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The Fearless King (The Kings #2)

Author/Writer of Book/Novel:

Katee Robert

Book Information:

Fake boyfriend. Real danger.

Journey King is an expert at managing the family business. But when her father returns to Houston hell-bent on making a play for the company, Journey will do anything to stop him, even if that means going to Frank Evans for help. Frank deals in information, the dirtier the better. Rugged and rock solid, he’s by far her best ally—and also the most dangerous.

Frank knows better than to get tangled up with the Kings. But something about Journey’s rare vulnerability drags him deep into enemy territory . . . and into her darkest past. Pretending to be her boyfriend may be necessary for their plan to work, but Frank soon finds helping Journey is much more than just another job—and he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her safe.

Books in Series:

The Kings Series by Katee Robert

Books by Author:

Katee Robert Books

Chapter One

Our father is back in Houston.”

“That’s hilarious. You should be a comedian.” Journey King sat down in the chair across from her brother’s massive desk and waited for him to laugh. But the devastating sympathy in Anderson’s blue eyes told her that he wasn’t joking. She cleared her throat, trying to speak past the sensation of it closing off her ability to take in air. “Oh God. No, he can’t do this.” She shivered, then cursed herself for showing even that much reaction.

“I’m sorry, Jo. I would’ve told you sooner, but I just found out thirty minutes ago he’s on his way here.”

Journey had always felt safe in the Kingdom Corp offices, totally in control, knowing she had her family at her back. But recent events had turned their world topsy-turvy and shaken some of that innate trust. With so many skeletons dancing in their closets, she should have expected her own personal one to come calling at the first available opportunity.

He’s just a man.

The lie was as substantial as smoke. Elliott Bancroft charmed everyone he met, masking the truth until up was down and down was up.

The silence threatened to suck her under. No. “No.” She spoke aloud, trying to break the spell already weaving around her. “I will not let him win.”

That battle was fought a long time ago. He won. You lost. You all lost.

Stop it.

Anderson rounded the desk as she shoved to her feet. “Jo…” He grabbed her hands, easily encompassing them in his own.

There wouldn’t be time to run. Running and hiding had never worked with Elliott Bancroft anyway. She sank back into the chair, her body a marionette whose strings had been cut. “I’m okay.” She wasn’t, but if their father was on his way, Anderson needed to be focusing on the coming confrontation and not on her. She lifted her chin. “I’m okay. You should sit behind your desk. Start this off from the right position.” The posturing wouldn’t work, but it was something.

The door to Anderson’s office swung open, and she tensed at the familiar footsteps even as she forced herself to twist and face him.

Elliott. Father. Monster.

Journey folded her hands in her lap. Breathe. Just breathe. Do not react. If he knows you’re afraid, it will make him happy. “Elliott.”

It had been…five years? Five years since she’d seen her father last, though she would have happily gone fifty more. He’d aged in that time, his skin darkened from too many hours in the sun, his dark hair shot through with silver. The blue eyes were the same, warm as a summer day…if one didn’t know what lurked beneath. He’d turn more than a few heads in any room he walked into.

Except this one.

His smile widened when he caught sight of her. “Since you stopped taking my calls, sweetheart, I thought it was time to come to you.” He spread his arms wide to encompass both Journey and Anderson. “Things are changing here at Kingdom Corp.”

Journey forced her hands to relax. It didn’t matter what he said or her reaction to it—the only thing that mattered was the truth, and the truth was that her mother would throw herself on a literal sword before she let her estranged husband anywhere near her company. He was bluffing. He had to be. “You don’t have a say when it comes to Kingdom Corp. It’s our mother’s company.” Or it had been. It belonged to Journey and Anderson and their other two siblings now. “She gave it to us when she left town.” The paperwork still hadn’t been completed because of all the red tape, but that didn’t change anything.

It shouldn’t change anything.

Elliott smiled. “Actually, the company isn’t hers to give.”

Her stomach twisted in knots, the knots growing thorns when Anderson didn’t immediately jump in to contradict their father. The walls inched closer, the large room morphing into something too tight and close and cramped to fit three people. Not enough air. I can’t get enough air. She lost the battle for calm and clenched the armrests of the chair.

Anderson shifted, drawing her attention to him like a drowning victim seeking a life preserver. His blue eyes, so similar and yet so different from their father’s, held rage and regret. “Unfortunately, he’s telling the truth. It appears the Bancroft family helped fund the initial seed money that got Kingdom Corp off the ground. Elliott stood as silent partner while our mother ran the company, but he’s technically in possession of twenty percent of the company shares.”

Quadruple what she and her three other siblings held individually. Journey gripped the chair tighter, digging her nails into the wood to keep herself from bolting. Damn you, Anderson, you had to know this before today. Why didn’t you tell me? “Mother signed over her shares to you. That should put you firmly as the main shareholder with twenty-five percent.”