tl;dr: Kingsley’s journey from PTSD to BDSM is sexy, funny, and wonderful
Anytime that I think I can’t be more in love with the characters in Tiffany Reisz’s world of Original Sinners, I’m proven wrong. The King covers nearly the same time period as The Saint, except from the vantage of Kingsley Edge. The story begins with Kingsley feeling depressed and useless, retired from his service in the French Foreign Legion, healing from a nearly fatal bullet wound to the chest, and having more money than he knows what to do with. He misses Søren, and can’t understand why they are still separated.
When they finally meet again, Kingsley is shocked to find the man he is in love with is now a Catholic priest. It feels rather like a betrayal, in a way, now that there’s a huge barrier in between them. As they rekindle their friendship, they begin something new, and Søren enlists his help in order to prevent a young Eleanor from going to jail. Kingsley is still despondent until Søren nearly pleads with him to start over, to stop drinking himself to death. And so Kingsley finds a purpose: he starts the underground club that ends up to be the 8th Circle.
It’s a bit of twisty journey to get there, including a few subplots involving a Christian fundamentalist group, some gay reorientation camps, a Russian dominatrix and a beautiful blond boy named Justin, and it all ends up moments where we left off in the previous book, with Kingsley confronting Nora at a vineyard in France in the present day.
I’m not sure if all four of the novels in the White Years half of this series use a framing device, but this one did as well. Unlike The Saint, this book doesn’t pause for interruptions back to the present, leaving the entire story of Kingsley from wounded veteran to billionaire club owner intact. Kingsley visits with Grace in order to give her something, and share about Søren’s life, and what to do if the son, Fionn, turns out to be like his biological father, the sadist. Kingsley doesn’t want Grace and Zach to fear that possibility, instead, he gives them some resources and back story, including an interesting prophecy that both Søren and Kingsley received from a domme in Italy.
Either way, I didn’t totally understand the reason that Kingsley was telling the entire story to Grace, including all the minor bits, but it is very interesting story and I enjoyed it nonetheless.
There are two more books in the series, and I’m both thick with equal parts anticipation and dread. I wish there were infinite stories in this universe, because I am going to be sad to leave them.
Find a copy at your local library!
Tiffany Reisz has ruined me for other books, so you can start with The Siren if you haven’t already done so.