Author: Edmond Manning
Reviewed by: Don
Publisher: Pickwick Ink Publishing
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Adopted from Thailand and never one to fit in with the local bubbas, life has been rough around the edges for Mai Kearns, even before he came out of the closet. Now, almost ten years past the torture of high school, Mai still can’t catch a break: he and his parents stand to lose their beloved farm.
How will a “King Weekend” help change Mai’s fate? What has narrator Vin Vanbly been up to for the four weeks he’s been sneaking around Mai’s hometown? At the urging of a ransom note from ‘The Lost Kings,’ Mai embarks on an impossible treasure hunt chasing mystic poetry, Fibonacci Hopscotch, ancient prophecy, the letter ‘x,’ and a confounding, penguin-marching army.
The stakes are high: if Mai fails, the Lost Kings will permanently claim him as their own. Finding the treasure may unlock the secret to saving his family farm. But can this angry farmer risk opening his broken heart before the weekend is over? Mai Kearns has 40 hours to get very, very curious in this second installment of The Lost and Founds
I think that this may be the best book that I’ve read this year and I would give it six hearts if I could. For those who read Mr. Manning’s first book, King Perry, this book far surpasses its predecessor. King Perry spent a lot of time introducing Vin Vably, the Found King maker. In King Mai we get to see Vin weave his magical and often mind numbing manipulating of people. Vin Vably is a manipulating bastard using everything at his disposal to crown his Found King and that is meant as a compliment.
King Mai introduces us to Mai Kearns, a young loner living in DeKald, IL. and helping to work his family’s soon to be foreclosed on farm. He loves farming but has never fit into DeKalb or it’s farming community. His first and only love left him alone and somehow Mai lost his zest for life. He has been chatting online with Vin Vably for six months in an AO chat room. Vin offers Kai a King weekend and Mai accepts. We are taken on a wild ride over a weekend of deception, manipulation, laughs, love and some outright lies as Vin tries to crown the Found King of Curiosity.
This is not a romance story even though Vin and the angry, frustrated Mai love each other. It is a beautifully written story of self-rediscovery that had me laughing and crying at its sweet perfection. Written from Vin’s POV, the story flows extremely well even with all of Vin’s crazy stories and antics. I in awe of the way Mr. Manning pulled emotions from me so easily. At least it seemed easy to me as the reader. I was touched at how much love, hard work and planning Vin put into making Mai’s weekend a success. The mantra “I Love The Corn” brought a smile to my face as Mai ever so slowly fell under Vin’s spell. The story is an easy almost lyrical read that I couldn’t put down once I started it. The unique HEA ending blew me away and left me with tears of happiness filling my eyes. It would help a new reader to read King Perry first but I do not believe that it is entirely necessary. I can guarantee though that after reading King Mai you will want to read King Perry. I cannot recommend this feel good book strongly enough.