The Coin Reviews

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***** WOW by Rita F. on April 30, 2021


**** A great story with so many exciting elements! by Mint Tea on July 28, 2020

***** Victimization and Stolen Heritage by Scarlett Jensen on July 23, 2020

Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra lives with her husband around Charlotte, NC and has been a professional dancer, singer, journalist, and literature teacher. She has a Masters in English literature, specializing in 12th century French romances. She has lived in many countries, including France, where she set this novel. She is currently writing the follow-up to The Coin. Her writing style showcases firm crisp words and short sentences, elegantly modelled to the traditional and rich English historical romance. The scenic descriptions of France are captivating for those who seek relief from anger and fear. Home is what we dream of—simplicity, beauty and grace. One can see a touch of that in her writing which is the opposite of what one gets when evil reigns.


The thought of Richard wounded or dead was alarming to Gabriela. “To think you (Gabriela), had the audacity to reject me (Roberto) for that inferior breed of an American (Richard).” Gabriela’s only chance rested on her ability to keep a level head. If only she could forget the events of the past three weeks. If only she could escape from the pain, the longing, the anger, the guilt, the feeling of betrayal.

As French radicalist, Albert was carefully paving the way to rid the undesirables in the name of politics, creating a better atmosphere for the true French. Gabriela thought— Why was she taken to the clearing? Why was he keeping her alive? Could it be that in his perverted brain, he truly loved her and couldn’t come to kill her?

An evil voice that could harbour the blackest of souls, is heard in this novel. “All women’s uterus should be torn away from them, anyway.” He spat at her. “They betray their soul, their true purpose in life, for a good lay. Here and there some morality wisdom comes from this talented author.

“Do you know what the modern French women are doing? Polluting their society with half-breeds—no-good, lazy Arab or Africans who’ll want to govern their villages, towns, and impose their barbarism on French soil, desecrating their heritage. ” What is the ultimate goal ? Isolation and expurgation—France for the true French?

It is a story promoting hate, playing with ideals, confusing everyone, laying false trails until careful manipulations rids France of more undesirables. Albert Heinige is some powerful mentor. He’s old money, with a huge political clout, and popular. He pulls some powerful strings, both financially and politically.

Gabriela becomes a target: “Now you’re going to tell me where you found the coin? – Her adversary put the point of the barrel on Gabriela’s wound and dug it in. Gabriela needs to hear an objective, unflowered account of events. She was victim of car incident as well. Somebody wants information about the origin of her bracelet housing its 15th coin. The mystery of Who and Why? This is about the fifteenth coin Gabriela found there in France “Someone is trying to silence one of our citizens,” Richard said. “She has vital information, and I need to keep her safe until she can pass it on.” It is the last coin Gabriela discovered on the mountain and it has been repeatedly used as a password to fund a net of terrorist activity throughout the Middle East, Africa, and Europe.”

Richard is associated with the CIA asks: “Who wants to know about this coin, and why don’t they ask themselves?” The Israeli Special Task Force. Gabriela Martinez found a coin about three weeks prior. She took it to a small Jewish jeweler who’s reputed to be an honest man and a good craftsman—” This has aroused the curiosity of some people who’ve requested they make some inquiries and have the piece inspected. Richard’s thoughts reverted to the coin. Why had the Israelis put out an alert? It was obvious Gabriela did not interest them, or they wouldn’t have worried whether she was or wasn’t a U.S. citizen. They would have pounced on her like hungry termites to a dead tree. Then what? The coin itself, or the place where she found it? Both? Nazi hidden treasure from WWII?

The bracelet was a family heirloom of Gabriela’s mother smuggled out of Cuba. Everything else was confiscated, stolen, or destroyed by Castro’s jackals. Gabriela said: “This is part of my heritage, my identity.” But during a robbery, everything of hers was violated, searched, ripped, discarded. Her mind cruelly repeated the awful sequence of events—the raised gun, her desperate attempt at deflecting it, Richard going down. She strangled her cry of pain. He can’t be dead. “Richard, I need you…. Come help me.”

But……was Richard Gabriela’s antithesis—dispassionate, a trained killer, a user of people? His world subsisted on the qualities in man she abhorred the most, such as dishonesty, lies, greed. Is that so?
Four years later…and for Gabriela, her past has been one of hellish depravation and blissful longings; years of angry recriminations and fierce desires held in check. Heaven and hell—both neatly bottled and prescribed to torment Richard. More in the follow-up novel, not to be missed.

***** Amazing Writing by Chelsey McQuitty on July 22, 2020

***** It was amazing. Gripping, intense and with a dash of romance you will never forget! by Pearl on July 22, 2020.

Wow. I was speechless after reading The Coin by Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra. The author did such a great job that I was so enthralled and sucked in the story. I was unable to put it down because it was such a unique kind of story.

First of all, I loved where the story was set– French Riviera. The setting alone was romantic and it was a perfect blend to a love story mixed with suspense. Plus, the characters were very interesting and well-developed. What I also especially loved about this book was the fact that it was easy to read. Some suspense books make my head ache with so much details but this book was just perfect for me because it was fast-paced.

I also found the dialogues between the characters very entertaining. It’s like I was basically watching a movie because I feel like I can hear their voices on my mind. As a whole, reading this book was a great experience!

***** Fast paced psychologically oriented mystery/thriller/romance by John H. Manhold on July 20, 2020

The COIN assumed published, copyright 2013 and written by Maria Elena Alonzo-Sierra.

A prologue finds a man searching an area in the mountains of the Côte d’Azur looking for a stash of coins and records he previously had hidden there. A recent natural upheaval in this section had caused a re-arrangement of the territory that had eliminated any familiarity with its former formation. With intense frustration, he realized that it was impossible to find any remnants of the material he had secretly stashed away. Unexpectedly, a lost tourist stumbles upon him, thinking he had found someone who could help. Instead, he is slowly and cruelly put to death by the intensely frustrated man. The story then opens to follow the subsequent results of Gabriela Martinez discovering an unusually marked coin while hiking in the same area, La Marbriére, a short time later. Gaby, along with her parents, was a refugee brutally forced out of Cuba when Castro moved in. Quite sheltered while a Cuban resident, she now is happily married to her first love whom she met in college, and the mother of two young children who are visiting their grandparents in the United States for the summer. Her husband, Roberto, an innovative designer of new materials, frustrated by not being able to proceed, had been offered a position in Europe, had found a considerable degree of freedom and had extended his assignment. He loved his wife dearly, but with a totally ‘old-fashioned’ mindset that the husband was the bread-winner, and the wife a mother and housekeeper, was completely involved with his work. Simultaneously, Gaby had developed into an artist of tremendous talent and was being mentored by an enormously wealthy and influential man who was readying her for an exhibition of such importance as to launch her into a career that would make her one of the leading artists in the world. Unfortunately he had further designs on making her his mistress. Now, Richard Harrison, a lead member of an American special operations unit, as a courtesy to the Israelis’ request and favor to his boss is in France on vacation but has consented to interview Gabriela with respect to the special coin she had discovered during her trip to the mountain. Richard is a man typical of such operatives – handsome, pleasant and charmingly accommodating, but calculating, coldly uninvolved and with no compunction against killing when necessary. When meeting her, he is startled with the natural warmth and seeming degree of underlying naiveté – qualities he never had, or expected to, encounter in any woman. A set of circumstances develop, where Gabriela is to be introduced to a collection of world art connoisseurs with the latest of her works on the same night Roberto is to sign an important contract providing all he ever has wanted. Complicating the situation further is that Gabriela’s life has been threatened because of the coin that had been found and Richard has become her 24-hour-per-day bodyguard. The interrelationships that develops among these individuals, aided and abetted by an interesting group of supportive characters, develops into a mysterious, thrilling chase and sex-laced romance about which furnishing further details would be a great disservice to the prospective reader.

Discussion: The author has positioned three individuals in situations of almost insurmountable tension production with adequately supplied supportive personnel. The plot provides a thrilling, fast-paced tale and engaging climax. A number of inadequacies or unusual mental activities are difficult to totally accept, but no doubt are a personal consideration arising from this reader’s pragmatism. If noted at all by other readers, probably they will be observed as an unimportant ‘blip’.

***** (AUDIO BOOK Review) It was Amazing by Kai on Jul 17, 2020

The Coin is one of the best espionage suspense romance novel I have listened to this year. The story starts with secrecy of the coin and what it represent. Whenever some high profile political mishaps happen, the coin is the only connection to these mishaps. Richard Harrison was on his way to France for vacation when he was given an assignment by his boss. It was supposed to be simple assignment where after he get a statement from the person in question, he can go on his vacation. Except his boss never told him, in the briefing of what his assignment would lead to.

Gabriela Martinez found a coin and never expected that this coin could cost her, her life. As her life isn’t complicated enough, she suspected her mentor, sponsor, and friend wants her as his mistress, a husband who treats her ventures as hobbies rather be there to support her. Mr. Richard Harrison, who is now protecting her from a killer, who wants his/her secret to remain a secret.

Gabriela is no damsel in distress except her loyalty to her friends could thwart Richard from protecting her. There are moments when the psychological games from the killer begins,I thought of what part of her life is in danger, that she doesn’t understand. It like part of her is in denial. Those were the moments, I had to take a break from the story, because of her being brave and loyal, she made Richard’s job to protect her that much more difficult.

The story ends where no resolution to Richard and Gabriela’s relationship. She is married with two children and Richard is noble. The ending did leave me emotional dissatisfied but since there is a second book in this series, there has to be some reconciliation of a happy ending between these two characters.

I may be dissatisfied with how things ended between Richard and Gabriela’s, I still strongly recommend this book for anyone who loves suspense, espionage, and thriller. It is suspenseful thriller of cat and mouse, with a bit of romance.

If the readers/listeners pay attention, they would know who is the antagonist is. I figure it out.

The narrator, Michael S Ables did such an excellent job with the characters and story. He is going to be one of my favorite narrator. After hearing an sneak preview from the second book, The Book of Hours, at the end of this book, I’m glad he’s coming back to finish this duology series.

I was given this audiobook by the author. After listening to this book, I decided to write an unbiased review. I was not compensated or influenced in any way for writing this review.

***** It was amazing by Tim Terry on July 16, 2020

A Nazi minted coin, attracting evil and death. Will special agent Richard be able to protect Gabriela but also himself, from the evil around her?

When Gabriela picked up an old coin on a hiking trail in France, she was thrilled and immediately took it to a jeweler to add to her bracelet. But the coin was marked and linked to international terrorists as a code for their illegal purchases of resources. Quickly identified in a routine procedure, it was reported to American intelligence in Europe where special agent Richard is diverted from a planned, well-earned vacation, to investigate its appearance in what should be a routine and a quickly executed assignment.
However, when Gabriela and Richard first meet, both of them, being highly attractive and enticing individuals in their own ways, are immediately, subtly but powerfully attracted to each other. Neither of them can afford a relationship as she is married with children and Richard cannot afford relationships in a job as dangerous as his.
Like an evil talisman, the coin immediately exerts its malign influence, which dramatically affects their destinies, as powerful and dangerous enemy agents converge upon her, like sharks to a bleeding carcass in the sea. Her sour but hardworking husband, Roberto, and other family and acquaintances of hers are inexorably drawn into the web of danger as Richard struggles to protect her. He is assisted by the loveable but ugly and chain-smoking little French agent, Maurice, as they are pursued across the French countryside.
Neither Gabriela, nor Richard, realize that as they face mounting danger together in a series of escalating attacks on her, both of their lives are changing forever, but will they be able to accept these changes?
The writing is tensely taut, with magnificent descriptions of the scenery around them, as well as gripping accounts of realistic action. There are also a host of interesting characters around the two main protagonists. Amongst others, the tragic and alcoholic Bernard; totally self-obsessed, the evil and ruthless, Albert; and of course, the French agent, Maurice, who pops up to help them throughout the episode.
Besides being a compulsive and exciting thriller, this is also a dramatic but gentle romance that is handled in a beautifully delicate style by the author. This makes this a thrilling but also, an intensely poignant reading adventure.

***** Shockingly Surprising by Sara N Macintosh on July 16, 2020

I would have to say that after looking at the title of this book, I never would have expected the extreme darkness, suspense, and thrill that takes of right from the very beginning. I don’t want to give away too much, because it was definitely one of those that held my eye from beginning to end! Those are the books that I love the most. I don’t like any reason to put a book away until tomorrow, and this book has non. So, I would say take a look…but, do it before the sun sets because it could leave some nightmares!

****Intriguing romantic thriller by Joyce Hertzoff on February 9, 2020

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 head-hopping, the growing attraction between the operative and the woman despite her marital status, and the obvious identity of the antagonist.


*****It was amazing. By Jennie Rosenbaum on October 15, 2019

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 for the Gabriela. Being a fan of true thrillers, I thoroughly enjoyed the high level adventure scenes and incredibly detailed car chases. The web of suspense created by this author was awesome.This is a book going on my short list of recommendations for those who are fans of a very good suspense book.

*****Descriptive, steamy, intriguing – a truly chilling thriller! By Sarah Stuart on September 27, 2019

Cuban Gabriela, escapee from Castro’s regime in Cuba, is living a blessedly normal life in France with her husband, Roberto, and their two children, until she finds a coin in the woods.
Richard Harrison from California works as a spy. Killing is sometimes “part of the job”, and he accepts that, and the women attracted to his handsome looks, until an assignment leads him to feisty Gabriela.
Roberto, Richard, and Gabriela, a sexy threesome on the beautiful French Riviera? It looked that way, but more than Roberto and Richard love this beautiful woman for different reasons and are prepared to fight to the death. Whose death, and why is the coin so important?
Sunshine herald thunderstorms, and they come thick and fast in this romantic thriller.

*****Excellent! (BARNES & NOBLE REVIEW) on September 20, 2019 by Anonymous

Don’t miss this one!

****The Coin (BARNES & NOBLE REVIEW) on August 15, 2019 by Anonymous

This book sat on my to read pile for some time and I always chose something else. Finally I started reading it and couldn’t put it down until the end. I am always slow in figuring out the villain but this time I was sure early on only to discover I was wrong again. I am looking forward to the sequel.


*****Loved It! By Katherine on March 13, 2018

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!

***** Wonderful character development – this is one of those books … By Uncaged Book Reviews on February 3, 2018

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 that could easily translate to the big screen, and I’d be first in line to get a ticket.
Reviewed by Cyrene

***** Suspenseful and well-developed story By TM Witko on January 31, 2018

I was recommended this book through an online reading group and was not disappointed. The characters were well developed, the plot suspenseful and intriguing, and the romance was honestly gut wrenching, but not in a bad way. I really felt for Gabriella and Richard and the love they had. I am about to download the second half to this series, and find out what happens next.

***** Good read By Karen McGuffey on January 23, 2018

This was a good story. The main characters are well developed and the plot was full of twists and turns. A good read


**** Entertaining read By JanieB on October 17, 2017

Grabbed me right from the start even though the plot was predictable. The characters were well fleshed out especially Gabriela. Looking forward to reading the sequel.

***** Great read By Jenny Ross on August 30, 2017

Love it! Thought I had it all figured out and I definitely did not.

***** Wonderful book of mystery and intrigue By Lula Wilson on August 25, 2017

What an interesting book with a wonderful plot. Anyone who likes a book that you cannot simply put down until you find how it ends must read. I must read the next one!

***** Five Stars By Jacqueline A. Potts on August 21, 2017

The set was great.

***** I loved it and can’t wait to read #2 By Lady Jazzmine on July 5, 2017

I loved it and can’t wait to read #2! The characters are very well developed. The detail is amazing, both in the two main characters and also descriptions of the geography. I don’t often give a 5 star review but this one actually deserves 6 stars.

**** Good read By kathy on April 3, 2017

I got this book for a honest review, at first it took me awhile to get into but when I did wow.

****Really good read! By ANNMARIE SHUMSKY on March 20, 2017

WOW! Such a great book. It is wonderfully written with two strong characters intertwining love and action throughout the story with an ending you won’t see coming. Great book for Dan Brown fans.

*****Wonderful by Laurie Olerich on February 8, 2017

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.

*****Intriguing to say the least By ickie on February 7, 2017

I loved all the suspense and danger. Twists and turns as well as a good love story. I received this book in exchange for a honest review. I highly recommend it and looking forward to the sequel, which I will be purchasing shortly. Great work, Maria. I loved it.

*****Thrilling, Suspenseful Story with a Dash of Romance By Rita R. Sheppard on February 7, 2017

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.

*****Excellent story, well written By Amazon Customer on January 26, 2017

Excellent story, well written. You never suspect who the actual villain is until he is revealed. Good combination of love story and suspense/action. Leaves you definitely wanting to read the next book, although this is complete without it.

*****A thriller worthy of the name By Mitch Selleckon on January 15, 2017

If you enjoy a tale that entertains and keeps you riveted to the pages, The Coin is exactly what you are looking for. Ms Alonso-Sierra captures your imagination right from the very first page. Her characters display traits that endear you to them, and you truly care what happens to them. As an author, she deftly weaves her story, and includes the human drama and politics between the protagonists and the antagonists. Although I typically don’t care for romantic stories, she tells a compelling tale, and completely enthralled me to the end. As I reached the final pages, I found myself hoping for more. Fortunately, there are more books in the series, so I don’t have to wait. Buy this book. You won’t regret it.


*****How can an innocent act change your life? By ASLugo on December 20, 2016

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 Harrison, CIA, who was “asked” to question Gabriela about this coin during his vacation. Who knew that such an innocent act of finding a coin would put a life in danger? There is subject matter very relevant to today’s current issues of terrorism, genocide, and violence. Also you learn much about Gabriela’s marriage. Things are not what they seem. The story was filled with action, intense situations and in the middle of everything there is romance. The story ends in a cliffhanger but thankfully you can continue to read more about Gabriela and Richard in “The Book of Hours.”

Received this book in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed on behalf of Once Upon an Alpha.

*****Wonderful story By Betty on December 20, 2016

This book is well written. It keeps the action going and is hard to put down. Am looking forward to meet these characters again. This is a true review in exchange for the book.

**** Good read By Bob on December 8, 2016

Gabriela Martinez is an illustrator of some note who lives in France with her husband and children. While hiking in the mountains near their home she finds a coin and adds it to her collection on a charm bracelet. The Jeweler who does the mounting passes on the information about the coin to an interested party. Some of the information gets back to a independent agency that does work for the US President and agent Richard Harrison is sent to find and see the coin and when it turns out to be connected with a supplier of terrorist weapons and Gabriela’s life is threatened, he is tasked to protect her and find the place where she found the coin. Gabriela’s life is turned upside down and there is a strong mutual attraction between her and Richard. This was a good read and I am looking forward to her next book.

*****Must read By Anna on December 6, 2016

I just finished this book and I have bought the second in the series so I can read it right away. The story was riveting! The idea of an ordinary woman being drawn into such a complex situation because of her grandmother’s bracelet captured me right from the start. How she reacts is astonishing to watch. I recommend this book highly. Now I am going to start reading “The Book of Hours”.

*****The coin by Claire Simpson on 25 October 2016

It started off slowly but when it did take off it did great story brilliant read and looking forward to the next one

*****Edge of your seat, Heart throbbing, Keeping you guessing, Action Mystery! Love it! By Valerie Roberson on October 7, 2016

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 was, 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 characters 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 more of her work in the future.
Gabriela lives in France with her husband and two kids. They live in the valley of a mountain. One day she was walking in a clearing and the sun made something sparkle. It was a coin, maybe old, but at any case it was going on her charm bracelet. When Richard arrived to protect her, she didn’t know she was in trouble. Someone is willing to toy with her and even try to kill her for the coin. But why? Who? Can they figure out who it is before it is too late in more ways than one? Can Richard see pass his heart to keep her safe? And when you do find out who is behind all of it, will you be shocked? Edge of your seat, heart throbbing, keeping you guessing, action mystery! Love it!

*****Hugely entertaining By Arya Fomonyuy for Readers’ Favorite on September 24, 2016

Suspenseful, thrilling, and action-packed are apt words to describe The Coin by Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra, a mesmerizing story with great potential to have readers utterly captivated. It all starts with a coin, a mysterious, coveted coin, but what is the value of a coin that people are killed and the lives of many put in danger? Set against the lush backdrop of the French Riviera, this novel explores very powerful themes such as lust, love and betrayal, and many things in between. Gabriela Martinez couldn’t have known that the coin she’d found in the Riviera could set her up as a target. A man gone mad, a very clever killer has her almost in his grip, and will not relent. There is only one person who can protect her, the Intelligence Operative Richard Harrison, but does he have everything required to outwit a cunning killer and unforgiving terrorists?
The story has a brilliant opening; it begins with murder, and the reader is immediately introduced to one of the key characters in the story, the madman. Curiosity awakens and becomes a force that keeps the reader turning the pages. The setting is very beautiful and the idea of the “coin” is just brilliant and enigmatic, something of a mystery which adds to the pervading sense of danger that dominates the entire story. The characters are well crafted and explored in great depth, and the author does this without sacrificing her powerful plot points and her oh-so-beautiful prose. Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra’s work is one of the craftiest stories that will make readers fall in love with the exotic French Riviera. The Coin is hugely entertaining!

*****Loved By Books, Reviews, Links, And A Little Extra on August 23, 2016

I received a gifted copy of this book from the author for an honest review.
A very good read and I could not put it down, I got sucked into the pages and I had to know what happened next. This book has a bit of everything action, suspense, romance, passion and a twist you won’t see coming. Book of Hours is the next book in this series.

****Jump on the roller coaster…get ready for the ride of your life. By Deborah S. Craft on August 18, 2016

The author has an outstanding way of using her pen as a paint brush. With every stroke she paints a strong visible picture in the readers mind. Her words flow as does her story. I loved the fast pace of her novel, her strong characters (even he weak ones, LOL). Not only did you see the story flash through your mind while reading it, but you also felt their pain, their sorrows, their joy, and their love. Beautiful story! The only reason I gave it a 4 not a 5, is because I use curse words in my speak and I don’t like putting them in my mind. What we fill ourselves with, comes out. Don’t get me wrong. I’m no saint. I used to curse like a sailor. But now that I’ve cleaned up my mouth, I try not to read books with a lot of cursing. The story is so wonderfully written that if you too try to skip the books with curse words, this is one you may want to read anyway. I found the story pulled me in so deep I was able to skim past the curse words…her character used. In life people do, and I know it. So don’t miss out on this wonderful read!!!!!

****Good read By Amers on August 9, 2016

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 twists and turns up from the first page to the last page!
There is no lack of description or detail. Each scene, whether it be in the house, on the mountain, or at a party, is detailed very well and the scenes described piece for piece. You shouldn’t have any problem visualizing them as you’re reading, make the scenes flow effortlessly through your mind.
This story has a little forbidden romance but I think you’ll find yourself cheering for Richard, the forbidden lover. It’s kind of depressing reading about Roberto and his treatment of his wife and his ability to put work first, no matter the reason. I definitely found myself rooting for Richard and hoping he would win his love.
Overall, this was a great story and a good read. The concept was interesting and made for a good read.

****Whew! Full of Suspense by Amy Shelton Independent Reviewer for Archaeolibrarian I Dig Good Books on July 19, 2016

*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 twists and turns up from the first page to the last page!
There is no lack of description or detail. Each scene, whether it be in the house, on the mountain, or at a party, is detailed very well and the scenes described piece for piece. You shouldn’t have any problem visualizing them as you’re reading, make the scenes flow effortlessly through your mind.
This story has a little forbidden romance but I think you’ll find yourself cheering for Richard, the forbidden lover. It’s kind of depressing reading about Roberto and his treatment of his wife and his ability to put work first, no matter the reason. I definitely found myself rooting for Richard and hoping he would win his love.
Overall, this was a great story and a good read. The concept was interesting and made for a good read. 

*****Romantic thriller dominated by fantastic characters! By richard sciandra on January 23, 2016

The Coin by Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra is a fast paced, riveting, romantic romp through the south of France. Once started, it must be read almost non-stop from cover to cover. Characters drive a story as much as the plot does. If they cannot grab and hold your attention…your love and your hate…then a novel may become tedious if you do not care about their fate. But when you truly care for the well being of the characters, the tale moves along at a brisk pace.
The main characters… the beautiful Cuban artist Gabriela Martinez and her handsome American secret agent protector… are crisply yet softly delineated; clashing with each other throughout the adventure; inevitably being drawn to the sensual magnetism of each other. The scurrilous villain and even all the supporting cast are finely etched enabling the reader to conjure up positive and negative images as they struggle to help or harm Gabriela. Throughout the story, the hero and heroine are dodging the evil machinations of the story’s villain.
In addition to the wonderful characters, The Coin is filled with intrigue, suspense and best of all, the soft touch of romance all set in the beautiful countryside of France. It is a very pleasurable read that will leave you wanting more…more contact with your new friends… and there is more as Gabriela & Richard are united once again facing the menace of another ruthless villain in the sequel The Book of Hours. Happy reading!!!

****This ticks many boxes, don’t miss it! By A Plant on January 18, 2016

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 to see what has been missing, and she tries to gently make changes. I did love the character of Richard, so used to hiding himself away, for the purpose of working secret services.
I did guess the bad guy, which I wish I hadn’t been able to, but there are some brilliant twists and turns to the story that make it so readable and devourable.

* I received this book from the author in return for a fair and honest review. *

*****A must read if you love suspense By Michelle Ferrari-Johnson on January 4, 2016

What an incredible fabulous story! Romance, suspense, drama. Fate brought them together, toyed with them and pushed them apart. I could not put this book down. Love the raw and truthful emotions of the main characters. I admit, the who-dun-it I had actually pinned on another, thinking I could out smart the author. As fate would have it (pun intended ) it was not whom I had become to believe. I felt like I was reading a mystery combined with James Bond adventures. A must read if you love suspense, action, romance and drama. The author sucks you right in and runs away with you and your imagination. Truly fantastic adventure!

*****Never a dull moment By Cristi on January 2, 2016

Highly recommend this read. The writer encompasses a passionate romance, a mysterious crime and fantastic scenery in one book. As a reader, I felt as if I was a part of the characters’ lives. There was never a dull moment and I was truly left wanting more.


*****A good read By Lanita on November 9, 2015

A great story. Kept me reading all day and wanting more. looking forward to the next installment. Development of the characters was done very well and lots of twists and turns.

*****Fantastically woven By Terry on August 8, 2015

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 the coin is the jewelers getting put on the bracelet is when it is discovered to not just be a simple coin, but a code for terrorist. This is where Richard enters her life, and thank goodness he does, because she quickly becomes the target of some really nasty mouse and cat games! 
The mystery around this story was fantastically woven and I truly feel in love with these books! I am simply sad to not have more of Richard and Gabriela’s story to read, but will be looking out for more amazing mysteries by this author!

****At the edge of my seat… By nighean dubh on July 15, 2015

I enjoyed reading this book. It was a quick paced read that held my interest till the very end. With this book I have discovered how much I like Romantic Thrillers.

*****Particularly liked the ending By Monica Porta on July 3, 2015

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 our Gabriela.

*****AWESOME! By kat22 on June 26, 2015

Extremely entertaining… could not put it down. Very descriptive. I absolutely enjoyed feeling like part of the action and adventure. Can’t wait to finish the second book “The Book Of Hours”.

*****Sweet Romance & Thriller set in the French Riviera By momilp on June 12, 2015

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 our Gabriela.

*****Ingenious***** By Stracey Charran Ishwar on May 30, 2015

The Coin by Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra was ingenious. The eloquent formation throughout the story was exceptional. From the prologue to the epilogue you will be hypnotized. Readers you will be instantly consumed heart, body and soul by the characters. You will be transported into the lives of Gabriela, Roberto, and Richard. The heated attraction is combustible. Can Richard resist temptation and walk away? When his heart aches for the beautiful Gabriela. If you want to find out one click this phenomenal book. Author Maria Elena your writing is like a tidal wave the calm before the storm. One minute you are laughing enjoying the sun drinking lemonade the next you are screaming like a banshee because of mind games some lunatic thinks is acceptable playing with his prey. The suspense is overwhelmingly riveting you will experience the fear, joy and pain of these amazing characters. Every caress, every breath, every word uttered will take you to unimaginable heights. Maria Elena I commend you for writing an exceptional romantic thriller that rendered me speechless. Absolutely incredible. Thank you for taking me on this spellbinding journey with your unforgettable characters. Do not hesitate to one click five stars guaranteed.

*****Must Read! By Yolma de Cardenas on March 26, 2015

Great book! A must read! Once I started I couldn’t put it down. I love the suspense and the plot twists. I also liked that it was not predictable. It’s been a long time since I’ve read such a good story. I highly recommend this book.

*****Great Read! a page turner By Amazon Customer on January 22, 2015

I love this book, it kept me glue to it since the first page, could not put it down, i would recommended very highly. There’s is another one that comes after this one and can’t wait to read it


****Great Action Packed Book By Felicia on November 30, 2014

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.

*****An action-packed thrill ride! By Anita Mumm on June 10, 2014

This book is a thrilling read. I was impressed with the way the author kept the pages turning and the tension high, both in the love story between Gabriela and Richard, and in the events that threatened them. The novel has a tightly crafted plot, and its intriguing setup (the coin and its connection to international terrorism) is believable and relevant. The writing is smooth and sophisticated, and the characters feel real and nuanced. Readers will be eager for the sequel!
–Anita Mumm, freelance editor

*****Amazing characters By Judy on August 27, 2014

Fast paced story with amazing characters and a beautiful setting. Great romantic thriller….can’t wait for book 2. 🙂

*****Great book! By Mari Christie on June 6, 2014

This was a great book! Fast-paced, intriguing, suspenseful, with sharply drawn characters. Most interesting, however, is the unusual ending. Most unexpected.

****If you like suspense seasoned with a rising attraction between two people By Sandra M. Bruney on May 2, 2014

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.

*****Love the way the author described every aspect by Anonymous on February 14, 2014

Love the way the author described every aspect of the book in such clear detail. I felt as I was in the French countryside, breaking bread with the noisy neighbor while Gabriela and Richard were going through their turmoil.  It was a great read that would make a fantastic suspense, action, conflicting movie.  Looking forward to the second book. 

*****A good read that I didn’t want to end By Lorraine Baker on February 15, 2014

I got this book through the Goodread first read programme and was a bit unsure whether I would like it as it seemed from other reviewers 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 didn’t want to end.

*****A Must Read By Amazon Customer on February 14, 2014

The Coin is one of the best novels I have read in a long time. It does not take a while for you to realize that the author is a masterful writer of suspense and romance fiction. Brimming with action and an intense plot, the book proves to be irresistible and you will find it hard to put the book down especially with the exciting plot twists. The book would make a wonderful movie (the author’s detail makes it easy to visualize) and I simply cannot wait for the sequel. Recommend it for anyone who is in for a good thrill ride.
-Diego Torres

*****Wonderful read! By Catherine G. on February 10, 2014

Just read this book. Wonderful! Looking forward to reading more from this author. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

*****Excellent read for a book club!! By Viv on January 21, 2014

The Coin was a great selection for our book club! Lots of topics to discuss! Everyone really enjoyed talking about each of the characters, setting and suspenseful plot. There was love and action all at the same time. Looking forward to reading the sequel.

*****An exciting and fun read! By myz430i on January 20, 2014

A real page turner! The Coin is a very well written and well-researched book and I found the plot, location and characters very engaging. Look forward to the sequel!

*****I can’t wait for the next book!!! By Missy on January 4, 2014

I was very fortunate to win this book from When I received with an autographed. I feel a bond with this author, but also man can she weave together such an intense action packed story!
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 🙂

****Like Reading The Work of a Veteran Author By Perry Adair on January 2, 2014

The Coin was a fantastic read! So original and compelling, the plot keeps you intrigued and on your toes even after the final page of the book. No one else could have written The Coin with the same style and class. The author unappologetically leads you right in the middle of the high paced action scenes and the intimate moments between Richard and Gabriela. This is a must read!


****Enjoyed the pace of this story. By B. Camacho on December 17, 2013

Quick pace made this story easy to fall into and the tension held to the end. Good read, with nice location and attention to details. Plus the fight between love and morals added to the suspense.

*****Wonderful !!! By vivian carbonell on November 20, 2013

Exciting and fast paced. The Coin has all the elements that make a great read.
Highly recommend this book. Will definitely buy the sequel.

*****The Coin…worth every penny! By Roland Fondessy on November 16, 2013

The Coin had me in the first few pages! The author takes you on a journey that at times leaves you breathless. Her settings are so vivid it is truly like being there. I recommend this book by Maria Elena Alonso-Sierra. Happy reading!

*****A wild ride you won’t want to get off of By A. Cleaver on November 11, 2013

Wow. I just finished the last word and what a journey. It has left me feeling rather bereft as I am not ready yet to leave Gabriela and Richard. The story is very fast paced and catches the reader in its clutches from the prologue never letting go. The characters are rich and beautifully developed and the story is gripping. The choices are not easy and I am not sure they are what I would want as a reader but they fit the story beautifully.
Make sure to pick up this great book. You won’t be disappointed!

*****Incredible! By Noelle Walsh on October 31, 2013

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!

***** Amazing By Missy on October 31, 2013

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 🙂

*****Totally engrossing By Theresa L. Girten on October 14, 2013

This is a fast paced and totally engrossing story that has all the elements I love in a good story line: action, adventure, romance, a beautiful setting, strong characters, tough choices, and leaves you wanting more. Gabriela’s character is unique because of her upbringing by parents who were forced to leave their country by the Castro regime in Cuba. The effect this had on her colors all of her thoughts and actions throughout the book. All of her beliefs about herself are challenged in this story – especially her belief in her husband and their marriage. I was totally captivated by Gabriela’s relationship with her protector and want to know more! But the author cleverly leaves the reader with the impression that Gabriela is unhappy and perhaps there is more to come. The action adventure part of the book is equally creative and compelling. I would read anything by this author.
Theresa Girten

*****Thoroughly enjoyed it By Nights on October 13, 2013

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 😛 lol

*****A Great Read! By daniay87 on September 26, 2013

The Coin is a thrilling book with a great love story. The author, Mrs. Alonso-Sierra, provides picturesque details of the scenery and uses perfect explanations of the mood, atmosphere, and feeling of each scene and character. I had a hard time putting the book down, excitingly reading the exhilarating story late into the night. I cannot wait until the second book!

*****The coin is a treasure waiting to be found! By Pcost on September 17, 2013

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 coin. Enter into this mix, CIA agent, Richard Harrison, who has been duped by his boss into believing that this is a quick side trip on his vacation to the Cote d’Azur and you have a mixture of suspense, danger, romance and betrayal. Wonderful read which will have you riveted on the edge of your seat and rooting for Gabriela to make it through. Looking forward to the sequel and so will you. Must read!

*****Amazing read! By Reader 1 on August 2, 2013

What an amazing read. The book kept my interest page after page after page. Very well written with amazing descriptions of the French countryside. To think this is the author’s first book. Can’t wait to read its sequel!

*****Captivating escalation of action and romantic tension. By Leo on July 25, 2013

Loved the book! Each character helps to pull the plot in unexpected directions, keeping you glued to their desires to try and get a clue as to what will happen next. Loved the interactions between characters, very witty and even funny at times, yet never far from their stressful reality. The author depicts their moods with quick yet sufficient detail, allowing you to soak in the ambiance of each scene with ease. The scenery changes quickly alongside the escalating tension, never allowing you to predict what will happen next. Easy-to-visualize action scenes and mounting sexual tension help keep the pages flipping.
Can’t wait for the follow-up ‘The Book of Hours’.

*****Amazing romance novel! By Terry M. on July 22, 2013

Highly recommend! The Coin is one of the best romance novels I have read in a long time.
Eagerly anticipating the next book and reading more about Richard and Gabriela. Could not put this book down!

****The Coin By LizM on July 21, 2013

The Coin is an engaging, action-packed novel that is fun to read and really hard to put down! The prologue is exquisitely written and sets the tone for the rest of the story. The many action sequences throughout are described with amazing detail and insight. The author has a gift of transporting you into the narrative, and for really getting into the minds of her characters, be it a dark and twisted psychopath or an unsuspecting housewife whose innocent discovery sets off an international manhunt. The setting is spectacular and the characters are really well-developed and interesting. I could not put the book down by the time I got to the second-half of the novel, and when it was over, I was ready for the next one… what will become of Richard and Gabriela?? I can’t wait to find out!

*****The Coin By Yaremis Armas on July 20, 2013

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 author’s style accessible and interesting, but the pacing in the story is fast and addictive with its unique blend of both genres. The Coin should probably come with a warning label: it will grab you and keep you reading well into the wee hours of night, and keep you thinking, deeply, hauntingly, well after the final word! Can’t wait until the next book!

*****Thrilling! By Ceteris Paribus on July 3, 2013

I have not read a book this wonderful in quite some time! The story is quick paced and full of adventure, love, passion and most of all…. Surprise! I highly recommend this book. You will find yourself totally engulfed in the story and I assure you will not put it down!! Well done!!!
Bravo and cannot wait for “The Book of Hours”!!!!!!!!!!!

*****Well Controlled … By jaffareadstoo on July 1, 2013

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 whose isolated beauty forms an integral part of the novel.
Overall, this is a commendable first novel. The author has a real talent for storytelling, and her ability to control the action whilst keeping the integrity of the love story adds a nice dimension to what is in effect a very well controlled and suspenseful thriller.

Comment on this post by: Maria T. Fernandez

Intriguing, romantic and adventurous!!! Loved Gabriela and Richard and the setting in France! Can’t wait for book 2! I highly recommend it!

****Good suspense novel By Dr. Agamemnon Gus Pantel, Ph.D. on June 23, 2013

The author keeps the plot moving at super speeds and is complex enough to maintain reader interest. From her intricate descriptions, I could fully imagine the sites and places where the action took place, as if I was inside a movie. It was great to have a housewife hero for a change!!!!
We need to see part 2 as soon as possible!

*****The Coin By Irma on June 20, 2013

Can I rate it 6 stars??? This book is so good I could not put it down! I found myself thinking about Richard and Gabriela throughout the day and just wanted to read, read, read! It has action, suspense, romance, passion and a twist of events that keeps you glued to the book and the story. I can’t wait to read The Book of Hours and would love to see The Coin turned into a movie! Highly recommend it! A++++

*****Best read in a while By lmmurk on June 7, 2013

This novel is one of the best reads that i have read in quite some time. Something about this book just made me not want to stop reading. Highly recommend this book.

*****A riveting read…to say the least!!! By Elizabeth Morales on June 2, 2013

I sat down to read this novel on a rainy Saturday afternoon & welcomed a sunny Sunday morning as I turned the last pages…ten pages in I could not put this book down! The setting, characters, plot, & action kept me enthralled from beginning to end. I was sad to see the book end I enjoyed it so much, and am only comforted the thought of seeing Gabriella & Richard’s story unfold in the follow-up “The Book of Hours”. Well written novels a hard to find these days, and this one has it all- suspense, action, romance all intelligently & elegantly written. I for one cannot wait to see what this talented author produces next time!

*****MUST-READ!!!! By zayre esparza on May 30, 2013

There are two things that are the sign of a great book for me. One, I get so engrossed in the story that I CANNOT put it down until I’ve finished it. Two, I start to re-read it once I’m done because I “miss” the characters. “The Coin” had these two qualities for me, in addition to magnificent imagery provided by the author with her amazingly descriptive writing. There is no trouble envisioning exactly what she is describing. This book keeps you riveted as you are try to figure out the thriller aspect of the story, but the romance and passion provided by the lead characters, Richard and Gabriela, is absolutely palpable!!! I can’t wait to read “The Book of Hours” to see how their story continues to unfold!

*****Can’t wait for the next book By Yvette Gonzalez on May 24, 2013

The Coin is a smooth read. It captivates your imagination from the prologue and keeps you intrigued throughout. The growing love between Gabriela and Richard leaves you wanting to know more about them after you finish reading the book. I highly recommend this novel!

*****Fast read by Victoria Saccenti on May 18, 2013

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.

*****A New Star in the Firmament By Globe Reader on May 13, 2013

Folks this is not your typical romance/suspense story. Ms. Sierra has weaved a story in beautiful Southern France and joined a cast of characters worthy of following and exploring. The plot is tight, suspenseful and moves very quickly. I could not, did not want to stop reading. I could write more about it, but then I might spoil the story and it is not the usual cookie cutter ending. In fact you are left demanding for more. I cannot wait for Ms. Sierra’s next book.

*****Great read By anitica on May 7, 2013

I started reading this book last week and it has been hard to put down. The author’s description of Grasse and it’s surroundings is accurate and inviting. As a reader you feel what the characters feel and suspense keeps you turning the pages and reading on.