The Kingmaker by Kennedy Ryan Book Review

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The Kingmaker by Kennedy Ryan


From beloved, RITA-award-winning author Kennedy Ryan comes the first in her gripping All the King’s Men duology.

In a world of haves and have-nots, Maxim Cade’s family and their oil empire have it all…and he wants nothing to do with it. At odds with his mogul father, he’s determined to build his own empire, even if it means traveling far from home, painted as the black sheep.

Lennix Hunter is the exception to every one of Maxim’s rules. At a protest for the oil pipeline that threatens to mar her ancestral land forever, they meet in a flurry of stars and sparks, and that one moment changes everything. But Maxim’s family is the one stealing from hers, and his father is the man she hates most. He has to lie in order to have her once, and despite the truth, he’ll do anything to keep her.

Even though Lennix tries to hate Maxim, too, their hearts are pointed in the same direction. The inexorable pull between them, across miles and years, will not be denied.

And neither will Maxim.

Sensitive Content

Here is the sensitive content I observed while reading this book:

  • Alcohol
  • Death
  • Death of a parent
  • Grief
  • Kidnapping
  • Misogyny
  • Police Brutality
  • Profanity
  • Racism
  • Sexually Explicit Scenes
  • Violence


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There are possible **SPOILERS** beyond this point!

Overall Rating

5/5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

This book pulls you in from the very beginning! I swallowed this story whole! Lennix and Maxim make you care for them right away. I forgot I was reading when I had this book open. Time just flew right by me.

Both of the main characters in this book are dedicated to causes they are willing to do the work in order to see change happen in their lifetimes. Maxim is passionate about climate change and Lennix is passionate about indigenous injustice. They find comfort in each other because they recognize that drive and dedication in each other. Lennix is bold and smart and capable. She faces her challenges head-on and refuses to compromise on what she believes in. Maxim is focused and logical and calculated. When he has a plan, he sticks to it and it made him the business man he is.

The story of how these two meet is kismet and swoon-worthy all on its own but there is a second chance for them that will make your heart melt as well. Their serendipitous meetings were so magical and fairytale like. Kennedy Ryan knows just how to balance a fiction storyline that blends into romance. I learned so much in reading this book that I would not have known otherwise. I never wanted their happiness to end. Gimme all the sweet young romance and then show me how these characters are grown and they do grown shit! I loved how both characters were absolute powerhouses in their respective fields!

This book hooked me from the beginning and never let me go! I highly recommend this book to all my second chance romance lovers and billionaire romance lovers.

I think you should pick this book up if you like:
🖤Books that make you forget you’re reading
🖤Passionate MCs who stand up for what’s right
🖤Spicy books with an amazing storyline
🖤Strong FMCs that pursue their career goals and achieve them!
🖤Sexy MMCs who support and encourage their partner

Add this one to your TBR and thank me later 🥰

Spice Rating

2.5 🌶🌶

There are a few open door scenes but not often.

Genre & Tropes


Contemporary Romance


  • Star-crossed lovers
  • Second chance romance
  • He falls first

Favorite Quotes

“If a kiss has a color, this one is the muted shades of the sky overhead, a ménage à trois of midnight and indigo and moonshine silver. If a kiss has a sound, this one is the concert of our breaths and sighs and moans. If a kiss has a taste, it tastes like this. Hunger flavored with yearning and spiced with desperation.”

“I know it’s unreasonable because I met her no more than an hour ago. We’ve had one conversation. Some people leave an impression. Lennix Moon Hunter has left more than an impression. She’s left her mark on me. And it’s shaped like a star.”

“I didn’t have words that night for what I felt when he initiated me not just into sex, but into this world that is just ours. Just our two bodies, sun and moon, just our souls, earth and water. We are the sky and the sea, and the horizon is where our hearts meet. Every part of that world is made by and from and for just us two.”

“On rare occasion, you come across someone who just gets you, and you don’t have to figure out your place. Wherever you are is okay.”

“Do what you need to do. Change your world,” he says softly, his eyes connected to mine so intensely there’s no hope of looking away. “I have to go make my world, but when the time is right, I’ll be back for you.”

“In what world could you possibly think I would belong to you?”
“In the one we make together.”

“Besides, it’s the dreamers, the inventors and entrepreneurs who change the world the most. Gutenberg, Edison, Stephenson, Jobs—something about the present wasn’t good enough, so they made the future.” I almost choke on a jaded chuckle. “What do politicians make? They make war. They make profit off the misfortune of others. They make mistakes they won’t take responsibility for and decisions they never have to feel the impact of. No, thank you. Not for me.”

“My mother was my first country. The first place I ever lived.”

“The harder I have to work for something… the harder I take it.”


Check out The Kingmaker on Amazon here.

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