It's a light fun, without sarcasm, and Trent comes out like a perfect comedy hero, even if, indeed, he has a lot of feminine traits. That is not a big issue for Reed, his lover: even if Trent has a penchant for herbal bath gels and prefers to make love rather than f**king, it's also true that he has the body of the perfect dream lover, like the actors of those romantic comedy adventure movies the author seems fond of.
There are a lot of references to the movie industry, Hitchcock, Lauren Bacall, Scarlett O'Hara and even the more recent Leonardo Di Caprio, but other than that it also seemed to me the author was paying an homage to the most famous romantic adventure movie of ever, Romancing the Stone. Like in that movie, a mostly naive romance writer unwillingly lives the adventures you usually find in romance books to the end arriving to crave them.
It's not only a question of references, all the novel has the fast pace and the vivid images of a movie script, and of course the foreign setting helps a lot. Trent has the chance to test his limits, above all the fear for the unknown he is experimenting since the death of his previous partner: like to exorcize this death, instead of falling in love for a coach potato man, someone sound and safe, Trent will fall head over heels for Reed, a mix of bad spy and good villain (and yes, the mixing in the adjectives is intended). Truth be told, Reed is not so dangerous as he appears, and between the two, he is probably the one who would prefer to enjoy the life without too much committment, but that is not possible, because, like in an old fashioned romance, Trent is not the type you could have a no strings attached affair, he is all or nothing, and to "taste" the forbidden fruit, Reed is willing to renounce to his rakish life of before.
Amazon: Rarer Than Rubies
Paperback: 214 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (July 29, 2011)
Reading List: http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bott