Review: The Kingmaker by Kennedy Ryan (All the King's Men #1)


Note: An advanced reader copy (ARC) was provided by the author via Social Butterfly PR.

Kennedy Ryan's much-awaited All the King's duet launches with the first novel, The Kingmaker, and let me tell you, expectations were really high and not just on my end. I fell in love with this author's writing by way of her Grip series and her Hoops collection, and I've already got her even earlier stuff, The Bennetts and Soul series, on my to-be-read list. But even before I could work my way through those books, however, I knew I had to get my greedy bookaholic hands on her newest book, and it's certainly different compared to Ryan's books that I've already read.

The Kingmaker introduces readers to Lennix Moon Hunter and Maxim Kingsman Cade, two people from two very different worlds who form a connection that stays with them even through years of separation. When Lennix and Maxim first meet, she's seventeen and protesting a proposed pipeline on sacred land and he's twenty-four and a graduate student focused on climate energy and the son of the man behind the pipeline. As theirs paths cross after four years and ten more years after that, will they be able to overcome the lies and differences to move forward?

First things first: Kennedy Ryan has a way with words, and that's not a tidbit that's just dawned on me considering it hit me the moment I started reading Flow more than two years ago. In the first All the King's Men book, she lays a sturdy foundation and creates an in-depth history for both the main characters. I was fascinated by Lennix's heritage and must commend the author on how diverse her characters are in her novels. Then there was Maxim and his drive in veering away from how his father did his business towards something environmentally sustainable.

On the flip side, however, I confess that I did find this to be far more drawn out than I would have personally liked. I get it--this is just the first part in a duet, but it was almost as if the romance aspect suffered from the deluge of everything else. No, a book doesn't have to necessarily be all about the romance. Of course there needs to be more than that going on for me to find any book, even if it falls under the romance genre, worth reading. But again, I wish there'd been more of the romance between Lennix and Maxim than what was available in book one.

Lennix and Maxim undoubtedly had a connection, but because of everything else that was going on in the story when they were apart from each other, it felt as if the opportunities for them to explore said connection were limited. These two were with other people, and I don't necessarily require main characters to remain celibate during the time they're apart and not in a committed relationship, I feel it took away from what they shared to a degree. Still, I'm invested enough in the story as a whole and can't wait for book two. Four stars for The Kingmaker. ♥

Date Read: 29 October 2019

Learn more about Kennedy Ryan.

Purchase The Kingmaker on Amazon.

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