Crown of Disguise: A Dark College MM Romance Author Lola Malone

Book Review

5 out of 5 stars!


"But secrets do, and you carried one by yourself, kept it away from me. Now I wish you would have told me. Because just maybe, it could have saved your life." - Dominique


Dominique's world shattered and was reborn into one full of single-minded obsession. . . Damien was everything to Dominique! His brother was larger than life and someone Dominique could always lean on. After an unfortunate "accident" Damien is gone and the case is closed. But Dominique knows there's more going on at the Saint-Laurent Boarding School than meets the eye.


Determined to find out what really happened the night of his brother's death Dominique will stop at nothing to get answers. Even if that means attending the same college as his brother once had! The same school as that man who stole Dominique's breath away. Can he stay focused on the task at hand, or will he be distracted? 


"Because with every ancient building, there is much more than meets the eye. And with this particular building, there’s an awful lot hidden from view." - Dominique


Dominique has gone from looking up to his brother to completely being absorbed by his brother's shadow. Damien saved Dominique from so many things as the young man grew up with social anxiety and bullies. Only as Damien always came to Dominique's rescue he started relying on and expecting Damien to always be there. Now Dominique struggles with understanding himself and trying not to remain in Damien's shadow.


Dominique's going through a coming-of-age arc as he tries to unravel a secret society and prove their existence. Along with the events that led up to his brother's death. I really loved his growth and how he had to overcome a lot of obstacles both physical and mental. Stepping out of your comfort zone is hard but facing yourself and refusing to hide or run any longer is even harder. 


"Dominique Devallée is like a soft breeze, but something about him also begs for chaos." - Gaël


We get dual POVs with this book! I love Gaël so much and that he enjoys studying people and the human psyche! Something that really draws me into Lola's books is the psychology within and how some of her MC's study it. Gaël brought up some very interesting viewpoints revolving around popularity and those attending the very prestigious school for the rich. Getting to fully submerge himself in people watching and understanding how their minds worked.


As I was reading this book, I kept getting vibes from "Ouran Academy Host Club". Now, this book is the polar opposite from the anime! But the vibes of being around rich kids versus being from a poor family were similar. The descriptions of the school and the attendees had me remembering lines Tamaki had said in the show. Dominique is trying to navigate through what it's like to be around kids from powerful families and who are also insanely wealthy.


This is a great dark college romance! Do read the TWs because the first chapters dive into some heavy topics. Language is very prominent in the book along with feelings of grief. MC struggles with depression and anxiety. There is first person POV of being within a brotherhood and some of the initiations that take place. A giant mystery at hand and constantly wondering which side is the right one, who can you trust?


Loved the buildup between the two MCs so much! We do get MM action with this read. There's some impact play along with edging, switching, "Good Boy", voyeurism, and more! I enjoyed watching Dominique struggle and could relate to how he wouldn't allow himself to enjoy things, sexual or not. 


This book does end on a HEA for the main couple. But I have a feeling that some of the other characters in this read will be the main characters of the next installments! There's more to be discovered about this college. . .


Enjoy the read that will have you questioning the MCs all the way up until the end! The suspense of it all! Don't forget to give the author some stars!


Crown of Disguise (A Dark College Romance (M/M)) - Kindle edition by Malone, Lola . Literature & Fiction Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.


Lola Malone (Author of Shameless) | Goodreads


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