Undercover Lover

Undercover Lover - Tibby Armstrong 3.5-4 starsThis is the 2nd book in the series, about Gunter (David Tallis' security guy) and Jenny, David's sister. It's a gritty book, much darker and much more serious than the 1st book. And yeah, there's the feeling of "unreal" about it... but the author's way of spinning that plot web has the reader eagerly setting aside disbelief to find out what happens next.This book is as much or more about Gunter as it is Jenny. We learn about Gunter's mysterious past, which involves MI5, a dead ex-wife who started out as an asset, and an operation that went horribly wrong in Dublin. The confusing part is that the bad guy's name is Durbin, which is a little too close to Dublin, and as weird as it sounds, sometimes I wasn't sure which was which - were they talking about the guy (The White Tiger) or the city?Between the CIA and MI5, Gunter and Jenny are pulled into an MI5 operation to finally take down The White Tiger, this Durbin guy who is selling a drug combo called Bengal, that's part cocaine, part X, and a lot of trouble. Because Jenny has the connection to David Tallis and Gunter has the connection to the rich-and-famous, the 2 are set up to go undercover as lovers as part of a sting op to take down The White Tiger once and for all. Jenny is supposed to be the drugged-up celeb wannabe, hanging onto Gunter for the Bengal; he's supposed to be hanging onto Jenny, because she's connected to the In Crowd.What we didn't know about Gunter is that he's been following Jenny for several years, starting when she was still in college in New York. They actually met at a party that she was drunk at, and Gunter made sure that Jenny got home, even if he had to undress her to put her to bed. Seems that Gunter's got it bad for Jenny, but he keeps it all inside. 1) Gunter knows David would come unglued, and 2) Gunter's experience with his wife, who was supposed to be an asset; but Gunter believes that because he got so emotionally involved with Alona, he jeopardized the op, his men, and her. MI5 tends to agree.What's weird is that David's skanky ex-manager is back, and somehow tied to all of the drama that the CIA is pulling. Jenny's attacked in the hallway outside David's apartment, where she's staying while he's on a world tour. Somehow, the feds get involved, and before you know it, Gunter is framed for murdering the skanky ex-manager, with Jenny involved by way of possible drugs.No help for it but to escape the country... into the arms of former MI5. Where the guy in charge of taking in Gunter, Jenny, and Gunter's employee, ex-CIA Simon comes down to Ian - one of Gunter's previous MI5 contacts and involved with the Dublin mess. Ian spills it that Gunter and Jenny are expected to take down The White Tiger. Gunter doesn't want Jenny anywhere near any of this, but she's already been compromised by association with him... so he grudgingly spends 2 weeks training Jenny in spy-trade for the mission.Jenny is determined to get close to Gunter; she's gone beyond crush-ville into a full-blown obsession. Gunter's already in love with Jenny... he doesn't want to get any closer. But of course, this IS a romance book, so we know where it's heading.Sure enough, the show-down is wild and full of twists - not totally unexpected twists, but fun enough, dark enough, and twisted enough to keep you reading.Can Gunter and Jenny find a happily-ever-after when this is all done? After all, there are press pictures of a drugged-up Jenny practically humping Gunter...I appreciated the way that the author doesn't make light of all of this - not while it's happening and not when it's done. We're left with a solution, but an uneasy one - a fairly real one. Despite what the truth is, the public and the press have a completely different idea about what's been happening and Jenny and Gunter have been up to. And that doesn't just go away overnight.I almost wasn't sure that I liked the gritty, dark underbelly of this story... and as with book 1, so much happens so fast... but I enjoyed the twists and turns of the bumpy ride. Is there a book #3?