I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Cash is a billionaire playboy in danger of being pushed out of his family business if he doesn’t stop womanizing and partying. He’s been in the tabloids so much that they consider him bad for business. Kara is a blackjack dealer desperate to make enough money to cover her father’s gambling debt and healthcare bills. In a desperate move to keep his job at the company, Cash offers Kara a million dollars to pretend to be his fiancee at a board retreat in three weeks.
Told in present tense, alternating first person point of view, the book unfolds over the course about a month. Both characters are fairly well developed, each with a complex back story. Perhaps too complex because at times things are a little muddled–there’s a scene where Cash does something that should’ve been splashed across the media per earlier in the book and it doesn’t happen. Cash also has a dream of clean energy in Africa, but that’s a fairly flimsy secondary plot line.
The sex is scorching.
Things that I found problematic were the occasional racial signifier like “slanted eyes,” and that there are several instances where the couple semi-breaks up for a good reason. In fact, the reasons are often so good it’s hard to swallow them getting back together over and over. That’s the big drag on my star rating. I’m not actually sure that they belong together. And if I can’t root for the couple in a romance, then I have a big problem.
I received The Fearless King from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
I wanted to start my new year’s reading off with a bang, and after two sweet romances without any sex, I was ready for some scorching romance. The Fearless King did not disappoint.
The Fearless King is the second book in the King series by Robert. I had not read book one prior to reading this book, but The Fearless King works as a stand-alone. Having finished it, I did go back and buy book one because I want to read the story that informed this one.
Journey King is the COO of Kingdom Corp, a family business. Her mother was forced out of town (this is the story in book 1) but she and her older brother have taken over the company. Things are going along well…until her father returns to town, hell bent on taking over the company. As it turns out, their father’s family had given their mother the cash to start Kingdom Corp and are now the main shareholders.
But it’s so much worse than her father coming back into her life at work. He abused her and her siblings as children, and he’s playing the same psychological games, and Journey feels like everything is slipping away. So she turns to the only person who might be able help.
Frank Evans is not Journey’s friend. He helped run her mother out of town. He won’t sell her real estate she wants. He’s ruthless, and trusting him with her secrets and asking him to help her oust her father is possibly a step too far, but he’s her last resort.
Frank knows that he shouldn’t care about Journey. Shouldn’t want her. But, against his better judgment, he does. When he agrees to help her, his condition is that they pretend to have a relationship so he can get closer to her family and her company. Things turn real very quickly when her father makes it clear that he’ll take the company–at any price.
I read the first two chapters, turned to my spouse, and said “now that’s how you start a book!” I was sucked in until the next thing I knew, it was four a.m.!
Journey is well written, both in her moments of strength and her moments of terror. She is vulnerable, sassy, strong, and even when her demons are riding her, she is compelling. Frank is more of an enigma, but his jagged pieces fit Journey’s. You see the struggle within him to From the moment he summons her to his office in the nightclub to the first bout of oral sex to the incredibly suspenseful ending, you don’t just want them to be together, you need it.
The sex is scorching. Incredibly satisfying, captures the mood and tone perfectly, as well as capturing the personalities involved.
I liked that it is an interracial romance, and that race was actually discussed. People harass Journey over her relationship with Frank on a number of levels, but race is absolutely one of them. For his part, Frank is also pragmatic and realistic about his skin color and the impact that has on him being one of the richest developers in Houston. The racial dynamics were also well done–there’s no fetishizing skin tone, but you don’t forget it either.
My only real complaint is that the fake relationship (one of my top three favorite tropes) doesn’t really go anywhere. It never really gains enough steam, or has enough emphasis on it in the way I usually see the trope done. I would call this erotic romance, or maybe suspenseful romance, but I wouldn’t immediately think of it and go “oh, yeah, a fake relationship book.” But this is a minor complaint–for all that it was a big part of why I chose it on Netgalley, I was happy enough with the story that I don’t care that the fake relationship was such a minor component.
4.5 stars, which I’ll round to 5 when reviewing. Pre-order it here.