Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Book Review: 'Billionaire's Secret' by M.K. Morgan

Florida author M.K. Morgan is a new author. Her initial book was CLAIMING HER: A SINGLE DAD ROMANCE WTH A SHOCKING TWIST. MK offers very little biographical information except to state that she ‘loves to write about rich and handsome bad boy alpha males and their hot sassy women counterparts. She also loves a good and often tearful happily ever after.’ Sound like a candidate for the desirable Chick Lit genre/ ell, she is that and more. BILLIONIARE’S SECRET: A BILLIONAIRE BAD BOY SECOND CHANCE ROMANCE goes beyond the ‘quick to the erotica portion’ that is the recipe for many Chick Lit novels and instead slowly develops credible characters whose personalities are strong and arrest our attention.

The book is short but full of action. Of note, MK takes a different path with her background data. The synopsis offered on her Amazon page is concise: ‘I’m a journalist. It was just supposed to be another story. Then he showed up. My brother’s best friend. But he doesn’t recognize me. I write under a pen name. He wants me to write his blackmail story. I’m a smart, detailed, hard-hitting writer. But I don’t believe him. Ethen James. A billionaire real estate mogul. Single dad. Beautiful. Well dressed. A body to die for. My boss told me to stay away from this story. He’s seen his share of journalists get hurt. But I wouldn’t listen. Now I’m in deep. This story is infinitely bigger than I ever imagined. And Ethen and I, yeah it’s complicated. My real name is Eve Bridgeport. I didn’t listen to my boss, best friend, or my own journalist intuitions. Now he has me wrapped up in his web. He’s got my mind. My heart, and my body too.’

As MK opens her story she offers a more detailed ‘Blurb’: ‘Eve is an investigative journalist obsessed with the job. She breaks hard hitting stories that can change the fabric of society. Her articles take down corporations, crime lords, dirty politicians and the like. Nothing is too big for her to write. This has put her life in danger more than once, but Eve is no stranger to this. She’s had a rocky and dangerous past that she had to run away and even hide from for a time. She and her best friend Iris met in grade school and found solace in one another, bonding over their broken family lives. Eve is working on a huge story but has hit a wall. She can’t find the break she needs in order to make the story viable. Her boss has told her that she needs to forget about the story and submit something they can actually publish soon or her job is on the line. Eve is approached by a mysterious source about a story involving a major corporation blackmailing hundreds of powerful people in order to line their pockets. The only problem is that her source is the owner of the corporation’s biggest rival and her estranged brother’s best friend. His name is Ethen James, a single father and one of the youngest billionaires in history. He and Eve grow closer as they investigate the story. Despite Eve’s best efforts, she even thinks that he might be the one. Although she does not trust him at first, his relationship with her brother is enough to justify that he might not be trustworthy. She thinks that he may have ulterior motives for breaking the story, as it would take out his biggest competitor. He convinces her that his motives are honest and that maybe her brother is not as bad as she thinks. He does seem to have something to hide, though. As the story gets even bigger, they end up having to dodge life threatening attacks hired out by the corporation to keep them silent. Only when Ethen is put in jail for a crime he did not commit does Eve realize how far they will go to keep them quiet. Can Eve prove Ethen’s innocence and make the connections she needs in order to break the story of a lifetime?‘

Now match that with the tension she so aptly establishes in that critical opening page – ‘Breathing heavily, Eve wiped the sweat from her forehead. She tossed her towel on the desk chair and began heading into the bathroom. A ding from her laptop distracted her as she turned on the light in the bathroom and she couldn’t help but take a look. Plopping down into her chair, she opened the notification. An article opened on the screen. It stated there was breaking news about a young woman who had gone missing and was presumed dead. It appeared as though the woman had been kidnapped. Eve poured over the article, looking for the details she knew she would find. The young woman had been taken without a trace while she was on her nightly jog. The only witness stated they had seen a black car with dark-tinted windows pull up next to her. She’d gotten into the car as though she knew who was in it, and the young woman was never seen or heard from again. Eve opened a file on her desktop and put the news article into it. The file was full of dozens of similar stories. Eve had been compiling this collection of stories for her research into the disappearances. There had been a suspicious increase in kidnappings in the area, and all of the scenes had similar details. The victims were taken while they were out, doing something they did routinely, like jogging, and then they willingly entered a dark vehicle and disappeared. A few bodies had been found in the quarry, but most remained missing and presumed dead.’

More than a quick Chick Lit novel, this. This is the work of a woman who is surprisingly polished for a new author. Watch her grow! Grady Harp, March 18
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.