Destructive King by Rachel Van Dyken

Published: January 12, 2021

Oh my god! Why does Rachel do this to us? These books are so freaking hard to read but I also never want to put them down! This one was particularly hard because Ash was hurting and using Annie as an emotional punching bag. After one particularly bad night she decided that she couldn’t do it anymore and needed to leave. So Chase helps her go to Italy where she stays with the Abandonato family and learns more about protecting herself. She also wants to get stronger so Ash can’t hurt her again. But she doesn’t expect him to not even recognizing her when he comes to get her at the airport or the unexplained jealousy towards Tank. She still has feelings for him but has come to terms with her role in his life and that he does not want her there but is determined to protect her.

The things that Ash does to hurt Annie are rough. He never hurts her physically but he torments her and belittles her. Tank even calls her out when they decide to try to be together wanting to know why girls always go for the guys that will hurt them. But I want to point out that Tank hurt her too so he is not blameless in all of this. She had a crush on him first and he never made any kind of move until he thought that Ash was interested in her. It was hard to read how little Annie thought about herself and what she had been through in her life. It was even harder when Ash would bring her close only to hurt her again because he couldn’t figure out how to assuage his guilt. And I think the ending of this book was the roughest part of all. We learned why Annie really went to Italy (which I totally guessed) and there is a huge twist that made me rethink what I thought of Claire from the first two books. I loved that Ash was there for Annie in the end and chose her over everything. She know what it’s like to be in the life and that is something that cannot be taught. Finally, this book really made me want to read the original series because we saw a lot more of Chase in it and got a peek into his demons. Since I haven’t read the series yet I don’t entirely know what happened to him but I’ll have it read before the next Royals book for sure.

I guarantee that you are not prepared to read this book but trust me when I say nothing will prepare you for it. I wanted both more book and a stiff drink after finishing this one and I think that this series is just going to continue to get more interesting. I’m looking forward to Tank’s book mostly because I want to know how old he is. That has been super ambiguous and it’s been bothering me. And one final thought, I love the cover so much! They did such a fantastic job that if I saw just this cover I would totally want to read it. I’m loving all of them but I think this one is my favorite! Make sure to grab this book and hole up somewhere quiet so that you can read and then rant and rave at the book. And remember, Blood in. No Out.

—“Aw shit, three years in a row? Really Maks?” Junior stood. “We had to pay off the fucking mall Santa for scaring the children last year!” -Junior to Maksim—-

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