Title: The Romanov Legacy: A Novel
Author: Marilyn Baron
Genres (Dual Timeline) Women’s Contemporary Fiction; Historical Imperial Russia Fiction (Romance); Historical Thrillers and Mysteries.
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?
Melody Segal discovered the dazzling antique diamond-and-emerald-encrusted necklace nestled in a weathered, powder-blue velvet jewelry box not long after her grandmother’s murder. The treasure flashed bolts of light within the confines of Nana’s eerie bank vault. Wafts of scents, sounds, and sights drifted into Melody’s consciousness, conjuring enchanting visions of winter white, the icy feel of snowflakes, the jingle-jangle of sleigh bells, the woodsy smell of Siberian pines.
Why had she never seen this gleaming heirloom before? Or known about it? The attorney handling Nana’s estate had presented her with the key to the safe deposit box where the jewels had been stored for who knows how long. Not long enough to lose their luster. The box yielded not only the necklace but an unfamiliar diary. She flipped through the book, written in Russian, and pulled out a translated copy in Nana’s hand. But Nana didn’t know Russian. In fact, she hated all things Russian. She once joked that the closest she ever got to Russia was St. Petersburg when she went to visit her best friend Bessie at her beach condo in Florida.
What other secrets had her grandmother been hiding?
Tentatively reaching out to touch the necklace, Melody was reminded of the tale about young King Arthur pulling the sword so easily from the stone to seal his birthright. She fastened the priceless piece around her neck, pulled an illuminating powder compact from her purse to study the sparkling stones against her skin, and wondered again how the gems had come into
Nana’s possession. The magnificent necklace was so brilliant Melody was afraid it would burn a hole in her handbag when she placed it there to take it for an appraisal. But discovering its monetary value wasn’t her top priority. Finding the answer to the mystery might hold the key to
her true identity. The few lines she’d skimmed in the translation hinted at a hidden Romanov heritage, courtesy of Nana’s great-grandmother, Melody’s third great-grandmother. An ancestor too far removed to contemplate.
She was even more curious to learn about the rose gold charm necklace worn around Nana’s neck when Melody found her still-warm body in the kitchen of their home. Was it only three months ago? Nana had been wearing that necklace ever since Melody could remember. And she still had it on after the attack. Apparently, it wasn’t considered valuable enough to steal during the robbery. The charm had lost its sparkle but was equally precious for its close connection to her grandmother. In the diary was a faded picture of a rosy-faced girl she didn’t recognize. One of Nana’s ancestors, no doubt. Dressed in a heavy woolen coat to ward off the biting wind and frost in some frozen wasteland, the same gold charm graced the girl’s neck like a talisman.
In addition to taking a life, the murderer or murderers—for there was evidence of more than one
perpetrator—had trashed the house, leaving drawers open and clothes tossed about in tornadic disarray, searching for valuables. The gems, perhaps? The diary? What had they been after? Another mystery that remained unsolved. It was like Nana always said, “You won’t find what you’re looking for until it’s ready to be found.”
Her eyes were still red from crying over only cursory glances at the translated diary passages. The words seemed as real on the page today as when they had been written a century earlier, the journal writer as alive as if she had just closed the book to stretch and relax her hand. In fact, Melody and the young Russian girl who had poured out her heart had a lot in common.
Instinctively, she shook the diary—and discovered a hidden pocket in the back. Tucked into the pocket was a letter addressed to her, written in her grandmother’s hand. Nana’s final words, hastily written in ink pen, as if she knew the end was near, still echoed in her mind. “Protect this secret with your life. Trust no one. Pass it on to your daughter so when the time comes, she’ll be
But ready for what? Nothing that came before in her life had prepared her for this.
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What makes your featured book a must-read?
If you’re looking for love, romance and suspense in beautiful destinations, this is the book for you. The novel is set in Downingtown, PA; Zurich, Switzerland; Bellagio, Lake Como, Italy; and St. Petersburg, Russia, all places the author has visited. There are two weddings in the novel: One, a secret, hurried affair in bleak Siberia in Tsarist Russia, and another more lavish event in one of the most beautiful places in the world—Lake Como, Italy. But the contemporary lovers will soon be torn apart from each other.
The author has always been fascinated by the tragic story of the Romanovs, the last imperial family of Russia. She was inspired to write the novel when a member of her book club brought in a rose gold charm fashioned in Siberia passed down from mother to daughter through the generations of her family and she decided to weave the story of the Romanovs into the plot.
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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, to be 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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