably because in his world far less time passed than it did in Doe’s dominant point of view.

I noticed similar in book one, and when it reoccurs it smacks of rushed editing and persistent poor final proofing. Whereas this doesn’t detract from the facts of the story, it certainly kept dragging me out of the action and reminding me of the construct of the book. This is not a good thing.

Another irritation is that rape is used in all three books I’ve read by this author, not so much as a plot device but as a shocker. The first time it worked, by the third time it didn’t. I get this is a gritty world, but this is repetitive.

Overall I liked the conclusion of this tale but the plotting left me confused and underwhelmed. The writing is great, the sex is sexy and the locations and scene building are immersive. I really enjoyed a different book by this author – All The Rage – which is a standalone set in the same world, so I’m considering continuing with this series, assuming the spinning out of Doe and King’s tale was an indulgence based on loving the characters which won’t be repeated with Bear’s story. We’ll see.

Rating: C+

Click to purchase: Amazon

Tyrant
by T.M. Frazier
Release Date: April 16, 2015

Comments

  1. Thanks for the honest review. The poor editing and timeline issues alone would have spelled DNF for me, so kudos to Joanna for sticking through with it until the end. I think I’ll be taking this King trilogy off of my (too big for it’s britches anyway) TBR shelf.

  2. Nicki – I’d recommend another by this author if you’ve previously liked their style – All the Rage is excellent, and though in the same world, doesn’t carry the same issues.
    As for the rest of the series, following Bear and then Preppy (who I hated), I’m not sure I’m going to ever go back to pick them up.

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