Review + Blog Tour: One-Eyed Royals by Cordelia Kingsbridge

Posted September 11, 2018 by Jen in giveaway, LGBTQ, m/m romance, military/suspense romance, Rating A, reviews Tags: , , ,

One-Eyed Royals
Author:
Cordelia Kingsbridge
Reviewer:
B.
Rating: A-

What I’m Talking About:

Since their reappearance in Las Vegas, the Seven of Spades has been diligently adding to their kill tally, dispensing their own form of justice, and driving homicide detective Levi Abrams to the edge. Add in the suspicions of his co-workers, a lot of unwanted media attention, and a nasty breakup from his boyfriend, Dominic, and Levi’s had as much as he can stand. Still, Levi’s promised to take the Seven of Spades down, and walking away isn’t an option.

Even though it nearly cost him everything before, PI Dominic Russo has his gambling under control this time. By keeping his trips to the casino separate from his job and other obligations, he’s able to handle it—or so he keeps telling himself. Losing Levi over it was heartbreaking, especially when they can’t seem to stay away from each other. But, when the Seven of Spades threatens to ruin Levi one way or another, Dominic will have to face more than his own demons if he wants to save them both.

I’ve always appreciated that the Seven of Spades series didn’t treat the characters as if they were fragile or inept, a facet of the novels that is doubly true in One-Eyed Royals. This story is graphic in its depictions of violence, unflinching in its main characters’ failings, and downright vicious in the repercussions felt by nearly everyone involved. All of which make it one of the better mysteries I’ve read in a very long time. 

Another unexpected consequence is that the balance of my affection for the two main characters has been completely reversed at this point in the series. The barriers that kept me from connecting with Levi in the beginning are gone now, making everything he goes through feel more tangible and imperative. Conversely, it’s not that I don’t still care for him a great deal, but Dominic in the midst of a full-blown relapse is a pretty unlikable guy. There were quite a few moments in One-Eyed Royals when I wanted to shake him, as did most of the other characters.

Though the pace of the narrative moves quickly, the author leaves plenty of room in One-Eyed Royals for her audience to really think. As the killer’s interest in Levi becomes more and more personal, quite a few interesting questions are raised—not so much about morality, but about judgement and justice, and the burden of having to choose. As if the escalation of the murders wasn’t already enough, the Seven of Spades further ensnares Levi by reframing the nature of that vengeance, forcing him to not only consider who deserves to die, but who is worthy of saving. 

Once again, Cordelia Kingsbridge has delivered a brutal, thought-provoking suspense that I really enjoyed. I found it close to terrifying not so much because of the killer’s actions themselves, but the reinforcement of the powerlessness that threatens to drown the other characters—Levi most of all. There were one or two parts of the story that I had a problem with, even though I couldn’t argue their validity within the context in which they occurred. I got it, I just didn’t like it, but that was okay, too. As the strategy Levi, Dominic, and the other characters I’ve come to care about seems to have changed drastically at the very end of One-Eyed Royals, the final story in the series looks to be extraordinary—and I can’t wait to find out how it all ends.

My Rating:  A- Enjoyed A Lot
B.

About the Book:

Spoiler Alert! The following blurb contains spoilers for Cash Plays, book three of Seven of Spades.

Shattered by their devastating breakup, Detective Levi Abrams and PI Dominic Russo find themselves at war right when they need each other most. While Dominic is trapped in a vicious cycle of addiction, Levi despairs of ever catching the Seven of Spades. The ruthless vigilante’s body count continues to climb, and it’s all Levi can do to keep up with the carnage.

When Levi’s and Dominic’s paths keep crossing in the investigation of a kidnapping ring with a taste for mutilation, it feels like history repeating itself. Thrown together by fate once again, they reluctantly join forces in their hunt for the mastermind behind the abductions.

But the Seven of Spades hates sharing the spotlight, and they have an ace in the hole: a new batch of victims with a special connection to Levi. Their murders send shockwaves through Las Vegas and change the rules of the game forever.

The Seven of Spades has upped the ante. If Levi and Dominic don’t play their cards right, they’ll end up losing everything.

Release Date: September 10, 2018
Publisher:
Riptide Publishing
Series:
Seven of Spades #4
Genre:
Suspense, Romance, LGBTQ, m/m
Format(s):
paperback (366 pages), e-book
Book Source: NetGalley

Purchase Info:
Amazon

Reviews in the Series:
Kill Game by Cordelia Kingsbridge (Seven of Spades #1)
Trick Roller by Cordelia Kingsbridge (Seven of Spades #2)
Cash Plays by Cordelia Kingsbridge (Seven of Spades #3)

Thanks for checking out the blog tour for One-Eyed Royals, the fourth book in the Seven of Spades series!

We left Levi and Dominic broken up and broken-hearted. But there are new threats facing Las Vegas, and crossing paths on a case again is just their luck…

About the Seven of Spades Series

Las Vegas has never seen a serial killer like the Seven of Spades.

The self-styled vigilante is on a mission to cut down the wicked and treacherous, and Sin City has no shortage of targets for their bloody wrath. What happens in Vegas . . . ends with the Seven of Spades’s calling card on a grisly corpse.

Standing against the killer are Levi Abrams, a dedicated homicide detective locked in a constant struggle to restrain his own dark side, and bounty hunter Dominic Russo, a charming rogue with a heavy secret weighing on his shoulders.

The hunt for the Seven of Spades sends Levi and Dominic on a collision course, igniting a passionate relationship forged in conflict and sealed with blood. Together they’re stronger than the sum of their parts, but a wily, elusive serial killer isn’t the only threat that will strain their bond to the breaking point.

Ante up, because the Seven of Spades is all in. Are you?

About Cordelia Kingsbridge

Cordelia Kingsbridge has a master’s degree in social work from the University of Pittsburgh, but quickly discovered that direct practice in the field was not for her. Having written novels as a hobby throughout graduate school, she decided to turn her focus to writing as a full-time career. Now she explores her fascination with human behavior, motivation, and psychopathology through fiction. Her weaknesses include opposites-attract pairings and snarky banter.

Away from her desk, Cordelia is a fitness fanatic, and can be found strength training, cycling, and practicing Krav Maga. She lives in South Florida but spends most of her time indoors with the air conditioning on full blast!

Connect with Cordelia:

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of One-Eyed Royals, Cordelia is giving away a $10 Riptide gift card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on September 15, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info! 

This giveaway is sponsored by the publisher. Open to participants who are legally allowed to participate in such a contest as allowed by their local laws. All federal, state, local, and municipal laws and regulations apply. Void where prohibited. No purchase necessary. By participating in the contest, participants agree to be bound by the decisions of the contest sponsor. Prize will be delivered by the contest sponsor. This blog, its reviewers, and the owner are not responsible for items lost in the mail. By entering this giveaway, participants agree to abide by these terms.