Title: Byzantine Gold
Book Description:Night Owl Reviews Reviewer Top Pick – 5 Stars“Once again, Ms. Karlsen delivers. Byzantine Gold is full of beautiful scenery, a tension-filled plot, and strong characters worth rooting for.”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.
Second in the series, Byzantine Gold is one of those books that keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time. It really has something for everyone – action, adventure, romance, exotic location, humor, history, danger, and a bunch of likable characters that I truly enjoyed.
The Good: Picking up right where Golden Chariot left off, Charlotte and Atakan are a fascinating couple. They met during the previous book at a dig site that she was working on. I love that they are intelligent, passionate people who, despite their significant cultural differences (she’s an American and he is Middle Eastern) they’re really just perfect for each other. I love their interaction, their humorous repartee and their budding relationship. They are both complex characters with their layers being revealed a bit at a time in an interesting manner. The villains were equally intense and riveting.
The Bad: There were places in the story where I really wanted more detail. I love history and as such would have loved to learn more about the wreck and it’s background, for instance. The ending was a bit of a Star Trek ending – all resolved a bit too quickly and wrapped up with a bow – and left several loose ends unanswered. Not a total Cliffhanger but incomplete resolution for me. Of course, as this is a series, Ms. Chris has a bit more leeway and will hopefully resolve those things in Book 3. 😉
The Snuggly: Along with their fun, Charlotte and Atakan know how to heat things up. You can really feel the steam rising when they get creative – some skinny dipping in the ocean, naughty uses for pomegranates, and some wickedly delicious chocolate dipped fingers. I loved how they could go from the silly to serious in under sixty seconds! Bring on those fans and cold showers!
I loved the scenery, the action-filled underwater scenes and the fact that there is a wonderful love story woven between all of it. If you’re interested in a love story that’s a little unique and part of a creative and captivating story then this is a series I recommend you look into. While Byzantine Gold can stand alone, read Golden Chariot first so you can get the entire story from the beginning and then we can all be anxiously awaiting the next book together!
About Author Chris Karlsen: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.
March 18th- Herding Cats & Burning Soup