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Enter Russian businessman Dimitri Romanov, the true owner of the jewel. He's following a lead hoping to reacquire his stolen egg when he bumps into Elise. He can't hide his attraction to the petite brunette with doe-like eyes.
Dimitri's rival, Gustav Kelch, wants the rare Faberge jewel and will do anything to find it, including destroying Dimitri's life. Can Dimitri keep Elise and his Faberge heirloom safe or will his attraction place their lives in jeopardy?
His gaze was as soft as a caress. He reached out and tucked a stray tendril of hair behind her ear. Then slowly, he curved his hand around the nape of her neck and moved closer so there was no space between them.
Their lips skirted each other's, teasing, tempting... until Dimitri's mouth finally captured hers in a drugging kiss.
His lips were firm and persuasive. He smelled of soap and sandalwood. Something intense flared within her, and she fisted her hands around the lapels of his coat. Her body betrayed her desire. His erection pressed against her thigh.
All of a sudden, an all-crushing fear consumed her. He was hard for her. It was too soon, too fast. She broke the kiss and pushed him away.
"Elise--" Dimitri began.
Elise's heart jumped. She swung around and looked at the door.
It stood ajar.
"Lucy!" Elise forgot all about Dimitri's kiss and rushed inside with him right behind her. Concern spiked within her the second she saw Lucy.
Her friend's hands and feet were tied to a chair, and a gag was in her mouth. The room had been trashed. Their suitcases had been turned over; their clothes and books tossed haphazardly about.
Fear knotted inside Elise. She rushed to the chair and took off Lucy's gag. Dimitri untied the knots at Lucy's feet, concern for her friend evident in his eyes. Elise was thrilled that Dimitri had helped her with no hesitation or reservations.
"What happened?" Elise asked. "Who did this?"
"They were looking for the egg," Lucy said. She glanced at Dimitri, but instead of her earlier resistance to him, gratefulness filled her gaze.
Dimitri froze and glanced up, his stare drilling into Elise. "Egg? A Faberge egg?"
Elise loosened one of the ropes around Lucy's hand and looked at Dimitri, perplexed. "What do you know about Faberge eggs?"
He muttered something in Russian, finished untying the knot around Lucy's other ankle, and stood, straightening his shoulders.
"That's what I lost. What I've been looking for -- my Faberge egg."
At just 88 pages, The Faberge Secret hit the right notes with me. I am fond of shiny things, historical tidbits, steamy romance, and Russian accents.
I didn't know a lot about Faberge eggs before reading this story. The author did a good job of weaving in historical information with the romance and adventure. I liked being able to learn a little bit about Faberge eggs and related Russian history along with the heroine, Elise.
I also really liked Elise's willingness to put herself out there in spite of the risks to her safety and her heart. If placed in similar situations, I would probably choose the conservative route and miss out on all of the danger, excitement, and heady romance. Where's the fun in that? Seize the day! And that hunky cerulean-eyed Russian!
FYI - There is a bit of insta-love going on here, but it works for the story.
The Faberge Secret is a fast and fun read. I think fans of contemporary romance will enjoying spending an afternoon with Dimitri and Elsie.
I wonder if Lucy, Elise's best friend, will get her own story?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
FIND ME ON THE WEB AT:
GOOD READS: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4031660.Stephanie_Burkhart
YOU TUBE CHANNEL: http://www.youtube.com/user/botrina?feature=mhee
BUY LINKS FOR A THE FABERGE SECRET:
AMAZON KINDLE: http://amzn.com/B006LTE2ZS
B&N NOOK: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-faberge-secret-stephanie-burkhart/1105070465?ean=2940013874596&itm=1&usri=the+faberge+secret
ALL ROMANCE EBOOKS: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thefabergesecret-657577-149.html
PUBLISHER'S LINK: http://stores.desertbreezepublishing.com/-strse-236/The-Faberge-Secret-Stephanie/Detail.bok
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Last month I featured another book written by Stephanie, The Wolf's Torment. It is a paranormal romance that's also available now from Desert Breeze Publishing.
You can check out an excerpt from The Wolf's Torment here.