Cruel Kiss and Cruel King by K. A Linde

Cruel Kiss and Cruel King

Posted on March 28, 2023 by Nadene @ Totally Addicted to Reading in Reviews / 13 Comments

Cruel Kiss is a novella in K. A. Linde’s Cruel series. Both fans and newcomers to the series will get a peak into the complicated relationship of  Gavin King and Whitley Bowen. Best friends whose relationship will experience a major change awhile on vacation in Puerto Rico.

 

Cruel Kiss and Cruel King by K. A LindeTitle: Cruel Kiss
Author(s): K.A. Linde
Series: Cruel #6.5
Narrator(s): Erin Mallon, Joe Arden
Published by K.A. Linde Inc. on March 3, 2023
Pages: 87
Length: 1hr 44mins
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Source: Purchase
Format: Audiobook, eBook
Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon|Audible
Reading Challenges: 2023 Audio Book Challenge
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Series Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Heat Level: One FlameOne FlameOne FlameOne Flame

A sexy one-night stand romance set in the glitz and glamorous Cruel World by USA Today best-selling author K.A. Linde....
Gavin King is not boyfriend material.
And neither am I.
That’s how our friendship works. We flirt and tease and joke, but at the end of the day, playing wingman is preferable to risking my heart.
Until I break up with my boyfriend the day that I leave for a two-week Caribbean vacation. And Gavin and I are the only single people on the island.
But remember that boyfriend I dumped?
Yeah, it’s his best friend.
The last thing I want to do is come between friends. And I swore the green eyes, wicked dimple, and chiseled body weren’t enough to convince me. But then I caught him in the shower…and he said he was thinking about me.
Now, I can’t stop picturing what I saw.
Maybe my ex doesn’t ever have to know.

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

 

 

Narrated from the POVs of Gavin and Whitley, Cruel Kiss, the prequel to Cruel King, delivered a titillating teaser of their relationship. The events of Cruel Kiss occurred three years before Cruel King. Whitley and Gavin are attracted to each other, but fear of damaging their friendship acted as a deterrent to exploring a sexual relationship. 

At the start of Cruel Kiss, Whitley ended her relationship with her boyfriend due to the lack of chemistry between them. This decision made it easier for her to go solo on a group vacation with her Upper Eastside friends. Whitley hopes to engage in a vacation fling, however she never expected to end up in the arms of her friend Gavin King. The man who also happens to be her ex-boyfriend’s best friend.

Gavin had the hots for Whitley for a long time and so having her in his arms was a dream come true and he hopes for more than a vacation fling.

Cruel Kiss is a steamy friends to lovers romance, which prepare readers for Cruel King. The story hidden between the pages of Cruel Kiss is sexy and fascinating with characters who readers will feel the need to cheer on.

The narration by Erin Mallon and Joe Arden aided in enhancing the story. I have enjoyed both narrators’ work in the past, bit never had the experience of collaboration between. I thought their voices were perfect for the male and female lead. They both have  a great array of voices for all the different characters. Overall a great interpretation and an excellent production.

 

Story Evaluation
Plot
4
Characters
3.5
World Building
4
Writing Style
4.5
Pacing
4.5
Cover
4.5
Narrator (Audio)
4
Enjoyment
4
Ending
3
Overall: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

 

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Cruel Kiss and Cruel King by K. A LindeTitle: Cruel King
Author(s): K.A. Linde
Series: Cruel #7
Published by K.A. Linde Inc. on March 28, 2023
Pages: 320
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Source: Publicist
Format: eArc
Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon|B&N|Kobo|Audible|ITunes
Reading Challenges: 2023- Coyer
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star
Series Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Heat Level: One FlameOne FlameOne FlameOne Flame

A new stand alone fake relationship romance set in the glitz and glamour of the Cruel world from USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde...
The most eligible bachelor in New York City just asked me to be his fake fiancé.
Gavin King is six and a half feet of delectable billionaire with a devil’s smile that says he knows exactly what he’s going to do to me later. Because he has.
Three years ago, I caught him in the shower and promptly fell into his bed. But neither of us were relationship material. Not to mention I’d just broken up with his best friend.
Now, I’m back in the city and he has a plan:
Go to his cousin’s wedding.Convince his family that he’s not an eternal bachelor.Post a huge elaborate break up later.
With those big puppy dog eyes begging me to agree, claiming I’m the only one who can pull it off, I say yes. What could go wrong? Other than pulling it off so successfully that the line between real and fake blurs.
When my family flips the whole script, I can’t see a way out. And I’m starting to wonder if I even want one.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.

 

After getting a taste of how great  Whitley and Gavin were together in Cruel Kiss, I couldn’t wait to find out what transpired after their fling in Puerto Rico.  So I dove into Cruel King with the hope of satisfying my curiosity It did not disappoint.  In Cruel King Linde gave her readers a steamy, emotional and  swoon worthy fake relationship and friends to lovers romance.

Gavin and Whitley shared an undeniable connection three (3) years ago. However, Whitley’s fear of being bad at relationships led to her moving to Los Angeles.  A change in circumstances would see her returning to New York City forcing her to face her past and the man she ran from. 

Gavin, ever the playboy had no desire to settle down. However, after spending three years without his wingman he knew he wanted more than just one night stands. Whitley’s return opened his eyes to his true feelings, if only he could convince her to give a relationship between them a chance. His plan, ask her to pose as his girlfriend for a wedding for a family member in Texas with the hope she would come to realise they were meant to be. Whitley agrees, but like all things that are built on lies his plan takes a disastrous turn.

I went into Cruel King expecting a cute romance, but I got so much more. Prepare for a story that will tug on your heart in the best of ways and leaves you smiling at the end. Gavin and Whitley shared similar traits making them perfect for each other. They knew each other well and they accepted each other for who they were, quirks and all. Never once did they attempt to change each other. The chemistry between them lit up the pages. Anyone who knew them and saw them together could see how much they were into each other. However, as they failed to see what everyone else saw.

I had fun revisiting this world and catching up with the characters from the previous books in this series. Characters from the author’s Wright series also made a cameo appearance.

 A wonderful story of hope, love, friendship and second chances, Cruel King hit all the spots. 

 

Story Evaluation
Plot
4.5
Characters
4.5
World Building
4.5
Writing Style
4.5
Pacing
4
Cover
5
Enjoyment
4.5
Ending
5
Overall: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

 

 

EXCERPT

By the time we got back to the hotel, it was after midnight, and I was actually tired. I fought back a yawn as he pushed his way into the hotel room. We’d been up since dawn to get there in time for Gavin to be in pictures. I could crash face-first into the mattress and not wake until the next morning when we needed to catch our flight.

Then, I caught Gavin watching me, and I was suddenly wide awake.

“What?” I whispered.

He shook his head and stepped into the bedroom. “Nothing.”

“That didn’t look like nothing.”

He plucked the perfect knot I’d created for him this morning and let the ends of the tie hang loose around his neck. He faced me again, his expression a mask of indecision.

Then, he crooked his finger at me.

I swallowed hard and moved toward him. I didn’t stop until I was directly in front of him. His hands moved up into my hair, tilting my face up to meet his. I was frozen in place, my stomach roiling with anticipation of his practiced touch.

“What are you doing?” I managed to get out.

“Kissing my fiancée,” he growled.

Then, his lips landed on mine, and everything within me went pliant. His perfectly pouty lips were heavenly against mine. We’d had that one hot kiss a few nights ago, but I’d been drunk at the time. This was … so much better than that had ever been. He tasted of pure sin, and I wanted to dive headfirst into the heady lust that sprang like a well.

When he pulled back, my eyes fluttered open to look into the emerald orbs. “I’m not your fiancée.”

He laughed deep in his throat. “You are until I take that ring back.” He fingered the ring on my left hand.

“That so?”

“Mmhmm.”

“Well, in that case, I remember a certain pinkie promise.”

His eyes widened in surprise. As if he’d thought that I had completely forgotten about that. “Really?”

“Yes.” I glanced down and then back up at him through my long lashes. “Something about ravishing me.”

“I said, if you wanted that when you were sober.” He cleared his throat, looking hopeful. “Are you sober?”

“Ish,” I teased.

He drew me in closer. “And here I thought, you were offering.”

“Maybe I was,” I said in a breathy whisper. Then, I stood on my tiptoes again and kissed him.

All restraint left Gavin in that moment. As if he’d barely been containing himself, waiting for me to give him the okay. By the way he was kissing me, like a drowned man, that had cost him.

He’d said we should be friends. Now, I was wondering if that had all been a front, because he was not currently kissing me or biting my lip or grinding against me like any friend I’d ever had.

“How hard was sleeping in the same bed with me?” I gasped against his lips.

“Torture.”

“And you were so good.”

“So good,” he said, backing me toward the bed. “I deserve a reward.”

I snickered. “Am I the reward?”

“No,” he said as his hands slid down to my thighs. He lifted me into the air and then dropped me backward on the bed. “Your pussy is.”

About K.A. Linde

K.A. Linde is the USA Today bestselling author of the Avoiding Series, Wrights, and more than thirty other novels. She has a Masters degree in political science from the University of Georgia, was the head campaign worker for the 2012 presidential campaign at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and served as the head coach of the Duke University dance team. She loves reading fantasy novels, binge-watching Supernatural, traveling, and dancing in her spare time. She currently lives in Lubbock, Texas, with her husband and two super-adorable puppies.

Visit her online at

Story Evaluation
Plot
4
Characters
3.5
World Building
4
Writing Style
4.5
Pacing
4.5
Cover
4.5
Narrator (Audio)
4
Enjoyment
4
Ending
3
Overall: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Nadene @ Totally Addicted to Reading
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