Review: 24-Karat Conspiracy by EM Lynley
In order to write this review, I read the three novels that came before it first. Rarer Than Rubies, Italian Ice, and Jaded. I must say Rarer Than Rubies was my favorite, then Jaded. I didn’t care as much for Italian Ice, but that was just the ending.
Each one of these books takes the characters to an exotic place—places EM Lynley knows well, so the books are filled with accurate and colorful details.
Rarer Than Rubies takes Trent Copeland, bestselling gay romance author and a bit of diva, to Bangkok for both inspiration and rest. What he gets instead is the first adventure of a lifetime once he meets Reed Acton, which might or might not be his real name and he might or might not be undercover. What I loved about this story is the basic premise of some Old Hollywood movies from the 1950s—hapless man/woman gets caught up in the middle of a determined and sometimes deadly search for a fabulous something—a map in this instance, that leads to an art treasure. I kept thinking about Masquerade, that old movie with Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn, and a little Romancing the Stone.
Rarer Than Rubies is the lodestone I held the following books in the series to.
- Rarer Than Rubies: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
- Italian Ice: ❤ ❤ ❤
- Jaded: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
In Italian Ice, I loved the setting. I’m not the kind of reader who can guess the endings of thrillers and mysteries, and I loved the story up until the dinner party scene where Reed wrapped things up for Trent’s annoying friends. I skimmed that, and it nearly became a DNF.
Jaded was lovely—a solo visit to Japan for Trent and more art. Trent gets set up for a murder he did not commit, and you-know-who has to ride to the rescue.
All of these stories are intricate puzzles to be worked out, with the added spice of Trent and Reed’s romance.
24-Karat Conspiracy is a story that involves much more than Reed’s special skills as an art theft and fraud specialist for the FBI and less of Trent’s hapless knack for getting into trouble. They’re relationship has deepened, though in the beginning Reed is as close-mouthed about his past and his family as ever. This is more Reed’s story this time around. When the two go undercover looking for a missing ancient gold wine cup, they end up at Reed’s father’s army base and the pressure of this and the case force secrets to the surface. Playacting a married couple with Trent has emotional repercussions they both under estimated.
Another absorbing and exciting novel in the Precious Gems series.
I’m going with ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ for this one.