In her debut novel, Alonso-Sierra blends action, suspense and steamy romance to tell the story of an up-and-coming artist and the secret agent assigned to protect her against an anonymous terrorist.
Gabriela Martinez lives a calm, beautiful life. She has a home in the French Riviera, a wealthy and hardworking husband, a propensity for making excellent quiches and a blossoming career as an artist. However, her life suddenly and dramatically changes when American investigator Richard Harrison questions her about a mysterious coin she found while hiking in La Marbrière. He warns her that a terrorist looking for the coin will come after her—and everyone dear to her. Richard and his team know that it’s the link to “an unknown financial source that has been supplying millions of dollars to every anti-Israeli organization and terrorist group throughout the Middle East and Europe.” To complicate her life even further, Richard is extremely attractive, and Gabriela cannot help but feel an instant connection with him. Alonso-Sierra wonderfully builds suspense, and her psychological-thriller plotline enhances the sexual tension between Gabriela and Richard in an intriguing manner; their restrained romance quickly becomes the driving force of the novel. The character development is on point as well, with unexpectedly multilayered supporting characters such as Albert, Gabriela’s artist mentor; and Bernard, her alcoholic friend who knows too much. That said, some parts of the novel seem repetitive and drawn out, such as Richard’s many internal monologues about his love for Gabriela. Overall, however, the novel is a page-turner, and the romantic sections are most satisfying.
A suspenseful, sexy romantic thriller.
The Coin is one of the best romance novels I have read in a long time. Eagerly anticipating the next book and reading more about Richard and Gabriela. Could not put this book down!"
This book is a thrilling read. I was impressed with the way the author kept the pages turning and the tension high, both in the love story between Gabriela and Richard, and in the events that threatened them. The novel has a tightly crafted plot, and its intriguing setup (the coin and its connection to international terrorism) is believable and relevant."
"The Coin is one of the best novels I have read in a long time. It does not take a while for you to realize that the author is a masterful writer of suspense and romance fiction. Brimming with action and an intense plot, the book proves to be irresistible.
More Amazon Reviews available HERE,
Victoria - 5 of 5 stars
This romance/suspense story is set in the lovely French Riviera. It is a fast read, the plot is tight and the characters are well developed with an unexpected twist to the standard romance story. This adds complexity and interest, not one character is stronger than the other, thus eliminating the "victim" or "superhero" tendencies so prevalent in modern Romance.
Sandra - 4 of 5 stars
A fast-paced thriller with well-drawn characters, a tight plot and enough romance to keep you turning the pages. If you like suspense seasoned with a rising attraction between two people, I recommend this book. I am looking forward to the sequel.
Lisa - 5 of 5 stars
The stuff that movies are made of! Plenty of action, romance and suspense that would make a great movie, in my opinion. The worst part is having the story end as it did! I sincerely hope I won't have to wait *too* long for the sequel! I need my fix.
More Goodreads Reviews available HERE,
The adventurous romance of Gabriella Martinez and Richard Harrison continues in Alonso-Sierra’s follow-up to The Coin (2014).
Talented and lovely Gabriella has illustrated a medieval manuscript, The Book of Hours, scheduled for auction at Christie’s in London. The book’s artistry attracts vile Arnold Wickeham, who hopes to coerce Gabriella to sell it to him pre-auction for 250,000 pounds. Meanwhile, Gabriella’s personal life is in turmoil. She’s in love with Richard Harrison, an American intelligence operative who once saved her life; at the time, Gabriella had been reluctant to end the relationship with her husband, Roberto. After a ghastly car accident involving a sanitation truck, comatose Roberto is on life support, jeopardizing the future of his company. Roberto’s affections also wavered; he was en route to meet his lover when the mishap occurred, on the same day Gabriella finally asked for a divorce. As Wickeham’s threats against Gabriella mount, Richard returns to her side. There’s no denying their mutual attraction or that her son, Luisito, looks like him. As the auction date approaches, Wickeham will stop at nothing—including brake tampering, kidnapping, and torture—to secure The Book of Hours. Still, Gabriella adamantly refuses to give in. Elsewhere, scheming April Cranfield, who wants Richard back in her bed, plans to entrap him and bear his child. Sierra’s novel is a lively mix of adventure, drama, and an affecting romantic reunion, marred by some awkward prose: “Gabriella actually owed Roberto a grateful ‘thanks’ for plopping the overflow drop into the bucket of her restraint.” At times, the story feels like an episode of daytime drama, with a wicked but not very bright villain squaring off against a man and a woman heroically determined and cued for rescue. The biggest stumbling block is the premise: it’s obvious Wickeham is behind the threats against Gabriella. He might have used his quarter-million pounds to hire a thief and walk quietly away with the manuscript.
Entertaining over-the-top melodrama, with a nonsensical plot pitting an appealing pair of lovers against a dastardly villain.
This second book of Ms. Alonso-Sierra was another thriller that kept you reading. I love the way she paints a picture in the readers mind as the story moves forward...never interfering with the flow of the novel. Her characters are well developed...some you hate and some you love, and of course the ones you love keep you reading hoping they will survive. I don't want to give anything away, but I will say if you're looking for a thriller Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra's books are a must read!!
I couldn't wait for this sequel to The Coin and The Book of Hours was definitely worth the wait. The author knows how to keep the action going at a fever pitch, but she also keeps the tension between Richard and Gabriela as strong or stronger than it was in "The Coin." These two are both strong-willed people who also have strong principals. Their love story is one of the best I have read in a long while. Cheers to the author and I hope I don't have to wait long for another story about these two as they finally are able to be together -- because I don't think the fireworks end with this book.
This was just as exciting as the first book. The people are well drawn and interesting. The story is fascinating and I couldn't stop reading. I loved both books and can only say I liked "The Coin" better because I knew another one followed and now there are no more. I wish them welll and am sorry to see them go. This is most certainly a must read for mystery, thriller and romance fans.
More Amazon Reviews available HERE,
Michelle Ferrari-Johnson - 5 of 5 stars
An absolutely amazing story! Fate has shoved Richard and Gabriela together again! Some variations but the same restrictions where togetherness has to be put on the back burner. A jealous, spoiled, wealthy woman tries to separate them as well as someone is out to kill them both. You will love their second adventure as much as the first.
April - 5 of 5 stars
I adored The Coin so I was highly anticipating The Book of Hours. And it didn't disappoint.
Ms. Sierra is a master story teller. The characters of Gabriela and Richard are wonderfully complex and full characters. Gabriela shows so much growth from the first book to this one (set four years later) but she still has the same spirit and humor. She was dealing with a lot and much had changed. What hadn't changed is that she is once again in danger.
Richard is still in love with Gabriela but wanted to give her space to try to make her marriage work. But he was at his ends and was intent on reaching out to her, despite it all. Then he gets a fateful call to help protect her, just the opening he needed.
These two set the pages on fire! They had the same magnetism and passion as the first book but with more maturity. The suspense was well written but not predictable and had many twists and turns. It was fast paced and kept me on the edge of my seat. The story had me laughing and crying and anxious to keep reading. I can only hope that at some point we get to see more of these great characters!
More Goodreads Reviews available HERE,
Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra is a romantic suspense author with a unique point of view. Her adventure novels take place in locales across Europe and the United States, reflecting her international upbringing and extensive time as a global traveler. In The Coin and The Book of Hours, her characters, Gabriela and Richard, walk the same paths as their creator, though her life was never in so much danger...