Welcome to my stop on Chris Karlsen's Virtual Review Tour for Byzantine Gold. Please make sure to leave a comment or question for Chris to let her know you stopped by. Chris will be awarding an ebook copy of Golden Chariot (the first book in this series) at every stop on the tour to a randomly drawn commenter, she will also be awarding a $50 Amazon Gift Card to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. You can follow all of her tour stops here, the more often you comment, the better your odds of winning.
by Chris Karlsen
Dangerous Waters, Book 2
Publisher: Books To Go Now (ebook)
CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Print)
Release Date: December 31, 2012
Genre: Action-Adventure/Romantic Suspense
ISBN: 978-1-481980-72-2ASIN: B00AVMIHDE
Amazon Print Kindle B&N Print
A sunken warship from the Byzantine Era carrying an unusual cargo of gold has been found off the coast of Northern Cyprus. News of the valuable cache has attracted the attention of a terrorist cell. They plan to attack the recovery team’s campsite and steal the artifacts. On the Black Market, the sale of the relics will buy them additional weapons.
Charlotte Dashiell, an American archaeologist, and her lover, Atakan Vadim, a Turkish government agent, are scheduled to be part of the recovery team that brings up the artifacts. While en route to Cyprus, they find themselves caught in the cross hairs of Maksym Tischenko, a Ukrainian contract killer bent on revenge. Charlotte, Atakan and Tischenko share a grim history. As a result, Tischenko is a man who will stop at nothing to achieve his goal—seeing them both dead.
“What’s going on? Why are you in such a hurry?”
He stared straight ahead, silent.
Tight-jawed, he continued down the side road that paralleled the beach, ramming the stick shift into place as he went through the gears and ignoring her questions. She’d never seen him this tense, not with her at least. A bad feeling crept over her. She had a sick sense his mood involved her plan to leave.
They’d gone a kilometer from the camp when he came to a stop. He hopped out, slammed the driver’s door shut and came to her side.
Opening her door, he said, “Get out.”
“Atakan,” Charlotte started to ask the same questions again, but he was already turned and walking toward the sea.
She followed. He finally stopped near the water’s edge with his back to the surf and faced her. She stopped a couple of yards away.
“When were you going to tell me?”
She knew exactly what he was asking about. Who told him? It wasn’t Nick. He’d honor the twenty-four hour rule.
“Who told you?”
“That’s not an answer.” He stood still as a statue, arms crossed, feet apart.
She hesitated, trying to choose her words so he’d understand and not be hurt. She gazed out at the incoming tide. The blue-green waves, effervescent with bubbles, rushed toward shore in rapid succession. White foam droplets filled the air as they crested, framing him like a new, angry version of Poseidon.
“You weren’t going to tell me until today, although you’ve been planning to leave me for awhile.”
“Long enough to send job inquiries to several museums.”
So that was how he knew. One of the museums contacted MIAR and they must’ve sent the questionnaire to Refik and he told Atakan. She hadn’t considered the possibility. She’d thought any contact from the museums would be handled by MIAR’s headquarters.
“I’m so sorry you had to find out this way. I intended to tell you if it looked like I’d definitely leave. If none of the museums showed interest, then you never had to know what I’d done.”
“And you believe that is acceptable?”
It killed her to see the look of disgust on his face with the question. “Yes...” she said low.
“Because I’m bad luck for you—everyone can see it, even your--, it’s obvious. There’s something about me, and God knows, I don’t know what, but I’m like a magnet for Tischenko.”
She never cried and she wouldn’t cry now, but she was close. “I can’t bear to see you hurt again, or worse. There are people that bad luck follows, even Iskender thinks so.”
Atakan inhaled deeply and let out a slow breath. Uncrossing his arms, he closed the short distance to where she stood.
“It’s not forever,” she offered, “I’ll return.”
He shook his head. “If you go, you cannot return. You’re either in my life or out of my life. There’s no in between.”
A fan of the Action-Adventure/Romantic Suspense genre, I was very excited when I realized this book was going on tour and I quickly signed up. I intended to read Golden Chariot first, because I'm a little OCD about reading books in order, but unfortunately I ran out of time. I worried this might be problematic in regards to my enjoyment of this book, however I can happily state that I was able to read and enjoy this book on it's own (I do plan to go back and read the first book though). Well developed characters, good dialogue, plenty of action and a subtle romance, kept me turning the pages and wondering what could possibly happen next.
Scheduled to participate in a sunken treasure excavation and underwater dive in Cyprus, American archaeologist Charlotte Dashiell and her Turkish lover, Atakan Vadim, are vacationing in Paris when an enemy from their past makes a sudden appearance. When Maksym Tischenko shoots Atakan in the chest and threatens to come back and finish the job, Charlotte is afraid that Atakan will be unable to handle his duties as a Turkish government agent on the excavation due to his injury. Refusing to stay home, Atakan has sworn to keep Charlotte safe from their old enemy.
Working together during the excavation and underwater dive, Charlotte and Atakan find themselves facing more than the usual problems on a dig - a terrorist organization has plans on stealing the gold to fund their continued operations and Tishenko is determined to carry out the rest of his plan for revenge. Chris Karlsen did an excellent job developing this story and all of the characters. I enjoyed the romance between Charlotte and Atakan, two people from very different worlds who are drawn together by both love and adventure. It was especially nice to get to know Atakan, a modern Turkish man, who seemed to find himself caught between both the modern world and his family's (or rather his mother's) traditional thoughts.
Giving us insight into both characters point of view, it was especially interesting to watch Charlotte and Atakan working around their issues for control. Atakan has a subtle Alpha male vibe going on, while Charlotte is no one's fool. I found the action to be well paced and the dialogue between Charlotte and Atakan witty and sharp. With plenty of secondary characters, and two well developed villains, Ms. Karlsen also did a good job with the details surrounding the excavation, the sights and sounds of Cyprus and the history behind the treasure.
Will Charlotte's ideas about the newly discovered treasure pan out? Will the romance between Charlotte and Atakan survive all the additional pressures from both the treasure hunt and his family? You'll have to read Byzantine Gold to find out. If you enjoy romantic suspense or treasure books then this is a book you will want to pick up. I hope we get to see both Charlotte and Atakan again on another adventure.
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Crowns
FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a book tour in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Chris is a retired police detective. She spent twenty-five years in the law enforcement with two different agencies.
The daughter of a history professor and a voracious reader, she grew up with a love for history and books.
She has traveled extensively throughout Europe, the Near East, and Northern Africa satisfying her passion for seeing the places she read about.
A Chicago native, Chris has lived in Paris, Los Angeles, and now resides with her husband, and five rescue dogs in the Pacific Northwest.
Don't forget to leave a comment or question for Chris to let her know you stopped by. Chris will be awarding an ebook copy of Golden Chariot (the first book in this series) at every stop on the tour to a randomly drawn commenter, she will also be awarding a $50 Amazon Gift Card to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. You can follow all of her tour stops here, the more often you comment, the better your odds of winning.