by Ashe Barker
“Savage King”, by versatile author Ashe Barker, is the type of story that pulls you in from the very first page and keeps raising the stakes right until the very end. It’s the first book in a new series called ‘The Caraksay Brotherhood’. Dramatic intrigue and mystery are blended together in ways that kept me anxiously turning pages to see what would happen next.
Cristina is a single woman who lives a quiet and humble life. While out jogging in her typical early morning routine, she comes upon a crime in progress. She does something that saves the life of the victim, who was severely injured. Several other men appear and abduct her, whisking her away from the scene and then even further. The man Cristina saved happens to be the brother of Ethan, an extraordinarily powerful man who runs a criminal empire. He doesn’t believe in coincidences, and it’s almost incomprehensible to him that she could have been in the place where his brother was attacked, at that moment. He interrogates her in his own special way, and comes to the conclusion that she may not be in on the attack on his brother, but she’s hiding something. As it turns out, she has multiple secrets, each one bigger than the last. The dynamic between Cristina and Ethan initially buzzes with distrust, suspicion, anger, fear, and lust – then as the story goes on a whole new range of emotions comes into play.
I don’t want divulge too many details about the plot because I thought this was an excellent story, and part of the intensity of it was discovering everything as the author intended. Some things may seem confusing at first, but just keep reading and it all comes together perfectly. There are multiple twists and turns, a couple of which I really did not expect at all. There are a couple of BDSM moments, but nothing excessive. The various settings in this story are described in enough detail that you can picture everything in your mind. Even more importantly, the emotional journey of each main characters comes through vividly. The ending was excellent and made this a book I would read again.