King of Me by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff

(The King Trilogy, #3)

“You’re asking me to love you?” asked Mia.
He slowly scratched his thick black stubble. “I suppose I am.”

What if you were asked to love the one man on earth you couldn’t trust, you feared, who betrayed you at every turn? Could you do it to save the people you hold dear?

Mia Turner is ready to give it all—her body, her heart, her soul—to the mysterious, ruthless billionaire who holds all the cards to saving her family. But when this dangerous, sinfully sexy man, simply known as King, demands something more, something horrifying, Mia will be forced to face the impossible truth about their lives.

Sometimes the truth brings salvation.
And sometimes the truth breaks you.

"I believe a little darkness is healthy in a person. Good for the soul."

I've read this trilogy mainly without pause - it was certainly a different form of dark romance. There were as many mysteries and secrets as there were other plot elements, and it was written in a way where I couldn't figure out the truth from behind the smokescreen most of the time.

Sometimes I wasn't sure how much I'd end up liking but was hoping the author would pull out saving notes - I don't like when the bad and good are split up, it came across a bit cheesy sometimes, and angering another with a particular betrayal scene from King on the island. And - while a major plot device in the book was interesting and well done < highlight for spoiler>Time travel - sometimes it grew a little old since I'm not into that kind of thing as a general rule.

I loved all the versions of King besides that one horrid scene during date night on the island in present times. Mia herself was less likable for the first few chapters of the book, but she becomes the Mia I knew and loved soon enough.

In the end the plot isn't without some holes - it's definitely ambitious in what it tries to be and tropes it attempts using with time travel, monsters, weird rituals, daggers and artifacts, confusing stuff. Most of it works but inevitably there's some questions still left and not everything makes sense.

The ending wasn't perfect but the epilogue was sweet, although it brings something unconventional and daring into familiar and predictable territory.