Five years ago Meredith St. Claire fell in love. Her romance with Kostya Dychenko ended after three whirlwind days in Kiev when she quietly slipped out of his arms at dawn. Returning to her life in the United States, Meredith tried to forget Kostya. Now a call from Immigration sends her to face the man who still haunts her dreams. Kostya, who stumbled on surreptitious information about resurrected Soviet-era missiles in Cherkasy, has fled to America seeking asylum—and the help of the woman who disappeared from his bed five years ago. Together Kostya and Meredith return to the Ukraine and face the terrorist group, Fire of Dawn, to stop the imminent missile launch. But will the fates that brought them together again unleash circumstances that endanger them both?
One of the most important moments of Fires of Kiev is the reunion between Kostya and Meredith, five years after their whirlwind romance in Kiev. I love this scene where Meredith anticipates seeing Kostya, who is miraculously just down the hall. Her brother, Will, enters as a grounding force, yet as her older brother he can't help but tease her for her obvious nervousness. Also in this scene, Meredith and Will get a hint of Kostya's character and the scope of what he's facing.
As I researched the city of Kiev, I was struck by pictures of a small pedestrian bridge that spanned the road separating Mariinsky park and downtown Kiev. Thousands of lovers have visited the bridge and left padlocks as a symbol of their love. Many are inscribed with initials or names, a sort of promise made in a public, yet private way. I imagined Kostya and Meredith, practically strangers, but with this amazing connection. They would want to share a symbol like a lock on the railing, but it might be too new, too awkward to suggest. The wish on the emerging star provides an opportunity for truth in this magical moment. Love can be found quite quickly.
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