- Author: Marie Johnston
Book online «King's Treasure (Oil Kings Book 3) Marie Johnston (books to read to get smarter .txt) 📖». Author Marie Johnston
Oil Kings Book 3
Copyright © 2021 by Marie Johnston
Editing by Razor Sharp Editing
Proofing by MBE and King Breezy Edits
Cover Art by Secret Identity Graphics
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No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without written permission from the author, except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
The characters, places, and events in this story are fictional. Any similarities to real people, places, or events are coincidental and unintentional.
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Broke, jobless, and stranded in Las Vegas on Valentine’s Day, I am forced to call my parents for a bailout. Again. A pampered princess and wannabe environmentalist, I know I’m a cliché and would do anything to change it. So when I meet Xander, a struggling photojournalist with absolutely nothing in common with my domineering, millionaire parents, I know just where to go next:
A wedding chapel.
But when I wake up the next day, my matrimonial rebellion comes with an unpleasant surprise. My husband is no penniless globetrotter—Xander King is the son of a billionaire oil tycoon, and my parents couldn’t approve of the match more. Now the only thing that could shock them would be a quickie divorce…except my new husband has a proposition for me.
I take one look at Savvy and know I could spend the rest of my life with her. The feeling is mutual…until she figures out who I am. I didn’t mean to hide my identity, and I thought a desire to get out from under the weight of familial baggage was something we had in common. But with Savvy just moments from proposing divorce, I offer her the one thing I’d been ready to walk away from:
A hundred million dollars.
All Savvy has to do is stay married to me for a year and then she’ll get half of my trust fund—except I have no intention of letting her go after 365 days. I’ve spent a decade running from my father’s disapproval and my brothers’ successes. Now I’m willing to spend a lifetime convincing the woman I love to stay put by my side.
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About the Author
Also by Marie Johnston
Energy-sucking neon lights lit the night sky around me. Our destination was ahead. The Venetian towered in front of us in all its refined glory. Walls of glass windows. A fake canal. Oodles of water that were both decoration and recreation, making tourists forget they were in the middle of the desert.
My environmentalist brain wanted to calculate the sheer waste displayed along the Strip, but I stopped before I could summon actual numbers. My career goal was to bridge the divide between extreme change and please, just do anything to help the earth.
Others in my line of work were quickly dismissed by big companies like those that filled this desert oasis. They wanted consultants with reputations as large as theirs who charged more than anyone in my entry-level position would make in a lifetime. But my last name, Abbot, could at least make some corporations stop and listen. Between my father’s security consulting agency and the obnoxious wealth of my mother’s side of the family, I was a foot in the door.
Which explained the last-minute work trip to Las Vegas with my coworker and best friend, Brady. I’d wedge us in and keep the door open long enough for him to charm the execs with our nonprofit’s spiel: Saving Sunsets is the bridge between the bottom line and the world outside. With our expertise, we can save the environment and save you money.
Simple. Generic. But it was meant to get us a place at the conference table. Our knowledge and revolutionary ideas were supposed to take it from there. But since I’d started working for them shortly after they opened their doors, we hadn’t had much opportunity to consult. Brady and I were in our mid-twenties and a lot of CEOs doubted we had experience in anything but beer pong. Most days, my job resembled an annoying telemarketer’s. Hello, we haven’t had a chance to talk to you about your car warranty.
One more block. Tourists meandered past us, mostly couples in some form of foreplay. Hearts in their eyes, hands down each other’s pants. I didn’t expect to find anything different in Vegas on Valentine’s Day, but their footwear looked more comfortable than mine. I hadn’t packed my humanely manufactured heels and instead grabbed a cheap pair that imitated something Mother would wear, along with one of her silk blouses. The shirt was comfortable, but my toes were pinched and throbbing. Too bad we didn’t have the same shoe size. What I wouldn’t give to wear my Toms.
Can you maybe. . . not?
Bernard’s hesitant hand-wringing when he approached me about what I wore to these meetings ran through my mind. My boss was all about environmentalism, unless he thought it’d cost our fledgling and perpetually struggling nonprofit potential business. I wore my eco-friendly slip-ons, fair-labor cotton shirts, and secondhand skirts around the office; a hole-in-the-wall space in a strip mall on the outskirts of Washington, DC. But, away from the office when I met clients, I was the girl I was raised to be. I wore designer labels I hoped no one noticed were several seasons out of style.
My family was in the one percent, but I was expected to make my own way, aside from the room and board they were helping me with. And I needed their help. They’d made that perfectly clear.
When Bernard hired me, he nearly fainted when he’d learned I didn’t come with my