Author: Cordelia Kingsbridge
Book: One-Eyed Royals
Series: Seven of Spades, Book #4
Page/Word Count: 366 pages, 97K words
Categories: Mystery & Suspense, Gay Romance
Release Date: September 9, 2018
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh
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.
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?
5✨s – I was scared to read this book. Par for course with this series if I’m being honest. Cordelia Kingsbridge is a genius, there’s no doubt about that. Her words are twisted in such a way that they stick with you (read: haunt you).
When we last see Levi and Dominic they’re fracturing, personally, professionally, and romantically. Where I hated and raged at them in the last book I was sad for them in this one. They’re both hurting. Dominic is lost in the cycle of addiction, Levi is lost in his anger. They’re both lost without the other.
Everything is amplified in this book. It’s hard to write a five book series with one main bad guy, yet Cordelia Kingsbridge makes everything seem so easy. The Seven of Spades heats things up and his taunts towards Levi threatens to push him to the brink. While I was both pissed and understanding to Levi before I started this I just wanted to take his pain away here.
Dominic is suffer and in denial. I was sad for him because he was fast approaching rock bottom and I was scared he’d destroy his relationship with Levi, what little relationship they had left. Neither man was able to let go, even though they weren’t together. It hurt them and it hurt me.
So much happens in this book it is impossible to look away. I thought that if I put my Kindle down for even a second I might miss something so I read straight through.
This is probably the best ending of all the books so far. After everything that’s happened to them, all the torment the Seven of Spades put them through, the pain they put themselves through, they’re ready to turn the tides, I’m terrified what the next move is, because Levi and Dominic are barely finding their footing again.
I’m already stressing out about the last book in the series, whatever happens next it’s going to either break or make the main characters.
Cordelia Kingsbridge might kill me by the end of this series, but reading it will be worth it.
5✨s – This author, this book, just Krav Maga’d all over my brain and it’s still reeling! The plot, subplot and relationship are chock-full of twists and mind-boggling turns. The Seven of Spades (SoS) strikes again, then another bizarre case draws in both Levi and Dominic. Levi is still battling with Dominic, trying to make him admit to his problem while Dominic wants Levi to realize he’s completely in control of it this time. They cause each other so much pain in this episode, it nearly broke my heart wondering how they can ever get past it. The sex scenes reflect that turmoil with some intense, rough encounters as their anger and mistrust plays out in the bedroom, among other places. Just how they like it though! I got upset more than a few times with both of these volatile men. Of course that’s the sign of a great read when characters become real to you.
Cordelia Kingsbridge continues to surpass herself in creating this suspense/thriller series. The dangerous situations, the ever-changing conflicts and adversaries kept my interest at fever-pitch up to the very last page. Suspicious actions point to first one then another person, making it all but impossible to pick out SoS’s identity. Nearly everyone from the first three books with a major or even minor role appears in this narrative: Martine( of course), Natasha, Gibbs, Sawyer, Montoya, Leila and even Stanton, among others. As the SoS escalates his kills, he reaches into Levi’s past, revealing insidious plans for him. Dominic and Levi’s connected case merges into a stunning confrontation with SoS to close the episode.
I do kind of hate waiting for sequels sometimes but I also get to delay the sad I get at the end of a series that has challenged and captivated me so much. I almost don’t want to read the last one! Exchanging theories and arguments with a fellow reader has been fun too. Obviously, these don’t stand alone since it’s an ongoing story arc and a rocky romance. If you’re any kind of thriller fan, you really owe it to yourself to pick up this high quality series.
4✨s – *Spoilers for previous books in the series* It is necessary to read these books in order! I have devoured this series over four days and, damn, it’s intense! We are treated to crime, fight scenes, hot fun times, and so many emotions! We meet back up with Levi and Dominic several months after they split up and as much as it’s hurting both of them, they both have work to continue on with. Levi with the Seven of Spades case and now a new kidnapping case comes across his desk. Though unbeknownst to him, Dominic just happens to be on the same case but for a client at his PI job. As they continue to meet on the job, they occasionally meet up off the job as well. Both men are spiralling with their individual problems; Dominic back to gambling and Levi being the focal contact point for a serial killer and his rage is continuing to grow harder to control. Several things come to a head – their relationship, the kidnapping case, and the Seven of Spades takes a step no one was expecting. Wow! If I haven’t said it before, this book and series is so intense! It’s just on full speed throughout the whole book and you have to be locked in and paying attention as there is a lot going on throughout for both MC’s both individually and together. I love how Cordelia keeps us on our toes and always guessing as to the next move of the Seven of Spades. Their attachment to Levi is something that I’m constantly trying to figure out, wondering what clues they’re leaving as to their identity. Both Levi and Dominic have a hell of a lot going on through this book. Levi’s rage has always been a problem but it goes up a whole other level and while him and Dominic are separated, he doesn’t have the personal support that he came to rely on. Reading him try and survive is heartbreaking but so is Dominic’s story. His continuation of gambling is harming to himself, their relationship and those around him. Getting to read his struggles and emotions through his eyes is really interesting and gives you a whole viewpoint on what thought processes can occur in the moment for a character. For me, Levi’s was a little harder to read with what the Seven of Spades is putting him through. His moments alone when all things are said and done…..just wanna give the man a hug! It’s so much for one man to be put under but I’m really looking forward to seeing how his character continues to move forward both with his struggles but also, he has a brilliant detective mind so it’s really interesting to read when things all start to come together in a case. We do get good interaction with secondary characters. Martine, Levi’s partner continues to rock be his rock in the workplace. Carlos and Jasmine weren’t as featured as I thought they would have been but we were given so much more with quite a wide number of characters. Cordelia’s writing of the action scenes are quick paced, intense but so good to read that it’s easy to visualise what’s happening to all of the people involved. The actual crime cases are just another wow! Thinking these out, planning and then weaving in the character story lines as well, it’s just fantastic. I’m immersed in it from the first page, needing to know how the whole things plays out! The reason that I gave it four stars instead of 5 is that, for me personally, I loved books 1 and 2 so very much and books 3 and four just aren’t quite there. There is so much going on and you do have to really pay attention to what’s going on, with several things going on at once it can feel a little overwhelming. It doesn’t stop me from recommending this book and the whole series though. You do need to read the series in order as it has an overall story arc. I’m excited to read book 5 with how things were left at the end of this one. We are all set to move full pace in the story of the serial killer investigation and the progression of the relationship between Levi and Dominic. I received an ARC from the publisher and am happily giving a review
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!
Where to find Cordelia Kingsbridge:
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!