Overall Grade: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
When Meghan March announced her duet for Magnolia Maison, this reviewer was excited. Actually, beyond excited. You see, Magnolia’s presence in the Mount and Savage Trilogies cemented her as a “person of interest.” If you’ve read those trilogies, you know that there is no antihero better than Lachlan Mount. He is a man you love to hate, but then easily fall in love with as his love for Keira progresses. That is until you meet Magnolia “Mags” Maison. In my mind, she stands side by side with Mount as a preeminent heroine. She is everything you love about a heroine: independent, internally strong, intuitive, and resilient. In giving her an epic romance in Creole Kingpin (and eventually, Madam Temptress), March is offering romancelandia a better, stronger form of heroine.
From its beginning, you find yourself hooked to Magnolia in Creole Kingpin. She holds both traditionally masculine and feminine characteristics. She is the master of her world. She controls so as not to be controlled. Her past has molded her into her present, and we find her with a new goal in life: live a more modest, quiet life. Unfortunately, as we’ve seen with the Mount and Savage trilogies, this world, NOLA, is fraught with troubles. As much as Magnolia wants to leave it, it continues to pull her back in. Creole Kinpin exists to set up a huge life change for Magnolia; its purpose is showing succinctly how “bada$$” Magnolia Maison is.
What we are gifted with is a new antihero: Moses. We met him in the Legend Trilogy. Yet, in that one, he was a scary MFer, at least until The Fight for Forever. It is here that we realize there is more to Legend’s nemesis. There is a humanity about him, one grounded in a love for Magnolia. And he doesn’t disappoint in Creole Kingpin. This is a man who is willing to flay himself apart to earn back Magnolia’s love again. For me, Moses’s redemption seems tangential to the real fire of this book, which is Magnolia. She is the reason I ADORE Creole Kingpin. Yes, Moses is empathic and the filler for Magnolia’s cracks, but his purpose is to simply love Magnolia. She’s the strength and the beauty of this story.
As Magnolia’s story evolves, March offers us a romance of second chances. Yes, this is a second chance for Magnolia and Moses. More importantly, though, this is a second chance for Magnolia. It’s clear that she has a severe case of ennui, and she needs change. She’s already made some significant modifications in her life, seeking after peace. But March makes it clear that this a woman at a turning point, a woman who has given so much of herself to others, and it’s time for Magnolia to finally find her future. It’s a stark reminder that change, at any age, is possible, and love can be the impetus for it.
If you have read the Mount and Savage Trilogies, then you should be reading Magnolia Maison’s duet. She is the best heroine you will read in romance. Grab Creole Kingpin today and get reading.
In love and romance,