And then there are his personality traits LOL! I also enjoy thinking about his quirky mannerisms, as well as his outward appearance. Physical traits are always fun, like his body——how muscular, how tall——longish, unkempt hair or is he well-groomed? Most importantly, my hero must have flaws——at the very least, weaknesses.
Otherwise, he is just not interesting enough to be a Gentlemen of Scotland Yard. I want each hero to have to overcome or at least confront a few personal challenges. I dug through some of my early character notes on Agent Gunn and thought I would share some of them with blog readers. Do you have a favorite flawed hero or heroine?
Please share! Jillian is also the author of The Gentlemen of Scotland Yard series. Find J illian:. Website Facebook Twitter. Thanks again, to Nocturnal Book Reviews for inviting me to guest blog today. From the author of An Affair with Mr. Prima ballerina Catriona de Dovia lives the glamorous life of a starlet, filled with glittering jewels, sumptuous dinners, and admiring suitors.
A Private Duel with Agent Gunn published in Italian: Un Romantico Duello
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 wealthy 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. 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. 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.
Click for Excerpt Link. He's the most unlikeable protagonists I've seen, and I love him to pieces for it : 8 December at Alexa Ale said I don't think I have one : 8 December at Liss Martz said Thank you for the international giveaway : 9 December at Mary Preston said Sherlock Holmes comes to mind. All that genius comes with more than a touch of arrogance. No one stands out right now. Newer Post Older Post Home. Subscribe to: Post Comments Atom.
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All proceeds will go towards my enormous TBR. I will also shelter you on the remote farm in Portugal when zombie apocalypse starts provided you survive getting there. There will be books, yay? Love you all. Book Blogger Directory. Powered by Blogger. Blog Stats since May Noteworthy Blogs. Dear Author. Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell. Ilona Andrews. Listening Library  2 days ago. The Book Smugglers. And not a day over fifteen.
Very likely this was a penniless, supperless girl willing to have a go for a pint and chop. She brazenly eyed him up and down.
Not this evening, love. Finn slipped her a half crown and continued down the sink of iniquity that was Princess Street. To escape the relentless commerce of vice, he took a shortcut between buildings. He concentrated on the glow that hovered above jagged rooftops and nearly tripped over a drunk. He jumped a puddle of unspeakable sludge. The clamor of wicked commerce gradually gave way to the echo of his footsteps on wet pavers.
A wraith in the night stepped up behind and pressed a knife to his throat. For a moment, Finn imagined stepping forward into the cruel cut of the blade. The slice across his carotid artery. A steaming spray of crimson. The metallic scent of blood. This keen sense of life on the edge stirred his heart into a gallop of frenetic beats. Bugger all, something more primal took over. Finn backed into the man with such force the surly robber staggered. Please, sir, I would not have hurt ye. I swear it. He slipped the blade inside his coat pocket.
London was chockablock with amateur thieves. Rural lads, displaced by farm machinery, continued to pour into London. Once their meager savings disappeared, they turned desperate. Running a bit late—meeting friends at the music hall. No doubt the young man was down on his luck and had turned to thievery. Get yourself an honest job. Phineas pulled out his card. Millwall docks, Isle of Dogs. Ask around for a man by the name of Tully. Tell him. He studied the burly young thief in the dark. Exiting the alley, Finn jogged across a corner of the square.
The garish lights of the Alhambra reflected off streets still wet from an earlier cloudburst.
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He wound his way past clusters of gentlemen assembled in front of the entertainment palace. The siren call this evening? A widely extolled troupe of ballet girls direct from Paris. Phineas Gunn. A rare sighting, indeed. I see the Ballet Royale de Musique has enticed you out of the house this evening.
Chilcott took a draw on his cigar. These ballet girls have a bad reputation, which is in most cases well deserved. Adopting an equally disdainful pose, he arched a brow. Then, I can only assume, Dudley, you are here hoping for a backstage introduction. A guffaw of laughter from the circle of men prompted a grin. All of London, it would seem, was aware of his humiliating malady. The ever inebriated and opinionated earl snorted something between a laugh and a grunt.
The man exhaled a puff of tobacco smoke. The Earl of Harrow reportedly enjoyed having his eyelids licked by two naked whores. An eyelid apiece, one supposed. He returned his attention to the second hand of the brass-trimmed clock above the lobby doors. Fifteen seconds. Thirty-five heartbeats, Finn did the math. Thirty-five times four equals one hundred forty beats per minute. Finn released his thumb from his wrist and kept his breath slow and regular. In actuality, he had an appointment with Scotland Yard, in the person of Zeno Kennedy, chief inspector of Special Branch.
Damned intriguing to call a meeting at a music hall. A sweep of the square through open doors brought a tall, strapping lad into view. Somewhat cheered by the sight of his brother, Finn exhaled. Dressed in frock coat and silk hat, his younger sibling wove a path through the tangled throng.
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Rare, to see him out of his regimentals. Rarer still, to run into each other at the Alhambra. Finn stared. He turned to his circle. I believe most of you know my brother, Cole Harding Gunn? Finn whisked Hardy away before he did something rash with his fists.
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A quick jostle through the crowd and they were out of the hall and on the pavement. He hailed Kennedy. Zeno Kennedy—Zak, to his friends—greeted them both with an affable smile. Hardy has applied to the Home Office. His brother added another grin. I hope to resign my commission in the Blues and join Special Branch. Hardy often withheld information from him. Still, Finn raised both brows. And when did all this come about? A restless type and a thrill seeker even as a small child, Hardy could ride faster and fight harder than any man he knew. So why did Finn worry so much about his little brother?
Kennedy cleared his throat. I managed to score us a box—on loan from Lord Phillips. Shall we? Several heads nodded their way as the famous chief inspector led them upstairs. Finn spoke quietly. Hardy shrugged. Zak held back curtains and ushered them into their seats. A very attentive waiter entered the box behind them. Shall it be supper or libations, gentlemen? Perhaps a bit of both?
Give it up, Kennedy. What has Special Branch got in mind for me? Something interesting, I hope. I could use the diversion. Glancing at the stage below, Zak sipped from his glass. A couple of things, actually. The Yard man kept his voice just above the strains of music. Finn and Hardy leaned in. My involvement was limited to tracking a delivery of dynamite in transit from Portsmouth to France via Spain.
As operations go, this one blew up, quite literally. No lasting political ramifications, at least not from our side of the channel. Have a look at this. Finn rotated the stickpin between fingers. The facets of a large diamond caught whatever dim light was available. Zak nodded. Recently confiscated off a dead body washed up downriver. We believe the corpse to be the conspirator known as Carlos Jorge Rivera. The detective swiveled toward Hardy. I thought you might like to shadow this case with your brother.
Get a taste for the work, find out if it suits. Zak appeared to consider his statement. We suspect whoever that person is, may be connected to the anarchists.
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Kennedy nodded at the tiepin. That bit of flash was purchased recently through private sale and pinched little more than a week later. Finn twirled the gem. Ends up on the person of an anarchist floating facedown in the Thames. He pocketed the tiepin. The burglar appears to be rather selective. Takes one piece and leaves piles of other valuables behind. Finn tilted his gilded chair onto its rear legs. He gazed at the stage, which had dimmed briefly before the featured act. I thought you were more of an opera aficionado, Kennedy. Why are we here?
To reconnoiter with a particular featured dancer. From high above the stage a pale glow poured down upon the master of ceremonies. The man in formal tails and opera hat tilted his head toward the balcony. And where in the heavens might we find such a lovely mythical bird? All eyes followed as the haunting strains of harps, violins, and cellos swelled into something whimsical and evocative—Debussy, Finn thought.
A lone spotlight halted on the lithe figure of a young woman sitting on the ledge of a balcony.
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The very term caused a sudden shiver of uncanny intuition. Finn had dredged up the word— arabesque —from distant memory. The ballerina tilted her head and opened gently wavering arms, a preening bird preparing for flight. With each flutter she loosed ribbons of red and gold silk. Her pointe slippers pawed the ledge as she traversed the upper tier, unfurling wing and tail streamers along the way. Strains of music built quickly to a crescendo and she plunged off the balcony. The audience gasped as the diving bird swooped down over the audience attached to a delicate golden perch and gilded wire.
Hardy leaned forward. Nice set of gams, wot? She floated across the stage, heading straight for their box. With arms outstretched, she unfurled yet another length of delicate fabric, gaily tossing it ahead of her as she reached the end of her arc. Before he could stop himself, Finn reached out over the edge of the balcony and caught the ribbon of silk.
Their eyes met in shock and surprise. Every fiber of his being came alive. The roar of cheers from the male audience below barely registered. The trapeze swung the ethereal bird back over the heads of the audience and lowered her gracefully to the floor of the stage. The ballerina leaped to earth amongst an eruption of applause, and danced a series of precision pirouettes across the stage into the arms of a male dancer who lifted her high above his shoulders and rotated her slowly in the air.
Zak and Hardy joined in the applause. Finn sank into his chair. He had never seen Catriona dance in Spain, or France for that matter. In fact, he had hardly gotten to know her at all. Tall and willowy with large sapphire eyes and raven hair, she was so. Mesmerized by her every move, his mind returned to a night of unforgettable passion they had shared—Christ, how long was it now?
Well over a year, at least. Most provocatively, she slipped back down to earth in the arms of her partner. Twirling and leaping across a stage flooded with moonlight, her body moved with a light, ethereal quality—a sensuous grace—as if her feet had no real need to touch ground. Fields of gravity did not apply to this lovely creature. She arched her back and swept an arm in the air, signaling farewell.
One could feel the enchantment as everyone gasped a collective sigh. Waves of energy rippled through the room as the audience stood in ovation. She took her bows amongst a host of bravos and applause. Zak leaned forward. Though she dances with the Paris ballet company and has taken a French stage name, she is actually—. Born to a Spanish mother and British father, raised in both countries, attended finishing school in France. Zeno poured them each another dram. Finn shot Zak a cautionary glower. Never thought you were the type to read between the lines, Kennedy.
Quite a stunning young woman, Finn. Hardly surprising there was an affair. The Yard man gazed from one brother to the other. My wife informs me the ladies quite often throw themselves at both of you. To my never-ending relief, Hardy gets most of the attention. Zak pressed on. He stared at Zak. A tool perhaps, or she could be a cunning operative. We need you to find out. Kennedy tossed back his whiskey and set the glass down.
And what would you have me do with her? Finn stuffed the silk ribbon in his coat pocket. Once I find out? Befriend her. Gain her trust. Turn her if you can. Both the Admiralty and Home Office would like nothing more than to have a mole on the Continent. Hardy sat back, nearly agog. This Scotland Yard business beats the Horse Guards by a length and half. Finn rose from his chair. I believe I have a stage door to knock on. Chapter Two. One of the girls in the wings handed her a towel. Merci, chouchou. Cate dabbed at perspiration and wove a path through a blur of diaphanous pastel skirts.
The corps de ballet awaited the strains of music that cued their entrance. A rapid pulse and labored breath were normal after such a strenuous dance, but she did not recall ever being this. And her stomach flutters were—dear God, her body purred inside. He had reached out and nearly touched her. A tremble vibrated from the tips of her breasts to the depths of her womb.
He had caught one of her streaming ribbons, much to the elation of an audience brimming with men. She slipped down the backstage stairs crowded with up and down traffic, and made her way into the green room. Some came with flowers, others with offers of a late supper. She collected several bouquets, conversing pleasantly with her followers, men who were often nearly speechless on first acquaintance.
Tonight, Cecil Cavendish, eleventh Baron Burleigh, stationed himself near her door. Good evening, Miss de Dovia.