Title The Romanov Legacy: A Novel
Author Marilyn Baron
GenresWomen’s Contemporary Fiction; Historical Imperial Russia Fiction; Historical Romance; Thriller & Suspense; Historical Thrillers; Historical Mysteries (Dual Timeline); Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc.
Two women, centuries apart, and the secrets that bind them…
Melody, a young single mother, discovers she’s descended from the last Tsar, Nicholas II. She becomes the best hope of a secret global society, Guardians of the Romanov Legacy, dedicated to restoring a Romanov to the throne of a New Russia. A diary and an heirloom necklace inherited from her murdered grandmother hold the key to her identity and to the location of the Tsar’s lost shipment of gold.
She must accept the sacrifices her birth demands and trust the machinations of the estranged father of her child. To refuse means turning her back on her heritage, her daughter’s legacy, and the long line of her family’s women who were keepers of the secret. Will her longing for true love have world-changing consequences?
Maria Tatyana took a heavy breath, read over the document, and signed, ever conscious of the soldiers, their rifles at the ready. Did it make a difference that she signed the document under duress? So did Tsar Nicholas. What choice did she have?
‘And now the whole world can tune in and watch you die,” Miss Cormier stated.
“I did what you asked. Why do you want to kill me?”
“It’s a fitting end.”
“Of course, Miss Cormier had this ending in mind from the beginning. She was a false Guardian. It was high drama. A reenactment of the final moments of the Tsar and his family on the same spot, more than a century apart. The curse of the Romanovs revisited. But it wasn’t the end of the Romanov dynasty. There was Katya, and she would thrive.
Melody’s mouth was parched. Her head ached. She couldn’t believe she was going to die in this basement prison before she got a chance to see Katya again. She hoped her daughter would remember her. She hoped Nikolai would keep her memory alive.
“Did you know it took a full thirty minutes for the Romanovs to die?” uttered Miss Cormier. “Your death will only take seconds. Too bad it can’t be prolonged. But we will follow the course of history as much as possible.”
She realized the full import of what Miss Cormier was saying. The nanny intended to execute her and document it for all the world to see. She had a sudden flash to a page on the Internet, the wallpaper in the basement of Ipatiev House, riddled with pockmarks, bullets, gouges in the floor. Screams fairly echoed off the screen. Nicholas and Alexandra must have turned to each other suddenly, reaching to shield their son. The four daughters, including Anastasia, would have hugged each other once they realized their fate in those final moments of chaos and agony. In contrast, she was totally alone. No one would be coming to save her either. What would they do with her body? Would anyone ever find her remains? She wished she didn’t know what horrors awaited her. She hoped the end would be quick and painless. She would give her crown to return to Downingtown, Pennsylvania, to an anonymous life as ordinary Melody Segal where she and Katya could have led a normal life, a safe life, a Romanov free existence.
A tiny tear slipped down her cheek. But that was as far as she would display her emotions. She held her head up regally. After all, she was an Empress. She was determined to die with dignity. She wondered if Marie Antoinette had held her head high before it was unceremoniously severed and dropped into a basket.
Her final thoughts were of Katya. Would she truly be safe? Would they protect her, or would she fall victim to the same fate her ancestors suffered? Could she as a mother have done more to protect her innocent child? A child that would grow up without her mother’s love.
She imagined all the moments she would miss, like a film playing in her head. Katya taking her first steps to her papa, graduating college, falling in love (hopefully not with another Guardian), walking down the aisle, playing with a child of her own. Melody smiled.
Miss Cormier looked puzzled. “There won’t be a last-minute reprieve, if that’s what you’re thinking. No one knows where you are.”
Wasn’t the hero supposed to ride to the heroine’s rescue at the last moment? Rescue the maiden, or the princess, or in this case, the empress? In all the modern romances, the heroine saves herself. That’s not the way this final scenario would play out. She was helpless to avert disaster.
Would they actually go through with it? Would they really execute her in cold blood like they did the Tsar and his family? She was terrified they would. She could hear the sound of her heartbeat amplified. She was having a full-blown panic attack. She couldn’t breathe. She feared she would die of fright before they had the chance to cut her down in a hail of bullets.
Miss Cormier lifted her hand to give the command. Hatred flared in her eyes. What had she done to deserve the woman’s anger? Fallen in love? Then the guards raised their rifles in unison to open fire. She closed her eyes tightly so they couldn’t see the hope fade from her face. She couldn’t bear to confront her own mortality. She held her breath.
Then she heard the bullets ping. Where was she hit? How long would it take to die? She hoped it would be over soon. She sagged in her chair, mercifully blacking out.
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Marilyn Baron writes in a variety of genres from women’s fiction to historical romantic thrillers and romantic suspense to paranormal/fantasy. She’s received writing awards in Single Title, Suspense Romance, Novel with Strong Romantic Elements and Paranormal/Fantasy Romance. She was also The Finalist in the 2017 Georgia Author of the Year Awards (GAYA) in the Romance Category for her novel, Stumble Stones, and The Finalist for the 2018 GAYA Awards in the Romance category for her novel, The Alibi. Her latest novel, The Romanov Legacy, released June 14, 2021, is her 27th work of fiction. A public relations consultant in Atlanta, Marilyn is past chair of Roswell Reads and serves on the Atlanta Authors Series Committee. To find out more about what Marilyn writes, visit her website at: www.marilynbaron.com/
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