The Russian Obsession
Foreign Affairs #3
By: Nikki Navarre
Releasing February 21, 2017
Christabel Orlova remembers nothing before the night she woke in a Turkish bazaar with two passports, two governments on her tail, and no memory of her shadowy past. Armed only with keen wits, survival instincts and mad skills in the research lab, Christa has three goals. Stay alive. Stay one step ahead of her hunters. And find a cure for the Ebola bioweapon whose secret is locked in her brainbox—before it wipes out the human race. Gypsy, loner and wild child, her first rule of survival is never to trust.
Ex-Russian fighter pilot Max Vasylko is a gun-for-hire smuggler who’ll fly contraband cargo anywhere in the world, no questions asked. But he can’t fly far enough to forget the wife and daughter who died in an Ebola outbreak. When a bioweapon from a rogue U.S. program is to blame, Max’s mission turns personal. Find the scientist responsible for designing the super virus—and make her pay. The last villain he expects is Christa: a smart, sexy, scrappy survivor in hiking boots who’s lost her own brother to the virus.
Now Max is flying high above the African jungle with enemy agents in his six and a sweet redhead he’ll risk his backside to protect. Christa’s tempted to trust this hot-as-hell jet jockey with his wildcat courage and Mafia past. But the vaccine isn’t the only secret locked in her head. To uncover the truth, Max and Christa must win their toughest battle yet. The battle of hearts between them.
The biggest bouncer she’d ever seen was powering toward her like a tank on steroids. Packing a machine gun the size of a bazooka.
Teetering on her stilettos, Christa froze. The music throbbed in her ears like a heartbeat. An electric current of panic pulsed through her veins. Cheesed-off cops on one side and a bad guy bouncer on the other.
And, clutched tight in her perspiring palms, the McGuffin. A briefcase holding five million doses of a deadly virus. Or a cure that could save the world.
“Hey, doc.” A voice dipped in Brooklyn brass grated in her ear. “I swear to God, I ought to turn you over my knee.”
Alarm and annoyance jolted through her—swamped by overwhelming relief. She spun to face six and a half feet of towering menace. Ultramarine eyes seared through her like lasers. Stripped to his tee shirt, bronzed biceps and wicked tattoo sheened in sweat, Max Vasylko spelled danger with a capital D.
The breath shuddered out of her tight-locked lungs.
Along with a whopping dose of sass.
“What kind of grunting Neanderthal are you, major? Were you raised in a cave? If you think you’re laying a hand on me, you’re going to need an army—”
“Army of one, baby.”
His low growl in her ear sent goose bumps racing down her arms and curled her toes in her boots. His big hands closed around her naked shoulders. Heat snaked from his callused palms and sheeted down her spine.
Max pushed her into a vacant banquette scattered with cards and cash. Her bottom hit the red vinyl seat with a bounce. He snagged the briefcase from her startled arms and tossed it at the opposite seat.
“Hey!” she cried. “That case isn’t a football. You can’t just—”
“News flash. I just did.”
He crawled right in after her. Right between her thighs.
Her heart was a kettledrum roaring in her ears. She slithered and scrambled over the slippery seat. He took every inch she gave him and kept on coming. Which was how she ended up flat on her back.
He crawled right on top of her, weight braced on those impressive arms.
For a moment in time that stretched surreal, like a Dali clock melting in the desert sun, he crouched over her. She forgot about the jumpy cop with the trigger finger, the tank-sized bouncer packing heat, the backstabbing ex-boss sprawled somewhere on the floor.
The world narrowed to the span of Max’s powerful shoulders and the primal musk of saffron and cedar. Above his neckline, the spiky tips of another fierce tattoo curled around his neck.
She was guessing that hidden ink spread all the way across his shoulders. Maybe all the way down his back. And that was a lot of real estate to cover on a man like Max. With the flashing lights behind him, shadows cloaked his face. And every inch of him scorched her skin.
“Wow.” She managed a husky whisper. “You’re…really…something.”
“Pot and the goddamn kettle,” he growled.
Right before he kissed her.
Meet the Heroine from The Russian Obsession
By Nikki Navarre
I always swore I’d never write an amnesia story. Until I met Christa. The haunted, half-Russian viral engineer/nomad wakes in a Turkish bazaar with two passports, two governments on her tail, and no memory of her dangerous past. Christabel Orlova walked out of some shadowy recess of my psyche right into my heart. And for Max Vasylko, cocky ex-Russian fighter pilot and gun-for-hire smuggler in my sexy spy romance The Russian Obsession, wild child Christa is (as he would say) abso-frigging perfect.
While she hopscotches from hostel to cyber café across Southeast Asia, one step ahead of the scary goons who hunt her, Christa stows a journal in her grungy backpack. And she’s a list freak. I snuck a peek over her shoulder while she scribbled at a bus station in Thailand.
My Top Five Obsessions
1. Cure for Ebola. Talk about obsession. I’m going to design the perfect virus—a vaccine to wipe every known strain of Ebola off the planet. Then donate it to the Red Cross and the World Health Organization so every kid in the world can be vaccinated. Someday.
2. The Bourne Identity. Saw the film on a bus to Phuket and just…can’t…get it out of my head. And it’s not just because, you know, Matt Damon.
3. Speaking of Jason Bourne…HAVE to get my memory back. But I’ve just about given up hoping.
4. Tar-black coffee. Bitter and perfect. Lots of it. Getting three squares a day’s a challenge when you’re basically, um, homeless and broke. High-octane caffeine keeps me fueled.
5. That guy I met running security at the Embassy. With his Superman shoulders and neon blue eyes and, yeah, that sexy grin. No wonder I’m obsessed. Not to mention he saved my life from those terrorists. If Major Max Vasylko ever walked through my door, I’d be in big-league trouble with a capital T…
Let’s just say Christabel Orlova definitely piqued my interest! If she piques yours, check out The Russian Obsession.
DOSSIER FOR NIKKI NAVARRE
Subject: Nikki Navarre
Assignment: Double Agent
Cover: Diplomat. Playgirl. Author of the Foreign Affairs series.
Nikki Navarre is the author of the award-winning Foreign Affairs series and the sinister twin of unsuspecting historical romance author Laura Navarre. In her other life, Nikki is a diplomat who’s lived in Russia and works on weapons of mass destruction issues. In the line of duty, she’s been trapped in an elevator in a nuclear power plant and has stalked the corridors of facilities churning out nerve agent and other apocalyptic weapons. In this capacity, she meets many of the world’s most dangerous men.
Inspired by the perilous realities of her real life, Nikki writes romantic suspense set in glamorous international locales and laced with political intrigue. From her island compound in the Pacific Northwest, she divides her time between her writing career and other adventures for government clients. Her notorious exploits in the world of diplomacy will get her in trouble one of these days.
The Russian Obsession may be the last mistake she ever makes.
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