BOOK REVIEW: Gleam (The Plated Prisoner #3) by Raven KennedyGleam (The Plated Prisoner #3)
by Raven Kennedy
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads


King Midas made me the woman I am today. Notorious. Unattainable. His.

The thing about being confined is that you believe it’s to keep the bad out... Until you realize it’s about keeping you in.

I’m now in a strange kingdom surrounded by liars, with no allies of my own, but I won’t sit idly by and let myself wither. No, there’s something that’s bloomed from the pit of my repression. Something dark. Something angry.

But the last thing I expected was for my anger to call out to him. King Ravinger.

He’s sinister and powerful and entirely too seductive. I’ve learned my lesson with trusting manipulative kings, so why does my chest constrict every time he’s near? I need to tread carefully, or I’m at risk of losing much more than just my freedom.

Regret and revenge war inside of me, and I need to figure out a plan fast before I get tangled up in the schemes of kings and queens.

Because I won’t be caught in a cage again. No, this time, It’ll be me setting the trap... I just hope my heart comes out of this unscathed.

A bursting scoff escapes him. “Stop with the dramatics, Auren. Stop with this rebellion. It doesn’t suit you.”
“No, the problem is that it doesn’t suit

Some books are just special. Some books just wind themselves into your veins, your heart, your very soul. Some books last, some books fade, and some books withstand the test of time, take up permanent residence in your heart. This is that book. Again, I know everyone is different and that perhaps this book seems vain or vapid…but, to me, it’s a book that touched on each and every one of my favorite tropes, introduced me to one of the most interestingly complex heroes I’ve ever come across, and it delivered in all things perilous and horrifying. In short, it was my perfect book, and this series lead up to it spectacularly.

What are we without our white lies and protective walls?

Auren becomes this amazing girl, this woman who won’t be held down. She finally finds her shine, her power, her unwillingness to be a pawn for everyone and to be a player for herself. Her cunning, her heart, her ferocity-it was so amazing to read about and I enjoyed every moment she blossomed more, her rose tinted glasses finally so foggy that she doesn’t even use them anymore.

But the eyes of liars are tricky things. They can show you what you want to see without ever reflecting the truth. It’s best not to look a liar in the eye. They’re so good at their own compulsions that their gazes hold steady, and then you’re the one who loses sight.

She cut through the bullshit, and now it’s time for those who have wronged her to pay…and I was so there for it.

I’m glad for the anger I see on his face. Misery may love company, but anger thrives on it.

And, naturally, this was my favorite book because of the twisted games, the treachery, the elusiveness, the sneaking around, and that push and pull tension that can only be achieved by a slow burn romance so seductive, so drawn out, so worth the wait that I thought I was going to personally combust. It’s just so rare that all my favorite elements are in the same story-the same series-so satisfyingly. Not once was or is it easy. Nothing just falls in our laps. Nothing ever is cut and dry-and that is one of my least favorite things in books, when a hero and heroine decide they like/love one another, then it’s all ‘we’re together until the end, no one can defeat us’ or whatever. It’s just simply not that easy for Auren and Rip. There are so many obstacles, so many people, so many rules and powerplays. I love that we don’t get that instant gratification. I love that we have to work for it. And, ultimately, I love that Rip earns it, time and again. That he is more than willing to earn it over and over and over. Yes. Just…yes.

Without me realizing it, he slipped into my veins and now swims through my every thought, steeped into every drop.

Oh, yes, didn’t I warn you that this review was going to go full Commander Rip mode? I did. I warned you in my second review and I am no liar-for there is one single thing that makes my heart beat, my pulse race, and my stomach erupt in butterflies when the darkness creeps in, and that is Rip, the man who brought Auren out of her shell, the man who taught her not all men are bad and not everyone is your enemy. She doesn’t always have to hide, she should let her inner strength shine, be proud of who she is and what she can do. Auren’s inner strength is amazing-I know she always had it, but it is Rip who pulled it from her, who drug it out of her piece by piece so that she could cease to be a shell of a human. And it’s Rip who will stand by her side, no matter the fate, no matter the battle, no matter the consequences-and damn the repercussions.

I’m incredibly aware of his arms around me, of the way he doesn’t falter as he holds me up, as if he could hold me for eternity and never let go.
Why does that make me want to cry?

That’s the thing, isn’t it? There are so many games, so many powerplays, so much political shit, and he follows them to a tee…but when it comes to the woman he is obsessed with, the woman he views as the most important thing in the world, the woman he wants to finally be free and happy? He would give it all up, just like that, if she so much as snapped her golden finger. He’d destroy every carefully built wall, he’d burn down the whole world in her name-because he sees her as the queen she is and knows she deserves no less. He is a humble servant at her feet, he worships her so deeply…and she is finally beginning to understand that-and it ultimately is what gives her the strength and the fight for her soul, seeing that someone values her and would even walk away if it was what she wanted. He gives her life. He gives her the confidence she never had. And damn if that’s not refreshing.

Instead of being afraid of the world, I could make the whole damn world afraid of me.

The utter malice behind the actions in this novel sing to my soul-every single moment-but I do wish ONE plot line had gone the way I love it to, but that’s me being a control freak like Midas and it didn’t hinder my enjoyment at all (okay, look, it did a bit BUT) because the other thread, the way the author pulled at it-it sang to my soul just as loudly, I just had to let it digest.

Why is it that a man can make you feel like nothing, when you have given him everything?

I like things to go a certain way with the trio of Hero-Heroine-Villain, and I am very snobbish and picky about it-I have always been truthful and upfront about that. That being said, though, it’s a more repetitive way of ending a book, so the creativeness that went into this end was far superior in that it is unexpected, it is innovative, and you likely won’t have seen it before (I seriously don’t think it’s possible lol). Again, I wish a certain something could have been expanded upon and played into a little longer for book four with our new situation but, like I said, I like the tried and true, so it’s best we aren’t going to drag out one single plot for too long. Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have devoured it, though *frowny face*.

That’s the thing about escapism. In whatever form, it always ends, and then we’re forced back into a reality that’s not nearly as satisfying.

And lastly, I have to say this, which is stupidly sad, that I found myself relating to so many passages, so many moments where Auren lifted her veil to see what was truly in front of her. I find it so amazing that these quotes can pack such a punch, can break down our own walls where we can see what is wrong-or had been wrong-or could be wrong-in our own lives. I am awed that so many moments spoke to me…and damn if that isn’t a little unsettling.

I became too blinded by my bright sides to see the truth.
Sometimes, you look at the silver lining so much that you drift into denial about the clouds.

So, there it is. My undying and unconditional love for a random series that totally swept me off my feet seemingly out of nowhere. It wasn’t planned. It wasn’t expected. It was not something I planned to spend more of my hard earned money on-but alas, here I am, spending money anyway, because I refuse to not represent Rip on my shelves, okay? And they’re so dang pretty, too (I WISH THEY WERE IN HARDBACK). I wish the fourth was out, but I am also happy I get to look forward to it, get to pine for what could be…and I trust Raven Kennedy implicitly. Now, the wait. I’ll be ready. *smirks*

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