Title: Deviant King (Royal Elite #1)
Author: Rina Kent
Genre: Fiction/ YA/ HS Bully Romance
Source: Kindle Store
Favourite Quote: ‘It’s like falling down a cliff. There should be nothing pleasing about that because when I hit the bottom, I’ll be dead. But right now? I don’t think about the landing. I’m suspended in the act of falling. Beyond fear and self-imposed shackles, there’s a thrill, excitement. The… unknown.
I’m becoming addicted to it.’
Elsa is determined to get through her new elite school with her head down and all focus on her studies, only then will she be able to get into her dream university, Cambridge.
She’s used to being on her own and shutting herself off from the world, but she can’t help but approach a fellow outcast making an instant new friend on the first day. Suddenly walking into the imposing building feels less overwhelming with Kim by her side.
That is, until the Elite boys catch sight of her; Aiden King, Xander Knight, Cole Nash and Ronan Astor. But it’s Aiden that she can’t stop staring at, even before he stares her down with his dark stormy grey eyes and pins her against the wall by her neck before saying the words that will ruin the next two years of her life;
‘I will destroy you’.
Aiden continues to watch Elsa from a distance, letting his royal followers do the dirty work. When senior year begins, he decides that watching from a distance isn’t fun anymore, it’s time for him to to have some fun of his own.
‘I thought I knew fear. My parents death brought me raw, inexplicable fear. So much fear that I buried it all in a black, inaccessible box. As I stare at Aiden’s impassive face, I realise that I know nothing about fear. Or if I did, then I forgot it. Because Aiden, an eighteen year old, is giving me another definition of fear. I’ve never really known Aiden King until this moment when he has me as his complete mercy – or the lack thereof.
Pride and dignity were the only things that got me through the past two years from hell. But now, as I stand with my hands locked behind my back and my shirt ripped open, that pride is crumbling apart like it was cartoonish. An illusion. A lie.
“Aiden…” His name gets stuck in my throat like smoke.
He’s the smoke. Suffocating, slippery, and undecipherable.’
Out of all the high school bully romance I’ve read, I have to say, this series was definitely one of my favourites. As much as I wasn’t a fan of the cover, I was intrigued by the blurb. You have the typical ‘can’t touch this’ bad boy leader of the school with money, title and the looks with the body to go with it, the new girl with a secret who just wants to get through high school without attention but never succeeds, and then the outcast best friend who seems to know everything about everyone whilst never really fitting in herself but can be straight up trustworthy. Yeah you have all that.. but here in this Royal Elite series, the deep dark haunting past is so dark that our main protagonist has literally blocked it out of her mind. Only our bad boy remembers.. because he was there. God damn I loved this plot. The whole trilogy had me up all night!
There were a few things I didn’t like about this series, the pushy sexual aspect for one was sometimes uncomfortable to read and occasionally overpowered the story, but I could actually forgive the author for this with the interesting backstory of our main protagonists Elsa and Aiden.
‘”You’re not ready.”
“If I tell you, you’ll have to tell me everything in return. And I mean every fucking thing, Elsa. Including your nightmares. If you’re ready to bare your soul to me, then, by all means, start first, sweetheart.”
I clamp my lips shut. Horror seeps into my bones at the thought of my nightmares and my childhood. I don’t even like thinking about it, let alone talking about it.
“That’s what I thought.”‘
I do have to say, I was so hooked into the plot that I couldn’t remember where which book ended and where one began.
The first book introduces Elsa, a teenage girl with a secretive dark past she can’t remember aside from her disturbing dreams, irrational fears and her heart condition. Adopted by her aunt and uncle who are determined to see her do well, she starts her new school with a dream, only to be targeted by the Elite crowd on her first day for reasons she can’t understand.
I liked Elsa’s character, she’s independent and strong even with her heart condition that can sometimes hold her back from what she wants. Whilst she’s determined to stand up for herself, she’s also adapted into an isolated person who can appear cold – to which people like to tease her with her Disney ‘Frozen’ name. Elsa is easy to relate too with her insecurities and her innocence. The way that she feels like she owes her aunt and uncle by allowing them to control her life and dreams, which is why she craves the freedom she feels with Aiden, right suddenly becomes wrong, up becomes down and somewhere along the way she doesn’t know who she is or what she wants. The way her nightmares and triggers appear more with him around makes her sure that her life isn’t her own, and as much as she wants the truth, she’s terrified of it.
‘I should see the danger. Instead, I’m searching behind that danger, thirsting to dig my claws into him and rip open the poker face to peek behind it. I’m almost sure I’ll find a monster, but I still want to see it anyway. I still want to see what he’s made of. Why he’s made this way. His hand reaches for my face. I swallow as he traces a sensual finger down my cheek. It’s meant to be soft, but all I see is the darkness lurking beneath the surface. I crave it. I want him to unleash it. If he’s sick and I want his sickness, what does it make me?’
I wasn’t sure what to think of Aiden at first, he’s a dark mystery that can’t seem to let go of his obsession with Elsa. She is his only weakness but we don’t know why until after the first book – I’ll let you figure it out for yourselves – their history is a dark connection that will never go away. Aiden can’t let Elsa go again. She’s the light to his darkness and even though he’s forceful and pushy, his past has messed him up in a way he can’t escape from which you come to understand and acknowledge. He has his own insecurities and is controlling for what he wants as his own privileged upbringing hasn’t shown him any other way of getting it.
I liked the writing style of the book. The author did a great job in setting the scene, you could really place yourself there whether it was in the school, walking down the street or the imposing King house. The additional characters brought a good dynamic to the story, the typical group of followers to bring the school to life, the snobby popular girl who is jealous of the attention on Elsa and goes out of her way to make her feel unwelcome on top of the bullying from Aiden, as well as the remaining horsemen who have different temperaments.
A heads up! Like most series, the first book ends on a cliffhanger that will have you wanting more. Everything gets turned upside down when Elsa discovers a secret that she wasn’t supposed to hear. I would definitely recommend reading the whole series because it only gets better. It get’s darker, pushier and even more intense.
The villain isn’t supposed to be king
I have a simple plan.
Finish Royal Elite School and get into my dream university.
One glance from the school’s king blows my plan up in smoke.
One glance and he suffocates my air.
One glance and he issues his death sentence.
His first words spiral my life into irreparable chaos.
“I will destroy you.”
Everything about Aiden King is black.
Black mind. Black heart. Black soul.
I should’ve remained quiet and endured the time I have left.
I made the irrevocable mistake of provoking the king on his throne.
The devil in his hell. And now, I’ll pay the price.
Being hated by Aiden King is dangerous.
But being wanted by him is lethal.