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Publisher's Summary

My forbidden husband.

I kissed my father’s best friend, and it kind of didn’t go well.

Not only because he’s 18 years older than me - but he also didn’t like it. Not one bit.

In my defense, I didn’t mean to fall for him. It just happened.

Nathaniel Weaver is the most attractive man I’ve ever seen with enough charisma to blind the sun.

He’s bigger than the world, owns half of it, and conquered the other half.

He was forbidden. Wrong.

So I totally got over him. Or so I told myself.

Until we’re forced to get married.

Now I’m trapped.

But maybe he’s trapped too.

Because we’re both reaching for that forbidden fruit dangling between us.

Empire of Desire is a complete stand-alone. No other books should be listened to prior to this.

©2021 Rina Kent (P)2021 Rina Kent

What listeners say about Empire of Desire

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Sexy, Age Gap Romance

I love Rina Kent! I prepare to be completely swept away every time I read one of her novels. I know I’ll be worthless until I’ve finished! That goes for this story as well, although this one was a bit more predictable than most of her books. And coincidentally, I’ve read a couple other age gap books recently that had several similarities so it took away some of the freshness for me. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed this one…good balance of heat, romance, heartfelt moments as well as a hint of mystery. Listeners can have pretty strong opinions about narrators and we don’t all like the same thing…but for me, this narration trio was excellent! Three of my favorites!! 5 star narration and 4 star story. Yes, I definitely recommend!

6 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Female character is awful

Not sure if it was her voice or character but I found myself skipping through her chapters. The book itself was a slow start and then when I thought there was going to be some action with her dad's accident, her mother, or Suzanne it fell flat. Nothing!

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Incredibly HOT romance!

I get why everyone swoons over Aiden Snow's voice. I really loved this book and dual narration.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Just amazing

Empire of Desire was just what I expected from Rina, her books are always amazing I couldn't put it down/ quit listening . Narration was awesome, I love Aiden Snows Voice.

4 people found this helpful

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Who writes these reviews?! Family members?

Let me sum it up for you and save you 10 hours

She’s self proclaimed empty headed (implied dumb) over and over. Yet she’s going to law school.

Her man carries her tiny body everywhere like she is weightless. She’s so tiny and he’s so strong (hear that about 6 times).

He’s a jerk and that’s perfectly okay with her. (Especially hospital scene.. get real. What an ass)

I want my credit and 10 hours of my life back.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Another Amazing Story from Rina Kent

Iam Huge fan of Rina Kent books so when I got the chance to listen Empire of Desire I was just so pumped because OMG did everyone read that blurb it screams LISTEN TO ME . LOL . Gwen and Nate story was just everything. I was eagerly devouring every word of their story, their story was sexy, addicting, fun, wicked and gave the perfecting Happily ever after. Rina Kent never disappoints and when I say the plot of this book was top tier iam serious and the plot twist omg it made me audibly gasp. If your wondering if you should pick of this fantastic standalone the answer is YES go pick this one up right now.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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🔥🔥🔥

As with all of Rina‘s books, I loved it. She has a way of creating such complex characters that in real life you would probably not want to know them. The men are always alphas who demand the respect and obedience of the women. But, she creates women who are spunky and fight back. I love that.

I love the idea of age gap romances although in real life I was never attracted to older men. I just think about later in life when the man is in his 60s and the woman is still younger. It’s nice to just listen to a book and escape reality.

I loved the three-way point of view we got through the story. The surprise at the end was shocking when Gwyneth’s mom is revealed. There were a few unanswered questions, but I’m sure that we’re gonna find the answers in the next book or so in the series.

The only negative that I would say about this book is that there was so much profanity. I think the F bomb was said every other sentence. To me, lawyers should have a better mind and vocabulary than using the F word to express anger. That’s such a minor thing, but it is a warning that this book is for mature adults. I also like it when she does the duet narration rather than the duel.

All three narrators did a great job. I did find that Connor and Aiden read much slower than Callie so I was constantly changing the speed.

Rina is the queen of complex stories. You won’t be sorry. I cannot wait for Knox‘s story to come out, and it was so exciting to have him and Daniel mentioned in this book.

3 people found this helpful

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Loved Listening to this!

I Give this Book a 4/5 Star Rating.

Formats Read: Ebook & Audiobook.
Updated: Audiobook Review at Bottom.

HEA(?): Yes!
Relationship Type: MF
Heat: 3.5-4/5
Romance: 4-4.5/5
Drama: 3-3.5/5, There really isn’t that much drama as I was expecting but I’m perfectly okay with that to be honest.
Suspense: 3/5
Pacing: Mid. But reads a bit faster.
Dark(?): No.

This was a very enjoyable read, I personally love Rina Kent’s writing style cause it’s so addictive.
This book in particular is a Perfect Palate Cleanser
/Book Block Breaker, while the writing does read a tiny bit faster than her normal books it’s quite a relaxing read which is actually exactly what I was needing/looking for.
This will most definitely be a continuous reread for me.
I can’t wait to read Knox’s book and I would love it if Kingsley gets a book as well! ☺️


Audiobook Review:
Overall: 4.5/5, Listing as 5.
Story: 4/5
Performance: 4.5/5, Listing as 5.
Narrators: Aiden Snow, Callie Dalton & Connor Crais

Listening to this book after I read it, you get a different take of the book due to the narration and it’s even more enjoyable to me actually. I really recommend the audiobook ☺️

When it comes to Aiden Snow, his voice is just pure Cat Nip. It’s absolutely gorgeous and could listen to him forever! He did a wonderful job!

Callie Dalton, her voice did sound a bit uncomfortable in the beginning, a little robotic. But once you get into the flow with her narrating it’s apparent she’s is getting more comfortable with the character she is playing and in the end voices her character quite well.

Connor Crais, his voice wasn’t what I was picturing for King at first, but he does fit King later on. I really curious to listen to more books he’s narrated.

3 people found this helpful

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Super Hot!🔥🔥🔥

I love a true, age -gap romance, and this was all that and more. Super steamy with an alpha to die for! The female character is a tad too immature, but a total 5 stars otherwise!!

3 people found this helpful

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Age Gap romance with 5 hot hot stars!

I love Rina Kent’s books and this one did not disappoint at all. It was beautifully written with the heroine as very complex dealing with abandonment issues and two best friends. It was typical age gap story but the narration was outstanding especially by Connor Craig’s and Aiden Snow.

2 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for RACHEL REED
  • RACHEL REED
  • 07-05-22

Age gap, taboo romance

I absolutely loved this age gap, contemporary, taboo romance!

This was intense, dark and so very compelling

The characters were well fleshed out, real and relatable.

I absolutely loved the chemistry between the characters!!

This was hot, sexy and spicy.

The narrators performed an amazing audio delivery and narration


Definitely recommend

2 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Teriann
  • Teriann
  • 08-02-22

Forbidden Age Gap Goodness

More Rina Kent perfection! I was hooked from the beginning with this story. I love an age gap and add your dads best friend? Absolutely. I always say I dont think Rina Kent can get any better, each book she pulls no stops and gives it all to us.

The audio narration was great! Connor and Callie are always instant buys for me but when you add Aiden to that mix it just gets so much better.

I can't wait to find out what happens next in this series! Super hooked!

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Profile Image for Jocelyne
  • Jocelyne
  • 05-05-22

Age-Gap and Forbidden Romance!

This is the first book in the Empire series, a standalone romance. Nathaniel (Nat) and Gwyneth (Gwyn)’s story is well written and captivating. Nat is handsome and protective. Gwyn is young, naive, and impulsive. They share a sizzling hot chemistry, and a push and pull relationship. Gwyn's dad Kingsley is an enigmatic character, and a fantastic single dad. I would love to read his story. This is a great age-gap, father’s best friend, and taboo/forbidden romance. Aiden Snow, Callie Dalton and Connor Crais did an outstanding job with the narration. I enjoyed it! Rina Kent never disappoints!

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Profile Image for Wanderer Dreamer Romance Reader
  • Wanderer Dreamer Romance Reader
  • 05-04-22

A perfect taboo romance filled with desire

Empire of Desire is book one in the Empire series and is the complete standalone, forbidden age-gap, fathers’ best friend, marriage of convenience romance story of Nathaniel Weaver and Gwyneth Shaw.
Gwyneth was infatuated with Nathaniel, her dad’s best friend, since she was fifteen years old. All her life Nathaniel had been Uncle Nate until somewhere along the way he became Nate, the man of her dreams and on her eighteenth birthday, she shoors her shot and kisses him which goes down like a lead balloon. For two long years Nate and Gwen avoid each other, until an accident turns their lives upside down and forces them together in the form of a marriage of convenience.
Nate is devastatingly sexy and his closed off, impenetrable persona would deter even the strongest of people, yet he’s not prepared for the storm that is Gwen and the forbidden temptation she tangles in front of him. Seeing Nate’s control snap and his possessive side come to the forefront was panty melting hot and I could die a happy woman if Nate was to repeat “you’re truly fucked, baby girl” for the rest of my days.
Aiden Snow brings Nate to life and quite honestly, I can’t think of a better person who could’ve done this character justice quite like Aiden. His deep voice was simply perfect for this super-hot, dirty talking, sexually experienced alpha. Callie Dalton’s sweet, lilting tone was perfect to portray the sassy and utterly besotted Gwen. Callie really sold me that Gwen was not only wounded but was also initially suffering from unrequited love and finally bags herself the man she’s wanted for a long time. Connor Crais’ performance as Kingsley Shaw, father of Gwen and best friend of Nate. Even though King is a small part in this book, Connor’s portrayal of the doting father is amazing.
I loved this story, the characters, the tropes, Ms Kents writing style, the dirty talk and steamy times, the fact that it’s focused around desire, whether that is something that has been present but not reciprocated or a growing, slow burn desire and the anticipation contributed to make this an incredible story. I cannot wait to get lost in more from this fabulous author, especially Knox’s story in Empire of Sin.

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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Rubi Rodriguez (Rubi's Bookshelf)
  • Rubi Rodriguez (Rubi's Bookshelf)
  • 05-03-22

This book is 🔥!!!

At first I was like 🤔 but then I was 😱🫣🤩🤩🤩🤩.
Uncle Nate man. 🥵
I love the “suspense” added in. All the steamy scenes were super hot. Really enjoyed this listen. Great start to this new author for me.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Claire Annovazzi
  • Claire Annovazzi
  • 05-01-22

Good erotica here

I liked it, due in large part to the narration, though there were many elements I enjoyed.

Let’s start with my main complaint. I’m kind of tired of the “alpha male who never loved anyone but who finally falls in love” trope–I mean, people can love multiple times in their life. It’s especially annoying with the cold hearted alpha. Why has this particular person touched you and changed your heart? Usually, it’s because they “aren’t like the others”. Yeah, right. That’s the case for everyone. But whatever. I just had to accept it as it was and move on.

The main characters were interesting. On one hand, there was Nate, the broken older guy–in his thirties, not a senior–who never experienced love in any way, even in his close relationships. He even kept his colleague Aspen at arm’s distance, and his friendship with King was tainted with violence and anger. And let’s not talk about his relationship with his family. He only accepted the role of mentor because that kept him above the others. And on the other hand, bratty Gwyneth, King’s daughter. Damn she was a handful, so annoying that she became endearing, because she forced Nathaniel outside of his boundaries. Plus, her mental health troubles were dealt with with some respect, though I could have done without Gwyneth calling herself crazy.

The author develops nicely how they slowly move toward each other, Gwyneth becoming more reliable and a real support for Nate, while he discovers he has a heart and can use it. It’s very sexual at first, which maintains a barrier between them, until they can’t deny their deeper feelings.

On top of their inner struggles, there’s another reason their relationship isn’t supposed to work: Nate is Gwyneth’s father’s best friend. He’s much older than her, he’s known her since she was an infant, and she’s called him uncle for as long as they’ve known each other. Talk about forbidden, almost incestuous even. Which makes for a couple of interesting confrontations once their relationship is out in the open. And of course it forces them to prove their feelings for each other, which is always quite romantic.

So yeah, there’s definitely some sweet romantic stuff, but it’s mostly scorching hot! Nate and Gwyneth have an explosive relationship. Keep a cold beverage on hand, or even a cigarette. Good erotica here.

Though source of a couple of twists and revelations that keep the book interesting, I felt the plot was a bit loose, full of unbelievable coincidences. The romance part was well done, the family stuff not so much. It felt like watching a bad soap opera.

With King getting some chapters, it was nice to have three narrators. Three really good narrators, should I add. Gwyneth’s bratty attitude was spot on, while the male narrators brought Nate’s and King’s colder behavior to life with an even tone speckeled with deeper emotions.

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Profile Image for TINA WILLIAMS
  • TINA WILLIAMS
  • 04-26-22

A must listen!

I just finished this audiobook and I loved it. The narration made the story come to life. Rina Kent gives the reader an age gap, father’s best friend romance packed with emotion, angst, longing and so much steam with Empire of Desire. I loved every beautiful word and the quirky Gwen stole my heart. She had loved Nate for years but was dejected and determined to move on. However, circumstances changed. Can this quirky and smart little vixen bring his cold heart to life? The writing is excellent as always, filled with great characters and a complex plot. What more to you need? A must read/listen five star experience.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Julia TeamStarlite
  • Julia TeamStarlite
  • 04-25-22

Empire of Desire

A really good story with great narration!

I liked the way Nathaniel and Gwyn fall for each other and that Gwyn is not the all in all perfect girl with a rich daddy.

Age gap, best friends daughter - recommended

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Profile Image for xxBooksILovexx
  • xxBooksILovexx
  • 04-24-22

Amazing age gap listen

Loved this story so much! Age Gap, Father’s Best Friend & marriage of convenience/forced proximity all rolled into one great story. Gwen & Nathaniel’s chemistry was crazy hot. So many twists & turns. I didn’t want the book to end! Excellent narration by Callie Dalton, Aiden Snow & Connor Crais.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for PATRICIA
  • PATRICIA
  • 04-22-22

Get ready for an amazing ride!

Looking for a fantastic taboo romance? Here it is, Rina Kent's Empire of Desire. Gwen has had a crush on her father's best friend since she is 18. Kissing him on her birthday on a whim though may have been a very bad idea. Now several years later, Nate is still ignoring her, but circumstances beyond their control have now pushed them into each other's path. What they do next will change the course of their lives. What a ride this book is! I completely can see both sides of this relationship, and for me that is what makes it so much fun to listen to. The push pull is insane, and the concurrent storyline so interesting it keeps both the romance and the business alive. Then add in Gwen's dad, Kingsley into the mix and we have an all out exciting battle of the wits. Plus he is incredible...single dad, wonderful with his daughter, ruthless business man, can't wait to hear his story! But I digress. Gwen knows what she wants, and though a bit naive, she does have the will to make her relationship what she wants. Nate is the one I love to listen to. His inner monologue and conscience kept me entertained as he warred through his feelings. And I loved getting to know some of the employees Gwen worked with. I am sure we have not seen the end of some of the turmoil, but can rest in assurance that Gwen and Nate will fight it all together.

The narration team for this book made the story even better. I could not have cast it better myself! Callie Dalton shines as the young, infatuated, Gwen. She plays on her with slight immaturity in one scene and in the next is the voice of reason all with inflection and nuance. Aiden Snow is a master of dark and broody, reaching into the mind of Nate. He has that push-pull down to a pat letting us feel the conflict and change of emotion. And then add in Connor Crais as the doting father and irate best friend! So darn good! I loved this, couldn't pull it out of me ears and can't wait for book 2!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-02-22

Beautiful ❤️

What an amazing story and Nate is daddy - only wish the audio was performed as a duet narration

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Profile Image for Nickii
  • Nickii
  • 11-26-21

female narrator is annoying also trigger warnings

female narrator is breathy skipped chapters also it sounds like the female character needs serious therapy to help deal with issues like suicidal thoughts and issues with both her parents an ok book but not one of my favorites