Stages & Thieves by Danielle-Claude Ngontang Mba

StagesReviewTour Stages & Thieves by Danielle-Claude Ngontang Mba Sémya Slotin Mystery #5 Publication Date: February 17, 2015 Also in this series: Bird of Prey Genres: Mystery, Romance, Suspense, Thriller
Stages & Thieves Cover
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Synopsis: One fateful July morning forever changed the lives of Sémya Slotin and her best friend Polliannah Guryev. Vincent Edgerton, the only man Sémya has ever loved, was taken from her by an explosion and a fire that she couldn’t understand, trust, nor explain. It left her alone, hurt, angry and desperately seeking answers. On top of everything, she is also incredibly hormonal; Sémya Slotin is going to be a mother.
Polliannah just healed from losing her husband but seeing her best friend grieving is not only breaking her heart, it has been a strain on their once close-knit relationship. She is afraid that Sémya will completely disappear into her grief. Thankfully, Polliannah can always seek refuge with the handsome Chief Superintendent James Connelly. In the past three months, he has become her safe haven. But when they finally give in to each other and Jim reveals his true feeling for her, Polliannah pulls away. Is she ready to put herself out there again? Then all of the sudden, Sémya, the pregnant Detective Extraordinaire is chasing art thieves across the globe, making dangerous deals and finally meeting her father… It’s all about ex-lovers and new ones, a priceless painting, con artists, baby bumps, an impromptu trip to Moscow, designer dresses, teacakes, a birthday ball and reconnecting with your roots. With everything that has happened this year, Sémya and Polliannah are more vulnerable and exposed than they have ever been. Will Jim’s love and trust be enough to ease Polliannah’s doubts? Will Sémya find out what happened to Vincent? Welcome to the Stages & Thieves saga, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
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Also in the Semya Slotin Saga...

Birds of Prey Book 1
Synopsis: This was supposed to be an easy case… Sémya Slotin had spent the last three years living in London with her best friend Polliannah Koch staying away from solving cases. After Hawaii, she was taking a break from puzzles, cases and mysteries that could potentially get her killed. Instead, she had been doing her second and third favorite things, drinking and selling expensive vintage wines and having earth-shattering sex with the mysterious, sexy, beautiful but ever so secretive Josh Heinz. Life in London was good….until her funds ran out. Too much wine drinking, not enough wine selling! When fashion designer and adoptive mother, Annika Slotin, summoned her back to Paris to hire her for what Sémya considered being the easiest case of her amateur sleuth career, all she could think of and see was money signs and a well-deserved Cuban holiday once it was solved. What Sémya didn’t see was her stumbling on the fresh corpse of supermodel Johanna Cartier. She didn’t think that male model turned fashion designer Julian Marais-Caldwin, who also happened to be Sémya’s ex, would be suspected of brutally murdering her. Johanna was his girlfriend, his muse and he loved her. Sémya didn’t see the dead bodies piling up or the conspiracy theories. Sémya was a little rusty. But then again, it was supposed to be an easy case and she was going to solve it. One vintage wine at a time… Sémya Slotin was officially back in business! Add to Goodreads  
The Plot Thickens Book 2
The Plot Thickens by: Danielle-Claude Ngontang Mba Sémya Slotin Mystery #2 Genres:Mystery, Romance, Suspense, Thriller Amazon - Nook - Smashwords - iBooks
Synopsis: What happened while Semya Slotin and Josh Heinz were busy solving Johanna Cartier's murder in Bird Of Prey?
Polliannah's story... When Polliannah Koch Guryev meets John Allen, she thinks that she's finally found her Prince Charming a tall, blond and handsome banker. What could go wrong?
John Allen has a job to do and getting closer to the beautiful Miss Koch Guryev is supposed to be a means to an end. But then they fall in love. He's a hit man on a mission, she's the sister of his targets. What possible future could they have? Now he and his Russian Princess have to leave London for their safety.But it may already be too late for them...
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Synopsis: The truth this time, and nothing but the truth… Polliannah Koch Guryev is in trouble and her boyfriend is dead. It's not the first time amateur sleuth Sémya Slotin finds herself on the first plane to rescue her best friend, but nothing's prepared her for what she finds in Toronto. Polliannah is a widow and her late husband John Allen was a hit man for the powerful Dovos family. What did they want from her? Why is this happening? One thing they do know: their carefree life back in London is officially over. Sémya’s long-time boyfriend Josh Heinz knows more than he lets on, but as usual he’s not telling her anything. Infact, everyone knows more, but nobody’s talking. But that never stops Sémya Slotin, Detective Extraordinaire, from finding out the truth beneath the lies… But at what cost? Old conspiracies and secrets resurface that put them all in peril. Sémya’s worst fears about her relationship with Josh and his past are confirmed, and the rift between them may never heal. Sémya and Polliannah’s world is falling apart. Will they be able to come out of this stronger? Oh, and did I mention that Polliannah got married? Add to Goodreads  
Synopsis: The pursuit of peace is not always pacific. Vincent Mallory Edgerton had always been an efficient FREGG operative. It was his family legacy and his pride. He had always loved his job, even when he had to leave everything behind for his safety and become Josh Heinz. Every love story has a beginning. Sémya Slotin had been coasting through life solving one mystery after another. While in Hawaii, her young protégée disappeared. When Sémya met Josh Heinz, her mind kept telling her to stay away from the handsome stranger with the hypnotic light brown eyes but she found herself inexplicably drawn to him. He awakened something in her and she was unable to resist him. It never happened to her before. Who was that man? In Hawaii, Vincent had to work covertly with the sexy bold sleuth. Sémya’s beauty and intellect completely enthralled him, but his passion and growing love for her also changed him. There was nothing he wouldn’t do to finally win her trust and keep her safe, causing him to unleash events that would shape the rest of their lives. From the moment their gazes locked, Sémya and Vincent sealed their fate. Note: This book is part of the series and is not a standalone. You might be able to enjoy without reading Bird of Prey and The Plot Thickens first BUT I really advise to read Polliannah Got Married! first.
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About Danielle-Claude Ngontang Mba

I’m over 30. I was born in Quebec City, Canada. I grew up in France and in Gabon. I speak English & French fluently. Pizza is my favorite dish. Black Forest Cake is my favorite dessert. I met Michael Jackson when I was eleven. I loathe vodka but love gin, wine and tequila. I'm obsessed with Robbie Williams and Michael Fassbender. I call Toronto my home. I love reading. I love dancing. I love watching exciting TV shows. I love my life... most days. I'm a major goof. I can't stand intolerance. I'm curious, cheeky and oh so opinionated!


“Isn’t your father named Ulrich? I’m not giving birth to an Ulrich. It sounds like the name of a war criminal,” she told him. Vincent released her and frowned. Me and my big, insensitive mouth… “But I’m sure your father wears it with my pride,” she said rapidly.  I’m not pregnant anyway. “I love you,” she said sheepishly when he unwound her from his body and sat upright on the bed. What, no more sexy time?
“You are so frustrating sometimes Babe,” he told her and helped her up to sit next to him. “You’re lucky I love you too.” He kissed her tenderly and caressed her hair. “My mother had the exact same reaction,” he said with a cheeky grin. “Why do you want a name starting with an S?” he asked more seriously.
Sémya simply shrugged back. On her father’s side, everyone’s name started with an S, including hers. She didn’t know her paternal family, only that the Dovos were powerful, rich and dangerous. But her mother named her Sémya for a reason and she would really like to know why. She put her arms around his neck. “Don’t be daft Heinz. Sasha is a name I’ve always liked. Sasha Slotin… it has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?” she asked, calling him by his alias Josh Heinz.
Vincent laughed and pulled her onto his lap. “Edgerton… my child, my name,” he told her. Sémya blushed back. She might break that curse the women in her family seemed to be under. My possible baby will have a father! “But not Sasha,” he added.
Sémya pouted back but involuntary purred when Vincent ran his hand over her back. Vincent kissed her, slowly at first but then he deepened the kiss, pressing her against him. His hard-defined body was fitting perfectly against her new lush curves. “What names do you have in mind then?” she moaned.
“We’re going to miss our flight,” he whispered in her ear instead and licked it. She shuddered in his arms. That was an understatement. Polliannah wasn’t going to like that. “A special name to the both of us, one that means something and symbolizes us, our love, our unique situation… how beautiful, smart, funny, stubborn, and sexy his or her mother is and how nuts about her I am,” he told her.
Sémya felt a tear on her cheek. Silly hormones! “This isn’t going to be easy or even possible. Who could have such a name?”
“I cannot wait to find out… if only–” Vincent said while he was lying back on their bed.
“– I’m not taking that damn pregnancy test!” she giggled.
“First thing in London?” he asked her and kissed her nose.
“First thing in London,” Sémya agreed and raised her hips to meet his. “I love you, Vincent. You’re mine and I yours…” Silly hormones!
Vincent groaned back and plunged into her. Finally… “Until my last breath Sémya Louise Slotin and maybe a little after, I love you.”
Sémya urgently kissed him and arched her back.  Heaven, I’m in absolute heaven…those silly hormones make me so girly…


Sémya’s mornings always started the same way.
Before even opening her eyes, her hands were patting around searching for Vincent’s warm body. He always slept against her, his strong tattooed arm wrapped around her once small waist, even if they just had a fight and they were always fighting. But no one was sharing this bed with her. Then she would open her eyes and remember the morning they arrived back in London from Toronto in July. Remember their last kiss in front of her flat in Camden, full of hope, passion, love and promises. Sémya smiled before closing her eyes again. She could never keep them opened for this part. The explosion of Skins, Vincent’s lounge, right in front of her eyes… and Vincent was inside, supposedly. She remembered the blast hitting her, the heat, pain, and then the blackout. She remembered waking up at the hospital days later with Poopie but without Vincent.
Sémya opened her eyes and gently stroked her round belly. “Good morning Poopie. Did you sleep well?” She felt a little nudge in return. “If it’s not gas you’re one magical baby, Poopie,” Sémya joked. Poopie was the glue that was keeping her together. Old Sémya never made it back. She was still in front of Skins, screaming, hoping that the man she loved wasn’t dead. New Sémya was more than determined to prove her right. New Sémya had Poopie.
Sémya finally got up and stretched out, leaving her twenty-two week belly exposed. She always slept in Vincent’s shirts or blouses. It kept her nightmares at bay and Vincent in her dreams. Her new bedroom in Chelsea was twice the size of the one she had in Camden. It also had its own bathroom and a small unfurnished nursery. Polliannah poured all her energy into decorating their much larger four bedroom townhome. Instead of helping her, Sémya was pouring hers into finding out about Vincent, his disappearance, not his death.  Vincent wasn’t dead and the sooner everyone accepted it the better.


“Say something, Polli,” Jim told her for the third time but she just stared back at him. Oh God what have I done? She had kissed him. He fell asleep in the middle of the movie and just like Sleeping Beauty he was awaken by a kiss. Jim wanted her. He had been silently yearning for her for months but settled for her friendship because that was what she needed and only wanted from him. Maybe they drank too much wine. Then he would just let her go home. He looked at the bottles on the table. “I’m going to take your silence as a yes, Love,” he told her and lifted her up.  He brought her to his room and she was not saying a thing. Polliannah was never quiet; she would talk about everything and anything, especially if she was a little drunk.
He put her down in front of his bed and removed his sweater and shirt. Polliannah bit her lower lip and smiled. “Wow…” she said, gawking at his chest. He caught her looking at him like that a few times before and he liked it. It wasn’t a friendly look.
 He took her lips before they recovered from their temporary insanity. Jim removed her dress and bra. “I’ve been dying to touch you like this for weeks,” he said when her dress touched the floor. “To love you the way you deserve to be loved. You are so incredible.” He passed his hands on her luscious full breasts and small waist. She had the most alluring hourglass figure.
Polliannah smirked under his hungry stare and helped him out his jeans and boxers freeing him completely. “I want you,” he groaned before lifting her up and wrapping her legs around his waist. He wanted to take his time with her. He had been dreaming about this for weeks. He wanted to lick, bite and kiss every inch of her and he wouldn’t deny himself of the pleasure. But first… he entered her swiftly as he was falling on the bed with her. She was so warm, so tight; he felt it deep within his soul. He feverishly thrust into her, tangling their hands together while lifting her leg with his free one. They moaned, they kissed, they screamed. They’d been holding back for so long. It was a little rough, a little messy, but so beautiful. “Polliannah!” Jim groaned. She was panting beneath him, looking absolutely breathtaking. No she wasn’t beautiful, she was glorious.


Sémya walked toward another exhibition. “Dammit! I’m lost,” she said but kept on walking. She kept going only hearing her heels echoing through the large rooms.  “Poopie, this is usually when bad things happen to your mama,” she whispered. She should call Julian and let him know where she was so someone would come to get her. Or… She took her shoes off and followed the signs back to civilisation.
 She just passed the Renaissance area when she heard something or someone falling on the ground.  “Hello, anybody?” Sémya said and took out the small can of pepper spray from her purse. “I came prepared,” she muttered.   Sémya entered a small room. “Oh Nando… what have you done?” Hernando was leaning over her shadow agent and he looked dead. “Couldn’t you just take the painting?” She asked with exasperation.
“Sémya you have to believe me, I didn’t do this!” Hernando exclaimed. His hands were shaking and he wasn’t holding a weapon.
Sémya looked around again. There was no gun in the room and it looked like the agent had been shot. “There could always be a change in MO… Toolio.” He looked desperate but not dangerous. “I profiled you five years ago but I didn’t tell the FBI who you were.”
Hernando slowly stood up, “I know… please help me? I’m being set up.”
Sémya held up her pepper spray toward him and started to think.  This was a little too convenient. “Why are you here?” she asked him.
“I was supposed to meet someone here,” he said coming closer to her. Sémya took a step back. “Sémya I’m not going to hurt you. I just want to get out of here before the rest of FBI shows up for their friend. I didn’t do this.”
Sémya decided to trust her gut and gave him a small business card. “Meet me there. I’ll… talk to them.”
“Thank you,” Hernando said looking relieved as he turned and started to run.   
Sémya closed her eyes and snorted harshly, “Don’t thank me yet,” she mumbled to herself. When she opened her eyes, Agent Kim was entering the room. “Agent Kim,” she said lowering her arm.
“Did you see him?” he asked her, taking out his gun.
“Who?” She asked, blinking suspiciously.
“Toolio. Agent Greene told me that he was following a thief less than five minutes ago,” agent Kim told her as they both looked at the corpse on the ground.
“Are you sure?” Sémya asked him.
“Yes, why?” He asked, leaning down to check the body.
“Because dead people don’t place phone calls,” she told him.  Agent Greene was dead five minutes ago, so who placed the call? Hernando was right, it had been set up.


Sémya stared at today’s date on her laptop and felt the blood drain from her face.  At the same moment, she felt a sharp pain in her low abdomen, not the usual kicks Poopie had been blessing her with. “Oh God!” she cried in pain and held her belly. This is hell! She got dizzy and managed to get to the bathroom before she made a mess. She kept throwing up for a good ten minutes before she felt another sharp pain or contraction maybe. When the worst passed, she slowly got back up and brushed her teeth, put on one of Vincent’s large shirts and walked back to her bedroom.
The excitement and joys of the day were gone. All that was left was pain, longing and grief. Sémya rubbed her belly as to soothe it but she felt another small contraction creeping in. “Poopie, I promise to be strong if you will,” she mumbled and went straight to bed. She put her special pregnancy pillow between her legs and hugged it tightly as the pain moved to her back.  She bit into it and breathed. It’s not early labor, Sémya, not early labor… She was too tired to address the tears that were falling down her cheeks. If Vincent were here, he would have rubbed her back gently and murmured nice loving words in her ears. He would tell her what she already knew, that it was just Braxton Hicks contractions. He would tell her that Poopie was a show hugger for doing this on his thirty-fifth birthday.  Sémya quietly kept crying and braved the pain until she fell asleep.


Sam was almost six feet away from her when he stopped, having the most intriguing flash. For a moment, he thought he saw her… that hadn’t happened to him in almost twenty-five years. He was still recovering when he heard the young woman shriek and saw her falling off the ladder. He was next to her in seconds as she landed in his arms. “I’ve got you!” Sam said and looked down. She opened her eyes and looked up, as surprised as he was. It wasn’t a simple flash; she really looked like her… Corinne. He carefully eased her to her own feet.
“Thank you,” she mumbled adjusting her glasses. 
Sam just frowned even more. They had the same petite figure but hers was slightly rounder maybe due to– “You’re pregnant,” he said to her. She patted her belly protectively and shrugged in reply. Corinne used to do that when she was caught in a lie. “I’m Samuel Dovos and this is my painting.” He said and she immediately looked scared. It didn’t occur to him that his name would scare her; she was Ivan’s goddaughter after all. “I’m sorry if I scared you…” Sam said with a sincere smile.
“Miss Slotin!” the man not far from them yelled.
“Slotin?” Sam asked her but she still wasn’t saying a word.
“Hello Sir, I’m the director of the gallery, Mister Shaparov,” the man said once he reached them. “Miss Slotin, are you all right?” That name again, Slotin, like Annika’s. But why would Annika’s daughter look like Corinne?
“I’m fine Boris. Thank you for the tour,” she told him. She looked up and finally met Sam’s inquisitive stare. “Thank you for saving my neck and my baby, Mister Dovos,” she told him and briskly walked away from them.
It was Sam’s turn to be speechless. It was like seeing a ghost. “Her name is Sémya,” Boris Shaparov told him.
Sam looked at him and chuckled back. “No it’s not…” But the director looked dead serious. “She can’t have this name,” he told him. He could feel himself losing his calm as a terrifying picture was forming in his mind. “She can’t have this name,” he repeated to himself. He made up this name for him and Corinne’s hypothetical daughter. Ivan what have you done?

This is a great book. I love Semya and Polli. To know more grab your copy today a so so so must read!!! Oh if you love this book check out the rst in this mystery series!!!!

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