Genres: Contemporary Romance
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I have one chance at a new life. A college education. A future outside of Tanglewood's dark walls. For a breathless moment it seems like I might actually escape.
Then I get a phone call from home.
Damon Scott is my own personal dragon, the fight I've always lost, the secret hope of my heart. And he needs my help right now. Only my mind can solve the puzzle. Only my presence can keep him sane as the city fights against him.
Only my heart can unlock a man with such a tragic past.
This is my final gamble, with everything at stake. One last game to win a future for both of us.
And a love strong enough to break the city apart.
THE QUEEN is the final novel in the bestselling Masterpiece duet, about a game of lies and loyalty, of betrayal and power, and ascension to the city's throne
The Queen, the stunning conclusion of the Masterpiece Duet from Skye Warren is available NOW!
This is the final book in the Masterpiece Duet. It’s not a Standalone and you need to read The King (#1) before reading The Queen.
I must admit I had a hard time reading The Queen. Not for the reasons you might think, but because I stopped every few sentences, paragraphs or pages, to highlight and/or mull over what I’d read. I’m just amazed by Ms. Warren’s way with words, the detail and intrigue as she spins a tale, just leaves me in awe! This story left me shocked and breathless at times; I’m positive my blood pressure was shooting up towards the danger zone. I was afraid to what was coming next and that it would end much too soon.
Penny left Tanglewood three years ago leaving her father, and Damon Scott, behind. Now 19, she’s studying advanced mathematics at Smith College, two-thousand miles away. She can afford to attend Smith because her father works for Damon, as his indentured slave in a way, due to a deal they made. He calls Penny once a week, not as a concerned father, she thinks Damon makes him call to know how she’s doing. Penny still feels like the dirt-poor, trailer park little girl she was while growing up. She’s surrounded by entitled kids now and if it weren’t for Avery she wouldn’t have a single friend at Smith. She’s content, though maybe a little lonely, but she’s surrounded by her books and numbers, with everything in its place. While Penny knows there’s no future with a mathematics degree, her professor and undergrad advisor, Dr. Stanhope, insists she stay at Smith for her doctorate degree and maybe because of him, too. The only thing she’s certain of is that she would never go back to Tanglewood. Sadly, there’s nothing for her there. Penny grows alarmed when he father doesn’t call her and she leaves several messages. So alarmed she does something she never thought she’d do. She reaches out to Damon to ask him about her father. Penny has a feeling that something bad is happening. So bad, Damon warns her to stay away from Tanglewood.
“What did I do to you?” I ask, quiet, in a voice like I’m six years old again. Like I’m speaking to the wild boy I found by the lake, one I lured into my trailer like a wolf.
He answers the same way, a surly teenage boy, fierce and vulnerable at once. “You made me care. You made me want, when I needed to leave. You made me feel, when I would have preferred to die. You brought me back to life.”
The call leaves her more upset and disturbed. When Avery suddenly and mysteriously disappears, without a trace, she’s certain the two disappearances are not random. So she does what she promised herself she wouldn’t do. Go back home and seek Damon’s help. He has to help, Avery’s his half-sister and she’s missing.
“There are bands around my chest. One for memory and one for fear. And another for watching my future crumble. There’s no pretending nothing is wrong. No Dr. Stanhope and the impossible dream of a different life. The roots of the city run way too deep to really let me go.”
Damon’s still the feared underboss of organized crime in Tanglewood ruling from his throne at The Den. His once private club is now more of a strange nightclub, full of hedonism and debauchery, so different from the last time Penny was there.
“Presidents run for office. Dictators steal it. Kings are born, and that’s why it’s the perfect way to describe Damon Scott. He commands any room he enters. He owns the very ground he walks on. And he wears that invisible crown with both pride and resignation, because it’s a bittersweet birthright.”
It’s a birthright that his father, Jonathan Scott, ruled with fear and terror and Damon took from him. Damon never speaks of the horrible things he lived through, at the hands of his father, scarred in so many ways. He resists helping Penny find Avery and things get even more strange and mysterious. One thing Damon’s certain of is he must protect Penny at any price. He’d give up his kingdom for her.
“I’m the girl from the slums of Tanglewood, the boke-down Cinderella who never got her prince.”
This book slayed me! There are stories that haunt you long after you read them. This is one of them. My heart ached for Penny and Damon, for the horrible childhood they both had, and every single thing Damon did, or didn’t do, that was a result of it. I absolutely loved how all the pieces of the puzzle came together at the end. This truly is a Masterpiece, Bravo!!!
“I’m looking for my dad. He works for you.”
That earns me a small smile, his lids low. “He does more than work for me. Does he tell you about his day when he calls me? About threatening people for money? About following through?”
Acid burns my throat, because Daddy never mentions that. And I’m not naïve enough to think it hasn’t happened. When I’m in at one of the best colleges in the country, while I live in that dreamworld of numbers and Greek symbols, he’s doing dirty work for a dangerous criminal king.
“So where is he now?”
An indolent shrug of one shoulder. “I haven’t seen him. Though I did hear through the grapevine that he started gambling again.” He makes a tsk sound. “That’s never a good thing. Once debts start to pile up, how can I trust him to be loyal? I can’t.”
My blood runs cold. “Did you do something to him?”
“Let’s be clear, sweetheart. Whatever happened to him, he did it to himself.” The cold silver of his eyes tells me Damon’s conscious would not ache for even one second over my father’s death.
“You asshole,” I hiss, unable to hide my anger any longer.
A man steps forward, someone I’ve never seen before. He’s wearing a suit that’s been undone in most of the ways it can be, rumpled and pushed aside. I barely have time to register his aggression, his instinctive response to my insult. How does a man obtain that kind of blind loyalty?
The man reaches for me, his fingers brushing my wrist.
That’s how close he gets before everything shatters. Damon moves so fast he’s a blur. When he stills, he has the man pressed against the wall, arm twisted at a strange angle.
“No one touches her.” Damon’s voice is quiet but it carries through the crowded hall.
A rustle moves through the crowd, half awareness, half movement. The way they look at me has changes, the hostility faded away, replaced by something else. Maybe deference. Or fear.
I’m under Damon Scott’s protection now.
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