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Gullible by Rosemary Kubli is a Best Books '23 pick #suspense #romanticsuspense #bestbooks #giveaway



Title:  Gullible

 

Author: Rosemary Kubli

 

Genre: Suspense

 

Book Blurb: 

 

     Siena Ricci is shrewd, seductive, and an expert in the art of deception. Masking her identity behind the guise of Marie Lacroix, a specialist in antiques and objets d'art, she swindles her employer's wealthy clients out of their valuable possessions. She hasn't yet met the man she can't manipulate, but then the con she's playing on Jonathan Woodward has only just begun.

 

     Jonathan proves to be an easy mark, but he's also enticingly irresistible. As their relationship heats up, her plot to steal his multi-million-dollar antique treasures begins to unravel. Noticing a subtle change in Jonathan's demeanor, Marie questions whether she's still in control of the con or if she's blindly become the gullible victim of her own scheme.

 

Excerpt:

 

She stared at Gus. “So, all this talk of the Somersets has been fascinating, but how does Jonathan Woodward fit into the conversation?”

 

“First, we have to finish the story of Daisy Monaghan.” Gus brushed away a few crumbs and rested his elbows on the table. “Daisy was living the life of Reilly until Clarence Somerset croaked. Without her sugar daddy, she had no source of income, and by then she was old, used goods. No other millionaire would have her. To pay the bills, Daisy started selling off the gifts Clarence had given her.”

 

Gus sat back while Manny served their coffee. He thanked Manny with a wink, then leaned forward again and continued his narrative.

 

“In 1947, Daisy unloaded much of her jewelry for bargain prices. The most admired of the lot, and the most expensive, was a diamond and sapphire necklace set in platinum. Jonathan Woodward’s grandfather, Ashton, had been pals with Clarence Somerset, and was the lucky guy who took the necklace off Daisy’s hands. Ashton Woodward bought the necklace as a gift for his wife. When their grandson, Jonathan, got married, Old Grandma Woodward gave the necklace to Jonathan’s bride on their wedding day to wear as her something blue.” Gus paused to take a drink of his coffee.

 

Skeptical, Marie squinted her eyes. “How do you know all this?”

 

Gus frowned, appearing surprised Marie wasn’t aware of the family’s notoriety. “The Woodwards are big news in Boston. Details of the wedding were in all the papers at the time.”

 

“Huh,” Marie grunted. For some reason, she couldn’t imagine the Jonathan Woodward she was acquainted with as having once made the headlines on the society pages. But then, his marriage happened a long time ago, even before Marie was born. A lot can change in forty years. “The obvious question is, how is this relevant to me?”

 

“When Clarence Somerset commissioned the jeweler to design the necklace for Daisy, he also had a bracelet and earrings made to match. Daisy only sold the necklace. What she did with the other two pieces has been a mystery ever since. That’s why the necklace is infamously called the Somerset Necklace. It’s the only piece known to have survived from the set. Recently, however, the bracelet and earrings surfaced on the black market.”

 

Marie raised an eyebrow. The story had all at once become much more intriguing. “Let me guess. You have a buyer who wants all three pieces.”

 

“Bingo.”

 

Marie’s pulse quickened. She leaned forward and asked, “How much is your buyer willing to pay?”

 

“For the entire set…” Gus drew close until his face was mere inches away from Marie’s. He finished his sentence in barely more than a whisper. “Two million dollars.”

 

Marie allowed the dollar amount to sink in as she eased back in her chair. She held Gus’s gaze and pondered the possibilities. As a team, the two had flourished in their careers as con artists. A few of their previous transactions had come close to seven figures, but they’d not yet hit the million-dollar mark. The idea of raking in twice that much was heady indeed. Marie’s body tingled with excitement at the prospect.

 

“You’re certain you can obtain the bracelet and earrings?”

 

“The deal’s as good as done,” Gus assured her.

 

“And you’re positive the necklace is still owned by Jonathan Woodward?”

 

“Either by him or someone in his immediate family. There’s no knowledge of it changing hands since Woodward’s wedding.”

 

“What about a copy of the necklace?” she asked. “Do you have one I can take with me?”

 

“Not now, but I’m working on it,” Gus informed her. “I can have it to you in the next few days.”

 

Although Marie and Gus were both legitimately employed, Marie at Willow’s Auction House and Gus as the proprietor of an antique store, their day jobs were merely fronts behind which they operated their more lucrative business of stealing from the rich and selling to discriminating buyers who knew better than to ask questions. Marie selected most of the men they swindled from the clientele at Willow’s. While she lured in the unsuspecting target with her beauty and seductive persuasions, Gus worked behind the scenes to create the forgery she’d swap for the genuine article. Marie then handed the piece over to Gus who sold the goods on the black market. Fake invoices and receipts were created, and the profit was laundered through the antique store as a valid sale.

 

Jonathan Woodward had been at the top of Marie’s list of potential targets since she’d begun assisting him with his auction bids. However, other than the call she’d made to express her condolences following his daughter-in-law’s death, she had not spoken with Jonathan in several months. With the prospect of obtaining the Somerset Necklace from him, her decision to not pursue Jonathan for the time being had worked to her benefit.

 

For a moment, Marie considered taking a pass on this job. She found Jonathan to be thoughtful and courteous, a true gentleman, and she’d developed a genuine fondness for him. From what he’d told her of himself, she gathered he was an intellectual who used his wealth and notoriety in altruistic pursuits, and she wasn’t convinced she wanted to perform such a devious act on such a likable man. However, Marie had her own benevolent reasons for doing what she did, and she reminded herself that her take of a $2 million deal would have a dramatic impact on her personal goals.

 

Marie placed a muzzle over her conscience. How could she pass over a job with such an enormous profit? As she formulated a game plan in her mind, a cunning grin crept onto her face.

 

“I’ve been leading Jonathan Woodward along for some time and have him convinced I’m interested in pursuing a relationship with him. I think, at last, the time has arrived for Marie Lacroix to fit a trip to Boston into her schedule.”

 

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):

 

 

 

 

 


What makes your featured book a must-read?

 

Mixing danger and intrigue with sultry romance and an unexpected plot twist or two, Gullible takes the savvy reader on a journey into the suspenseful underbelly world of con artists and forgery experts. This is the type of novel you can’t stop reading while at the same time you don’t want the story to end.

 

Giveaway –

 

Enter to win a $45 Amazon gift card:

 

 

Open Internationally.

 

Runs December 18 – December 31, 2023.

 

Winner will be drawn on January 2, 2024.

 


Author Biography:

 

Rosemary Kubli writes the type of books she loves to read - intrigue and suspense mixed with a pinch of romance and a clever plot twist or two. Her professional experiences run the gamut from Human Resources and training to accounting and banking, with publishing being her most recent endeavor. Aside from the seven years she lived in southern California, she has always called the northeast corner of Ohio her home. Rosemary and her husband of 45 years enjoy traveling - on land to visit family and friends and on sea to any destination a cruise ship will take them. When not working on her next novel, she can be found discussing the latest in literary fare with her book club, playing a rousing game of Bunco with some of her oldest and dearest friends, researching her ancestry, volunteering in her community, burying her nose in a book, or obsessing over the latest binge-worthy TV series. 

 

Social Media Links:

 

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N. N. Light
N. N. Light
Dec 20, 2023

Thank you, Rosemary, for sharing your book in our Best Books of '23 Bookish Event!

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