Book Review, Contemporary, Enemies to Lovers, Opposites Attract, Romance, Second Chance, Series

Shaken (The Defiant Kings #2) by Bella Matthews


Sawyer Kingston is an A**hole.

The thing is, he’s got everyone fooled. To them, he’s the gorgeous billionaire who owns the hottest bar in the city. To me, he’s the cocky jerk whose favorite pastime has always been torturing me. The only thing we’ve ever agreed on is our mutual dislike for each other. But that was before I moved in next door to him, and we shockingly agreed on something else.

There’s a fine line between love and hate. The problem is . . . I think I crossed that line.


I’m continuing my delectable journey of the Kingston men and Sawyer and Wren’s enemies-to-lovers story didn’t disappoint.

After 10 years, Dr. Wren Davenport is doubting her move back home to be co-owner of her mother’s medical practice because she wasn’t told that she would be next-door neighbors with her cocky nemesis, Sawyer Kingston. He’s the local billionaire sibling of Kingston royalty and owner of the biggest and most profitable bar in town. The boy who made her life miserable is the same man she had wild sex with after his father died six years ago. It was a mistake, but the attraction is strong and it’s time to call a truce. It’s supposed to be temporary, but he’s the only man who understands what she needs.

Sawyer Kingston is done playing her games. He’s waited patiently for years and now it’s time to convince Red that he doesn’t hate her. He never did. He actually had a crush on her so many years ago and then and now delights in challenging her and watching her come out of her shell. It’s like handling a wild filly. He didn’t want to tame her, he just wanted her to relax and realize that he was not her enemy.

Wren and Sawyer’s bickering and pushing are foreplay to some steamy sex scenes and the word dandelion will never be the same for me. Wren is all work and no play until she slowly relinquishes her prickly control and lets Sawyer show her what she’s missing. She’s smart, strong, and feisty which is a great compliment to Sawyer’s confidence and protectiveness. I like that Sawyer is open to running his new business idea by her first before he proposes it to his family. It shows that he trusts her opinion. His patience is admirable considering he’s waited years for Wren to be his, and it’s a surprising reveal and misunderstanding about why Wren hates him. It’s rewarding to see them slowly fall in love and work out their differences in and out of the bedroom.

I always love large loving families and how they support each other and the Kingston’s are that and more. The sibling playfulness is spot on and gave me many laughs. Also, seeing Maddie and Hudson all settled and expecting a baby is icing on the cake. I can’t wait to devour Jace’s story.

I am delighted to recommend this provocative enemies-to-lovers romance loaded with interfering family, friends, and an adorable bulldog named Zeus. Please see my review of Maddie and Hudson’s story in Caged.

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

The Defiant King Series:

1. Caged (2022)
2. Shaken (2023)
3. Iced (2023)
4. Overruled (2023)
5. Haven (2023)



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Bella Matthews is a Jersey girl at heart. She is married to her very own Alpha Male and raising three little ones. You can typically find her running from one sporting event to another. When she is home, she is usually hiding in her home office with the only other female in her house, her rescue dog Tinker Bell by her side. She likes to write swoon-worthy heroes and sassy, smart heroines with a healthy dose of laughter and all the feels.

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