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The Bully (Kingmakers #3) by Sophie Lark


I Know Her Secret…
Cat is in so much trouble. She did something bad, and I saw.
I’ll keep her secret… for a price.
Poor, sweet, timid Cat should never have come to Kingmakers. It’s a place for monsters and killers. People like me.
She wandered into the lion’s den and now she’s mine.
Mine to play with. Mine to torment. Mine to break…


First of all, I suggest you read the preceding books in the Kingmakers series (which I didn’t) to get a better knowledge of how all the characters connect and how all the Russian mafia stuff works. This book reads okay on its own, but I think reading books 1 and 2 beforehand would have cleared my confusion.  Luckily, Ms. Lark provides family trees at the beginning of the book to get some sense of who was related to who.

This is not your typical college. Located on a remote island off the coast of Russia, Kingmakers’ students take courses in combat, torture techniques, interrogation, extortion, and international banking to name a few. 

Watching yet another young girl out of her league trying to navigate a prestigious school and a bullying bad boy, is something that seems to be all the rage.  Cat has a terrible secret and she’s terrified someone at Kingmakers will find out which would lead to death. After all, it’s a school that churns out various divisions of mafioso. Unfortunately, that someone is the biggest bully at the school. As part of the Heirs division at Kingmakers, Dean Yenin has a lot to prove and he plays The Bully with anger and finesse. He’s extremely unlikeable and evil at the beginning as he torments Cat by promising to keep her secret if she submits to what he wants for a whole month. Don’t worry. Dean gets what’s coming to him.

As you may guess, they play the BDSM game with Cat being submissive to the point where I want to slap her and Dean being a pig by humiliating her every chance he gets. But the tables turn as Dean grows a heart and declares his love to Cat only to turn into a raging lunatic and throw it all away by hurting the one person he has left in the world. And that’s where it gets interesting as Cat grows a backbone and turns the tables on Dean by making him grovel…the best I’ve seen in a while. 

In addition to Cat and Dean’s story, there is a bit of espionage going on with someone called The Spy who is working with another person at the school to do exactly what I’m not sure. And apparently, we will learn about The Spy in the next book in the series.  Well done, Ms. Lark.

Supporting characters are many including Snow, a boxer and important mentor to Dean; Sasha, Snow’s equally important wife and doctor, Sasha; Leo Gallo, Dean’s cousin and adversary; Lola, Cat’s enemy and antagonist; plus many other friends and foes.

Again, I wish I had read the previous books, but I enjoyed the complex characters and interesting venue in this novel. How fascinating would it be to take some of the classes, without some of the sociopathic teachers, of course?

Thank you to Ms. Lark for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.


The Bully

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Sophie Lark is an Amazon Bestselling author who writes intense, intelligent romance, with heroines who are strong and capable, and men who will do anything to capture their hearts. She lives with her husband, two boys, and baby girl in the Rocky Mountain West.

She has a slight obsession with hiking, bodybuilding, and live comedy shows. Her perfect day would be taking the kids to Harry Potter World, going dancing with Mr. Lark, then relaxing with a good book and a monster bag of salt and vinegar chips.

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