Interrogation of Suspected Double Agent: Nikki Navarre

Q&A with Ruby Sister in Disguise Nikki Navarre

Interrogated by:  Jamie Michele


nikki navarre publicity photo head shotDOSSIER

SUBJECT: Nikki Navarre

ASSIGNMENT: Double Agent

COVER: Diplomat.  Playgirl.  Author of The Russian Seduction.

Nikki Navarre is the diabolical twin of unsuspecting historical romance author and Ruby Sis Laura Navarre.  Her literary credentials are suspiciously similar to those of her innocent sister.  Nikki’s notorious adventures in the world of diplomacy will get her in trouble one of these days.

The Russian Seduction may be the last mistake she ever makes.

The Russian Seduction cover image


Victor Kostenko was the golden boy of the Russian Navy, a submarine captain with a maverick image—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.

Rising-star American diplomat 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 avoided by one man who has everything to gain…and a woman who has everything to lose.



Is the life of a diplomat really as glamorous as it sounds?  (I know that lately, it certainly seems very rough and dangerous indeed.)

Like any career, diplomacy has both perks and not-so-nice drawbacks.  Diplomatic security has been front and center since the tragedy in Libya where the Ambassador and several others lost their lives.  So personal security in some of the places we need to travel is definitely among the risks.  Diplomacy works best when you build close face-to-face relationships with your counterparts, as my diplomat-heroine Alexis needs to do in The Russian Seduction.  That can be difficult when you’re traveling in an armored convoy with a bodyguard looming over you—situations I’ve faced in past assignments.  On a few rare occasions, I’ve definitely felt my life was in danger, but smart precautions plus commitment to the work pull you through.

On the plus side, there’s all that international travel!  I definitely enjoy flying around the world on a moment’s notice, experiencing the exotic local cuisine and culture, meeting incredibly fascinating and brilliant people, and sometimes participating in exciting events like a historic signing ceremony between two presidents for a new arms control treaty.


As a woman, do you find it difficult to get respect from your male Russian counterparts? 

It’s definitely something I think about.  Russian culture is very patriarchal, particularly in the fields of diplomacy and national security.  The guys across the negotiating table (and often on my side too) are usually old white guys.  I’m a young blonde woman with no military rank or scientific degree.  When I was promoted into a senior diplomatic position at my last post, a senior official advised me always to project gravitas, even to appear “dour” because that works best in this environment.  I do wear dark, conservative suits and a businesslike demeanor in that environment.

But what really works for me is that I over-prepare for every meeting.  Like Alexis in The Russian Seduction, I’m often the person at the table who knows the most about an issue.  I agree with that old adage about a woman having to work twice as hard to be thought half as good.  Understanding the culture and being a Russian speaker are also helpful.  For me, this strategy has paid off, and gaining the respect of my male colleagues hasn’t been a big issue.


Have you ever met a man like Victor Kostenko?  He felt so larger-than-life, and yet so real!

Gosh, he felt pretty real to me too!  I WISH I’d met a man like Victor—a renegade Russian submarine captain with ice-blue eyes and an appetite for adventure, who’s never met a rule he won’t break.   Actually, if I had, I’d be in as much trouble as Alexis—a model diplomat whose conduct in country is invariably flawless, fighting to keep her distance from one of her country’s greatest rivals.  But Victor is determined to get much closer.  And what the captain wants, the captain gets…


The scenario of the novel—that Russia would take threatening military action against Ukraine in advance of a pivotal election—seemed so real.  Was that based on an actual event?

In THE RUSSIAN SEDUCTION, the Russian military steamrolls into neighboring Ukraine under the pretext of a military exercise.  In truth, it’s the prelude to invading a country the U.S. has sworn to protect.  While these events are fiction, they could very easily have happened.   The two countries have weathered some bumpy relations since the Soviet Union collapsed and Ukraine became independent—sometimes TOO independent for Russia’s taste.   As a high-ranking Russian naval officer with a Ukrainian father, Victor definitely feels the heat when tensions between the two countries ratchet up.


What’s next for Nikki Navarre?  I loved the teaser for the next book in your Foreign Affairs series, and can’t wait to pre-order it.  When does it release?  And tell me there will be a third book!

Thanks for asking, Jamie!  The Russian Seduction was my launch book in the Foreign Affairs series, which features international intrigue, glamorous diplomats and the sexy spies who set out to compromise them.  Next up is The Russian Temptation, about an American chemical weapons expert and the elegant Russian hit man who’s hired to kill herIt’s very similar in feel to Anne Stuart’s Black Ice series and your own An Affair of Vengeance as well.   We’re aiming for release in summer 2013.  And I do have an idea in mind for Book 3!


Find Nikki Navarre online: website / twitter / facebook / goodreads

Buy The Russian Seduction: amazon / kobo / B&N / allromance / sony

Fire away! Our interrogation subject is in-country today and available for further questioning. Any queries for our resident Ruby diplomat?

If not, she has questions for YOU:  How do you feel about Russian and other unconventional heroes?  Are you more or less likely to read a romance with a Russian hero?  Before opening the book, what would you expect to find in a Russian hero?

Jamie Michele’s romantic-thriller debut, An Affair of Vengeance, releases on November 6, 2012. 

28 responses to “Interrogation of Suspected Double Agent: Nikki Navarre”

  1. Liz Talley says:

    I’m impressed! Writing a book like this is daunting – lots of research to get things right, huh?

    I have to admit that I tend to buy regular guy books rather than action or adventure. And usually on action/adventure I stick to police procedurals, but this one sounds really good.

    Congrats, Nikki! And I wish you incredible success with this niche – sounds like a lot of action/adventure fans will get a kick out of Nikki and her Russian sub captain 🙂

    • It’s definitely a thrilling book, but I’d say it’s a romance first.

      And a sexy one, at that. Very sexy. With a guy who is the Alpha of Alphas.

    • Nikki Navarre says:

      Thanks so much, Liz! This setting would definitely have been a handful to research if I hadn’t lived in Russia for five years. 🙂

      Really appreciate the positive feedback!

  2. Rita Henuber says:

    Congrats and wishing you many sales

  3. Elisa Beatty says:

    The book sounds great, Nikki…er, I mean Laura! (And Jamie!! How exciting we’ll have your debut in just a few days! On Election Day, no less!)

    I think it’s incredibly cool, Laura, to have such a rich and complex career to draw on for these books. (Not so much hope for me: rule-breaking schoolteacher and the dashing other schoolteacher who loves her….not really great cover blurb material.)

    Here’s to many sales!!!

    • Nikki Navarre says:

      Elisa, I don’t know–I’m married to a teacher, so I happen to think they’re incredibly dashing and sexy! I think they make great heroes.


  4. You guys, I LOVED this book, and I hope you all read it! So sexy and enthralling. Loved the dark Moscow setting, too.

  5. Very cool! I love romantic thriller books set in interesting locales, with unique, intriguing plots. Sounds like your work as a diplomat has given you a lot of fuel for fiction, which is awesome, because you can always distinguish books where the author knows what they’re talking about from those that don’t.

    Congrats on the release! 🙂

  6. Oh, this book sounds fabulous. Love the intrigue and sexy Russian hero versus good-girl diplomat. 😉

    Congratulations, Nikki/Laura!

  7. I already have it downloaded and can’t wait to dive in. Congrats on the release, Laura-Nikki.

    • Nikki Navarre says:

      Thanks so much, Autumn, and all of you who have responded so positively to this release!


  8. I love diabolical twins! What a great interview, and congrats on the release, Sis!!! ~D~

  9. June Love says:

    For me personally, this book sounds too intriguing not to read. Clancy meets Romance. Love it. Congratulations on your release, Laura! I hope you have many, many sales.

    Great interrogation, Jamie. I’m also looking forward to your release.

  10. Hope Ramsay says:

    Hey Nikki/Laura,

    Congrats on your release. This book sound really good and I’m so impressed that you decided to use your background for the story. I always shied away from using my background as a registered lobbyist on Capitol Hill. Probably because Congress (and lobbyists) are considered more evil than even a diabolical twin. 😀

    But seriously. I once wrote a book where the hero was a Congressman with ice-blue eyes, so of course I wouldn’t have any problems with Russian hero with ice-blue eyes.

    • Amanda Brice says:

      I wrote a rom-com short story once using my Congressional aide background. If I ever decide to write for adults again, I intend to do a rom-com mystery series set in that world.

      • I think that’d do pretty well. It’s a peek into a small world that few people really understand.

        • Nikki Navarre says:

          I’d love to see more political romance, set on Capitol Hill or elsewhere! There’s so much scope for conflict, built-in reasons why hero and heroine must distrust each other, and why a relationship between them would be a career-ending move…Why not?

  11. Vivi Andrews says:

    Fabulous interview, ladies. And the book sounds fabulous – intrigue and seduction? My recent Alias binge-watching is a natural lead up to this book. 🙂

    And you bet I’ll read a Russian hero – provided he is presented in a non-stereotypical way, which I’m sure, as someone familiar with the culture, you did. Looking forward to reading this one, Nikki/Laura!

    • Nikki wasn’t afraid to make him a realistic Russian man. In fact, he was quite unapologetically Russian. For example, he smoked. A lot. Like, constantly. That’s a rare trait in a modern romance hero, but I think it made him more believable.

      • Nikki Navarre says:

        Yeah, that smoking thing! I was waiting to see how readers reacted to that. 🙂 He only smokes high-end foreign brands, and the heroine’s father also smoked, so it has positive connotations for her. I tried to make the smoking sexy!

  12. Amanda Brice says:

    Fab interview. The book sounds amazing, Nikki, er, Laura. 🙂 I can’t wait to read it!

    And your life is utterly fascinating. I’d majored in International Relations with the intention to take the foreign service exam, but they didn’t offer it the year I graduated, so I ended up in law school instead. (With the intention of taking it upon graduation, but instead I got married and foreign service wasn’t in the cards because his job would be here.)

    • Nikki Navarre says:

      Amanda, I didn’t know that about your background! Which region(s) were you most interested in? I was, of course, a Russia and former Soviet Union kind of girl. 🙂

  13. Jenn! says:

    Great interview, ladies!

    Nikki?Laura, this book sounds sexy and intriguing. Huge congratulations! 🙂


  14. Kate Parker says:

    Nikki/Laura, the book sounds so great, I’m grabbing my NOOK to order it as soon as I finish typing. Love that dashing international diplomacy background. Of course, in my mind, it would be James Bond meets the Czar.

  15. Laurie Kellogg says:

    Congratulations, Nikki/Laura. I love the cover. Wishing you many sales!

  16. Gwyn says:

    Sorry so late; another doctor day.

    What a fun interview! The books sound awesome. I hope they rocket to the top of the lists.

  17. I’m so late to the party — talk about diabolical! Nikki/Laura, congratulations on the release of The Russian Seduction! I have already downloaded my very own copy.

    Great interview, Jamie!


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