Title: CORRUPT KINGDOM
Author: AVA HARRISON
Publication Date: APRIL 20, 2020
They say Cyrus Reed is ruthless. That he rules the underworld with an iron fist.
A criminal. A murderer. A monster.
He controlled fortunes and amassed empires.
Our paths should never have crossed, but one poker game intertwined our fate.
I woke up stranded on his island.
Forced to play a dangerous game of hate and lust.
He said he took me to protect me.
That he was saving me.
But who will save me from him?
My first Ava’s book, and I have to admit that she really is an excellent writer. I loved this book so much, and I don’t think there’s enough words to describe how much I enjoyed this fantastic book.
It’s a story of an anti-hero named Cyrus and a feisty heroine named Ivy. This is a dark romantic suspense story full of secrets and betrayal. A story like this is worth the read, and to be honest, I really devoured it. I was so intrigued by it and it doesn’t disappoint at all. This book exceeded my expectation, and I’m looking forward to read the author’s other works as soon as I can.
The story is very intriguing from the very first page, it wasn’t complicated at all, and it has a lot of mystery in it. I was mainly nervous and on edge the whole time because I fear something might happen to Cyrus and Ivy. I never stop worrying about these two. The dangerous and deadly situations they’re in made me feel a lot anxious for their safety. I cared so much about these two, and I never felt anything like this before toward other characters from the other books I’ve read. Cyrus and Ivy are just special to me.
There are so many interesting things to learn in the story, such as: Cyrus’ business, the poker game every Friday night, Ivy’s actual role, Cyrus’ other friends (Matteo, Tobias, Alaric, Z), the mystery man who wanted Ivy, and Boris (the shadiest and dangerous man). Learning about all of this makes the story even more interesting to read. There are so many information to gather, but luckily none of it are hard to understand. Everything is connected, nothing is being left out. It was an incredibly well-plotted story. I really liked how the author put these in the story and make it as the side focus, so that the story doesn’t just focusing on the romance between Cyrus and Ivy.
In the story, Cyrus happened to be Ivy’s captor and she is his captive. It’s not what you think. Ivy was sold to a ruthless man, but Cyrus helped her early on before the said ruthless man can get to her. As much as Cyrus is doing a good job in hiding Ivy, that doesn’t make him an overall a good man either. He’s good but still dangerous. He’s bad, but not a villain.
Cyrus is more like Hades, he always referred to his estate as the ‘Underworld,’ and he has a dog named Cerberus. He is an excellent version of Hades for a romance novel. Truthfully, I do see Hades in his character. He’s cold, dangerous, and terrifying, but he’s not a villain. He’s not as ruthless as Boris but he can be deadlier when he wants to. There is no limit when it comes to his character, which why I really liked Cyrus.
He is an anti-hero but expect him to do a lot of bad things for good reasons. After learning about his past, I can see why he became the man he is in the present day. What happened to his sister was horrible, and from there he vowed to protect women who needed protection since he was just a little boy when he lost his sister to a monster bigger than him. He would go to an extreme length just to protect all the women who needed help and protection. No wonder he was eager to catch Ivy, he wanted to make sure she’s fine and the only thing that can keep her safe is if she stays with him at his hidden island.
Deep down, Cyrus is a good man with a big heart. He might be too powerful considering how high his status is hence the reason why he can be viewed as dangerous since he also deals with shady businessmen and doing shady businesses, but he is actually a good man who do things with good intentions. I never doubt him because as much as he is a dangerous man with a dark past, he is not a liar. He is a honest man, only it took him a long time to be able to open up about his past and showed his vulnerability to someone else. I don’t know how, but Ava really knows how to write an anti-hero character like Cyrus Reed and make me fall in love with him.
Now, moving on to Ivy Aldridge. She is a force to be reckoned with. I’ve never met a heroine as stubborn as her. Does that irritates me? The answer is no. Usually, heroines who are stubborn always irritates me, but Ivy isn’t. Well, Ivy isn’t just stubborn, but she’s also strong and tough, sassy, bossy, and feisty. She takes no one’s shit, and is very daring. Most women would cower in fear if they were taken against their will by a man like Cyrus, but Ivy is different. When she first appeared, I expected her to get scared of Cyrus, but she shocked the hell out of me by being bold. I didn’t expect that from her. I was like, “damn girl…you had the nerve to go up to him like that?”
Ivy’s character would surely surprise a lot of people. When I said she’s strong and tough, I wasn’t lying. She never back down no matter how many times she was told to stay indoor. She never break even when she was tortured by a ruthless man like Boris. Her spirit is alive and strong inside of her which makes her a lot tougher than she look. From the start until the end of the story, she stays consistently strong. The way I see it, Ivy is Cyrus’ equal. There is no such thing as one is stronger than the other, both are strong just the same. I’m so thankful that this story exist, thanks to Ava for creating a female character like Ivy.
I can confirmed that Cyrus and Ivy are my main favorite characters, but I do have a favorite side character too. Surprisingly, Trent which is Ivy’s older brother managed to make me liked him. He doesn’t appear much, but every time he does, I can totally see why he is so likable. I liked how he always did his best to protect his little sister from harmful men. Glad that he came to Cyrus and asked for help. Every time he was on the phone with Cyrus, he never failed to ask whether Ivy is fine or not. He cared for his sister, and he is the only man in their family that knows what to do. I feel bad for him and Ivy for having a father who doesn’t care about his children. Trent is a gem, his character doesn’t have an important role but he is still as likable as both Cyrus and Ivy. One thing I can say is that, stubbornness and cleverness surely runs in the family.
Let’s move to talk about the romance between Cyrus and Ivy. Their romance is more to enemies-to-lovers type with a slow-burn process. There is only one word that can describe it, HOT!
I can see that the author take a little bit of inspiration from Hades and Persephone for Cyrus and Ivy’s romance. There are some similarities between these two sets of couple. Hades is God of the Underworld, and Cyrus referred to his estate as his Underworld and when Ivy spoke to him early on in the story, he did said something about how he sees himself as Hades. Also, he name his dog Cerberus. I can see how Cyrus is like Hades in a way, and these two are misunderstood by a lot of people.
I can also see a bit of Persephone in Ivy’s character. Both love anything that has to do with plants and flowers, after all Persephone is the Goddess of Spring and Queen of the Underworld, just like Ivy is a queen in Cyrus’ world. Ivy was also taken by Cyrus, just like how Hades took Persephone away. Both can’t see their family and are being held captive in a place far away from civilization. I can see some similarities for sure, and this is also partly the reason why I loved this book. As a fan of Greek mythology, I’m so honored to see how Hades and Persephone inspired Cyrus and Ivy, not too much but only on some aspect. I really admired the author’s work of writing and making this story.
Now back to Cyrus and Ivy’s romance. Their relationship is not full of sunshine and flowers. There are some bad and good moments, but the good ones won. All the good moments are the only time I can see the soft side of Cyrus. It warms my heart seeing him smile, hearing him laugh, and watching him being so carefree. It was all thanks to Ivy for making him show that side of him more often later on in the story. These two bonded so well, and they grew closer day by day. I find their captor and captive dynamic to be so unique. Some can say it’s unhealthy, but to me, it’s healthy instead of toxic and unhealthy. Cyrus didn’t torture Ivy, he gave her access to almost everything, he gave her permission to use the greenhouse for her to plant her flowers and do all the gardening stuff, and he always made sure she stay healthy and safe. As much as he is dangerous, he’s not mean and not a villain either.
It took both of them a bit longer to realize that they have feelings for each other. They don’t have instant connection like most fictional couples do, but instead, it naturally grow each day. That’s what makes their relationship so realistic and their romance so epic, it was all because of how they hated each other at first but the more time they spend together, the more they learn and get to know about one another, and the more their feelings grow. Their chemistry is very intense but in a good way, and that makes the sexual tension between them so powerful and so hot.
There is no denying how good they look together. Ivy is Cyrus’ queen, just like how Cyrus is Ivy’s king. They are each other’s equal, and they are the only ones who can challenge one another. They are basically a match made in heaven. I loved how Ivy brings out the best in Cyrus, and become the only person who can help him be a good man. Also, I loved how Cyrus help boost Ivy’s confidence, and even willing to change to become a good man just so he can have a future with her. Their relationship made them both changed into a much better individuals, and that is how their character developments came in, and let’s just say that the developments are solid. When it comes to developing characters, the result can either be a good success or a big failure, but thankfully the author succeeded in developing Cyrus and Ivy’s character, and also developing their relationship. The whole process was magical.
Corrupt Kingdom is that one memorable book that you can’t easily forget. It is the story that you remember by heart, that have a special place in your heart. This book has a lot a of charm, and it holds a magnificent story that I can read over and over again. I was left speechless after I was done reading this book. Cyrus and Ivy’s story will surely follows me for life, and I’m so grateful that I get to read their story. An anti-hero and his queen? All I can say is…this is the excellent one. It was truly a magical experience reading this book.