Painful Love (Kings of Aces Book 2) by T. Ashleigh and Addison Beck

Painful Love is the second book in the Kings of Aces series and it is much darker than its predecessor. Buckle up folks, you're in for a wild and chaotic ride.

From the blurb:


My life has been a series of one nightmare after another. Every day is a fight to be stronger as I try to outrun the past that refuses to give me peace. Somehow, I managed to keep myself under control...
Until Bunky messed it all up.
His soul screams to mine in a way that awakens every part of me, even the parts I’ve tried to keep buried. We’re a jagged fit, a match made in Hell, but I can’t have him because together we’d burn the world to the ground.
Bunky doesn’t see that. He’d rather fuel the toxic fire of obsession than give up, and I don’t know how much longer I can hold out before I cave to the demon that everyone should fear.
Including him.


I’m not what most people would consider normal.
Everything in my life is touched by darkness and shaped by my past. Living life constantly on the brink of being swallowed up by the monster that wants to consume me is exhausting, so I drowned myself in vices to try and smother the memories.
Until I realized all I needed was my missing piece.
Whaley flipped a switch in my brain, making me see he was meant to be mine, but he's not letting us be together like we were made to. He’s too worried we'll destroy everything in our path if we give in to the connection that tethers us together.
Good thing I have no problem watching the world burn if it means I get him.

Painful Love ɪꜱ ᴀɴ ᴀɢᴇ-ɢᴀᴘ, ᴅᴀʀᴋ ᴏʙꜱᴇꜱꜱɪᴠᴇ ʀᴏᴍᴀɴᴄᴇ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ᴄᴇɴᴛᴇʀꜱ ᴀʀᴏᴜɴᴅ ᴀ ɢᴜᴀʀᴅᴇᴅ ᴍᴀɴ ᴀɴᴅ ʜɪꜱ ʟɪᴛᴛʟᴇ ᴘꜱʏᴄʜᴏ. ᴍɪx ɪɴ ꜱᴏᴍᴇ ᴛᴏxɪᴄ ᴠɪʙᴇꜱ, ʟᴏᴏᴍɪɴɢ ᴘᴀꜱᴛꜱ, ᴀɴᴅ ᴅᴇᴇᴘ ᴄᴏɴɴᴇᴄᴛɪᴏɴꜱ, ᴀɴᴅ ᴘᴀɪɴꜰᴜʟ ʟᴏᴠᴇ ᴡɪʟʟ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ʏᴏᴜ ɪᴛᴄʜɪɴɢ ꜰᴏʀ ᴍᴏʀᴇ.

Jacqueleen the Reading Queen's review:

"ᴡᴇ'ʀᴇ ʟɪᴋᴇ ᴀ ʟɪᴛ ᴍᴀᴛᴄʜ ᴀɴᴅ ʟɪɢʜᴛᴇʀ ꜰʟᴜɪᴅ, ᴡʜɪᴄʜ ɪꜱ ꜰɪɴᴇ ꜱᴇᴘᴀʀᴀᴛᴇʟʏ, ʙᴜᴛ ᴛʜᴇ ꜱᴇᴄᴏɴᴅ ᴛʜᴇʏ ᴄᴏᴍᴇ ᴛᴏɢᴇᴛʜᴇʀ, ɪᴛ ᴄʀᴇᴀᴛᴇꜱ ᴀ ꜰɪʀᴇ ᴛʜᴀᴛ ꜱᴘʀᴇᴀᴅꜱ, ʙᴜʀɴɪɴɢ ᴇᴠᴇʀʏᴛʜɪɴɢ ɪɴ ɪᴛꜱ ᴘᴀᴛʜ."

The authors sure weren't kidding when they said this book is darker than book 1. Bunky and Whaley had to go through quite a lot in order to get their Happily Ever After, well as close to happy as two very disturbed individuals can be when they are not lost in a violent rage. These two are the literal definition of red flags. 🚩🚩🚩

"ʙᴜɴᴋʏ, ʏᴏᴜ ʜᴀᴠᴇ ᴛᴏ ʙᴇ ʀᴇᴀʟ ꜱᴜʀᴇ ᴀʙᴏᴜᴛ ᴛʜɪꜱ. ᴛʜɪꜱ ᴡɪʟʟ ᴄʜᴀɴɢᴇ ᴇᴠᴇʀʏᴛʜɪɴ'. ᴏɴᴄᴇ ʏᴏᴜ'ʀᴇ ᴍɪɴᴇ, ɪ'ʟʟ ɴᴇᴠᴇʀ ʟᴇᴛ ʏᴏᴜ ᴇꜱᴄᴀᴘᴇ."

See what I mean? This is very much a toxic, obsessive, borderline psychopathic romance. If you've read book 1, then you've had a glimpse of Bunky's quirks. What you didn't learn in book 1 is that Whaley is just as unhinged as his much younger lover. He just hides it better is all. It does make sense that they'd be similar in their psyche as their childhood pasts seem to mirror one another's. I can't imagine living through what they did as children and coming out unscathed. I'm actually surprised they are functioning as well as they are and that's saying something!

"ɪ ᴄᴀɴ'ᴛ ᴇxᴘʟᴀɪɴ ɪᴛ. ᴛʜᴇʀᴇ ᴀʀᴇɴ'ᴛ ᴡᴏʀᴅꜱ. ᴡᴇ'ʀᴇ ᴀ ʙᴇᴀᴜᴛɪꜰᴜʟ ꜰᴜᴄᴋɪɴɢ ᴅɪꜱᴀꜱᴛᴇʀ ᴡᴀɪᴛɪɴ' ᴛᴏ ʜᴀᴘᴘᴇɴ, ɪ ᴋɴᴏᴡ ɪᴛ. ɪ ᴋɴᴏᴡ ɪᴛ ᴀɴᴅ ʏᴇᴛ ɪ ᴄᴀɴ'ᴛ ꜰɪɴᴅ ɪᴛ ɪɴ ᴍᴇ ᴛᴏ ꜱᴛᴏᴘ ᴡʜᴀᴛ ᴡᴇ'ᴠᴇ ꜱᴛᴀʀᴛᴇᴅ. ɪ ᴡᴏɴ'ᴛ."

Make sure you read the TW before you begin because when they say torture they mean on page. It got pretty gruesome at points and I did need to take a bit of a breather. While this one ends on sort of a HFN in their epilogue, based on their personalities and things they said, I don't think these two are ever going to part ways, not without one being in a body bag. Their relationship may be toxic AF, but I don't think they would have worked with anyone else but each other.

Painful Love is currently available as an e-book and can be read as part of your Kindle Unlimited Subscription