Following her white-hot debut novel, Tropical Getaway, Roxanne St. Claire captures the passion and intrigue of France in a dazzling romantic suspense adventure.
Janine Coulter has just gotten her big chance to prove herself, managing a prestigious exhibit at the Palace of Versailles -- and Luc Tremont, the security specialist, is clearly trouble. He's making decisions without her, under-cutting her authority. He's also too smooth, too virile, too dangerously handsome, too...well...French! And Janine has the uneasy suspicion he's not all that he seems.
Luc resolutely ignores the powerful sizzle of attraction he feels when he meets Janine -- the quintessential California girl with her blond hair, blue eyes, and legs that seem to go on forever. But when thieves steal priceless treasures from the exhibit, and Luc and Janine give chase across the lush Burgundy countryside, their forced intimacy ignites the passion both have tried to ignore. Luc wonders what will happen when Janine learns his true identity -- but with dangerous men pursuing them, they may not live to find out....
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February 15, 2004
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Excerpt from French Twist by Roxanne St. Claire
Holy hell. Her Plums were missing.
Janine Coulter blinked against the blinding May sunshine reflected off hundreds of Venetian mirrors. Even in the chaotic cavern of light, glass, and enough gilded fleur-de-lis to eliminate world hunger, she could feel that her precious Pompadour Plum vases were not in Versailles' famed Hall of Mirrors.
"Monsieur le Directeur, where are the S ' vres vases "
Henri Duvoisier started to smile, but then must have remembered he was French. "How astute of you to notice, Dr. Coulter. We are not including them in this area of the exhibit." At her intake of breath, he lifted a bony shoulder. "We have been advised against doing so."
Janine closed her eyes, digging deep for every ounce of diplomacy and patience. This was a test. He resented her because, in his eyes, she was a novice, an American, a woman, and an intruder.
"Advised " This would be a battle of wills, but her will was steel. Hadn't she proved that by her sheer determination to assume the position of exhibit curator "By whom "
He didn't respond.
She looked directly into Henri's limpid blue eyes. "The vases are the centerpiece of the exhibit, monsieur, and our plans call for them to be in the middle of the hall." She turned and crossed the polished parquet, the staccato tap of her high heels echoing off the marble walls and richly painted ceilings. "They were supposed to be right here."
She stood below the massive portrait of Madame de Pompadour. If little bourgeoisie Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson could march into the most splendid palace in France and convince the surly court that she deserved to be the king's mistress, certainly one unwelcome art history professor from UCLA could handle Versailles' embittered director.
"We have altered the design of the exhibit because of security issues, Dr. Coulter," Henri said.
Was there a French equivalent to "I don't give a shit"
She squared her shoulders and matched the haughty expression captured in Boucher's famed image of la Pompadour. "I wasn't apprised of these security issues."
Henri cleared his throat and suddenly sent a beseeching glance over her shoulder. Someone else had entered the hall. She didn't hear footsteps, but she sensed a presence. She turned to follow Henri's gaze.