Type: Historical Romance
Publisher: Pocket Books
My Copy: Sent
From the author of An Affair with Mr. Kennedy and A Dangerous Liaison with Detective Lewis comes a sexy new romantic caper in the Gentlemen of Scotland Yard series. Prima ballerina Catriona de Dovia lives the glamorous life of a starlet, filled with glittering jewels, sumptuous dinners, and admiring suitors. She’s grown up considerably since losing her heart to Hugh Curzon once upon a time, no longer wasting her emotions on the empty promises of wealthy gentlemen. On her own since the untimely death of her parents, she will do anything for the only family she has left: her brother, a notorious anarchist.
Scotland Yard Agent Phineas Gunn—sometimes known as Hugh Curzon—receives his new assignment reluctantly. He’s up for something a little more strenuous than playing nanny to a ballerina, until he sees who his charge is. Then, it’s a completely different story, because he’d been unable to forget the trusting, beautiful Cate since he had to leave her behind. As the two race across the Continent—by land, by sea, even through the air by zephyr—it becomes uncertain who is keeping tabs on whom, and Finn and Cate must battle the sexual tension that snaps and sizzles between them every step of the way.
This is another exciting episode in the Gentlemen of Scotland Yard that I enjoyed immensely as Finn and the Yardmen solve one more mystery with the help of a beautiful woman that may harbor secrets.
Phineas Gunn is an agent for Scotland Yard and with the help of his current doctor (Dr Montague Twonbly) is able to function in the world much better than in the past. Dr Twonbly studied under some unorthodox Austrian physician named Freud (too funny) and has been trying some novel ideas on Finn and they seem to work. Finn had a horrific time serving in Kandahar and has a form of PTSD however in the late 1800’s they would call it a Soldier’s Heart. He has been able to control most instances with deep breathing and calm thoughts.
Finn has been called to a meeting at the Alhambra Music Hall and as he enters he is greeted my many who are surprised he is out and about, he a little taken aback so many know about his problem from the war. He meets up with Zeno, chief inspector of the Special Branch of Scotland Yard and is surprised to also see his brother. Hardy Gunn has applied to the Home Office and wants to work for Scotland Yard so he is brought in for the meeting.
A year ago Finn was involved in an operation for the Navel Intelligence Department which was to break up a group of Spanish anarchists called Los Tigres Solitarios. The anarchists were handling explosives and several died in a blast when the dynamite went off. Now they believe former members are in London and one of the reasons for this meeting is because one of the dancers has ties to the group. The dancer is Catriona Elise de Dovia Willoughby and her brother (Eduardo) was one of the anarchists who may have died in the blast. No one really knows how involved she was with her brother and his politics. As Finn watches the performance he recognizes Cate right away, they shared a short relationship together in Barcelona where he was undercover and went by the name of Hugh Curzon.
Cate notices Finn/Hugh and does not want anything to do with him, remembering him as the man that may have killed her brother by being an agent and pursuing the anarchists. However she does decide that she may need him when she finds out he is an expert of jewelry and appraising. Cate’s uncle died recently and she has a list of jewels that were part of his estate, these jewels seem to be scattered around London and now piece by piece they are being stolen from the wealthy. She wants Finn to help her find them without involving Scotland Yard. However she manages to disappear when she sells one of the pieces she acquired when she finds her brother may be alive.
Finn is in pursuit of Cate as she tries to find Eduardo and with problems being thrown at them from all directions manage find each other and get him freed only to have Eduardo vanish before they can get him back to London. Whew! So much going on.
This is another wonderful energetic adventure from Ms. Stone. The story grabs you from the start and the thrilling escapades as they travel across the countryside keep you turning the pages. The chemistry between the two is amazing, both when they are apart and when they are together they are striving for the same ending however we can’t help to think that Cate is still hiding secrets. The plot is compelling and exciting. I have to admit that this installment was a little more bogged down than the first two yet I still loved it. And there was a surprise at the end that I did not expect. I am looking forward to more as we meet new characters and enjoy those that have been in past book.
I give A Private Duel with Agent Gunn by Jillian Stone 4 stars!