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Monday, April 9, 2012

The Faberge Secret by Stephanie Burkhart

The Faberge Secret by Stephanie Burkhart
Publisher: Desert Breeze Publishing
Genre: Contemporary, Holiday, Suspense/Mystery
Length: Short Story (88 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Poinsettia

Elise Goodwin finds herself faced with danger when she learns the Faberge egg she's bought belongs to a Russian mogul, Dimitri Romanov, but is Dimitri playing a game with Elise's heart to get his heirloom back?

Elise Goodwin runs a heritage museum in Brattleboro, Vermont. She travels to Boston to buy some items for her museum at Sotheby's auction. What she acquires is a delicious surprise that would excite any curator – a Faberge egg.

Enter Russian businessman Dimitri Romanov. He goes to the auction with the intent of buying the egg only to discover that Elise is in possession of it. His dilemma? He's attracted to the petite brunette with doe-like eyes and a trusting disposition.

Complicating matters is Dimitri's rival, Gustav Kelch, who wants the precious jeweled object for his own collection. Can Dimitri protect Elise from Kelch?

Who knew a clumsy, chance encounter on a cold sidewalk could be life changing?

Elise’s life is turned upside down when she literally bumps into Dimitri on her way to an auction. Though Elise’s first meeting with Dimitri is brief, the chemistry between the two is immediately apparent. Things continue to heat up when they go out for dinner. Their relationship becomes serious very fast, but their bond feels genuine. The physical connection between Elise and Dimitri is electric, but they have some very sweet moments as well. I particularly enjoyed it when they talked about their families and how they each celebrated Christmas.

When Elise obtains a Faberge egg, things spiral out of control, and her new relationship with Dimitri is put to the test. They have to learn to trust each other. I especially liked watching Dimitri, who has been burned by a relationship in the past, open himself up to Elise and her family.

The plot was absorbing and wonderfully paced. As Dimtri and Elise learn to trust each other, Dimitri’s enemy, Kelch, is waiting to pounce. Knowing Kelch and his henchmen could strike at any moment kept me on the edge of my seat. I do have one issue with the plot. I won’t spill all the details, but I will say that Dimitri and Elise let their guard down at a very inopportune moment and Kelch manages to gain the upper hand. This situation felt a bit forced, and I found it hard to believe that Dimitri and Elise would be so careless when they knew Kelch was watching them.

Despite this issue, Dimtri and Elise’s negligence leads up to a climax that's a real nail biter. All this suspense had me flying through the pages so quickly I was able to read the book in one sitting.

The secondary characters could have been a bit more rounded, but they did complement Dimitri and Elise nicely as well as keep the plot moving at a great pace. I really would have liked to know a bit more about Kelch. It's clear he and Dimitri have been rivals for most of their lives, but the origin of their feud is a bit murky. I couldn’t help but wonder if there was a specific event in their past that set them on their current paths.

Overall, The Faberge Secret is a riveting, fast paced romantic suspense ideal for anyone wanting to slip into an exciting book for a while.