An Interview with Lesley Meryn and Elle Brookes

Interview Questions  (answered by Elle Brookes. Lesley is incommunicado in Yorkshire)

The Fabergé Entanglement - EbookWhat genre(s) do you write in and why?

I enjoy writing romantic adventure and romantic suspense because that’s what I like to read. Those kinds of movies are also my favorite kind. “Romancing the Stone”, the Bourne and Bond franchise and anything with action, be it Hong Kong Martial Arts or science fiction (time travel in particular). I’m drawn particularly to18th century England and Yorkshire. I have no explanation for this and there’s the possibility that it might be a “bleed-through” from a previous life; or future, if you don’t think of time as being specifically linear.

What inspired your latest book?

I am very much a fan of the Adam Hall Quiller books and was inspired to try writing something like them. What resulted was anything but Quillerish (to me) but there is a seed of him in the character of Adrian Steele. And there is not much romance in a Quiller novel, the focus is mainly on the Mission. His “love interest”, Moira, is more a half-remembered fantasy where he is a disappointment to her. But it is she who he thinks of when he is in a crisis and close to death.

Do you have a view in your writing space?  What does your space look like? 

I am very lucky in that I live on the top of a hill in the central mountains of Costa Rica with a vast view of the valley below. From the window to my left there is another spectacular view (on a clear day of course) of the Gulf of Nicoya and one of the many islands there. My desk is slightly messy with electronics gear spread around, as well as notebooks and calendar. The desk itself is an American “secretary” desk (read very small!) that dates from the 1920s, in a dark wood. There is just enough room for my laptop.

Tell us about your hero.  Give us one of his strengths and one of his weaknesses.

Adrian Steele is tough, a loyal friend, and very good at what he does, or must do. One of his strengths is that he can get people to trust him, often taking on the appearance of a bookish nerd. He also looks much younger than he actually is. Saber describes him at one point as looking like a “feral choirboy.”  His weakness is letting his frustration with his “handlers” make him say or do the wrong thing (in their estimation). He will often go off on his own without telling “the powers that be” what he is doing. There is a tacit agreement that as long as he delivers the goods, his transgressions will be overlooked.

Tell us about your heroine.  Give us one of her strengths and one of her weaknesses.

Sabinne (Saber) Darrieux, is from a wealthy family. Raised in Provence, France what might have been an idyllic childhood was anything but. (To say anything more about that would be spoilers for the book) When not working assignments for her family’s security corporation, she is an elite translator with a very select client list. One of her biggest clients as a translator is an immensely influential businessman named Hennessey who has more than a passing interest in her personally. She is not interested but he continues his pursuit with light hand but a focused persistence. She is loyal to her family and the global family concerns, but tends to keep her distance from her overbearing father.  She can be reckless in her actions and impulsive in her responses to people, saying things she (maybe) shouldn’t.

Do you write under a pen name?   Why or why not?

I write under a pen name to keep certain aspects of my life separate from each other. (You have your secrets, I have mine…)

What do you have planned for the future?

Right now I’m planning out a second book about Saber and Steele. We’ll see how that goes, they are, both of them, very unruly characters! I expect they’ll have some surprises for me along the way.

 Describe the genre of this particular title, and is it the only genre you write in? 

The Fabergé Entanglement is a blend of romance, suspense, a little bit heist and a little bit Spy-fi. My two other books, Lust. Mechanics. Mini Cooper. and Sex. Coffee. Time Travel. are time travel romantic adventures. Time travel has always fascinated me. (When I was much younger my father was always hinting that I might have been born in the wrong time.)

Having achieved your goal to be a published author, what is the most rewarding thing?   

I suppose the most rewarding thing is that I have the privilege of sharing my observation of a strange world through a stranger lens. To hear that someone has enjoyed my work, that it’s made them laugh, or cry, or kept them up at night reading is a wonderful thing. I am the first to admit that my stories are off-kilter, and often take a little work on the part of the reader. But my characters are difficult, unruly, and they go where they want to go (most of the time).


Sabinne ‘Saber’ Darrieux’s father, the billionaire CEO of Frontenac Global Security has been kidnapped. His ransom is not cash in a numbered offshore account, or a briefcase of Bearer Bonds but something utterly unique, incredibly valuable, and until recently, hidden away from the world.

The kidnapper seems to know Saber very well, and knows that the next day, through her work as an elite translator she will be in the same location as the Object. She must steal the Object and deliver it to the kidnapper to ransom her father.

Adrian Steele, a British Intelligence agent has just come off of two harrowing missions. Upon returning to London for a well-earned rest, he learns that his friend and fellow agent, has been murdered in Moscow, but not before he made use of a unique Object as a mobile ‘drop site’ for the valuable intelligence he was carrying.

The drop site is traveling from Moscow to England. Steele insists on completing the mission to honor the death of his friend, Gerry Cornell.

At an ultra-chic quasi-diplomatic gathering in a mansion in Windsor, England, Saber and Steele meet and find themselves faced with a powerful, undeniable attraction. But at the moment, this compelling attraction is very inconvenient.

In reality they are at the mansion to check out the security arrangements — for their own reasons — to steal the Object, a Fabergé egg worth thirty million dollars. But who will get to the egg first?

Fabergé eggs are very famous for their unique surprises. Saber and Steele are about to be very surprised, indeed.

And when Saber clashes with Steele; more than sparks will explode!

Excerpt from The Fabergé Entanglement

He was more striking close up. The wire-framed glasses that had given him that bookish look were gone. As a matter of fact, at that precise moment there was nothing about him that was the least bit bookish. Now he looked more like a feral choirboy.

Saber lowered her eyes taken in by the seductive curve of his jaw, and his lips parted in an expression of amazement that drew her closer, hypnotically, begging to be covered with her own. She pulled herself back, reminding herself why she was there, what she must do. Leaving him to be found by the Sheikh’s security men would be a pity, but she had a job to finish.

She knew her job too, she was slick, professional. Her contribution to the family business was to test the security systems that were installed by Frontenac et Cie. She was always on-call to the “Uncles” between her translation assignments to do this testing. And she was very good at it. When caught in a tight spot, she was focused on the job at hand, holding back emotion, the fear of “capture” pushed away. Her focus was laser-like in intensity. She infiltrated the secured areas of high-security targets, grabbed the “package” then ex-filtrated as invisibly as a wisp of smoke. Reflection and reactions came after, as she wrote up her reports and advised the designers on flaws and vulnerabilities in their systems.

But all this slipped away as she felt the light touch of his hands, feeling their heat through thin black leather gloves. They slid very slowly up her thighs, coming to rest lightly and seductively around her waist. She stifled a gasp as she felt his hot fingers press into her, very much a lover’s caress.

In scant seconds Saber’s focus for the job at hand, the reason that she was there to begin with, melted away as she felt his hands tighten around her waist. Her grip on the gun weakened as a wave of heat suffused through her.

With a swiftness that took her breath away he closed the narrow gap between them. A hot flash of desire surged through her as his lips took possession of hers. Taking advantage of her surprise, he dashed the gun from her hand, sending it spinning away out of her reach. He flipped her over so she was now under him. Saber stared up at him wide-eyed, his lean, hard body on hers evoking a reaction from deep within her that was as intense as it was unexpected. Shocked, confused, she twisted her head away from his, but her eyes still kept a sidewise watch on him.

He bent in closer. Dark eyes flashed dangerously through the long shag of hair that fell over his face. Then, very, very slowly as though savoring every moment, he slid his gloved hand along her arm, around her shoulder, then up her pale exposed throat.

Steele’s hand paused, feeling her pulse flutter wildly under his fingertips, before moving up to thread through her silky raven hair. His grip tightened and he turned her head to face him.

“Mmmm… I can do it, too,” he breathed softly into her ear.





Enjoyed an exotic, adventure-filled childhood, following her anthropologist father and travel writer mother to the farthest corners of the world. She later took inspiration from her Aunt Sophia Francesca and became the author of romantic adventure novels. She alternates her time between Los Angeles, and a family property located in Yorkshire England.


She is the author of the first two books of the Time Frame Series. Loves travel, discovering new foods to try, reading and writing. She currently lives in the central highlands of Costa Rica with Pixie the Wonder Dog and her hedgehog Quiller.

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