Story Rating: 4.75 stars
Audio Rating: 4 stars
Narrators: Stephanie Rose, Guy Locke
Length: 16 hours, 7 minutes
American King is the third book in the New Camelot series. The books are intended to be read in order and, while there are no spoilers for this book, reading this review will naturally reveal plot points for the series.
Maxen Ashley Colchester has achieved professional success in his life by becoming the President of the United States. But his life has not been without turmoil. Even his birth became a scandal and there have been people who have wanted Ash to apologize for simply being born.
Ash has always been a dominant man and a man that loves deeply. He was in so deep with his love for Embry and wanted nothing more than to live out his days with Embry by his side. But there was a larger plan for Ash and secrets and betrayals and sacrifices are woven into every part of his life and the lives of those he calls his. Ash is larger than life for his wife, Greer, and for Embry, who see him as their king. Ash can lift them up to the highest heights and offer them the greatest pleasures, but everything has a price and their long and deep history is coming to collect and survival becomes a sacrifice and something that will bond them together in this life, as well as the next.
This book and this series are one of those adventures that can take over all your thoughts as you are reading. This is the book where we learn the most about Ash and his story and his character runs deep. This is a long story and a long series, yet when I got to the end, I could have still read on about the incredible relationship between Ash, Embry, and Greer.
This book has the same then and now format as the others and we see so much from Ash’s point of view. His life was tinged with scandal even before he was born and there are people who blame him for his existence. We also see the relationship between Ash and Embry through Ash’s eyes and they are the deep heart of this series for me. Ash has such a deep love for Embry and when decisions were made without Ash’s knowledge, he suffered deep hurt for years. Ash has lived such a tumultuous life that winning can become as unbearable as losing. Ash has to be the strong one, as it’s who he is to be the dominant one and here we see the highs of that, but we also see what that costs him.
The entire series crosses over between their personal lives and their lives on the public, political stage and there is a lot of story with many facets. The full story takes its time as it unfolds with one breathless revelation after the next. The intimacy between the characters is impassioned and fierce and those scenes are some of the most important and primal of the series.
There are also characters that display darkness and while Abilene remains a force in their lives, I still couldn’t understand how two of the most powerful men seemed to roll over for her and let her dictate the terms. The full story also has heavy ties to religion, as well as the story of King Arthur, and there were times that I felt that the expectations were that each reader would know all the tie-ins and, if you don’t, there are certainly connections that could be missed.
The New Camelot series is an epic journey of a read with strong characters living in an intensely dramatic and erotic story that will destroy and shatter you emotionally, but will then put it all back together while continuing to linger long after the final scene.
Guy Locke and Stephanie Rose are the voices of this series and Locke takes most of this book with a few chapters from Rose. Listening to this book in audio truly adds another layer to the phenomenal writing and creates decadent tension as the story plays out. On the whole, I am glad I chose to this listen to this series in audio. However, Locke never truly felt like the voices of Ash and Embry for me. Locke has a nice tone that would work well in other narrations, but here, Ash and Embry consistently sounded too much alike and Locke’s voice is not commanding enough to pull off either of them for me. There were also inconsistencies with the characters as he gave Greer and Abilene European accents in only one scene, which they never had before in the series, and Merlin had a different accent than he did in the previous books. Locke also mispronounces a literary name repeatedly, and it was a bit shocking that it made it through to the published stage. On the other side, every time Rose came on, her tone and presence and timing were incredibly alluring for every character she voiced. The audios are lengthy and intense and with a dramatic style, and they would be a good investment to add to your collection.