Title: The Start of a Beautiful Friendship by Tinnean
Series: Spy vs. Spook 0.5
Genre: M/M Romance, Contemporary
Published October 16th 2013 by Dreamspinner Press
Length: 78 pages
Rating: 5 Stars
Review Copy Provided by Publisher
A Spy vs. Spook Novella
Prequel to Houseboat on the Nile
It’s 1996, and Mark Vincent, senior special agent of the Washington Bureau of Intelligence and Security, has been assigned the task of assassinating the head of a terrorist organization in Europe. When the mission goes south and he’s ordered to take a vacation, he reluctantly goes to Paris, where, in a little bar called Le Petit Homme, he sees a man who intrigues him. However, like ships passing in the night, they go their separate ways, only to meet again the following morning, and over breakfast, the man introduces himself as Louis.
Is it too much of a coincidence? Perhaps, perhaps not, but Mark is intrigued and, unable to resist, he gives his name as Rick. A comment of Louis’s leads Mark to assume Louis hustles for a living, so Mark decides to “rent” him for the week. Unbeknownst to Mark, Louis has his own reasons for going along with the charade, which leads to… the start of a beautiful friendship.
Purchase Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4262
This is a great short story that has enough characterization and storyline to feel complete and leaves me wanting more.
Mark is a secret agent and gets delayed for his new mission by bad weather. When he gets to the scene of action, his partners are dead and dying. He vows to avenge his fallen partners but his boss tells him to take a vacation and cool his head. He goes to Paris, undercover, and encounters another man as intriguing as himself and with just as many secrets.
There is definitely sufficient background on Mark that I can connect with him. Sometimes, he's a regular guy who's uncle has cancer and is trying to come to terms with losing him in the future. Other times, he's a dangerous undercover agent with a reputation that precedes him. The best part of the story is reading through Mark's thought process and actions on how he stays undercover while spending his vacation with a rent boy.
I love how much I've come to know Mark's character is such short pages. The writing also flows smoothly and the story itself is not a dark, heavy read. I would definitely check out the other books in the series and see if they measure up to as good as this short story promises