4 of 5 stars
I've been a fan of Mr. Drake's since I read his story "Justified Sins" so I was very excited to read his latest novel, ROGUE GENTLEMAN. The story revolves around Steve Dane, ex-military, ex-CIA operative who is out there on his own righting wrongs when he sees them along with his partner, ex-Russian spy Nina Talikova. After being unwittingly drawn into a global conspiracy while trying to save a kidnapped girl, Steve finds himself on a path to take down the most wanted terrorist known only as The Duchess. The Duchess wants to buy a nuclear weapon and sell it to the highest bidder and Steve has vowed to stop her even if it means sacrificing his own life.
I absolutely loved the banter between Steve and Nina. The characters come alive and draw you into their story. There is true affection between these two and dare I say even love, but Nina is used to living high and when she doesn't get it, she can be a very unhappy girl. This was such a fun part of the book especially with all the seriousness of their situation. Good ole Steve is happy to accommodate her whenever he can. They are not only partners in love, but out in the field. They have each others' back every step of the way. I was intrigued as the author introduced these two past's associates as they tried to uncover the whereabouts of The Duchess. Snippets of both Steve and Nina's past are also sprinkled throughout the book and that made me want to know more about them. Steve has a unconventional relationship with the President of the United States, but if that is so, why is he no longer working at the CIA?
The story moves along at a fast clip. There's plenty of action to keep you reading to the end. Will Steve and Nina finally unmask the elusive Duchess and stop the sale of the nuke in time? How many will die in the hunt? Can Steve and Nina pool their resources to pull off the biggest terrorist take-down the world has ever seen? These are just some of the questions the author throws at you. Fans of spy thrillers will definitely enjoy this one. Recommended.