M. Frazier is the definitive creator of art of the Dark Romance and her King series is a wickedly sinful Star. “Preppy” features the ultimate Tragic Hero a knight in tarnished armor rescuing a Damaged Heroine, a troubled princess, who is literally falling off of her tower. Preppy is a well dressed demon with a heart of gold or a cold black heart if you cross him. This angelic looking rogue can easily, and quickly, go from a curse word spewing artisan to a cookie loving charmer of old ladies. (Who knew he was such a swoony letter writer???) He is a chameleon. He’s a Savior and Evil Incarnate. Dre is tired and as much as she wants her next hit of heroin she doesn’t want it more. She’s been traveling with two “friends” one of which feels as though she deserves whatever bad things befall her. He and his friend are two bad things – they emotionally abuse her, keep her addicted, and constantly rape and beat her. Despite this she helps them in their illegal endeavors including robbing her own grandmother. Little do they realize that they are stealing product that belongs to a very dangerous man and now he’s out for blood. Andrea, Dre/Doc, meets Preppy when she and the guys were robbing her senile grandmother but she is actually a caring and devoted granddaughter to the elderly woman in a very bad situation. Dre/Doc, surprises and fascinates Preppy at every turn so he is very much drawn to her. He saves her life and still allows her two favors. Again the favors are not what he expects. The first is to use his phone to call home saying that she’s coming back, the second request is asking Preppy to spare the life of one of the guys who has been, essentially torturing her. The most dangerous and cruelest of the two men – a promise Preppy has no intention of keeping. For some reason Dre/Doc curbs Preppy’s more dangerous sexual tastes. He still likes his sex dark, dangerous, and rough but he attempts to hold himself back from Doc for as long as he can. But he has an extremely difficult time not pouncing on her and taking her every chance he gets until their attraction to each other finally snaps. The longer Preppy and Dre/Doc spend time together the closer they become. The timeline mainly takes place before all of the previously published books in the King series. The time frame occurs mainly during the time King is in prison. Bear is a prominent character in “Preppy”. This book provides answers to questions you didn’t know you had and then blindsides you with gut wrenching revelations about Preppy.
“Preppy” is a book that has so many strings which tie it to many of the events and prominent touchstones in “King”, “Tyrant”, “Soulless” and “Lawless”. This is why I really can’t do what I normally do here … give a detailed synopsis of the novel. Because so much is … “Spoiler-ish”. Here is what I feel I can tell you … In this novel Preppy is his fantastically foul-mouthed, smart assed, seemingly happy-go-lucky persona. You also get to see a few new sides to him … a lot more of his ruthless side, a side in which he’s a Smitten Kitten, one in which he’s incredibly vulnerable, and in a way – a martyr. You also get a glimpse into his true and loyal heart. The heroine, Dre, is in extremely bad shape, as a heroin addict, and is immediately on Preppy’s bad side the moment the meet. In fact he tries to kill her. The next time they meet he ends up saving her life. Dre shows her strength when she makes the decision to stop using heroin and return to her family. However, her plans are derailed and she is in yet another dire situation that Preppy ends up saving her from. We see Dre’s softer side once she is mostly weaned off of the heroin as she cares for her grandmother. Dre’s intelligence is discovered as well as the fire she exhibits in her bravado. This is the time period in which Preppy is beginning to set up the successful business arrangement that will greet King when he returns from his prison sentence at the beginning of “King”. The reader is introduced to Grace and you get to know one of the Grannies really well – she’s a spitfire in many ways. The close friendship and interaction that Preppy and Bear share is highlighted. But the fascinating thing is what Preppy’s life was like without King and the glimpse you get of him in the Present time.
Reading “Preppy” is like a gripping addiction. The action is thrilling, some of the revelations will make you gasp on a smile, and of course Preppy’s own brand of irreverent, profane conversation enhancers which often riddle his cheeky running commentary. But then T. M. Frazier turns on a dime and takes out her rusty jagged little melon baller and guts you with a poignant scene that will having you shedding tears and haunt you long after you read it. As with all of the King series books heroes and heroines, Preppy and Dre take part in a seemingly ruthless yet romantic pas de deux. They waltz through a minefield of what they want – the easy and happiness filled route and the what they should do – the painful and callous path they end up having to travel. The scenes that take place in the present day are brutal and yet Preppy is at his audacious best. Although all of the books in the King series are fantastic – I never thought I’d like romances this dark – “Preppy” is, at least to me, the most meaty, weighty, and substantial book since it pulls so many puzzle piece together that you didn’t realize were scattered. The breadth of emotion: fear, vulnerability, confidence, lust, love, and heartbreak, that is covered in “Preppy” along with the brutality of the action juxtaposed with the romance and passion, and finally T. M. Frazier lets loose a destruction of long held assumptions which makes this book incredible and an absolute necessity to be read for a more vivid and complete picture of the “King” world.
I’m giving “Preppy: The Life & Death of Samuel Clearwater Part One” 6 Lightning Bolts and a Hurricane Warning.
This novel was provided in exchange for an unbiased review.