Monday, March 18, 2013

Byzantine Gold (Dangerous Waters #2) by Chris Karlsen + giveaway

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 crosshairs 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.

Type: Romantic Thriller
Heat: 3 out of 5
Rating: 4 out of 5

Some books just grab me right from the start and Byzantine Gold was so one of those books. It's got a little bit of everything. Romance, humor, danger, a fascinating locale in Turkey surrounding a Byzantine Era shipwreck and likable characters that I continued to fall in love with.

This is the second book that centers around Atakan and Charlotte and I really loved that we got to catch up with them and see their relationship continue to grow. There's a lot going on in the story with threats to their lives coming from multiple directions, both new threats and old enemies resurfacing, but it's all pieced together very nicely and kept me turning the pages, or rather tapping them since I was reading on the Nook, as quickly as I could.

Charlotte and Atakan are an incredibly interesting pair that met during the previous book at a dig site that she was working on. She's an archaeologist and he works as an agent for his government to protect their cultural treasures. They're both very intelligent people, passionate and despite their vast cultural differences, she's American and he's Middle Eastern,  they're really just perfect for each other.

They're just a fun pair to watch interacting with each other and you can so see the bond between them.  How they joke and tease with each other, how they know when the other is hurting and what they need, etc. Things get a bit steamy between them too, what with naughty uses for pomegranates, some 'naked bathing' aka skinny dipping in the ocean and some wicked chocolate dipped fingers. I just loved every second of these two from the silly to the serious.
During their visit to Chicago the previous Christmas, she had a Brazilian administered upon her private area. He was appalled when she stepped from the bathroom and discarded her robe to show him. Many women denuded themselves. He knew it was a popular practice, but he never thought Charlotte would do such a thing.  
"I do not like this barren landscape. Natural is good. how fast can you grow it back?" he'd asked, thankful his raging hard-on wasn't affected by the unwomanish sight.  
"Do you want it all back? I can have my 'landscape' trimmed and shaped so there's still a narrow patch, like a band-aid size rectangle." 
"Ugh, you'd make a topiary of your...your..." 
"My bush, yes" 
"No. No rectangles, no diamond patterns, no stripes, leave--'my bush', she'd supplied again, "leave it fluffy."
There are some excellent underwater scenes that got my blood pumping, a cute octopus that had this squeamy sea creature wary girl kinda going awwws! and an intriguing mystery concerning the ships history. I would have loved a little more focus on the ship and the final conclusions about it's origins but that's really just the history lover in me wanting more.

If you're looking for a love story that's a little different and a story that's unique, creative and captivating this is definitely a series to check out. I think Byzantine Gold can be read as a stand alone but really I'd pick up Golden Chariot first. Charlotte and Atakan are the focus of both books and it's just so much better seeing it from the very start. I'm really looking forward to checking out book 3 in the series and seeing how some of the minor storylines that were introduced resolve themselves. Definitely a fan of this series.

I was born and raised in Chicago. My father was a history professor and my mother was, and is, a voracious reader. I grew up with a love of history and books.

My parents also love traveling, a passion they passed onto me. I wanted to see the places I read about, see the land and monuments from the time periods that fascinated me. I’ve had the good fortune to travel extensively throughout Europe, the Near East, and North Africa.

I am a retired police detective. I spent twenty-five years in law enforcement with two different agencies. My desire to write came in my early teens. After I retired, I decided to pursue that dream.

I currently live in the Pacific Northwest with my husband, four rescue dogs and a rescue horse.

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Chris has a really freaking awesome giveaway for yall! Check our our review, leave a meaningful comment and fill out that Rafflecopter!

So, have you read Chris Karlsen before? What did you think?
Ever read about an underwater archaeological dig? Or a couple that's from such different backgrounds?
Did you enjoy the trailer? Talk to me!

For yall looking for Chris on Facebook. She doesn't have an actual fan page but a friend page. Here is the link to send her the request :) 

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