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The Coin

(Coin/Hours Cycle #1)

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  64 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Set in the exotic French Riviera, The Coin is a story of hatred, betrayal, love and duty—of terrible and painful choices that, nonetheless, bring about personal triumph.
France 1993
For artist Gabriela Martinez, life has become complicated:
Kindle Edition, 344 pages
Published December 2019 (first published April 2013)
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Average rating 4.41  · 
Rating details
 ·  64 ratings  ·  35 reviews

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Victoria Saccenti
This romance/suspense story is set in the lovely French Riviera. It is a fast read, the plot is tight and the characters are well developed with an unexpected twist to the standard romance story. This adds complexity and interest, not one character is stronger than the other, thus eliminating the "victim" or "superhero" tendencies so prevalent in modern Romance.
Oct 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, won
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was well written and I just couldn't put it down.

The only thing that bothered me was how fast Richard fell for her, but it didn't take away too much from the story for me.

I am looking forward to the sequel; I'm curious as to what mess Gabriela has gotten herself into this time :P lol

(Also, the counter thingy is weird on this, I didn't read it from December 28th to April 8th, I started it on April 2nd :P Just felt like straightening that out)

(EDIT: I found
I received this book from goodreads first reads. I thought this was a great action packed book, with a few twists I didn't see coming. I don't like when married women and men not their husbands have the main love story in a book.
Mari Christie
Jun 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a great book! Fast-paced, intriguing, suspenseful, with sharply drawn characters. Most interesting, however, is the unusual ending. Most unexpected.
Feb 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
I won this book in a first-reads giveaway.

The first thing that struck me when I received it was how low the resolution of the cover picture is. Compared to the boldness and crispness of the title it looks a tiny bit amateurish. It does, however, completely fit in with the story and was a clever way of showing what the bracelet described in the book looks like.

The first 2 words in the blurb are 'France, 1993' Scenes were clearly set in the outskirts of Nice but there wasn't really much to
Aug 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Coin is book one in a duo-logy (2 book series). I however read them out of order. This did not ruin the story for me in any way and in fact it was really fun to pick up Gabriela and Richard's story from their first meet, instead of the reunion they had in book 2.

The Coin starts out with Gabriela innocently picking up a coin while on her hike. Like her I have always been taught finding these coins is a lucky thing. She combines her lucky coins on a bracelet (which I now want one!) and while
Sep 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was recommended by friends and I couldn't be happier to have found it. I immediately identified with the main character, Gabriella Martinez who finds a coin in the woods and asks a jeweler to add it to her charm bracelet. Unbeknownst to her, the jewelers have been on the lookout for particular coins with markings and this coin comes up with a match. Gabriella is plunged into a terrorist network of CIA, Israeli agents and terrorists who want her to pinpoint the place that she found the ...more
Jo Barton
Jun 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This fast paced romantic thriller has a decidedly menacing edge to it; the plot is fast and furious and never slackens its pace. The characterisation is strong and meaningful and the dialogue between the major players is convincing and well thought out. The inclusion into the story of some quite dark and sinister psychological mind games adds a dangerous frisson of excitement which helps sustain the tension to an exciting degree.
I particularly enjoyed the beautiful setting of the Côte d'Azur
Yaremis Armas
Jul 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After weeks of placing The Coin down, I still cannot let go of its beautiful scenery, relatable characters, and startling fast paced plot. The coin straddles two genres of fiction which evoke a powerful reading experience: suspense and romance! Sierra’s complex plot and intriguing characters form a compelling story that everyone will enjoy. Not only is the authors style accessible and interesting, but the pacing in the story is fast and addictive with its unique blend of both genres. The Coin ...more
Monica Porta
Jul 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Coin is a romantic thriller set in the French Riviera. Filled with beautiful scenery, the story is narrated in the third person omniscient point of view, giving the reader full access to everyone's mind, but with an important twist that adds to the suspense. I enjoyed how the main characters' relationship evolves during the harrowing experience they are put through and how they grow during the story. I particularly liked the ending, and I'm looking forward to reading what's in store next for ...more
Noelle Walsh
Oct 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
This book was incredible! Mystery, romance, action, suspense... What more could one ask for in a good book? This book could very well make a good film or television program and with that ending, one can only hope that the sequel is released soon, so we can find out what happens next!

*Won on GoodReads First Reads*
Lorraine Baker
Feb 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-thrillers
I got this book throught the goodread first read programme and was a bit unsure whether I would like it as it seemed from other reviwers to be a romance. Wrong - this is a quick pace romantic thriller that got me from the first few pages. A beautiful setting, vividly described and characters you care about. A good read that I did'nt want to end.
Oct 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
The story of Gabriela and Richard is amazing. This story has great characters, action,and love. Thank you Maria for this story that I will continue thinking about, and can't wait to read the sequel. So many questions, to see what Gabriela and Richard are going to do next. If you get a chance please make this into a movie, would love to see it on the big screen :)
Oct 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
The stuff that movies are made of! Plenty of action, romance and suspense that would make a great movie, in my opinion. The worst part is having the story end as it did! I sincerely hope I won't have to wait *too* long for the sequel! I need my fix.
May 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fast-paced thriller with well-drawn characters, a tight plot and enough romance to keep you turning the pages. If you like suspense seasoned with a rising attraction between two people, I recommend this book. I am looking forward to the sequel.
Received book through Goodreads First Reads
Aug 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fast paced story with amazing characters and a beautiful setting. Great romantic thriller....can't wait for book 2. :)
Elizabeth Morales
One of the best books I have ever read...romance,suspense, action...this book has it all...beautiful setting, intriguing characters...excitedly anticipating the follow up!
Jennie Rosenblum
As the Indie Author’s market is developing, I am seeing more and more books that appear just as professional as those coming out of the traditional publishing market. However most of the time the Indies have a better story and this is a perfect example of that.

In the theme of great mystery authors, like Louise Penny, this author created an entire world where the reader can “walk around” and know where they are. The story of a found coin on an innocent stroll soon leads to all kinds of trouble
Cyrene Olson
Feb 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Set in the early 1990’s in France, this is a story that creeps up on you. Although it didn’t catch me right away, before I even realized it, I was completely involved. I sat down to read figuring I could get a few minutes in reading and the next thing I knew an hour has gone by. This is a book that will have you on the edge of your seat, as Richard tries to get to the bottom of the case and trying to protect Gabriela at the same time.

Wonderful character development – this is one of those books
Joyce Hertzoff
Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This romantic thriller about an American woman Gabriella (originally from Cuba), who lives near Grasse and found a coin while hiking. The coin has markings added after it was minted, and they indicate that it’s part of some international scheme to create dissent among people. Gabriella, married with two children, is guarded by a reluctant American operative who happened to be nearby on vacation. The intriguing plot of the novel moved quickly with lots of tension that was sometimes interrupted by ...more
Rita Sheppard
Feb 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gabriela and Richard are strong, passionate characters thrown together into a nest of killers playing with them until they're ready for the kill. Evil, traitorous, and weak characters force the two together in a run for their lives.

I don't want to give the story away as you just have to read and experience this thriller set in the Côte d’Azur. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and look forward to the sequel.
Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved It!

I bought this book because I knew the author would be at a book signing I was attending. Shortly after I started it, I had a chance to sit down and speak with the author. I wasn't immediately in love with the book, but she was so well spoken and interesting that I knew I wouldn't be disappointed by finishing it. Now I can't wait to read the next one!
Janie Barnett
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining read

Grabbed me right from the start even though the plot was predictable. The characters were well fleshed out especially Gabrieala. Looking forward to reading the sequel.
Amy Shelton
Jul 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarian I Dig Good Books.

*I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review*

Whew! If you’re looking for a book full of suspense and thrilling action, this is a book for you. It’s got a dark side and the thrilling part of the story will keep you on your toes – it will also keep you guessing until the end. You’ll be asking “who did it, who was the killer?” then it will switch to “No way!” I applaud the author in keeping the
Valerie Roberson
Oct 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review
This was a fun book to read. It covered all bases, romance, mystery, suspense and action. I enjoyed trying to figure out who the killer was. When I read who it wads, I laughed and was pleased with myself for guessing the right person. It took me a while to come to a guess.
This story line is fantastic and written with a steady hand. I love all the emotions the character's showed and it was true to life. Maria Alonso-Sierra is a new author to me and I really like her work. I look forward to
Dec 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This romantic suspense thriller revolves around a woman named Gabriela Martinez, an up and coming artist, wife and mother. She lives in France with her husband who is looking to make his mark career wise. She has a wealthy French benefactor who wants to give her the well deserved exposure in the art world and he wants her in his bed. One day during one of her walks Gabriela finds a coin and takes it to the local jeweler to add to a charm bracelet that is a precious heirloom. In comes Richard ...more
Angi Plant
Jan 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. It had me hooked from the outset. It was not a typical novel of any kind for me. However, it had intrigue, suspense, drama, romance. Without being slushy, as I don't do slushy novels. This ticked boxes and then some.

The best character? How do I choose? I liked Gabriela and cheered her on in finding her verbal voice, (read it you'll get why I say verbal voice). She is a kind arty woman, who is somewhat nail and then she meets Richard. After years married to Roberto, she starts
Laurie Olerich
What a wonderful debut novel! This is beautifully written and pure escapism in the south of France. The perfect book for a long summer day at the beach. I read it in one sitting because I couldn't put it down.
Deborah Lynne
I was blessed to meet the author - Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra at 2016's Writers' Police Academy. She's a woman who has traveled the world. Listening to her intrigued me so, I immediately purchased both The Coin and The Book of Hours.

With words she paints a beautiful picture of the scene in your head as you read. I was drawn in and didn't want to stop reading. The story was a fast paced wonderfully written novel. It kept me on the edge of your seat. This is a thriller that you don't want to miss.
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Hi, everyone. My name is Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra (yes, I is a mouthful). I am originally from Cuba, lived in many places/countries throughout my life, and am now living in beautiful North Carolina.
It is so difficult, sometimes, to say things about yourself, but let me try. I love all things medieval. I love history. As a matter of fact, I have a masters in medieval literature--12th

Other books in the series

Coin/Hours Cycle (2 books)
  • The Book of Hours (Coin/Hours Cycle 2)
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“He scanned her face quickly and recognized anger rather than fear.
"Are you insane?" His whisper was rough. "This could be a set up."
"And allow this sack of refuse to violate my home undisturbed?" She pushed at him. "No way."
"Listen." Richard refused to budge. "We are at a slight disadvantage here. I don't have a gun."
"But I have knives. The kitchen is at the end of this room, remember?”
“What the hell is going on?" Roberto strode after his wife. "Look at you. What happened? And why is this man waltzing in here as if he pays the rent?"
Men, Gabriela thought, aggravated. Too damn territorial. "Please. Stop acting the wounded macho.”
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