Blog Tour Review: Gleam by Raven Kennedy

I’m thrilled to be part of the blog tour for Gleam by Raven Kennedy! This was my favorite of the series, and I have a lot of thoughts! The characters, the romance, the found family, THAT ENDING!!! My word!

About the Book:

TITLE: GLEAM (Plated Prisoner Series Book 3)

AUTHOR: Raven Kennedy

PUBLISHER: Self-published

RELEASE DATE: May 31st, 2021

GENRES: Dark Fantasy Romance



SYNOPSIS: “I don’t choose him. Not anymore. I’m choosing me.”

King Midas made me the woman I am today. Notorious. Unattainable. His.

The thing about being confined is that you believe it’s to keep the bad out… Until you realize it’s about keeping you in.

I’m now in a strange kingdom surrounded by liars, with no allies of my own, but I won’t sit idly by and let myself wither. No, there’s something that’s bloomed from the pit of my repression. Something dark. Something angry.

But the last thing I expected was for my anger to call out to him. King Ravinger.

He’s sinister and powerful and entirely too seductive. I’ve learned my lesson with trusting manipulative kings, so why does my chest constrict every time he’s near? I need to tread carefully, or I’m at risk of losing much more than just my freedom.

Regret and revenge war inside of me, and I need to figure out a plan fast before I get tangled up in the schemes of kings and queens.

Because I won’t be caught in a cage again. No, this time, It’ll be me setting the trap… I just hope my heart comes out of this unscathed.

My Review:

Shove down weakness, and strength will rise.

I have absolutely fallen in love with this series, and Gleam is my favorite book so far! It’s dark and gritty and layered, and the journey that the protagonist goes on is equally heartbreaking and empowering. Unlike the other books in the series, in this book we get several different points of view – Auren, Malina, Midas, and one other character. This gives you such an in-depth view of these characters, and you really get to see their motivations. This switch in narration made me hate the ones I hated even more and further love the more endearing and compelling characters.

The character development in this book is fantastic, and I like how we learn so much more about the characters. They are all so well-layered and intriguing, and the story delves into some of their pasts and what led to their reality. I liked learning so much about Auren, Midas, and even Queen Malina. Though I hate Malina’s character, I found her journey quite intriguing. I’m curious about what will happen in future books and fear that when Auren and Malina’s paths cross again, things will become even more deadly and dangerous. I also liked getting Midas’s point of view. You really see how sinister and heartless the man is – driven by ego and greed, his ruthlessness knows no bounds, and this book really highlights that.

Never again will I be the clay that he molds in his hold. I’m going to shape myself.

Auren is the most developed of the characters, and she has grown and changed so much. The author did a fantastic job of showing Auren’s emotional journey and growth, and I love how empowered Auren becomes. Finally, she sees Midas for the despicable abuser that he is, and she determines to free herself from this controlling leader. She is starting to take charge of her life even though it is a long and difficult path. Auren still struggles with her conflicting feelings about the people in her life, and she continually reaches out to people who prove unreachable. I thought her journey was well done. She has been in a toxic relationship for a long time, and though she starts to see the manipulation for what it is, she still fights with her old feelings and reactions to the man she loved and committed her life to. It is not an easy bond to break, even though it is unhealthy and dangerous.

In contrast, the blossoming romance between Auren and Slade is EVERYTHING. It’s intense and passionate and real, and I am totally in love with Slade – he is for sure my new book boyfriend! Slade and Auren’s relationship reminds me a bit of Feyre and Rhysand in A Court of Mist and Fury. It is deep, and slow-building, intense, and beautiful. There are so many swoon-worthy moments, but what I love the most is how he loves her for who she is, not what she can do. There are no ulterior motives, just a deep, passionate, consuming love. Their love story stands in stark contrast to the toxic and abusive relationships she’s always endured with Midas, and I like how Auren finally sees the differences. They seem to understand each other on such a visceral level, and every interaction is intense in the best way possible.

Love happens in all kinds of ways. Fast. Slow. In bits and pieces, or immediate. Filled with lust, one-sided longing, a snap realization never noticed before. Deeply. Thoroughly. Love is a whisper we didn’t hear or a sound that drums in our ears and drowns out everything else.

Another part of the story that I loved was the whole found family aspect. Considering how isolating Auren’s life has been, it’s wonderful to see her connecting and being accepted by this strong group. This is what Auren has longed for and needed- a sense of belonging and being accepted for who she is, not what she can do. This found family has great comradery, and they show Auren that she is stronger than she thinks she is. All of the scenes with this group of warriors are dynamic, poignant, witty, and layered. They also juxtapose the phony and toxic relationships Auren has endured and continues to endure while under Midas’s thumb.

Though Gleam is very much a character-driven story, the plot also has many twists and turns and surprising revelations. I was shocked at some of the turns of events, and I became so engrossed in the story that I stayed up until the middle of the night just so I could finish it. I actually read all three books in three days – it’s that binge-worthy! And the ending! Oh my word, prepare yourselves. It is so satisfying in so many ways, and it left me salivating for the next book!

I met death the night I was stolen from home, and it’s been stalking me ever since.

I am so thankful to Raven Kennedy and Turn the Page Tours for a copy of this awesome book in exchange for my honest review, and I can’t wait to continue the series and find out what is in store for Auren and the others. If you like dark fantasy-romance and a unique and twisted spin on the Midas story, you should totally check this one out!


Favorite Lines:

I’ll be the villain for you. Not to you.

My parents called me their little sun, and I used to be proud of the shine. Yet in this world full of gawking Oreans and a bereft sky, all I want to do is go dull.

We tell ourselves twisted lies to tangle around our wicked truths, all so that we can get caught up in the bind and not have to face bare regrets.

Gold is just a four-letter word for greed.


Up for grabs we have ONE (1) physical copy of Gleam by Raven Kennedy ! This giveaway will be open from May 3rd to May 9th, 2021 at 11:59 PM CST. This giveaway is open to US entrants only. To enter, click the link below!


a Rafflecopter giveaway <

About the Author:

Raven Kennedy is a tea and dark chocolate kind of girl and can often be found binge-watching The Office or The Great British Baking Show.

She enjoys writing all kinds of books, because each one brings a different experience. Whatever the genre, she hopes she creates characters you can root for.

When she’s not reading or writing, she’s with her family, probably messing up a recipe or going on a hike that she thinks she can do, but in reality she can’t because she remembers that all she does is sit at a computer all day and write her heart out.

9 thoughts on “Blog Tour Review: Gleam by Raven Kennedy

    1. I hope you enjoy it! I didn’t love the first book as much as I did the second and third, but I was told to stick it out. I’m so glad I did! Definitely worth the read if you like dark fantasy.

  1. awesome post! I keep seeing this series everywhere and just haven’t gotten to it yet. I’m thinking I may have to this month!

  2. Glad you’re enjoying the series. I’ve been seeing a lot of hype around it recently and might give it a try sometime (maybe when the series is finished because I already have a lot of ongoing ones that I’m trying to keep track of)

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