The Fearless King (The Kings, #2) by Katee Robert
Series: The Kings #2
Also in this series: The Last King
Publication Date: February 5, 2019
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Romantic Suspense
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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.
The Last King by Katee Robert was one of my favorite books of 2018, so I was beyond excited to get a hold of The Fearless King. I wasn’t disappointed!
Frank Evans appeared in book 1 as Beckett’s best friend. He’s a real estate mogul and general financial powerhouse in Houston, and he has an extensive network of information gathering and general badass employees across the city. In other words, he gets things done. Journey King is Beckett’s estranged cousin, and after Beckett drove her mother out of town in the last book, the energy company the family runs has been scrambling to adjust. Journey and Frank clearly have some unacknowledged attraction, but they try to stay far away from each other. When Journey’s father shows back up and puts their control of the company in jeopardy (and terrorizes Journey in the process), she turns to Frank for help.
This series is not too melodramatic or cheesy to be tolerated, but it does include piles of drama for a rich Texas family. For me, it strikes the right balance between soap opera and romantic suspense. You do have to suspend a bit of disbelief, however. You have to believe that these families could really be so cold and calculating, and you have to believe that there won’t be any serious legal or social consequences for anyone at the end of the book. I was down with it; you may not be.
Journey’s father is a straight up garbage human being. Trigger warning: Journey and her siblings were physically abused by their father as children. There are no graphic descriptions given; in fact, no one says much beyond acknowledging the abuse (and mentioning it was not sexual). The book is not abuse porn! In some ways, though, the lack of description makes it a bit harder to understand Journey’s terror. She is clearly terrified of her father and has suffered severely because of the abuse for her entire life. Her father’s mere presence sends her into an emotional and physical tailspin, which is what leads her to seek help from Frank. We just have to trust that something very, very messed up happened in Journey’s childhood.
My favorite part of the book is Journey’s growth. She starts the book constantly calling herself “the weakest link.” She believes she is broken and incapable of standing up to her father as a result of his emotional abuse. He conditioned her to believe she was weak. As the book goes on, however, Journey starts to believe in herself again. She realizes she has a role to play in protecting her family and Frank, and that gives her a sense of purpose and courage. I just loved seeing her transformation! I also love that while Frank’s support is a comfort and helps her see herself through new eyes, he is not the one who “fixes” her.
I also appreciated that this book acknowledges that Frank, an African American, faces racism, and that that racism has shaped his choices and his personality. His father went to prison unfairly because of a justice system biased against him, and Frank is always aware that no matter how much money he makes, he will always be looked down on by racist Houston socialites. Kudos to Katee Robert for not glossing over Frank’s skin color and for acknowledging that racism exists, even in Romancelandia.
While I’m not quite as in love with this book as I was with book 1, I am 100% here for the King family and this series.
Grade: 4 out of 5