Gabriela Martinez has a problem to solve: she strongly suspects that her mentor and friend wants her as his mistress, her husband is increasingly neglecting her, and her latest illustration has been ruined. But while going to her favorite thinking spot in La Marbriére, the mountain overlooking her home in the Côte d’Azur, Gabriela makes a wrong turn and finds herself lost. There, in a clearing cocooned in emerald forest and towering cliffs, she finds a beautiful French coin, half-buried in dirt. Little does Gabriela realize the danger of that discovery, nor does she suspect the devastating consequences placing the coin on her favorite bracelet will have on her life.
Richard Harrison, an American intelligence officer, is unwillingly assigned to protect Gabriela after the resurfacing of the coin. Together with Maurice Nôret, Harrison’s counterpart in French intelligence, Richard attempts to bring to light the madman’s identity. But as the psychological games to terrorize Gabriela into silence grow more lethal, Richard’s budding love for this beautiful, talented woman becomes a dangerous handicap to them both.
Set in the exotic French Riviera, The Coin is a story of unfounded hatred, betrayal, love, and duty—of terrible and painful choices that, nonetheless, bring about personal triumph.
–from the back cover
Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra is originally from Cuba like the main character, Gabriela. She can speak several languages fluently including Spanish, French, Italian, German and of course modern English. She can also read Latin, Middle English and Old French. Not only is she a full-time novelist, she is also a mother. This is actually what inspired her when she was hiking with her children. Alonso-Sierra currently live in North Carolina. Some of influences have been Greek myths and authors like Mary Stewart, Phyllis A Whitney etc.
The Coin is a well written self-published romance/suspense thriller novel. Even though the story takes place in 1993, the story feels like it’s modern (2014). The mysterious man/attacker was easy to identify since there are not that many characters in the novel, but it’s still a good to see how each event makes Richard and Gabriela relationship grows stronger. The last action scene was the only part that might bother someone, were there a lot of guards with Richard? I know Alonso-Seirra Maurice was occupied with something, what about all the other guards with no names? The love story was solid, Gabrela has to choose between her husband and Richard. The husband, Roberto, has no idea how attractive his wife is, if he does he wouldn’t leave her alone with another man. =p Also the prologue is kind of scary, but the rest of the book isn’t like that at all.
After finishing the first book, readers would definitely want to know the future of the main characters. Luckily, The Book of Hours, a sequel to The Coin, will be out on November 26.
Received a free copy through Goodreads First Read for an honest review.