The Faberge Secret
by Stephanie Burkhart
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GENRE: contemporary romance
Elise Goodwin operates a heritage museum in Brattleboro, Vermont. Needing to buy some items for her museum, she travels to Boston and acquires a delicious surprise that would excite any curator – a Faberge Egg.
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.”
Stephanie Burkhart is a 911 dispatcher for LAPD. She was born and raised in Manchester, New Hampshire. After serving 11 years in the US Army she currently calls Castaic, California her home. Stephanie was married in Denmark in 1991 and has two young sons. She adores chocolate, is addicted to coffee and enjoys early morning walks. She’s also an assistant den leader for her son’s Cub Scout den and is a Boy Scout mom. She writes paranormal, contemporary, and steampunk romance and has two children’s books published with 4RV Publishing.
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