Revenge is a diamond best served cold.
The Bait, a fast-paced and thrilling romantic caper from New York Times bestselling author M.J. Rose and international bestselling author C.W. Gortner is available now!
A year after THE STEAL, Ania Throne is determined to take back what the Leopard stole from her. Together with her lover and partner, Jerome, she stages a spectacular heist during the Venetian Carnival, to lure out the treacherous mastermind they unmasked. She’s willing to risk it all—until her revenge takes a dangerous twist that could cost her what she loves the most.
Jerome Curtis has given up everything for Ania. She needs his help and he’s fallen head over heels for the world’s most eligible jewelry designer. But when their daring scheme to catch the thief who escaped turns on them, he’s targeted for a crime he never wanted to commit—and he has to find a way out fast.
From a glamorous costume gala to the winter canals of Venice, Ania and Jerome must confront the choices they’ve made and bait a new trap to catch the Leopard, before the Leopard springs his trap on them. This time, the stakes are personal, but with more than diamonds on the line, can they escape the bait or will it separate them forever?
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There are a lot of perks to having a rich girlfriend.
I’ve never thought about it before, how easy money makes things. In my line of work, it isn’t something I tend to think about because I never have any extra dough to throw around. Sure, I know how rich people live. It’s my job to know and deal with their dismay when their perfect lives are upended. I also know, more or less, how much they spend on stuff I’ve never considered essential. I mean, who really wants to eat a bunch of tiny, salty, black fish eggs from Russia at four hundred dollars a serving? A rich person, that’s who. Not because it tastes great, but because they can. I suppose when you have so much money you don’t know what to do with it, Russian fish eggs can taste pretty damn delicious.
I still don’t get that part.
But the rest of it? I’m starting to understand. The private plane, for one, and the five-star hotels with fancy monikers and white-glove service. Suites bigger than any apartment I’ve rented—which isn’t saying much, considering my London flat is about the size of Ania’s walk-in closet. She insists on fresh flowers and always gets them, says they inspire her creativity—not that she’s doing much designing these days. Still, fresh flowers are her rule.
And the other stuff: the fancy boutiques that don’t look like they actually sell anything—all polished glass, creamy leather, and pristine displays with a single handbag, like a museum. No price tags. No money exchanged. It’s all on account, or so Ania tells me. The restaurants where a phone call instantly opens her preferred table, no matter if it’s a crowded Saturday night. Trust me, it’s something to see. So is the astonished look on the maître d’s face—she taught me that word after I called him “the host guy”—when she walks in with me at her side. That look is worth the prices not listed on the menu. I never knew there were places you could eat a steak and have no idea what it costs.
To her, it’s normal, even if she can tell it’s not normal to me. That it makes me uncomfortable. She says, “It’s what money is for.” Because that’s how she sees it. She’s never known differently, so I can’t really blame her.
So, yeah. A lot of perks. For me, it’s like hiding out in first class and wondering when I’ll get caught. I keep thinking . . . anytime now, they’ll come around to check my ticket and find out I only paid for steerage.
I’d say it’s wonderful. And, mostly, it is. How many guys can say the same? Not many, I’ll bet. I sure never thought I’d be one of them. Not in a million years.
Except for two things.
She doesn’t like me calling her my girlfriend.
And we’re both thieves.
About M.J. Rose
M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother’s favorite books before she was allowed. She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice… Books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it.
Rose is a the Co-President and founding member of International Thriller Writers and the founder of the first marketing company for authors: AuthorBuzz. She runs the blog, Museum of Mysteries.
In 1998, her first novel Lip Service was the first e-book and the first self-published novel chosen by the LiteraryGuild/Doubleday Book Club as well as the first e-book to go on to be published by a mainstream New York publishing house.
Rose has been profiled in Time magazine, Forbes, The New York Times, Business 2.0, Working Woman, Newsweek, and New York Magazine.
She has appeared on The Today Show, Fox News, The Jim Lehrer NewsHour, and features on her have appeared in dozens of magazines and newspapers in the U.S. and abroad, including USAToday, Stern, L’Official, Poets and Writers, and Publishers Weekly.
Rose graduated from Syracuse University and spent the ’80s in advertising. She was the Creative Director of Rosenfeld Sirowitz and Lawson and she has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.
About C.W. Gortner
C.W. Gortner holds an MFA in Writing with an emphasis on Renaissance Studies from the New College of California and a degree in fashion marketing. In his extensive travels to research his books, he has experienced life in a Spanish castle and danced in a Tudor great hall. Half-Spanish by birth, his novels have been translated in over 20 languages to date.
C.W. enjoys talking to book groups. To schedule a chat or find out more about his work
Connect with C.W.