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

Book Review

5 out of 5 stars!



First and foremost! This series can be read as standalones since each book is about a different couple. However, for a better understanding of the College and the cast of characters, I recommend reading them in order. There are recaps but not too many to giveaway the entire plots and arcs of the previous book.


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"I won’t let anyone see these hidden parts of me." - Regis


Regis' life was ripped away from him when his mother finally came back for him. Only several years too late and with a new husband and stepbrothers in tow. The twins that everyone fears and respects at Saint-Laurent Boarding College for boys. Regis wants nothing to do with the new family, the new "home", and now school. But he knows many would sell everything they had to be where he is.


Regis tries to navigate and survive in a world he knows he can never truly belong in. Money, power, endless connections it all makes him feel small and out of place. Luckily, he has someone to guide him and help him swim, but that person just so happens to be Arthur Deverauxs. . . One of his stepbrothers and the golden child of the family. Can Regis survive long enough to graduate? Will the college get to him first or will Arthur?!


“Just like I said before, you’re in my territory now. My world. And you will play according to my rules.” - Arthur


This is a dark romance with some heavy themes, read the trigger warnings! 


Regis' home with his biological dad was a nightmare and full of abuse. But it was familiar even if it was a very toxic comfort. Everything Regis knew and was used to was basically ripped away from him in a matter of days. Going from one extreme environment to another one, one with more positives and healthy comforts. Unfortunately, our sweet baby has fresh trauma that he's not ready to face and deal with yet. . .


Regis is soon overwhelmed by all the healthy love, a future, and support his new family is giving him. His mind believing this is all a big fat joke and he will be left holding the shattered pieces again. Regis sets up barbed wire and walls around himself and tries to stay far away from his mom and all members of his new family. Only things get a little tricky when he arrives at college only to find he will be sharing a dorm with the Deverauxs who are still enrolled at school!


Things really go off the rails when Regis' stepfather announces that Arthur will be his mentor and guide. Arthur seeing him as a competitor and someone who will thwart his future. Arthur and Regis challenge each other and are both stubborn as can be. I loved that we get dual POVs with this installment to help understand and see just how the two really feel about one another. Right down to stating the other is off limits because they're stepbrothers, it's taboo!


"You can change your entire life, but horror always has a way to find you." - Regis


This read deals with mental health and being from an abusive home. Fresh trauma that the MC isn't ready to face yet or work through. Regis having nightmares, anxiety, triggers, and PTSD. When you're hurting sometimes you push away everyone and everything even if some of those things could really help. Regis has only known and understood certain situations and now he craves those familiarities even if they aren't helping him. You can only help so much and guide so far before that person has to decide it's time to set themselves free.


Language is present in the book along with PDA to the max! With this installment we get to see the Brotherhood through the MC's POV. One MC already being a part of the Brotherhood and the other being an initiate. Characters in different scenes carrying on with their day to day while someone is enjoying the company of another. 


I really loved the struggles our two MCs had as they tried to figure out one another. Chess being a major key to their relationship and a way of communication. Their banter between each other was fantastic and I enjoyed how Regis showed how clever he was. Arthur being possessive as well as patient with Regis. We do get MM action with this read. The two being Rivals to Lovers along with forced proximity, hand necklaces, "Good Boy", "Mine", hurt/comfort, and more!


I also really respected Regis' mom the more I got to read about her and know her! I cannot wait for the next installment! I love Lola's writing style and the dark romance along with how she just really knows how to seduce her readers with her amazing characters! I also really admire the psychology mixed into her books!


Enjoy the dark college academia with secrets galore and taboo romances! Don't forget to give the author some stars!


Book 2:

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


Book 1:

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


Lola Malone (@lolamalonebooks) | Instagram


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