From the blurb:
After years of lying, scheming, and dangerous manipulation, Vin Vanbly finally gets what's coming to him: love.
How can he survive unstoppable, uncontrollable love when his very nature demands he control everything? Clues about his one true love—tantalizingly hinted at in each of the books in The Lost and Founds series—come together in four life-changing stories.
In No Kings, a sex hookup with a parking lot stranger reveals more about Vin’s life as a Lost King and his destiny than he could have dreamed. In King Fitch, Vin meets the last king in his long legacy, one final weekend before he withdraws from the world to an anonymous Latin American jungle. The Lost Ones recounts a terrifying kidnapping by street thugs from Vin’s past. In King Malcolm the Restorer, Vin’s mysterious relationship with his older brother—and the soul-crushing secret which drew them together—is finally revealed.
Through it all, Vin Vanbly struggles to survive. But what if he is destined for more than mere survival? Is he finally ready to embrace the truth and remember who he was always meant to be? Once there were a tribe where every man was the one true king and every woman the one true queen…
WHOA, I have a LOT of feelings about this book! I'll try to break down everything for you guys in this review without spoilers!
First thing you should know about this book is that there is a lot of sex. I mean, Edmond Manning's books always have a lot of sex, but this book takes it to a whoooooole new level. And I LOVED it. Filthy mind (me) + filthy writing (Edmond) = A happy girl! If you are squeamish about lots of explicit sex (including rimming, fingering, licking, sucking, and whatever else your heart can dream up), then skip this one.
This book is unique because it starts off in one scene, then skips back and forth through time (more on that later). The beginning of the book, the first 25 or 30%, was my absolute favorite, and remains near and dear to my heart.
To say that I loved the first section of the story would be an understatement. I ADORED it. In fact, I was ready to call it a day and give five stars and put this book on my all-time favorites list. I could not put it down. Not only does the book take place in a location that I know like the back of my hand, but Vin meets Mark. I should bold that: Vin MEETS Mark. I loved Mark so, so, so very much. He can keep up with Vin like no other, and I just couldn't get enough of his humor, smarts, and tight, tight butt... I mean, tight... wits? I'm telling you guys, you will fall in love with Mark, and you will just DIE at how awesome this first section turns out.
Now, when I continued on and saw the time jump back a few months, I was... perplexed. I was riding such a high from the first part of the story, and I really just wanted MORE. But this is Edmond Manning, and I knew the story would give me what I needed, even if it was a roundabout way.
I liked the next part too, where we meet and get to know Fitch, Vin's last kinging subject. It was a fun, twisty chapter, and if you have read the other Lost and Founds books, you will have a very good idea of how it will play out, albeit in a more sped-up fashion.
The last sections of the book have so many of the answers that readers have craved about Vin. We finally learn his real name and we learn how he became family with his adoptive brother. We learn about Vin's childhood. There is something very interesting in learning all of that information about Vin. Vin becomes much more... normal. He becomes less mysterious. He becomes less of this mystical being and more of a guy with a very traumatic childhood. I felt a surprising mix of emotions learning all of this stuff about Vin. For one, I think I felt a tiny bit of what Vin was afraid of people feeling all along. Vin loses some of his power with learning the truth about him, and though I loved him on a deeper level, he becomes more ordinary after this story. Do I see him now as that child cowering and living through some unimaginable stuff? A little bit. But I also still see him as the extraordinary, insightful man that he also is.
I really loved the whole story, minus a couple small details, which I ruminated over for a few days after reading. For one, I really wish that the story was told in a more linear fashion. I tend to dislike time-jumps, but it is more than that here. I was so wrapped up with Vin and Mark that I felt cheated out of seeing their story unfold firsthand. I really wanted to see things happen more in real time, versus being told of what happened after the fact. I could have read (and loved) an entire story of just Vin and Mark getting to know one another.
My second quibble is something a little... more unusual. I loved the vast majority of the sex in this book, and though I think sex is a powerful and transformative thing, I have issues with the concept of sex healing deep wounds. I feel like at certain parts of the story, sex was the answer to problems. This is a theme we often see to a lesser extent in the Lost and Founds story. Vin uses sex to get closer and show his love to his lost Kings. However, here, especially in one instance that I found sort of odd (no spoilers, remember!), I wish sex wasn't part of the equation.
Overall, I was extremely happy with this story. Edmond Manning gave Vin something that I've been longing for him to have for a long time: his home.
*Copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*
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Catch ya later!