Night Games

An Original Sin

The Pleasure Master

From Boardwalk with Love
by Nina Bangs
(Love Spell, $6.99, PG-13) ISBN 0-505-52506-2
Camryn O’Brien is a B.L.I.S.S. agent, assigned to prevent the world’s richest man from losing all his money and sending the whole world into economic and financial disaster. Owen Sitall is obsessed with the game of Monopoly, because he has never been able to win even one game. His private island, Chance, is an enormous replica of a Monopoly game, complete with all the pieces and tokens.

Because this is Camryn’s first assignment, her boss, Y, has sent Rachel, Flo, and Sara with her, experienced agents brought out of retirement for the occasion. She also has a car, a ’78 Mary K pink Cadillac, and the world’s ultimate weapon, F.I.D.O., a Feline Intelligence Defense Operative, that looks like a large, fat, orange tabby cat, and is controlled by hot buttons inserted just under her skin all over her body. Her mission is to find and eliminate Zed, who is part of L.O.V.E.R., the League of Violent Economic Revolutionaries, and foil their plans for Owen.

Jace Sentori is Owen’s illegitimate son who hasn’t seen his father since he was six and beat him at Monopoly. He is on Chance to retrieve the valuable tokens Owen stole and return them to their rightful owners without legal action on either side. He is working with Citra Nella, a government operative assigned to keep an eye on him while he works with the hunters trying to find the tokens. He hasn’t told his father that he is on the island, and doesn’t want to have anything to do with him. Unlike his father, Jace is a Game Master, he not only wins at all the games he plays, he also creates them, and his reputation is worldwide.

When Jace, tall, dark, handsome, and known as “the hottie on the Harley” and Camryn, tall, curvy, redheaded, but not quite up to her code name Agent 36DD, meet, sparks fly, to say the least. But since they are both stubborn, independent, and determined not to need each other, the course of true love doesn’t run smoothly. And then there is Camryn’s annoying secret power to deal with. Brought up by a powerful father and six older brothers, all determined to take care of her, she developed the power to hurt any man who took her power away from her. Jace is a protector from way back, and has to learn the hard way that this isn’t a good idea where Camryn’s concerned.

This James Bond pastiche has all the requisite pieces: sexy women with outrageous names, cars that can do anything, unbelievable weapons, convoluted plot, and of course, lots of Bondian dialogue and explosive sex. However, Bangs layers one satire on another, by making this heroine is an incompetent secret agent who can’t shoot, has the ultimate weapon that almost never does what it’s supposed to, and constantly has to be rescued from her mistakes, and rains psychic retribution on Jace when he saves her. Jace provides the steadying influence she needs on her first operation, and teaches her what she needs to know for the future. Funny, fast-paced, with characters that push the envelope in every way they can, From Boardwalk with Love will be a treat for James Bond fans and for readers who enjoy a sexy satire.

--Joni Richards Bodart

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