GUEST AUTHOR: 24-Karat Conspiracy by E.M. Lynley

Check out the exclusive excerpt!


 24-Karat Conspiracy

Series: Precious Gems

Book: Four

Series is recommended to be read in order


Love is the only gold

Former Ranger turned FBI agent Reed Acton faces his biggest challenge yet: a Christmas visit from partner Trent Copeland’s parents. He’s less equipped to handle hugs and holidays than the Taliban or international art thieves. When he’s assigned to track down a set of gold Babylonian artifacts looted from the Iraqi National Museum after the fall of Baghdad, things start to look up.

This time, Trent’s part of the mission, which takes them to exotic Istanbul. The crowded streets and labyrinthine markets fascinate Trent, but soon murder is on their trail. The investigation continues as Reed goes undercover at a US Army base, with Trent masquerading as his spouse. Surprisingly, fastidious and ever-fashionable Trent fits into base life right away and soon takes one of the suspects’ wives under his wing when domestic abuse rears its head.

Their faux marriage leads Reed to appreciate Trent in ways he never expected, strengthening their bond—until Reed has to confront the worst demons from his past: his relationship with his estranged family.


“And how did Katie do at the coffee club?” Reed asked when he got home.

“She came out of her shell after getting so many compliments. Only Lynda never really warmed up to her. That woman could learn a few things about hospitality from Martha Stewart. It’s not just about serving good food. I couldn’t care less what I eat as long as the company is good.”

“Sorry it was such a bust.”

“But it wasn’t. That’s what I wanted to tell you.” Trent turned the water on in the sink, then sat down at the kitchen table, but he couldn’t sit still and his eyes were practically glittering.

Reed appreciated Trent’s diligence to make sure they weren’t overheard. He checked his watch. Twenty minutes before he had to leave for Cray’s house. He hoped Trent’s story wasn’t going to be his typical epic. “Can you wait till later to tell me?”

“After you’ve been smoking cigars and guzzling whiskey? I don’t think so.”

“You’re welcome to join me.”

“Pass. At least for now.”

“Then summarize….”

“The Gregsons have a lot of stuff. A lot of expensive stuff. The kind of things our LA friends have and we don’t notice. But here, for someone at Gregson’s salary, it’s a lot of expensive stuff. Some fancy china, real silverware, a huge closet full of clothes—his and hers. And she had a jewelry box that was locked.”

“And how do you know it was locked?”

“I tried to open it when I pretended to use the upstairs bathroom. I couldn’t find the key in any of the usual places.”

“A woman who locks up her valuables when she has a bunch of nosy guests doesn’t sound all that unusual.”

“Fine. But they have two really nice cars, and there were a lot of photos of them in Europe.”

“None of that is particular suspicious for military families. If you get stationed in Europe, it’s cheap and easy to travel. The silver could be inherited. They might have huge car loans.”


The way Trent’s good mood crumbled made Reed feel guilty. “But that’s great stuff to notice. I’ll try to ask some pointed questions, and I’ll get some details on Gregson’s finances. Good work, Watson.”

“I don’t want to be Watson.”

“You can’t be Holmes.”

“Then I’ll be Irene Adler.”

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About the author

EM Lynley writes sizzling gay romance with a hint of mystery. She loves books where the hero gets the guy and the loving is 11 on a scale of 10. A Rainbow Award winner and EPIC finalist, EM has worked in high finance, high tech, and in the wine industry, though she’d rather be writing hot, romantic man-on-man action. She spent 10 years as an economist and financial analyst, including a year as a White House Staff Economist, but only because all the intern positions were filled. Tired of boring herself and others with dry business reports and articles, her creative muse is back and naughtier than ever. She has lived and worked in London, Tokyo and Washington, D.C., but the San Francisco Bay Area is home for now.

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