Title: Empires and Kings
Author: A.C. Bextor
Genre: Dark Romance/Mafia
I was known only as the traitor’s daughter.
When I was five years old, my father was tortured, branded with the letter “Z,” then left for dead. The grueling punishment for his crime was a reminder to all others who dared threaten the Russian’s reign.
I was the young girl left behind. A living piece of the traitorous puzzle the Russian leader tried so diligently to ignore.
Until I grew up. No longer could he deny how much my existence had always been intertwined with his. And in order to survive the life I was thrown into, I was forced to learn my place inside of it.
Vlad Zalesky was a tyrant to the lost.
I hated him.
He was a terror of mass destruction.
I was afraid of him.
He was a tormentor of the weak.
But not far beneath the venomous man’s outward indifference was something else.
Vlad Zalesky carried secrets of unrestrained burden. He carried them like cruel blades. I wanted to know those secrets.
And because of my decisions, someone in our family had to pay.
I absolutely LOVED this story! We get characters who aren't perfect; hell, they might not even be tolerable at times and you might find yourself cringing while reading this simply because of the ruthlessness displayed, but if you've read any A.C. Bextor book, you know she'll let you see the ugly before showing you the beauty of her characters. And we definitely get that with Vlad Zalesky. Vlad didn't get to be the leader by being soft, we get a front row view of what it means to be the leader.
Now, I absolutely did NOT like his "punishment" for Klara; I understand the need to keep her safe, but his reaction to her disobeying I felt was extreme. But we also get to see a charming side to Vlad, despite his resistance to allowing himself to have any sort of feelings for Klara. We all know the heart wants who it wants, no matter what your brain is saying.
I will preface this by saying if you don't like cliffhangers, wait until the next book is released before starting this one because that ending? Ugh, I'm still feeling the effects of the emotions it brought out. If you tend to get wrapped up with characters like I do, you too will want to seek retribution and revenge right alongside Vlad. Because damn, that made my heart hurt. A.C. Bextor, you are some kind of beautiful evil genius!
“5 Jaw Dropping Stars! Wow!!!! AC Bextor just punched me in the heart with so many different emotions; Sadness, anger, hurt, laughter, kindness, love, meaning of family, and REVENGE!!!!” ~5 Star Goodreads Review by Tammy
“HOLY CHRIST ON A CRACKER was this book GOOD…” ~Between the Bookends
“A.C. Bextor has took this story to the darkest places imaginable and left me wanting more. Every single tear, every drop of blood shed, every embrace, every moment, I loved it.” ~5 Star Goodreads Review by Julie