Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Release Day Review of A Private Duel with Agent Gunn (The Gentlemen of Scotland Yard, #3) by Jillian Stone

A year ago Agent Phineas Gunn, using the alias Hugh Curzon, played a crucial role in breaking up a ring of Spanish anarchists called Los Tigres Solitarios. To gain access to information about the group, he seduced Catriona de Dovia, the sister of Eduardo de Dovia who was an active member of the group. His role led to an explosion which resulted in the death of Catriona's brother and many other members of the Los Tigres. He'd hoped to explain what happened and continue their affair, but she never met him at the cafe when he returned to Barcelona. Now he's been asked by Scotland Yard to spy on Catriona and find out if she is working with the anarchists or is a cunning operative. All he needs to do is gain her trust once more. Piece of cake, right?

This was such a fun book. It's the third book in the series, but don't worry if you haven't read the previous two. It's pretty much self contained as each case is unique to the book along with the detective/agent who the book follows. Also, each book appears to have it's own voice/style which is unique/reflective to/of the characters. By that, I mean the last book had a much more dramatic flair to it whereas this one has more of a confident, flirty edge to it. I rather enjoyed it, and think it's that combined with the gadgets, such as a dirigible used in the story, that have me wanting to label this series as Steampunk. Perhaps we should coin a new term and call it SteamRom for it's combination of romance infused with gadgets that were not around at the time, but aren't totally out of the realm of possibility. As far as I can tell, however, the use of the gadgets hasn't altered the history of the world in any way.

The first thing you'll notice in this book is the sheer and utter strength of the magnetism between Catriona and Phineas (aka Finn). Catriona isn't about to make things easy on Finn. He seduced her, took her innocence, and played a part in her brother's demise. Not exactly something you want to brag about and tell your friends. Finn, on the other hand, feels bad about what happened, as well he should, but its obvious the petite ballerina fascinates him. If Scotland Yard had not called upon him to spy on Catriona, you can bet he would have found some other excuse to attempt to resurrect their relationship. Luckily for Finn, Catriona needs his help and asks him to help her recover jewels which were bequeathed to her in her uncle's will but have apparently been stolen and scattered about London.

Catriona is strong, smart, beautiful and has male admirers wherever she goes, much to Finn's chagrin. She is such a fun character and has a wicked sense of humor. When she finds out Finn's real given name she pronounces it Phin-e-ass with emphasis on the last syllable. Additionally, to keep Finn out of her hair at one point she leaves him naked, tied to a bed, and wanting. lol I loved this character.

Finn, likewise, is a lovable character. He's charming, dashing, and has more than his fair share of ladies falling for him. Typically he's cocky and and self confident with woman, but Catriona is different from any other woman he's ever met. She confounds, delights, and intrigues him all at once, and he can't seem to get enough of her. It's fun to see a man such as him open up and bare himself emotionally to a woman.

Besides the steamy romance, Finn finds out early on that Catriona is a cat burglar attempting to steal back the gems she believes were stolen from her uncle. As Scotland Yard wants Finn to investigate Catriona, they let him give her a the name of an approved contact to fence her wares. When she slips Finn's watchful eye she leads him on a merry chase to France where she follows up on a rumor that her brother may have survived the bombing a year ago and still be alive.

Why is the book called A Private Duel with Agent Gunn? Well, to tell the truth I'm not one hundred percent sure. It could elude to Cate dueling for and winning Finn's heart, or it could be the private battle that Finn waged with himself as he realized the extent of his feelings for Cate. Alternately, it could be the duel like nature of their relationship at the beginning of the book which appeared to be a battle of the wits. Of course I could be completely wrong, and it could be something entirely different.

Overall, I gave this one gets 5 out of 5 roses. Why? Well, I didn't want the story to end. I adored the characters, the action, the drama, the romance, and the humor. I also loved how Catriona and Finn tormented each other and well, all of it. It was humorous, sexy, and a lot of fun. A total and utter book seduction for me. I absolutely loved this one. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one got a STEAM rating--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.
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1 comment:

  1. I love it when you finish a book and don't want it to end! Great review! I love this author =)


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