A stolen artifact…
A mysterious trio of brothers…
After years of working her way to the top, Shira Rose is finally curating her first art exhibit and auction at the exclusive Lohse and Gottleib House. But when she’s thrust into the middle of a decades-old mystery, what should be the culmination of her dreams turns into a disaster.
And it only gets worse.
With only eight days until the auction, the gallery is robbed and Shira ends up running for her life. In the nick of time, three dark figures step out of the shadows to save her life.
But things don’t add up, and Shira begins to wonder—can she trust these men? Or is she merely a pawn in a darker game?
**This is a standalone reverse harem mystery. It was previously released in the anthology, Snow and Seduction.**
Another story set during the Eight Days of Hanukkah, this one a mystery with a reverse harem theme.
Shira has just been promoted to curator at the exclusive Lohse and Gottleib House, as she’s putting the final touches on her first solo auction her boss throws five new items at her to be included.
Each of these items needs to have the provenances validated before they can be added to the sale. These documents authenticate the items are legitimately obtained. For Shira that means very late nights and missing Hanukkah with her grandmother.
Even with the warning from her receptionist, she forgets to call for a car before leaving close to midnight and gets mugged. Managing to get away she is aided when she falls by some very handsome men.
This is a favorite scene.
Throwing her weight to the side, she knocked into the man, sending him sprawling to the ground. He landed with an “oomph!” and she took off, tearing down the street as fast as she could run, and slipping on the ice that had formed when the sun went down. She skidded into the side of the building as she ran around the corner toward the bright lights of the 24-hour Denny’s a block away.
She couldn’t hear anything over her breathing, and the pathetic, half-sob, half-squeaks, she was making as she ran. But she imagined the man behind her, running full-tilt, ready to lunge and drag her into an alley to finish her off.
The lights bobbed ahead of her. Almost there. Safety was ten feet away. She was going to make it.
Her foot hit a slick patch of pavement, and her legs flew out from under her. She saw the lights and darker rooftops against the lighter, city-lit sky before her head cracked into the pavement.
Now the only stars she saw were the ones dancing in front of her eyes as she waited to be murdered.
Her breath made little white clouds. Move. Get up.
Her body wouldn’t obey. Like earlier, it let her down. Far away, someone ran toward her. Here they come. This is the end.
Green eyes met hers, and a warm hand cupped her cheek. “Are you okay? Don’t move. Dov!”
Shira couldn’t move if she wanted to.
Another set of green eyes in a more serious face appeared next to the first. The man studied her and frowned. “Stay still. You’re okay.” Shira glanced up at the sky, but it was hidden by the men. A moment later the two were joined by a third man, and then another.
Four beautiful faces stared back at her. “Wow,” she breathed. Later, she could blame fright and adrenaline for her slip-up, but right now, Shira would enjoy the sense of shelter and protection these guys gave her.
“What happened, Ravi?” the serious man asked. Shira’s gaze slid toward the man to whom the question was addressed. Ravi. She made a mental note. Worried green eyes and warm hands.
“She ran and slipped, Dov,” Ravi answered shortly. The frowning man had a name, Dov.
Her head was starting to pound, a concentrated throb right on the back of her skull. Slapping her hands around the pavement, Shira tried to find a patch that wasn’t ice to push herself up.
“Whoa.” Dov touched her arm, pressing lightly to keep her in place.
“I have things to do,” she said, stupidly. “I need to go.”
“Help her.” Ravi sounded out of breath. His words tumbled over each other, and his eyes were wild. He glanced from one face to another, and when no one did what he asked, he slid his arm around her shoulders. “I got you,” he whispered. “Call the ambulance, Dov.”
Proserpina, Ripley. The Thief of Hearts: A Reverse Harem Mystery .(Kindle Locations 231-250). Kindle Edition.
However, not all is altruistic with these guys.
As Shira works hard to try to validate the new items, the guys keep turning up. Ravi takes her to a Hanukkah dinner at his grandmother’s and then things start getting a bit crazy.
A break-in, an arrest, some interesting and conflicting documentation and a relationship that gets real hot, very fast with what appears to be the wrong man.
I really enjoyed this holiday tale, the story emerges over the eight days and has plenty of suspense, drama and sizzle.
5 Contented Purrs for Ripley!
Ripley Proserpina spends her days huddled near a fire in the frozen northern wilds of Vermont. She lives with her family, two magnificent cats, and one dog who aspires to cat-hood. She is the author of the Reverse Harem series, The Searchers, and “Missing Linc” from the paranormal series, The Aegeans in the horror romance anthology, Bloody Kisses.