Interview & Giveaway: Nikki Navarre Gives Us The Russian Seduction


The Russian Seduction by Nikki Navarre
2012-10-01 (River Valley)

Heat: Hot

Today we are very pleased to have Miz Nikki Navarre with us. We’re going to interrogate her and try to discover who the woman behind the mystery is! We are also giving away an e-copy of her latest release, The Russian Seduction.

Please continue reading for our interview and a chance to win!


Who is Nikki Navarre? What can you share with us about her that's been declassified?

Nikki: As you’ve probably seen in my dossier, I’m a former diplomat and weapons of mass destruction expert who lived in Russia for several years. Although I’ve left the government except for some consulting work, these days I’m a debut romantic suspense author whose first book, The Russian Seduction, was loosely inspired by some of my more colorful adventures in the world of diplomacy. My heroine, rising-star American diplomat Alexis Castle, is a fictional character, but I did work very similar to hers in several of my diplomatic assignments.

Your alter-ego (or, benevolent twin?) Laura Navarre writes Historical Romance. What made you want to write Suspense Romance?

Nikki: First of all, my benevolent twin Laura Navarre is still happily writing medieval and Renaissance romance—with lots of political intrigue, of course. Laura’s first historical paranormal trilogy—set in Tudor England, with elements of Arthurian legend and fallen angel heroes—is coming from Harlequin/Carina, starting in March 2013 with Magick by Moonrise.

As for my Nikki books, I started writing this Russian-set romantic suspense purely for pleasure. I never intended to publish any of it! After I left Russia and my high-powered diplomatic job to pursue a full-time MFA in Writing Popular Fiction at the University of Southern Maine, I found myself missing the glamour, excitement, jet-setting lifestyle and international intrigue of my adventures in diplomacy. When I finished the book, I entered it in some contests and received encouraging feedback, including the Golden Pen which I won. This led me to believe other readers might enjoy this unusual romance with its unconventional setting and far-from-ordinary Russian hero.

The Russian Seduction is on shelves October 1st. Tell us a little about it.

Nikki: Set in the edgy cosmopolitan world of contemporary Moscow, The Russian Seduction is smart, sexy romantic suspense with lots of glamour and international intrigue. Think secrets, champagne and seduction, like Casino Royale with a happy ending. State secrets have never been this sexy!

Renegade Russian submarine captain Victor Kostenko was the golden boy of the Russian Navy—until he lost his command for an act of treason he didn’t commit. Now it’s rumored he’ll do anything to get back in his government’s good graces. Political Counselor Alexis Castle always plays by the rules. She’ll torpedo her career for sure if she falls for a bad-boy Russian who breaks every rule in the book. When a hardline Russian leader invades a country the U.S. has promised to protect, war can only be averted by one man who has everything to gain…and a woman who has everything to lose.

I set out to write a fast, fun, escapist read that’s hot and a little exotic, and to offer an insider’s look at the mazy world of diplomacy. The Russian Seduction is the first book in my Foreign Affairs series. The sequel is coming in 2013 from Affluent Press.

Why do you believe readers would enjoy a romantic book affair with Victor Kostenko?

Nikki: What’s not to love? He’s a renegade submarine captain with a maverick image. Think golden hair like melted butter, too long for regulation, glacial blue eyes, a hard jaw glittering with gold-dust stubble, and broad shoulders encased in the black jacket and gold epaulets of a military uniform. Although he’s equally striking in an Armani tux, and knows it. Every time I hear that ZZ Top song, “Sharp Dressed Man,” I think of Victor.

To top it off, this competitive, aggressive, ex-Olympic athlete is trapped in a desk job at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as punishment for someone else’s crime. He’s a bomb waiting to go off, which makes him very exciting and very dangerous. His gradual taming by Alexis was one of the best parts of this book for me to write. With her, he reveals a level of tenderness and vulnerability no one else in his world gets to see.

What was the hardest part of writing The Russian Seduction?

Nikki: Honestly, it was writing around the edges of various sensitive issues I wouldn’t be able to discuss. There are places I could have gone with the story that would have been even more exciting for me personally, but I had to challenge myself to write a glamorous, smart, high-octane adventure without crossing any of those lines. I ended up with a very different story as a result, but one I hope will be as much fun for readers as it was for me!

There are a lot of elements that seem difficult to research by normal means. What is the most unusual resource you used while writing The Russian Seduction?

I consulted with a retired senior submarine officer to nail down the details of the submarine accident that kicks off the story’s geopolitical conflict. Being a fluent Russian speaker helped me out too.

What can you share with us about the second book in the Foreign Affairs series?

Nikki: Foreign Affairs Book 2 is The Russian Temptation, which features a brilliant American chemical weapons expert and the elegant Russian hit man who’s hired to kill her. I love, love, love this hero! If you’ve read any of Anne Stuart’s romantic suspense Ice books, The Russian Temptation has the same sort of feel.

What are some of your favorite books or authors that you’ve read?

Nikki: My favorite authors are a mixed bag, since I write and read so eclectically across genres. Right now I’m loving Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander books, anything by Philippa Gregory (The Other Boleyn Girl), J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood, and Red Heat by Nina Bruhns for a similar Russian Seduction sort of feel. For another book close in style to mine, I just read an ARC of Jamie Michele’s An Affair of Vengeance (Montlake, Nov. 2012), and I HIGHLY recommend it! Very similar in style to the old Silhouette Bombshells and Silhouette Romantic Suspense, which I loved to read so much.

Favorite Spy: James Bond or Jason Bourne?

Nikki: This is a tough one. James Bond.

Favorite Bond: Sean Connery or Daniel Craig?

Nikki: Daniel Craig all the way, baby! If they hired him to play Victor in the film version of The Russian Seduction, he’d work out just beautifully. Although, for a slightly younger Victor, I’d settle for Alexander Skarsgard (Eric in True Blood).

Favorite Villian: Dr. No or Goldfinger?

Nikki: Isn’t Dr. No the one with the white Persian cat? I’ll take that one, because I have a fluffy white Siberian cat I adore.

Favorite Gadget: Shoe Dagger from From Russia with Love or Shoe Phone from Get Smart! from-russia-with-love-dagger-shoes

Nikki: Shoe dagger please. Didn’t Heath Ledger use those in Batman: The Dark Knight?


Nikki Navarre

Nikki Navarre is the sinister twin of unsuspecting historical romance author Laura Navarre. In her other life, Nikki is a diplomat who’s lived in Russia and works on weapons of mass destruction issues. In the line of duty, she’s been trapped in an elevator in a nuclear power plant and has stalked the corridors of facilities churning out nerve agent and other apocalyptic weapons. In this capacity, she meets many of the world’s most dangerous men.

Inspired by the perilous realities of her real life, Nikki writes romantic suspense set in glamorous international locales and laced with political intrigue. Her literary credentials are suspiciously similar to those of her innocent twin. A member of Romance Writers of America’s Published Author Network (PAN), winner of the 2012 Pacific Northwest Writers Association award for romance and a 2009 Golden Heart finalist, she has won the Emily Award for Excellence, the First Coast Romance Writers Beacon Award, the Georgia Romance Writers Maggie Award, the Golden Pen, Hearts through History’s Romance through the Ages, and other awards.

Nikki holds an M.F.A. in Writing Popular Fiction from the University of Southern Maine, an M.A. in National Security Policy from The George Washington University, and other alarming credentials. Based in Seattle with her screenwriter accomplice and two Siberian cats, she divides her time between her writing career and other adventures for U.S. government clients. Her notorious adventures in the world of diplomacy will get her in trouble one of these days.

Find Nikki online: Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook

We would like to sincerely thank Miz Navarre for stopping by and answering a few of our questions. I love that ZZ Top’s “Sharp Dressed Man” (fantastic song, btw) reminds her of Victor!

And it also makes me wonder: Do you ever hear a specific song for a specific hero, heroine, or book? If yes, tell us in the comments for a chance to win…



Nikki is giving away a digital copy of The Russian Seduction to one lucky Romantic Book Affairs reader! (The winner will need to have an All Romance ebooks account to have the book ‘gifted’ to them in an epub format.) The giveaway is open internationally as long as the winner can accept a digital format via All Romance eBooks. Contest is open until October 12th at 12:01am. I’ll announce the winner same day. Good luck!

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  1. Thanks for hosting Nikki today! :)

  2. great giveaway! and i did enjoy learning more about nikki

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Laurie! I must say, this interview is one of the most pleasant "interrogations" I've had in a while. :)

      Happy reading!
      Nikki Navarre

  3. Nice to hear from Nikki, I must get my hands on this book

  4. I enjoyed the interview. The book sounds good.


  5. Great giveaway! Can't wait to read this book :)


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