Title: Deviant King
Series: Royal Elite #1
Author: Rina Kent
Genre: New Adult Romance
Published: April 13th 2020
Format: eBook Kindle Unlimited
Reread: Four times
Deviant King by Rina Kent is one of the first books that made me really enjoy the Bully Romance genre. When I say I am obsessed with the trilogy – I am not lying. Have you seen the number of times I’ve read this?!
I have a love-hate relationship with Bully Romances. Many of the books I’ve read felt fickle – like the guy bullies the girl for the heck of it, no tangible reasons. I don’t enjoy senseless bullying, and with heroines described as ‘strong’, ‘sassy’ and failing to live up to that, I can get easily annoyed and rate them 1 star.
When I read the summary of Deviant King by Rina Kent on Amazon, I had to have it. Because I’ve got a thing for dark heroes, and this one was promising me all the angst, and the darkness that I was craving for.
And let me tell you, this book is Bully romance done 100 percent right.
Before diving into the review, here are some mild triggers you need to be mindful of – it’s a Dark Romance, the hero is more of an anti-hero, there are some dubious scenes that some might find uncomfortable, but if, like me, you enjoy dark heroes – this one is right up your alley.
The story begins with a bang. Elsa Quinn is a new girl at Royal Elite School, and on her first day, she catches the eye of Aiden King, one of the four horsemen that rule the school and the football team.
Aiden seems to loathe her at first sight and declares to the school that he wants to ‘destroy’ her. Since that incident, she’s been an outcast, bullied by her peers, isolated except for her best friend Kim, who is also an outcast.
Initially, I expected it to be a pot of cliches – some revenge sort of motives, the heroine and her best friend both outcasts, the hero’s best friends being jerks – the typical bully romance recipe. But it is much more than that.
The plot of Deviant King is riveting – a complex layer of suspense, darkness and angst, the characters’ mysterious pasts play a role, from the first page – you are hooked. You want to know what’s going to happen next, and you can’t help but salivate over Aiden’s darkness and Elsa’s strength to try to push him away.
Why did Aiden hate her? Why was his eyes dead? What had happened to Elsa? What are Aiden’s motives and is Elsa being played?
I love Rina Kent’s writing style. This is my first read by her, and definitely not the last. She has woven the story so well. Written in Elsa’s POV, we follow along as she navigates the final year in Royal Elite, tackle Aiden head on, face some of his immoral dark side, refusing to bow down the entire time.
Elsa Quinn is a strong female character. Having lost some pieces of her memories, she’s dealing with a nightmarish past that comes to her in flashbacks at night, and a heart condition. Other than hanging out with her best friend Kim, she rarely speaks to other people – tagging her as Frozen.
With a past she doesn’t remember, an accident that caused her to lose her parents and home, she tries to fit in. Living with her aunt and uncle, she’s used to blending in the background, and hiding her emotions because that makes her feel more in control.
What I love about Elsa is that she never backs down from a challenge. She is defiant, and when Aiden pushes her, she gives him back as good as she can. She is scared of him, but she wants to understand what turned him into a sociopath.
Aiden’s the ultimate anti-hero. He never directly bullies her, but makes her a target and declares her an outcast. All that changes when Elsa finally takes a stand for herself. There are things he does to her that fall very much into the darker side. Despite all of that, I wanted to know
He is obsessive and possessive of Elsa. He is deviant indeed, with no moral compass. Rules mean nothing to him unless he is the one setting them. He’ll push you to your limits – maybe beyond that. What he wants is Elsa, and nothing will stop him to get under his skin. He has some hidden motives for pursuing Elsa, which was revealed a bit in the ending.
Honestly, as I’ve read all three books, I can say, Aiden is a guy you will love to hate initially. But he will redeem himself.
Aiden and Elsa have crazy chemistry – every encounter of theirs, Aiden pushes her to the extreme, some derailing into dubious scenes. There’s this animosity between them and at the same time an attraction they can’t seem to fight.
Aiden’s an over-the-top alpha male who forces Elsa to do what he says, but there are sweeter moments there too. I couldn’t help but root for Aiden. He is funny at times, with his dirty messages, but I felt all his actions – both good and bad, were just driven to get Elsa to be with him.
The plot is set at a good pace – the suspense and the mystery, a cherry on the top. There are no major revelations happening, but you can see it gearing into the second book. I read this book in one sitting. It is addictive, dark and thrilling – with amazing main and secondary characters.
I highly recommend Deviant King by Rina Kent, if you love Dark Bully Romance, an anti-hero hellbent on getting the girl, and a suspenseful plot. This series is one of my favorites and made it to my 10 best romance reads of 2020.
Deviant King by Rina Kent Blurb
The villain isn’t supposed to be king
I have a simple plan.
Finish Royal Elite School and get into my dream university.
One glance from the school’s king blows my plan up in smoke.
One glance and he suffocates my air.
One glance and he issues his death sentence.
His first words spiral my life into irreparable chaos.
“I will destroy you.”
Everything about Aiden King is black.
I should’ve remained quiet and endured the time I have left.
I made the irrevocable mistake of provoking the king on his throne.
The devil in his hell.
And now, I’ll pay the price.
Being hated by Aiden King is dangerous.
But being wanted by him is lethal.
Deviant King is book one of Royal Elite Series. This is a dark high school bully romance, mature new adult, and contains dubious situations that some readers might find offensive. Aiden isn’t the normal romance hero. In fact, he’s not a hero at ALL. So please don’t read this if any of that bothers you.
Find it on Goodreads:
About Rina Kent:
Rina Kent is an international bestselling author of everything enemies to lovers romance.
Darkness is her playground, suspense is her best friend, and twists are her brain’s food. However, she likes to think she’s a romantic at heart in some way, so don’t kill her hopes just yet.
Her heroes are anti-heroes and villains because she was always the weirdo who fell in love with the guys no one roots for. Her books are sprinkled with a touch of mystery, a healthy dose of angst, a pinch of violence, and lots of intense passion.
Rina spends her private days in a peaceful town in North Africa daydreaming about the next plot idea or laughing like an evil mastermind when those ideas come together.