The Dark King (Deviant Kings #1) – Gina L. Maxwell

Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Entangled: Amara
Pages: 352
Release Date: September 27, 2022

For Bryn Meara, a free trip to the exclusive and ultra-luxe Nightfall hotel and casino in Vegas should’ve been the perfect way to escape the debris of her crumbling career. But waking up from a martini-and-lust-fueled night to find herself married to Caiden Verran, the reclusive billionaire who owns the hotel and most of the city, isn’t the jackpot one would think. It seems her dark and sexy new husband is actual royalty—the fae king of the Night Court—and there’s an entire world beneath the veil of Vegas.

Whether light or shadow, the fae are a far cry from fairy tales, and now they’ve made Bryn a pawn in their dark games for power. And Caiden is the most dangerous of all—an intoxicating cocktail of sin and raw, insatiable hunger. She should run. But every night of passion pulls Bryn deeper into his strange and sinister world, until she’s no longer certain she wants to leave…even if she could. 


The Dark King is described as Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James meets Neon Gods by Katee Robert, however a more apt description would be Fifty Shades meets A Court of Thorns and Roses. Maxwell gives readers a mix of fantasy and romance elements that are sure to please fans of the fantasy romance genre.

The Dark King follows Bryn as she accepts a free trip to Las Vegas after getting fired from her job. In an effort to de-stress, Bryn is looking to let loose and she gets the chance when she meets the king of Las Vegas, Caiden, who also happens to be the fae king of the Night Court. But things go awry when they wake up married to each other with no memory of the previous night.

Bryn is from Wisconsin and comes off as a proper woman from Wisconsin, however she gives as good as she gets and is unafraid to speak her mind. Caiden is a force to be reckoned with and is used to getting what he wants. This makes for an interesting dynamic between the main characters, especially in the bedroom.

The reason I rated the novel three stars instead of four is because of the quote below. Quotes like these perpetuate violence and sexual violence against women. Honestly, it’s the line of this quote that is the issue.

“[…] I use my fingers of my free hand to smear the black drops into messy streaks down her face, then I grip the front of her throat and apply pressure on either side. Lips and nipples both swollen and red, cheeks painted black in tears… It’s the most beautiful she’s ever looked.”

The chemistry between Bryn and Caiden is immediate and hot from their first fairly tame interaction to their later couplings. Be warned, the spice in this novel trends towards BDSM

The Dark King is driven by lack of communication. Almost all the tension is created by Caiden not being honest with Bryn. At the beginning of the novel, his lack of communication makes sense but as their relationship progresses and Maxwell begins to lay the groundwork for where the story is ultimately going to go, this miscommunication no longer works. 

While the world building feels familiar yet underdeveloped at times, I enjoyed the twist and the little world building Maxwell included at the end of the novel.

Overall, The Dark King is more spice than fantasy but features an interesting enough world with a snappy main character. 

*** I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review


Will you be read The Dark King?

One thought on “The Dark King (Deviant Kings #1) – Gina L. Maxwell

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