Rating: 4.5 stars
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It’s been two years since Trent Copeland crossed the path of Special Agent Reed Acton and fell in love. I would usually follow a sentence like that with “and the rest is history.” But the truth is Trent can’t seem to keep himself out of trouble, so he continues to make history.
After completing the FBI training short program, Trent expects his life to become as adventuresome as Reed’s, yet it remains exactly the same. Reed is constantly out of town on his secret missions, which he refuses to tell Trent about. And Trent is stuck at home by himself finishing yet another novel.
When the opportunity to travel to Japan for a friend, Trent jumps at the chance for adventure and excitement. He doesn’t know much about art and appraisals, but he doesn’t really need to. His main job is to represent the gallery to the potential investors. As Reed is working and unreachable, Trent chooses to take his best friend, Beth, with him. Trent is in awe of the Japanese culture and the customs. So much so that he misses the drama playing out in front of him. After a prominent yakuza leader and art collector is murdered in his own home, Trent is the prime suspect as his fingerprints are the only ones on the murder weapon.
Breaking news of the American accused of singlehandedly murdering a known Japanese mob boss makes its way to Reed while in the middle of a mission. Abandoning that job, Reed makes his way to Japan to unravel a mystery involving yakuza, stolen art, and the innocent man caught in the middle. When proving Trent’s innocence leads to an undercover investigation, will either man make it out alive? And if they do, will their relationship be able to survive the consequences?
Jaded is the third book in the Precious Gems series by E.M. Lynley. I have loved this series since the beginning. Within this series, this author has proven her ability to create a captivating mystery with twists and turns. She has created a progressive romance between two men of opposite worlds that works. And she adds in characters that are both wonderful and frightening. So with the addition of Jaded to this series, I find myself once again enthralled in the world of Trent and Reed.
Even two years down the road, Trent and Reed are wonderful together. They have their minor annoyances – you know, the same as every other couple. Trent is hoping that after finally completing the FBI course, he’ll hold a more active role in Reed’s work. But that’s not going to happen. Trent is ready for something different in his life, something fun. Reed is still a workaholic who is massively protective of Trent. They work well together and maybe they have hit a rut, but this journey of rediscovery for both of them brings them closer together.
The one thing about this story that I didn’t like so much was Shindo. It’s not that I didn’t like him. I did. What I didn’t like was what he represented to Reed. I didn’t like Reed’s attraction to him in the middle of attempting to prove Trent’s innocence. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not one who believes that the perfect couple has eyes only for their “one” and are never attracted to another. But my heart broke with each of Reed’s reactions to Shindo. It left the metaphorical bad taste in my mouth.
I love Trent and Reed and I love their strength and stability at the conclusion of this story. I am impressed each time I open a Precious Gems novel to see the level of creativity this author puts forth with each story. The depth of the mystery and the entertainment value alone are fabulous. Like I said, I didn’t love “the other man,” but that didn’t keep me from loving this story. I’m hoping to see more of Trent and Reed in the future. I highly recommend Jaded by E.M. Lynley.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.