Rolltop Relic by Barbara Miller
$3.99 from etreasurespublishing
Laurel Adams is helping out her grandmother at Laurel Creek Antiques in Western Pennsylvania when they discover a gold reliquary of fantastic worth inside a rolltop desk. Laurel wants to seek the owner while her grandmother sees it as the making of their fortune. On Laurel’s side is Rushford Gaites, the father of their teenage helper. Rushford dives into the research with Laurel and his son Tim with the idea of writing an article about the chest, which looks like it contains a piece of the crown of thorns.
There is a mutual attraction between Rush and Laurel, but she is engaged to a gallery owner in Chicago and Rush is still married to Tim’s mother though they are separated. The two decide their relationship has to be an intellectual one based on guarding the reliquary from several parties trying to steal it, while they plumb the secrets of its origin.