American Queen (American Queen #1) by Sierra Simone #BookReview
*** This review is SPOILER-FREE! Read on with confidence! ***
It’s when I’m almost to the front that I see the best man has a bite mark of his own peeping above the collar of his tuxedo, large and red and fresh.
It’s when I’m almost to the front that I see that the small white square in Ash’s tuxedo pocket isn’t a silk handkerchief, it’s undeniably the familiar lace of my panties. No one who hasn’t seen my panties before would know, but he’s so blatantly displaying them, like a trophy. The last time I saw them they were clutched in Embry’s strong fist…
Holy…now that’s how you start a romance. The bride walking down the aisle is marrying the President of the United States, and they’re in a kinky three-way relationship with his long-time friend and VP. *fans self* This review is going to have a lot of quotes in it—the author’s words speak as strongly as I can to show just how powerful and classy this story is. Prepare yourself!
I don’t want boring, common ways of being bad. I want ways that rattle me to my bones, that send me to my knees in repentance, I want to be the kind of bad that leaves me wrung out with bite marks blooming purple on my body. I want to go the brink of not knowing myself, I want someone to take me there and hold me by the neck and make me stare at an entire reckless realm of possibility.
This story is elegant and thrilling and sexy. And build up is a slow burn, complicated dance meant for three, even though the third player is still just a memory and a friend…
Embry treated me like a treasure he couldn’t stop himself from plundering. Ash is treating me like a jewel to be polished and then shattered and then polished again. Like I’m all the more beautiful for the ways he’d like to wreck me.
The history between Ash and Greer is so masterfully woven in and out of the story—flashbacks set amongst the first steps in their fledging, modern day relationship—that even their firsts feel deep and soulful, as if they’ve been together forever. I resented those flashbacks at first, disappointed that they were taking me away from what I thought of as the main storyline, but I eventually came to crave them. Every flashback delivers a new intimate experience, vignettes that shaped these characters into who they are now and drive much of the plot arc for the story.
“The first step to understanding anything—whether it’s the Bible or Fifty Shades of Grey—is acknowledging that we come to it with agendas of our own. We want it to mean something, we are biased whether we know it or not, and usually what we walk away with is what we want to walk away with.”
It’s not hard to see the Arthurian parallels this story draws, as many of them are right out in the character names and the political setting. Ash is the King and Embry, his Vice President, is the charming suitor. The twist is that this Lancelot makes the leap that the one our sanitized the legends often does not: these three are a natural true threesome, sexually and as a power trio.
“You want to take care of me? Then fucking own me. Wreck me. Tear me up and sew me back together the way that only you know how.”
This book reminded me of Tiffany Reisz’s Original Sinners books, with the lilting, elegant writing style and rough, almost vulgar sex. And the edginess in the sex scenes, the power that Ash wields as the dominant, reminded me a little of Lilah Pace’s Asking For It series.
American Queen is both gut-wrenching and reverent, like finding religion in a war zone. It does end on a bit of a cliffhanger, as does the follow-up American Prince. This series is meant to be read as a full trilogy, and the wait time between each volume will haunt you with memories and feelings about these characters and their impossible situation. Read them now and suffer til Ash’s book comes out? Or wait and devour them all at once? That’s a tough question. How much do you value your sanity? Regardless of whether you take on this oh-so-addicting book now or when the full series is available, the experience will be memorable and the feels will leave you breathless.
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