Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Royal Spy's Redemption - Addison Fox (HRS #1893 - Apr 2016)

Series: Dangerous in Dallas (Book 4)

All is Dangerous in Dallas -- with crime, mystery and passion!

Possessing priceless rubies gifted to the British royal family, MI5 agent Knox St. Germain stumbles into Gabby Sanchez's store, bleeding from a gunshot wound. The stunning caterer has seen the danger to friends who discovered the jewels, but now she faces an even greater threat -- the lethally sexy agent with a hidden motive!

Both hiding troubled pasts and feeling wary of relationships, fiery Gabby and roguish Knox develop a powerful attraction as they go on the run. Their adversary: someone who'll murder -- and worse -- to get the rubies. And when the killer does, Knox must choose between saving the gems and his gem of a woman!

The fourth and final book in the series is a fantastic read. At the end of the previous book, The Professional, the bad guy had been caught and the jewels were about to be returned to the British operative who had come to claim them. But something went wrong and in the melee the operative and the jewels disappeared.

When Knox showed up at the end of the previous book, nobody was quite sure about his intentions. He had a definite air of danger about him (think James Bond), but also had the apparent authority to take custody of the gems and return them to England. This book begins immediately following the confrontation at the park, as Knox appears at Gabby's catering shop, barely conscious from a gunshot wound. She immediately takes him in and treats his wound, unknowingly placing herself in danger. The interaction between the two of them was fantastic, as Knox tries to play down his injury and Gabby overrules him. The bad guy isn't far behind, and in a tense standoff he ends up with the jewels, and Knox determined to get them back. But just having them isn't enough, he has to eliminate Gabby and Knox because they know who he is.

Because helping him has put her in danger, Knox is determined to protect Gabby, and to do that they have to stay together. This is something of a challenge for Knox, who is extremely attracted to her. It was her beauty that first got his attention, but it was her intelligence and determination that hooked him. Gabby is a woman from a large Hispanic family, who has five older brothers. She is accustomed to dealing with stubborn men, and Knox is no exception. She is equally, if not more stubborn, as demonstrated by the way she stood up to her family to start and build her catering business. She is just as attracted to Knox.

I loved seeing the development of their relationship. Knox has avoided getting close to anyone as actions in his past have him convinced that he does not deserve a family of his own. That doesn't stop him from being somewhat envious of Gabby's large and close family, or drifting into daydreams of having Gabby in his life permanently. Gabby has not found anyone that can compete with her business for her attention, not for lack of trying by her family. Knox has roused feelings in her that she has never felt before, but she can't see anything coming of it. One of the things I loved about their interactions was how sensitive they are to each other. Gabby sees the shadows in Knox's eyes, and lets him know that she's there when he's ready to talk to her. And when he does, she doesn't judge, and he doesn't know how to deal with that kind of caring. On Gabby's side, the biggest thing that draws her to him is that he actually listens to her, unlike her family. I also enjoyed seeing just how much Gabby confuses Knox with her insistence on helping him. There were quite a few times that had me grinning at the way she outsmarts or outtalks him.

The bad guy, who we learn early on is Knox's boss at MI5, isn't going to give up, and they have to go on the run to avoid him. The man is tenacious and they barely escape with their lives. With the help of Gabby's friends from the previous books, she and Knox come up with a plan to go to London and draw him out. I really enjoyed seeing Gabby overcome each objection Knox had to her involvement. The action kept intensifying as they arrived in London and were attacked again almost immediately. Because of his boss's stellar reputation, and the corruption that lay beneath it, there are only a few people that Knox feels he can trust. The final confrontation was really intense, with some nerve wracking moments. I loved how it all went down, and Knox's surprise at the backup he got.

The epilogue was a pretty sweet wrap up, with the group together in London. Knox's big moment was romantic and sweet. I especially loved the way he included her family.

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