King of Chatham by London St. Charles is book two of the nine book Kings of the Castle series penned by various female authors. Book one, Kings of the Castle is an introduction to all of the Kings but focuses on Vikkas Germaine. Books two through nine are standalones with no cliffhangers and can be read in any order, though I’m reading them in sequence.
Nine former students and future Kings of The Castle are recruited by their former teacher and mentor, Khalil Germaine. He directs them to root out and eliminate the corruption that has infiltrated The Castle, a humanitarian endeavor he founded. They vow to protect The Castle and each other from future attacks. Along the way they meet some extraordinary women. This is the story of Mariano DeLuca.
Mariano “Reno” DeLuca is a former architect of Italian descent. He built a state-of-the-art women’s shelter in the hood. The Second Chance at Life Women’s Shelter is a safe haven for women. Reno started the shelter in memory of his high school friend, Ebony, who was beaten to death by her boyfriend. He has a strong reaction to new client, Zuri Okusanya, and is falling for her, even though his personal policy is to not get in romantic entanglements with the women seeking shelter and protection.
Zuri Okusanya is a Tanzanian Princess seeking protection at Second Chance at Life Women’s Shelter. She’s been told that she can trust Mariano DeLuca. Zuri is falling for Reno, which is ironic, since she’s running from a man.
King of Chatham is a perfect accounting of Reno’s story. The main characters, Zuri and Reno, are both well-rounded and likable. Reno’s place in the world of The Castle is cemented and his personal world is revealed. Zuri is little more than a footnote in book one, but she finally becomes a living, breathing character with a complete backstory. The plot kept me interested from start to finish. The dialogue is vivid and representative of the time, place and the individual characters. As advertised, the ending is perfection that doesn’t leave you hanging from a literary cliff.
King of Chatham is definitely a main dish in the multicultural literary feast served in book one. I completely enjoyed this novel and rate it an easy 5 out of 5 stars. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys multicultural romantic suspense or well-written contemporary romance. Be aware, there is explicit sexual content that may be offensive to some readers.
My thanks to Independent Publishers Group and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book. However, the opinions expressed in this review are 100% mine and mine alone.
Publication Date: November 26, 2019