The Scotch King Series by Penelope Sky
Genres: Adult, Dark, Contemporary Romance
Series: The Scotch King Trilogy
Published on: December 19, 2017
Pages: The Scotch King (346), The Scotch Queen (400), The Scotch Royals (434)
POV: Dual First Point of View
Rating: 3.5 STARS
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The Scotch series is a three-book series (The Scotch King, The Scotch Queen, The Scotch Royals) by Penelope Sky, whose writing I fell in love with when I encountered her Buttons series. As a proud and faithful reader of dark romance, I have been a huge fan of this kind of story despite some of them being similar in terms of the plot and the characters. The story took place before and after the Buttons series but can be read without it, although for a better experience I suggest everyone read The Buttons series before diving into this story.
The story follows the woman named London who is kidnapped for something her big brother has illegally done. Finding herself chained in a small cell in a foreign place has her instinctively fight for her freedom. She refuses to be seen and treated as less than a human by keeping her emotions in check and respect to herself as a not-up-for-a-bargain armor. Her feisty and strong character soon has the attention of his captor which she uses to her advantage to achieve her goal—her freedom.
She had to pay the price of her brother’s stupidity-even if it wasn’t fair.
Crewe is the man of his words. With a royal title, a thriving business, and wealth, he is used to be the one man in command, feared and respected by both his allies and enemies. Respect and honor are earned while betrayal has a high price in his book. Living in the world of crime, he maintained his reputation by making sure everyone knows the consequences if one crosses him. When London’s brother gets caught by stealing his money, Crewe takes her as a prisoner for both revenge and a lesson for the world to see.
Dark romance is a complicated sub-genre. Both enjoying and objectively assessing the books falling into this category has been proved to be a challenging work for me as a reviewer. While the unconventional subjects are difficult to swallow, I loved how both the level of excitement and the journey I experienced, at times, pushed any of my boundaries. It is thus never a surprise to me that the reviews of the books of this sub-genre are, most of the time, mixed. Personally, I don’t see each side is wrong since every reviewer has his or her own point of view.
When it comes to this type of story, I have always tried leaving behind my moral standards, keeping my mind and heart open, and immersing myself to the books in order to, hopefully, purely experience the story from the main characters’ point of views. Therefore, my review would be less about the subjects I am not comfortable with and focus on how deep the story leaves its mark on me emotionally and how excellent it is technically (the writing).
However, as my reading experience has shown the data, I have not always succeeded in being completely objective in my assessment. There were moments when my subjective opinions overpowered it, in which I found myself disagreed with the characters’ actions or the dark scenes in spite of them being one of the reasons I chose to read the book in the first place.
To my surprise, though, I didn’t experience those moments in this book but the exact opposite. I found the hero lost his unique dark characteristics in the third book that I had come to get used to and expected of him. He had become almost unrecognizable which had me unsure I was reading the same character whatsoever. His dark, powerful character suddenly evolved to be the entirely different one which, unfortunately, affected his actions towards the end. It felt as if his character was not well-maintained throughout the story.
In addition to the hero’s character, I found myself questioning the heroine’s decisions and sudden change of heart. Although I was entertained by her smart, sarcastic comments as well as her courage to fight for her freedom, her decision to give up on her dreams to fit her life to his lifestyle downgraded those positive elements of her personalities. I struggled to follow her reasoning and had a hard time connecting with her by the end of the story.
I did appreciate their slow-burn romance, though, and some rare intimate moments in which they expressed their feelings, shared their deepest secrets, and got to know each other. Those light yet emotional moments were fascinating. However, I found their intimate dialogs were repetitive and some of their romantic moments lacked convincing at times. Therefore, none of those deeply affected me emotionally nor helped to strengthen my connections with any of the main characters.
The climax was underwhelming. While it was still connected to the main characters, the execution was nothing I expected. I didn’t feel the intensity as a result of the buildup of the suspense since it featured an entirely new character who had never had any contact with the main characters while downplayed the ones been frequently mentioned since the beginning.
Moreover, the forced reunions that led to the happy and peaceful ending turned all the characters into two-dimensional ones. The previous threats and dangers were left behind without any justifications and the wrongdoings, which once essential to the main drama, were suddenly solved in less than three days. I found the characters hard to believe and the ending lacked its credibility.
However, for those offended by particularly sensitive subjects, I think it needs to be acknowledged that there was nothing non-consensual going on between the main characters even though the intimate scenes were, at times, far from innocent. While they might be forbidden, rape or any kind of forced sex had never existed in this story. In fact, it was one of the hero’s very rare boundaries he never crossed, which I thought worth to mention.
All in all, despite my issues, I had a good time with The Scotch series by Penelope Sky. It has a great start and a fascinating plot which will guarantee a good reading experience that have every dark romance junkie turn the pages if given a chance. I finished this lengthy series in three days straight and didn’t have any regret of reading it whatsoever in spite of what I was feeling about the whole story.
We went from being enemies to passionate lovers. It was a story nobody would ever believe.