The cost of this coin might just be too high... When Gabriela finds a mysterious coin in the French Riviera, she is thrust into a struggle between governments, terrorists, and madmen, all seeking vital information she doesn't know she has. Richard, the intelligence officer assigned to protect her, has all he can do to keep her safe--and keep the stirrings of his heart from endangering them both.
Richard turned and went up the steps two at a time, locked the French doors, and hurried into the dining room. He stopped on the threshold. Gabriela was crying softly into her hands, her elbows resting on the dining room table, her shoulders shaking from her weeping.
He cursed under his breath, aware of what he was about to do, knowing he shouldn’t, but nonetheless did. He walked over, lifted her, and wrapped her in his arms. “Shh,” he crooned, stroking her hair as she wept silently into his shoulder. He wanted her close, wanted to soothe her pain. “Don’t cry. Everything will be all right. You’ll see.”
“I feel like I’m in the middle of a damn Greek tragedy.”
Richard, feeling awkward and clumsy in his newfound gentleness, unhappily listened to her hushed sobs. “Gabriela, please don’t. I hate to see you cry.”
That made her cry harder.
His arms tightened around her. If she only knew how her tears affected him, how she affected him. He ached, but not from holding her.
She lifted her face, valiantly attempting to control her emotions. “I’m okay,” she sniffed. A tear overflowed, cruising slowly over her damp cheek. Richard softly brushed it away with his thumb. “I can’t seem to stop making a stupid fool of myself lately,” she told him in a broken voice. “I wonder what the hell is going to happen next.”
“Nothing. Not while I’m around.”
“That’s what worries me. I’ve never had to deal with such emotions before, so much pent-up violence. It scares me. You scare me.”
He was taken aback. “I wouldn’t harm you for the world.”
“But in order to protect me, you’d harm others. I saw it in your eyes.” Her own became troubled. “You are like a simmering volcano, Richard. If you ever explode, you’ll obliterate everything obstructing your path. I don’t want to be devoured by it, and I know it will be inevitable if I’m by your side. That frightens me.”
“Scared of the fire . . . or of wanting to be devoured?”
Gabriela softly disengaged herself from his hold and turned her back on him. She had begun to shake in his arms and it certainly wasn’t from cold. How could she love one man and be attracted to another, at the dangerous edge of falling in love with him? She considered herself a mature woman, not worldly, but honest and forthright. In all her years of marriage she had never, ever, let a man come near her, had never responded to any of the advances she had received, refusing some carefully, others rudely, but always uninterested in any man but her husband.
What was happening to her? She lacked nothing. Her husband loved her. She loved him. She had found women who boasted of their casual affairs disgusting. What was it about Richard that made her react to him? She should be offended and outraged, not responding to him in passion.
“What scares me is your treatment of my friends,” she said, returning to safer ground. “They’re not your personal punching bags.”
Meet The Author
Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra is a full-time novelist based in North Carolina. With Cuban roots, she has lived in many countries, including France, the setting for her first novel, The Coin. She speaks English, Spanish, French, Italian, and German, and reads Latin, Middle English, and old French. She holds a Masters in English literature, specializing in medieval romances, and is currently an active member of the Carolina Romance Writers. She loves to hear from her readers, and always hopes to open a dialogue with her fans.
Where To Find Maria
Amazon Author Central: http://www.amazon.com/Maria-Alonso-Sierra/e/B00IPEXYLK
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