Title: Diplomacy
Author: Zahra Owens
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Buy link: Amazon.com
Genre: Contemporary, GLBT (M/M)
Length: 228 pages (print)
Rating: 5 stars


Jack Christensen has everything he ever wanted. He’s a rising star in US Diplomacy, the youngest man to have been appointed as an Ambassador of the United States. A career diplomat who’s just been sent to a politically interesting Embassy in Europe, he has the perfect wife, speaks five languages and has all the right credentials, yet there’s something missing and he doesn’t quite know what.

Then Lucas Carlton walks into an Embassy reception and introduces himself and his American fiancée. From the first handshake, the young Englishman makes an impression on Jack that leaves him confused and uncharacteristically insecure. Lucas’ position as the British liaison to the American Embassy means they are forced to work together closely and they have a hard time denying the attraction between them, despite their current relationships.

When their women decide to go on a weekend trip together, Jack and Lucas start a passionate relationship, which continues long after their partners return. Diplomatic circles are notoriously conservative though, and they each know that the right woman by their side makes a very significant contribution to their success. Will they be able to make the right choices in their professional and personal lives? Or will they need to sacrifice one for the other?

Jack Christensen is living the perfect life with the perfect wife. He has recently been appointed the youngest Ambassador for the United States in Belgium. The evening following a State Banquet there is a reception for US citizens to meet the President and the Ambassador and it is there that Jack meets Lucas Carlton, a junior Information Officer with the British Consulate and his fiancée, Lucy Marsh. One look into Luke’s eyes awakens feelings that Jack, who is deep in the closet, thought he had buried over 20 years ago.

Things heat up quickly and Luke and Jack go away for a very passionate weekend together when their women are on a weekend shopping trip, and they continue the relationship after they return home. They realize that they are playing a very risky game and Jack knows that the slightest hint of scandal could result in him being recalled as Ambassador and most likely his marriage will be over. For Luke it will mean the end of his career in the Foreign Service if his sexual orientation and affair with the Ambassador were revealed. Will Jack and Luke have the courage to stay together and take the heat and all the negative consequences that their affair will have on their careers and their personal lives? You will have to read the book to find out.

Diplomacy has everything – danger, intrigue, high stakes and a whole lot of sex as Jack and Luke can’t keep their attraction under wraps. The sex is erotic, sensuous, hot, combustible and above all, loving. Zahra Owens paints a picture of two wonderful men whose love has to withstand a kidnapping, the constant glare of living in the spotlight, being fodder for the tabloids, and betrayal. At times the story is bittersweet as they separate but try to find a way back together.

This is Ms Owens’ first novel and what a treat it was for me read this book. The two main characters are believable and three dimensional and the supporting characters add breadth to a very complicated plot. Although English is not her first language the author has done a great job of mastering it, and her prose has a European flavour which only adds to the dialogue.

This is a wonderful story with lots of plot twists and turns and the right amount of conflict to make it extremely interesting. Based on this terrific book I’m confident Ms. Owens has a long career ahead of her as a writer and I highly recommend Diplomacy.


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