Friday, November 20, 2020, is the release date for Her King the Con: How An Online Love Affair Led to Near Disaster, by Shelley Frost and Linda Young. November 20th is also Linda's birthday. This book was written with the mission of helping family and friends who believe their loved ones are caught in a dangerous online romance scam. The book provides expert advise as well as real life experiences that can show you how to disentangle victims of online con artists. Here is an excerpt from the book's Introduction:
The story told in these pages is true. Some names have been changed to protect the privacy of the innocent. Most of the events in these pages unfolded between June of 2018 and January of 2019.
What you are about to read is an account by two sisters of a terrifying time in our lives. During the few months from the fall of 2018 into January 2019, our already strained relationship was put to the test by a romance-scam criminal located on the other side of the planet. While he was committing his worst acts against my younger sister Linda, I scrambled blindly, unable to figure out how to save her. Ultimately I gathered together the “squad”—six women, including me, who strategized and implemented the plan that would finally wrench Linda from the psychological grasp the criminal held on her.
After the dust had settled and the criminal had been expelled from Linda’s life, she and I rediscovered each other. Throughout 2019, I interviewed Linda, the squad members, and several therapists in order to put together the story in this book. During that time, my relationship with Linda made a complete reversal.
Linda had often shielded herself from knowing my opinions of her. She never wanted me to judge her decisions, so she hid behind a mask of toughness. After her ordeal was over, she made the choice to stop caring what I might or might not think of her actions. She finally accepted that I only wanted her to be safe and happy. That’s when the flood gates opened and Linda did not hold back. From never confiding in each other to suddenly getting a generous dose of very private information, my face may have turned bright red once or twice as Linda recounted the details of her online love affair.
As adults, I had heeded the vibe Linda put out and acted the part, never reaching out nor asking Linda if she needed to talk or have a sisterly hug. But after the trauma and emotional volcano we had just emerged from, I was more than ready to put aside polite small talk with my little sister, and instead finally have meaningful, productive, and honest heart-to-hearts.
The following story is as much about two sisters as it is about a devastating romance scam. Although the scammer, a highly skilled professional, wreaked havoc within our family while coming close to shattering my sister who deserved nothing but love and respect, his actions may well help other families and friends of romance-scam targets thanks to the information contained in this book.
In this story, Linda divulges the most sensitive and private details of her time under the spell of a romance scam artist. And in this book, I have diligently re-created every harrowing moment along with providing plenty of expert opinions sprinkled throughout. In a perfect world, no one would ever endure becoming the fair game of a scammer. And no family or friends would ever need guidance about how to extricate their loved one from the effective brainwashing these criminals are so skilled at performing. But if you unfortunately know someone dear to you who is being scammed and cannot see the truth, we hope that you may find tools and resources in these pages that can help