Gideon and the Den of Thieves
Grade : B-

I was predisposed to like this novella for a couple of reasons. First, I LOVE Joanna Bourne’s spy novels and recommend them to everyone I know. Second, Hawker is my favorite Bourne spy and he appears in this story. Readers familiar with Ms. Bourne’s previous novels will recognize many characters (and that certainly helps put the story in context), including Lazarus, King Thief of London, and leader of the Brotherhood.

Aimée Beauclerc escaped the French Revolution only to find herself prisoner to Lazarus. She appraises stolen goods for the Brotherhood and the job provides her a small measure of safety. As the story begins, she and Hawker are worried. Lazarus, recently stabbed in a fight, is vulnerable to Bent Thomas, a member of the Brotherhood looking to overthrow him. Before Thomas can raise a challenge, Gideon Gage is spotted lurking outside. His entrance provides just the distraction Aimée and Hawker need.

Gideon, a soldier of fortune, has come to the den of thieves to barter for his kidnapped sister Daphne – Lazarus’s current toy. With weapons and men of his own, Gideon threatens to storm the hideout if his sister isn’t returned to him. He shows no fear in the hall and despite the rags he’s worn to disguise himself, there’s no disguising his powerful presence, and in him, Aimée sees a way to escape. She’s attracted to him but controls her response in front of Lazarus and the other members of the Brotherhood.

Gideon is focused on his sister and negotiating for her release, but is curious about and interested in Aimée. Clearly his sister trusts her, and she also appears to holds a position of significance in the Brotherhood. She’s strong, proud and holds her own with Lazarus, though he senses she fears him. Gideon decides he also wants Aimée. As he negotiates Daphne’s release with Lazarus, he quietly plans to abduct and free Aimée as well.

Though this story is nominally about the fast developing attraction/lust/love between Gideon and Aimée, the deep games at play between the King Thief and just about every other character in the story take center stage. Ms. Bourne pulls all these disparate threads together into a resolution with a surprise twist. Everyone, including an apparently sentimental Lazarus, gets what they want. Well, not Bent Thomas. But he gets what he deserves.

Gideon and the Den of Thieves is probably my least favorite of Ms. Bourne’s spy series, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Reviewed by Em Wittmann

Grade: B-

Book Type: Historical Romance

Sensuality: Warm

Review Date : January 26, 2016

Publication Date: 02/2016

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Em Wittmann

I love romance novels - all kinds. I love music - some kinds. I have strong opinions about both and I like to share them.
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