When the past becomes your present what do you do? When the history of your family comes front and center and takes over your future how do you handle what you chose to forgo and forget? Imagine the beauty, color, luster, and purplish fire that emanates from a precious and valuable gem. Imagine how so many covet these precious gems and would do anything to obtain them even kill. What if you were the last Czar of Russia and a special stone was created called the Tsavevitch Stone. This stone is green and red with the imperial colors for Nicholas himself. The year 1831 the book The Romanov Stone by author Robert C. Yeager.
Let’s move to the present and meet Kate Gavrill whose life would be changed by a single accident that took her mother’s life. A pickup truck struck Irina Gavrill crossing the street. This was no accident it was preplanned and definitely well orchestrated. Kate, not a warm person and definitely not close to her mother finds herself listening to her last words and warning her that her life is in danger. Explaining that the link to her past was hidden behind a picture frame on the mantle place the link to the past, her Russian heritage would now come to light as the author recounts Irina’s visit to an antique farm implements. Irina remembers leaving Russia the loud screams and the fear. Then the author recounts the history of Anya Putyatin’s relationship with Nicholas and his fascination with her talent and her. Discussions about the ballet, her life, and her craft are just some of what they talk about as the author brings the reader back to the present.
Ignoring the request of the police to discuss her mother’s death, their messages to relinquish her financial records, Kate rushes to find the tape and the hidden letter. As she looks directly at Anya’s picture and retrieves the tape and the letter memories flood back from her childhood, the feelings she had about being Russian, hating ballet and Russian foods packed in her lunch bag, Kate reminds herself of how much she loved her. But, the memories flood back even more as she plays the tape and learns of the fate of Anya after seeing Nicholas for the last time. Hoping to escape and given a valuable gemstone, a Faberge to keep it in she hopes, with the help of the Archbishop to get to safety. But, instead Anya winds up in danger, the family she staying with brutally killed, the Archbishop killed and her fear for herself and her young daughter increase. The author flashes back to all of these events from 1917 as her mother relates on the tape the fear she had for Katya growing up, the secrets that have been kept from her and the danger she is in now. Added in the author shares the relationship between Anya and Nicholas and Alexandria and Rasputin whose influence was so strong over her it caused Nicholas to stray. One message on her cell had she taken it from her mother might have prevented the murder or at least enlightened her to what has yet to come.
As Kate learns more about her past she reads the letter Anya left for her, the author recounts the affair between her and Nicholas and the reasons she must search for the fortune before it’s too late. The treasure is extensive. The end result she hopes Kate will use to for the benefit of Russia and to restore the Romanov name. Nicholas told Anya the money is in the Bank of England but when the monies from the bank were released they claimed no Romanov funds existed. But, Anya had prove in the form of the huge alexandrite stone found in 1831 and the Faberge Egg to keep it in with the Romanov Coat of Arms on the base of the stone. As Kate learns more as she listens to her mother’s voice and reads her great granmama’s words tears begin to fall for her family for the first time.
The author relates the intricate history behind Anya’s escape, the death of her grandparents and her relationship to Irina. Meeting the Grand Duchess and getting the two pieces of vivescent frogs to help pay for her passage verified her heritage but even more as Kate relives these moments within her own memories she recalls some events that are now coming clearer. But, first before she can honor her mother’s final wishes, find the stone and the bank accounts left to her she needs to enlist the help of two people. The author once again reminds the reader that the stone is alexandrite and the Faberge Egg houses the stone in a special carriage. Finding the documents in the safety deposit box at Chase her first step, reading and learning more the second. As the author introduces a gemologist that would assist her in her search, try to protect her from harm and maybe even more. Enter Simon Blake who appraises the frog and is fearful for her to go to Russia alone. As Kate reads the letters written by her mother she learns about the link to Rasputin and the attorney at Chase. Meeting his great grandson in prison being held as a political prisoner enlightening as he gave her the name of a monk that might know where the Romanov Stone is. Kate recalls what happens when she is expelled from sports and why. Throughout the novel we can tell that she fights with many demons, uncertainties and insecurities stemming from her negative feelings about her heritage, her mother, her lost lover and her disappointment in not making the Olympics. Kate seems to flounder a lot lock away her emotions, hard at times and needs acceptance but has not received it or accepted kindnesses or help from anyone. Trusting someone is hard for her after learning the secrets of her past.
The Kiev police questioning her, threatened by the Ukrainian mafiya Kate finally realized the dangers involved, moves to another hotel and hopefully will finally heed Simon’s warnings and enlist his help. But, she does not stop there. Instead, she breaks into the monestary, one of the coffins and finds what she is looking for hoping she will survive. The documents, the pouch, the jewel and the egg are hers for now and safe. But will they remain that way and why contact the man in prison again and what part does the Detective called Vulcan play?
What happens next you will have to read as the author takes the reader and Kate through the appraisal process of this valuable stone, the worth of the bank account and those following her to make sure that she never opens the foundation in the name of the royal family. As she teams up with Simon there are many players that want her stopped.
A deal is made for the legal fees but somehow the stone is switched, stolen and the parties after it are many as the Russians, Ukrainians, and even the Columbians now know if its existence as Kate tries to back track how it was stolen and switched and what is next. One stone is fake the other real and so many people after it they’re even willing to team up. Added in is the doctor that treated Kate while in college, his files broken into and more information about her leaked. With the help of a lender named Jacob Massad would things finally come to pass or will she owe him 3 million dollars for losing the stone as payment for the money he gave her?
When Kate is kidnapped and Blake thinks she has just disappeared the search for her if stalled until all of the players are revealed. Just whom can she trust, what happens to her when she is kidnapped and why is everyone trying to get this stone? Who has the stone and where does it wind up cannot be revealed. From New York, to Russia, England and cross continents the Romanov Stone is replete in history, excitement, suspense, deceit, treachery and a secret that was held for many centuries and a stone that so many want and would do anything to get. Where it winds up and what the final betrayal is you will have to read for yourself. What happens to the Faberge Egg, the Stone and the money is up to the Bank to honor Irina’s last wishes and of course the person that finally winds up with the stone. The Romanov Stone: one great novel and hopefully the author will continue it by bringing Kate and Simon back to learn more. Filled with history, action and definitely an ending lead you to wonder just who can you trust. Read it you won’t be disappointed.
Fran Lewis: reviewer: Let’s give this one: FIVE GOLD FABERGE EGGS
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