The Second Lie by Anna Richland *Giveaway
Posted by brriske
The Second Lie (The Immortal Vikings #2)
by Anna Richland
A woman desperate to achieve her dreams.
To reassure wealthy clients, Christina Alvarez Mancini invented a jet-setting British owner for her Napa Valley wine collection service. Success has brought her close to buying her own winery, when irregularities at a London wine auction threaten her business.
A man in love with a good plan.
Stig, an immortal Viking thief, knows he’s found the perfect role. The California woman who created his character won’t discover what he’s up to in England until after he’s pocketed the money he needs. Then Christina walks into the auction preview, ready to ruin his plans, and he knows his boredom has ended.
Secrets that turn deadly.
By the end of the night, these two rivals must cooperate to escape kidnappers, British authorities, media and a pair of mysterious watchers. That’s when a game Stig’s played for a thousand years puts Christina’s life at risk.
Can two people whose identities are based on lies trust each other enough to survive?
Stig and Christina are in a tight spot – literally, inside a barrel drum – on the car train in the tunnel under the English Channel. They’ve managed to evade two men who’ve followed them like shadows, but they still have to get off the train.
Three minutes could be long or it could be short. He’d stolen a haul of thirty-six separate diamonds in two minutes, so a car should be easy, but this last twenty-four hours had gone so pear-shaped, he wouldn’t assume the ocean was wet until he drowned in it.
The train slowed leaving the tunnel at Calais, the change in rhythm obvious to a man folded inside what functioned as a giant amplifier.
Stig lifted the edge of the barrel enough to slide out, then unzipped Christina.
She stretched and struggled to sit, shaking her arms as if to restore circulation and blinking her huge brown eyes in the light, but she didn’t complain.
“Keep up, we’re going to move fast,” he said.
The final announcement to return to vehicles rattled around the metal train carriages as they stumbled out of the van. “Cheers, mate,” he said to the bandleader. “That name I gave you in Paris. They’ll have great rooms for you, cheap, if you say you met a blond guy afraid of boats and coppers.”
“No problem, mate. Don’t like boats much either, or blokes looking for folk they don’t know. Glad to help.”
Christina stuck close behind as he hustled farther down the train, away from his own car. The estate car with the orange parking sticker was empty, so their followers hadn’t returned despite the directive to prepare to disembark. They must be up front, either still searching the forward train wagons or staking out his vehicle. If they wanted to catch him and Christina, they’d need to be able to start it without keys, because their own ride was on the road to gone.
Without being told, Christina positioned herself to block the view of passengers sitting in the line of cars. The plastic wedge slid smoothly between the window and the rubber scraper, opening a gap, and in three seconds he’d inserted his favorite flexible hook in the door panel. This was the part where he closed his eyes to let muscle memory and his other senses guide his fingers. There was nothing to see when he popped a lock. He had to know when the loop dropped over the button the same way he knew when he touched a woman’s button. A spot felt right, and his instinct pinged bulls-eye.
He lifted and the door clicked.
On the ramp ahead cars started to honk as if the line at another exit door wasn’t moving. Christina hustled around the boot to jump in before he could hit the button to unlock the passenger side.
He threw himself in the driver’s seat and tore open his makeup kit to grab the bulky black key programmer.
“Cars are going,” she warned.
“Takes a sec.” He ground his teeth together in lieu of grinding gears that he couldn’t yet touch. The programmer had to reverse engineer the data signal from the ignition immobilizer before the substitute key fob would function. If he turned the ignition too soon, he’d be locked out of the engine, leaving them as kippers in a can.
The car behind them started honking. The beeps reverberated off the metal walls of the train carriage but didn’t make a difference to the decoder box, although his own tension was a different matter. Each honk stretched his nerves until he could testify in a law court that yes, Your Honour, the police arrested a rubber band for knocking off cars.
“I see them, they’re coming!” Her voice rose. “Two men running down the ramp!”
“Lock the doors.” He didn’t lift his eyes from the light on the black box. In a dark car park alone it never took this long.
I am an independent reviewer for ‘Paranormal Romance and Authors That Rock’. I received this book from the author and from ‘Paranormal Romance and Authors That Rock’. This is my honest review.
“The Second Lie” is the second novel in the ‘The Viking Series.’ The book can be read as a stand alone but it is better to read the first book, “First to Burn.” The series focuses on immortal Vikings that find their true loves. The author did her research on wine auctions. That part was very informative and accurate.
The story overall was interesting but the idea of a woman creating a fake male boss is something out of a 1980’s TV series, though she did it for a different reason. That small part of the story’s introduction was not very original; however, the storyline when it focuses itself on the adventure and the love story more than redeems itself. The writing is tight and there are no grammatical errors to distract the reader.
Christina owns a business that helps clinics to find rare or vintage wines. She created an imaginary boss to give her business credibility. She goes to a wine auction that is being run by a con artist using her company and her ‘boss’ name to make the auction appear legitimate. Christina goes to the auction to bust his con but finds he knows about her rues. He blackmails her to keep her silence. Then all-hell breaks loose when Stig’s old associates show up at the auction and the adventure starts.
Stig and Christina, who was ate the wrong place at the wrong time, are hunted down by an enemy rival. His enemies wants Stig’s head on a pike and poor Christina got caught in the middle their personal war. Christina is a strong character, as is Stig.
It’s an enjoyable read. The characters play off each other well. It’s a great book to read anytime.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Anna lives with her quietly funny Canadian husband and two less quiet children in a century-old house in Seattle. The perpetual drizzle is a good excuse to drink more coffee. She’s a former US Army officer who now writes The Immortal Vikings series from Carina Press and also the author of His Road Home, a novella which Publishers Weekly called “Tantalizing … a raw, emotional story” and the website SmartB*tchesTrashyBooks gave an A rating.
She donates a portion of her book proceeds to two charities: the Fisher House Foundation, which provides housing for families of wounded soldiers in the US and Great Britain, and Doctors Without Borders, which delivers emergency medical care in more than sixty crisis zones world-wide.
To sign up for Anna’s newsletter, find out more about her books, and read longer excerpts, please visit her website at http://www.annarichland.com, her Facebook page at AnnaRichlandAuthor, or her Goodreads page at [.
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Anna will be awarding a set of En Route notecards, gorgeously illustrated by Kate Pocrass (because falling in love with an Immortal Viking is a wild journey!) to a randomly drawn winner (INTERNATIONAL) via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn host.