Friday, August 20, 2010
Summer’s lolling luxurious days may be coming to an end, but you don’t have to give up a relaxing escape – even if it is between the covers of a book. From now until Labor Day answer the question below to be entered to win a free copy of Moonlight On Diamonds.
CONTEST QUESTION: What rare jewel is catching John and Nicholas’s attention in the excerpt below? Leave your answer as a blog comment to be entered to win.
John met Veronica in the hotel lobby at a
quarter to eight. He was there first, nervously
drumming his fingers against a fluted column,
craving a cigarette, craving a shot of Maker’s
Mark, but just drumming his fingers instead and
watching the posh crowd mill around.
The elevator doors opened and there was
Veronica. She wore a dark red strapless dress
that clung to her curves. Her lips and nails were
red, too, and her dark hair fell loose around her
shoulders. A massive diamond-and-ruby necklace
lay propped against the tops of her breasts, which
swelled out of her dress provocatively. The
necklace was the only jewelry she wore, but it
was enough. Strands of glittering icy diamonds
laced around her throat like a sparkling spider’s
web, and the eye-popping, pear-cut ruby glittered
devilishly, a perfect pigeon’s blood red. If Veronica
had attached a roaring police siren around her
neck she couldn’t have attracted more attention.
She smiled when she caught John staring.
But he wasn’t the only one.
Veronica’s eyes flickered over to a tall, thin
man in a tuxedo; his dark hair was greased back
and he wore a white flower in his lapel and a
blonde DC debutante on his arm. John narrowed
his eyes as he realized who the man was. There
was no mistaking Nicholas Bezuhov, also known
on the jewel thief circuit as the White Russian.
Nicholas must have seen him, too, and he
would certainly know John after all the years of
cat-and-mouse they had played together. Of
course, it was also possible Nicholas was just
getting an eyeful of Veronica and her big ruby
necklace. Either way, John didn’t like it.
Neither did the blond debutant. “Come on,
Nicky,” she said in her cool, boarding-school
voice. “We’ll be late for dinner.”
With a polite nod, Nicholas moved on. The
debutante gave Veronica an icy stare as they
passed her on the way into the elegant dining
room, which was already full of senators, foreign
diplomats, and the occasional well-heeled tourist
who came to see where the Washington power
brokers broke their bread.
Veronica sized up the blonde and dismissed
her in the blink of an eye. Then she walked to
John who was still staring after Nicholas
“Do you know that man?” she asked,
following his gaze.
“He calls himself Prince Bezuhov,” said John,
disgust seeping into his voice. “Fancies himself
some kind of Russian aristocrat, but according to
our records, he’s pure peasant masquerading as
the great-grandson of the Grand Duchess
Anastasia like all the rest of the Euro-trash he
She raised a manicured brow. “I get the
impression you don’t like him.”
“I don’t like phonies and he’s one of the
worst. I didn’t like the way he was eyeing your
She patted his arm. “Well, that’s what I have
you for—to protect me and my rocks.” She was
making fun of him, but he didn’t care. She looked
so beautiful, she could make all the fun she
Still, he was concerned about her diamond
stash upstairs. “You sure you don’t want me to
put your jewels in the hotel safe? You have to
understand, with this guy on the premises, you’re
very likely to come home tonight and find it all
“Don’t worry,” she said confidently. “They’re
in a very safe place.”
Posted by Lydia Storm at 7:54 PM