Spotlight & Giveaway: The Dark King by Gina L. Maxwell

Posted September 29th, 2022 by in Blog, Spotlight / 25 comments

Today it is my pleasure to Welcome author Gina L. Maxwell to HJ!

Hi Gina and welcome to HJ! We’re so excited to chat with you about your new release, The Dark King!

Hi there! It’s so great getting to chat with you today!

Please summarize the book a la Twitter style for the readers here:

Fun Midwestern girl accidentally marries broody Vegas billionaire who’s also the fae king of the Night Court. Forced proximity, curses, fated mates, & super-hot BDSM schmexy times!

Please share the opening lines of this book:

Sex sells. It’s a commonly used phrase because it’s true. For as long as dicks have been getting hard, men have emptied their pockets when presented with their ultimate fantasies. Big or small, obtainable or not, it never matters. When the blood rushes south, the wallets open up.
And here in Sin City—where deviance and debauchery reign—we sell every fantasy known to man and then some. It’s what we do, and we’re fucking good at it.
(Okay, sorry, that was 7, but I couldn’t resist ending on that hook!)


Please share a few Fun facts about this book…

  • I’m from Wisconsin, so all of Bryn’s Midwestern idiosyncrasies are very real, down to her apologizing to the bartender for requesting he do his job by making her a drink. LOL
  • I bartended at a local (small town) bar for 5 years and the part about people leaving their money in a pile on the bar and going about their business is what they do. The bartender just pulls out what they need whenever a drink is served.
  • I didn’t intend on writing a Beauty and the Beast retelling, but when I realized I’d accidentally created one, I scattered a few BatB details throughout the story just bc it made me giggle.
  • Tiernan (the middle brother) has a decal on his car that says “I drive like a Cullen” which I think is one of the funniest bits in the book. I got the idea bc my 23-year-old daughter has that decal on her car, and I love it.
  • There’s a line at the end of chapter 8 that’s basically a nod to my fellow romance readers in an “I see you and you see me, wink-wink, nudge-nudge” kind of way: I’m officially trapped. The prisoner of three extremely wealthy and unbelievably sexy brothers. Somewhere, there’s a romance reader swooning at the very idea.


What first attracts your main characters to each other?

Unfortunately, I can’t answer this one because it would be a SPOILER! I can tell you that it IS instantaneous, but you’ll just have to read the book to find out the reason. 😉

Using just 5 words, how would you describe your main characters”love affair?

Daring, Power-exchange, Kinky, Passionate, Powerful.

The First Kiss…

Their first kiss happens while dancing in the middle of a crowded nightclub the first night they meet. There’s plenty of sexual tension leading up to it, so when it finally happens, it’s a great payoff.

Without revealing too much, what is your favorite scene in the book?

My favorite scene is their first (on-page) sexual encounter, which happens on a lounge chair next his pool late at night. This is near the end of that scene. (The beginning is in the longer excerpt I provided. Because favorite scene. LOL)

Staring into those deep pools, I swear I can see the fire of her soul as a mirror image of mine. But then I blink and it’s gone, leaving only my own intense desires and needs reflecting back at me.
Steeling myself for the onslaught of sensations, I finally give the command.
This time I don’t prevent her movements. I revel in the way she arches, twists, and writhes. I study the way her face reveals the ecstasy coursing through her, memorize the moans and near-screams. I keep my fingers moving on her clit to draw out every last ounce of pleasure before letting up a little at a time, helping her to ride the waves as they ebb and flow, until at last there are only tiny aftershocks elicited by the graze of my fingertip on her hypersensitive nub.
The last thing I want to do is stop touching her.
The next to last thing I want to do is get up and leave.
Ignoring my instincts, I quickly untie the belt and release her arms, helping her ease them forward and giving them a brief rub to ensure they’re not too stiff. Her breaths are still coming fast as she continues to come down from the climax.
Everything in me is screaming to lean back and hold her to me as she levels out, like a compulsion.
Which is exactly why I force myself to untangle from her and get up.
She moves into the spot I vacated, lying back and looking up at me like I just opened a whole new world for her. If we were in any situation other than the one we’re in, I would eagerly lead her through it and show her the kind of pleasure she’s only dreamed of. But as we’re in this fucking mess—and my plan to turn her off with kink has backfired spectacularly—that’s the very last thing I’ll be doing.


If your book was optioned for a movie, what scene would be absolutely crucial to include?

I think Chapter 19 would be the most crucial. It’s not the longest of chapters or exciting or even sexy. But it’s the scene where their relationship notably goes from only about the physical to more emotional. It’s where Caiden steps out of his comfort zone and makes an effort to show Bryn he cares for her as more than just a temporary lover and submissive.

She sighs audibly as her body lowers into the hot water. I tell her to scoot up a bit and slide in behind her, then pull her to lay on me with her back on my chest.
I hand her the fresh travel mug of hot tea Fiona prepared and wait for her to take a few tentative sips before setting it back on the ledge for her.
“Thank you,” she says, letting her head rest on my shoulder.
“You’re welcome.” Grabbing the netted loofah, I begin to lather it with a moisturizing lavender soap.
When I set the bar down, she goes to grab the loofah, but I lightly smack her hand away.
She tilts her head up to look at me, her brows knitted together in confusion. “I’m perfectly capable of washing myself, Caiden.”
Peering down into her hazel eyes, I wonder how long it’s been since she hasn’t had to do everything herself. At least three years would be my starting guess, since that’s when she tragically lost both her parents. But I’d bet it was a good deal before then.
She told me she’s lived alone since leaving home at eighteen, and Bryn is the kind of woman who would rather do things herself than depend on anyone else. She’s strong-willed and resilient in times of adversity. I admire those qualities in her.
Good qualities for a queen.
Shaking that errant thought away of what can never be, I gently press my lips to hers. I don’t seek entrance into her mouth because if I taste her, I’ll have to have her. I only want her to lower that defensive guard she keeps in place.
When I feel her relax enough that her body melts against mine, I force myself to break the kiss, then stroke her cheek with my thumb as I speak.
“Listen to me, Beauty. Letting someone else take care of you for a change doesn’t make you any less competent or independent of a woman. It simply makes you a woman who’s cared for. All right?”
Moisture swims in her eyes before she blinks it away, as is her habit. Then, trapping her lower lip between her teeth, she nods. “All right.”
Using the lathered loofah, I start with her arms and drag it softly over her skin in long strokes. Her breaths become deeper, her body heavier as she gives in to the pull of relaxing more and more.
I find myself doing the same. I’ve never been with a female like this before. I don’t do intimacy. I can’t afford it, nor have I ever wanted it.
However, with Bryn, intimacy is all I want lately.
Oh, the desire to fuck her within an inch of her life while torturing her in the most sensually wicked ways I can think of is still there. But now it’s accompanied by the urge to do things like sit on the balcony with her between my legs while we take in the view and talk all night. Then, when the sun comes up, we’d move to my bed where I can wrap her up in my arms as we sleep the day away. Another thing I’ve never wanted to do, being the workaholic that I am.
But in another life, if our circumstances were different, Bryn would be a woman worth slowing down for.


Readers should read this book …

…if they love a stong-minded, sunny heroine in a forced proximity sitch with a broody, dominant alpha; if they love witty banter that will make them laugh out loud unexpectedly; if they love their heroes with pointed ears, fangs, and magical abilities; and especially if they love their sex scenes to scorch the pages or torch their e-readers with a kink-tastic D/s dynamic and BDSM fun.


What are you currently working on? What other releases do you have planned?

Right now I’m busy writing the next book in the Deviant Kings series, THE REBEL KING, which features the next of the 3 brothers, Tiernan Verran. It releases next July and is already up for pre-order and “shelve-able” (that should be a word) on Goodreads!


Thanks for blogging at HJ!


Giveaway: Paperback copy of The Dark King


To enter Giveaway: Please complete the Rafflecopter form and Post a comment to this Q: What would you do if you were in Bryn’s position and ended up married to a fae king who, for all intents and purposes, kidnapped you and said you can’t leave until an undetermined length of time? Would you try to figure a way to escape and go home? Or would you lean into your situation and see where it takes you?

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Excerpt from The Dark King:

As she emerges from the pool, she wrings the water out of her long hair, then fluffs and separates the strands so they fall in damp pieces around her shoulders. My eyes stay pinned to her as she walks to me and takes a seat on the next lounge chair over.
She stays facing me but leans back on her hands and extends her long legs into the space between us. It’s not done in an overtly seductive way—her demeanor is casual, like it’s simply a comfortable position for her to be in—but it makes me want to devour her from her pink-painted toes to her pretty pink mouth.
Looking back out over the pool, I say, “You should wear swimsuits with a little more suit to them.”
“I packed two for a two-day trip, and if you’ll remember, I was forced to wear the other one as pajamas. I’ll admit I bought this as more of a dare to myself and didn’t really plan on wearing it, but beggars, choosers, yada-yada.” She glances down at herself, then raises her gaze again to aim an impish grin in my direction that I feel more than see. “Why, don’t you like it? This can’t possibly offend someone with a nickname like the Dark King.”
“It’s not about offense; it’s about walking around here looking like a fucking gazelle to a pride of lions.”
“Lions?” Gasping, she sits up straight. “That would make you the LION King.”
I turn my head and glare. Not hard enough, apparently, because Bryn throws her head back in one of those sexy laughs. My mouth waters at the sight of her throat bared to me. An invitation for my lips, my tongue. My fangs.
Fuck. Me.
When she calms down again, she sits forward and folds her arms across her thighs, regarding me. “So I was thinking, since I’m your prisoner—”
She sighs. “Your WHATEVER for the foreseeable future, I think we should try to make the best out of our situation.”
I regard her over the glass as I take another drink, primal satisfaction hitting me when she squirms the slightest bit under the weight of my gaze. “How do you propose we do that?”
“I think if we’re going to remain…ROOMMATES…it should come with certain benefits, don’t you?”
“Speak plainly, Bryn.”
Her pretty hazel eyes roll. “Sex, Caiden. I’m saying we might as well have some fun by having—”
“No. Just like that.” When I don’t elaborate, she pushes for more. “Why the hell not? You’re obviously not opposed to no-strings flings, as evidenced by the other night, so what’s the big deal?”
“I told you earlier. The male who was with you two nights ago was not the real me. The kind of vanilla sex we had the other night isn’t my style and I can assure you, you’re not ready for the kind of things I would do to that body.”
Bryn captures her lower lip, and her brows draw together over the slender bridge of her nose. Goose bumps appear on her arms, snagging the attention of my preternatural sight that chases them as they climb the creamy skin of her neck.
I swear to Rhiannon, I can literally see her weighing this as one of her “risks worth taking,” and I could fucking kick myself for teeing it up like that.
Maybe it’ll be fine, though. Maybe she won’t—
“You don’t know that. Let’s try it your way and find out.”
Fuck. “Let’s not. You might be curious about the darker side of sex, but I promise you won’t like what I need to get off.”
She visibly bristles, her back straightening and hazel eyes shooting daggers at me. “Don’t tell me what I do and don’t want, Caiden. Just because we tied the knot and had barely memorable sex a few times doesn’t mean you know me.”
“I remember enough to know what gets you off, and it isn’t anything close to the kind of games the Dark Fae like to play in the bedroom. And I’m their fucking KING.”
“Just because I’ve never experienced something doesn’t mean that I won’t enjoy it.”
Drawing on my control, I keep my tone even and firm. “The answer is no, Bryn. Drop it.”
“Fine,” she snaps out. “You don’t want me hanging out with Fiona and you’ve made it clear I won’t be spending any time with you, so I guess I’ll just be bored to death.”
Turning away, she stretches out on the chaise like a sulking teenager, making my palm itch to correct her attitude with a few sharp slaps on her ass.
Just as I’m considering heading to my room to avoid temptation, she changes the subject. “I met one of your wolf friends today. Is he into the same stuff you are? I bet he is; friends usually share things like that in common. Or your brothers—maybe they’d be willing to spend time with me.”
I grind my teeth together, thinking of my friends, brothers, or any other male “spending time” with her, but shove my violent jealousy down deep and hold fast to my control. Setting my glass down on the small table between us, I pick up my phone and shoot off a quick text in the Night Watch thread.
**No one in the back of the manor for the next 15 min.**
The guys will no doubt bitch to me about it later, but I know they won’t go against my order. The entire perimeter has multiple security measures in place; they can rely on those for now. I lock the screen, turn it on silent, and put it back on the table.
“Come here,” I command.
She turns her head to me, eyebrows raised. “Why should I?”
I pop my jaw. She needs to be taught a lesson before her bratty nature pushes us both too far. “Go grab your coverup, then come back here.”
“Why?” she asks, her brat now on full display. “So you can show me what happens when I piss off the Lion King?”
“Strike three, Beauty.” One side of my mouth pulls up in an evil smirk. “That ass is mine.”

Excerpts. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Book Info:

I thought a weekend away would be the perfect escape. Until I woke up married and trapped…by the king of the Dark Fae.

“Neon Gods meets Fifty Shades… Deliciously dark and sexy!” —#1 NYT bestselling author Helen Hardt

For Bryn Meara, a free trip to the exclusive and ultra-luxe Nightfall hotel and casino in Vegas should’ve been the perfect way to escape the debris of her crumbling career. But waking up from a martini-and-lust-fueled night to find herself married to Caiden Verran, the reclusive billionaire who owns the hotel and most of the city, isn’t the jackpot one would think. It seems her dark and sexy new husband is actual royalty—the fae king of the Night Court—and there’s an entire world beneath the veil of Vegas.

Whether light or shadow, the fae are a far cry from fairy tales, and now they’ve made Bryn a pawn in their dark games for power. And Caiden is the most dangerous of all—an intoxicating cocktail of sin and raw, insatiable hunger. She should run. But every night of passion pulls Bryn deeper into his strange and sinister world, until she’s no longer certain she wants to leave…even if she could.
Book Links: Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Goodreads |

Meet the Author:

Gina L. Maxwell is a New York Times, USA Today, and #1 International bestselling author living in the upper Midwest, despite her scathing hatred of snow and cold weather. As a lifelong romance novel addict, she began writing as another way of enjoying the Happily Ever After stories she’s always loved.

Her debut novel in 2012, SEDUCING CINDERELLA, hit the bestseller lists within the first month of its release and continues to be a favorite with readers a full decade later.

When she’s not reading, writing, or spending way too much money on planners and office supplies, she enjoys hanging out with her son and daughter who’ve left the nest, snuggling with her fur babies, and dreaming of her someday-move to someplace tropical.
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25 Responses to “Spotlight & Giveaway: The Dark King by Gina L. Maxwell”

  1. EC

    A mix of both, considering that I need to adapt to the situation first before I take action to escape.

  2. Diana Hardt

    It depends on the situation, but I would see where it takes me before looking for a way to escape.

  3. Amy R

    Firstly, I would try to figure a way to escape and go home if that didn’t work I’d see where it took me.

  4. ladyvampire

    I would see what options I had. I would keep escaping uppermost in my mind but still see what I could work out from the situation I was in.