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Please welcome Jillian Stone, author of A Private Duel with Agent Gunn, as she talks about her new book.

And don’t forget to enter to win a copy below – open internationally!

by Jillian Stone

I’m very excited to be here today at Luxury Reading to celebrate the release week of A Private Duel with Agent Gunn. Thanks for inviting me!

This is the third book in a series that debuted at the beginning of 2012, with the stoic, taciturn detective, Zeno Kennedy in An Affair with Mr. Kenned. It then continued on with Rafe Lewis, the daring-do operative of A Dangerous Liaison with Detective Lewis. Now comes the third novel of the Gentlemen of Scotland Yard series, A Private Duel with Agent Gunn, a tale of torrid romance, adventure and international espionage.

Several years ago, I got to thinking about Scotland Yard detectives. It seemed to me that Yard men were always portrayed as bumbling inspectors, five moves behind Sherlock Holmes. So I thought, what if there was an elite group of detectives? I began to do some research and found out that there was a division of Scotland Yard created in the 1882 called Special Branch. I added a dash–as in dashing–of James Bond Steampunk and that was the start of the Gentlemen of Scotland Yard. The heroines in each book are fascinating, progressive Victorian women: an Impressionist painter, an industrialist and a ballerina/jewel thief/spy!

These tales are gritty, sexy and yes, set in the late Victorian era! One of the most interesting things I have uncovered in my research was how obsessed the British middle class was with sex. They may have covered their piano legs out of modesty, but they liked nothing more than to talk about sex, categorize it, condemn it and in the case of prostitution, patronize it. In 1887, venereal disease in the military was down from nearly 50% to 29%. That same year, the Lancet medical journal estimated there were approximately 80,000 prostitutes working in London. This is out of a total population of 2,360,000 or 3%. Women working the streets were a common sight, particularly around the theater districts, Leicester Square and Covent Garden. I have to say, I love using this kind of research, along with a thick, black fog to create atmosphere.

Each novel in the Gentlemen of Scotland Yard series features a new love story and crime to solve, so a reader can pick up the series anywhere. As for this latest release, Cate and Finn’s adventure begins with a double cross and crackles with secrets, lies and sexual tension. The crime is clear–breaking and entering each other’s hearts–but as the clock ticks down, who will be the first to surrender?

Here’s a blurb about the story – click here to read an excerpt

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 charming 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 in Barcelona. And he suspects Cate is more than a ballet girl–in fact, she just might be a jewel thief, or even more arousing–a clever undercover operative.

Finn is determined to find out 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.

Brief Author Bio:

Jillian Stone is the author of the Phaeton Black, Paranormal Investigator series, which includes The Seduction of Phaeton Black, and the just released, The Moonstone and Miss Jones. The third sequel, The Miss Education of Doctor Exeter, is scheduled to release in summer 2013. Jillian is also the author of The Gentlemen of Scotland Yard series.

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QUESTION FOR COMMENTERS:

Do you have a favorite London based undercover operative, detective or private eye? If so, please share. I’m giving away a signed copy of A PRIVATE DUEL WITH AGENT GUNN to one lucky commenter today.

Thanks again, to Luxury Reading for inviting me to guest blog today.a Rafflecopter giveaway