"Gina Robinson's debut novel has everything; intrigue, action, great characters"
If you've ever fantasized about being a spy or a Bond girl
or even if you just like well-done romantic suspense, then
consider SPY CANDY a must read. Sensible Jenna Jarvis,
wears practical clothes, works at a bank and has an on-
again-off-again (read safe) relationship, but all this
changes when she receives a week at Fantasy Spy Camp as a
30th birthday present. Jenna has to go to camp undercover.
She brings out her inner sex goddess and morphs into Domino
complete with spiky heels, mini skirts and lots of
cleavage. Not much of a flirter in the past, she picks it
up pretty quickly.
Camp starts off with a bang (pun intended) with a car
explosion in the parking lot. Jenna and her fellow campers,
all lottery winners except her, don't respond well, and all
would have died because of panic and paralysis. Then we
meet the spy candy, Torq and Alex, two oh-so-sexy former
Special Forces operatives, dark and blond respectively.
Jenna has an instant response to Torq, but she hasn't ever
attracted such a hunk in the past. Camp promises lots of
tests, so when Jenna's camera disappears, she's not sure if
it's a prank or a real theft. But other things happen to
make her suspicious, so she recruits Emma Peel, her next-
door neighbor to help with an investigation. Not that
she'll share everything, but at least she'll have some
backup. And maybe, she can use some of those new-found
skills to weasel information from Torq.
Gina Robinson's debut novel has everything you'd want in a
terrific story: intrigue, action, great characters and
realistic dialogue. She has also done her research well
with tons of Bond and other pop culture spy references and
details about evasive driving, rappelling down buildings,
self-defense and reading facial expressions. Jenna,
especially, stands out as a well-created character.
Robinson deftly handles her transition from straight-laced
and semi-insecure banker to the flirtatious, and more
secure, self she becomes.
Robinson gives us just enough background to ensure we're
familiar with subjects but never so much to distract us
from the plot. She has also mastered misdirection, dangling
clues to implicate many while keeping the true whodunit
under wraps, which, in my book, is the sign of a true
talent. I finished SPY CANDY in a day. Once you open it,
you won't find any good stopping points, so make sure you
have the time to inhale it all at once. It's very similar
to trying to eat just one chocolate from the box.
Impossible! The one thing Robinson didn't tell us is where
we sign up for camp. I look forward to her next camp novel—
Black Ops, I think—due out in a year.
Reviewed by Katherine Petersen
Posted December 19, 2008
**A PNR Reviewer Recommended Read**
From her sensible shoes to her dating choices, bank officer Jenna Jarvis has always played it safe. But her fantasy life is a whole other story. And now Jenna's got a golden opportunity to play a real life secret agent, courtesy of her generous best friend and a fantasy spy camp set smack dab in the red-hot centre of the Arizona desert...The stay starts off with a bang literally - as a car explodes to greet Jenna and her fellow covert trainees, each of whom have a spydentity based on an iconic undercover agent. But it's the real-life operatives who capture Jenna's attention, particularly super-buff ex-CIA agent-cum-instructor Torq Toricelli. Confidence boosted by playing a bold-as-brass hot babe, Jenna might just have a fighting chance with Torq if she can make it through camp in once piece...A few near misses have made it frighteningly clear that someone is taking this fantasy way too seriously. Jenna's mission: find out who's gunning for her fellow spies - and live to die another day...