Bad Attitude (Bureau of American Defense Series #1)

( 114 )

Overview

BAD agent Sydney Westbrook must find the perfect assassin for a risky counter-terrorism mission. J.D. Steele, a military sniper whose attitude problem landed him in prison, seems a good candidate. But as they're dragged into a secret world of freelance killers, Sydney begins to discover the man of honor and passion beneath Steele's arrogant façade. It's a man even Steele didn't know he could be — and a man whose mission will risk the life of the only woman he's ever loved....

...
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Bad Attitude (Bureau of American Defense Series #1)

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Overview

BAD agent Sydney Westbrook must find the perfect assassin for a risky counter-terrorism mission. J.D. Steele, a military sniper whose attitude problem landed him in prison, seems a good candidate. But as they're dragged into a secret world of freelance killers, Sydney begins to discover the man of honor and passion beneath Steele's arrogant façade. It's a man even Steele didn't know he could be — and a man whose mission will risk the life of the only woman he's ever loved....

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Sexy...A fast-paced, one-sitting read."
Booklist
Library Journal
Suspense, espionage, high-tech gadgetry, and steamy love scenes abound in romance author Kenyon's hardcover debut, the first full-length novel in a new series about the Bureau of American Defense (BAD), a secret governmental agency charged with protecting Americans and American interests. Former army sniper Joshua Steele is in federal prison for shooting his commanding officer while in Iraq, but his skills are just what BAD needs to protect the president of Uhbukistan, a fictional former Soviet republic that happens to be in possession of a nuclear arsenal. As BAD agent Sydney Westbrook struggles to recruit the unwilling Steele into BAD and avoid the organization's enemies, the two reluctantly fall in love. Fans of Kenyon's "Dark-Hunter" series may be disappointed at the lack of the supernatural in her new work; but beyond the surface, it's strikingly similar to her previous novels: a brooding hero with a secret in his past meets a sexy, powerful woman with hidden vulnerabilities, and the two collide with snappy dialog, humor, and passion. This title will do well in public libraries where romantic suspense with a military element is popular.-Nanette Wargo Donohue, Champaign, P.L., IL Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416520290
  • Publisher: Pocket Books
  • Publication date: 6/27/2006
  • Series: Bureau of American Defense Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 463,142
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 4.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Sherrilyn Kenyon

Sherrilyn Kenyon is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of several series, including the Bureau of American Defense novels BAD Attitude, Phantom in the Night, Whispered Lies, and Silent Truth and the Belador series that includes Blood Trinity, Alterant, and The Curse. There are more than 25 million copies of her books in print in over one hundred countries. She lives with her family near Nashville, Tennessee. Visit her website at SherrilynKenyon.com.

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Read an Excerpt

Prologue
Iraq, 2003

There wasn't anything on earth much hotter than the desert in August. Steele lay in the hole he'd dug in the sand under his tent to keep him sheltered in case of a mortar attack, trying to remember the cool, honeysuckle-scented breezes that used to ease the hot summers of his childhood.

If he lay here long enough, he could almost block out the sounds of Army operations in the background. The sound of trucks moving, soldiers calling out to one another. The smell of blood, sweat, and fear. The feel of the hard, hot rifle biting into his side as he kept it tucked in beside him.

God, he just wanted to go home again.

His thoughts turned to Brian, who up until two days ago had shared this tent with him, and winced.

Maybe he didn't want to go home after all.

He could still feel the sting of Teresa's words after he'd called her to see how she was doing.

How do you think I'm doing, asshole? I just had to go tell my six-year-old son that his father is dead. I hate you, you worthless bastard! You swore to me that you'd keep him alive. You're the one who should be dead, not him. No one would even care if it were you.

The worst part was, he knew she was right. Brian wouldn't have even been here if Steele hadn't talked him into enlisting with him after college. They'd been childhood friends together, and Brian had worshipped him. Teresa had wanted Brian to go into the corporate world, but stupid him, he'd talked Brian out of it.

"C'mon, Brian, I'll take care of you. It'll be just like it was when we were kids. Remember how we'd play pretend soldier with our BB guns? It'll be great. Just the two of us, watching each other's backs. No one can touch us."

Now he was paying for that arrogance.

It should have been him who'd died — no one would give two shits if it had been. Teresa's hatred was irrational, but then a lot of Army wives went through that when their spouses died. Even though they knew the risks, the reality of it was hard to swallow and even harder to live with.

Maybe in time she'd forgive him.

He let out a slow, tired breath, which was halted as two men came into his tent, carrying Army footlockers.

"Sergeant," the two privates said in greeting.

If he were an officer, they would have saluted him. Steele had to force himself not to roll his eyes at the thought, which, given their current surroundings, could get someone shot. But their CO had determined that even if it meant a bullet in the head from a sniper, military protocol must be followed....

Unless it was the good captain. Then "proper channels" took on a whole new meaning.

Steele frowned at them. "What are you two doing here?"

"Captain Schmidt told us to pack Corporal Garrison's things. There's a new man coming in later today to replace him."

Steele narrowed his eyes at their words. He'd known it wouldn't be long before Brian was replaced, but damn...

This was too soon. He wasn't ready. He needed more time to come to grips with the gaping hole inside him that ached every minute of every day for the friend — no, the brother — he'd lost. There would never be anyone who could replace what Brian had been to him.

Heartsick, he watched as the two privates started going through Brian's things and placing them in one of the lockers. There were stacks of pictures from their home in Fort Benning that Teresa had sent of herself and Cody. Pictures Cody had colored and drawn in his class. A small pillow Teresa had sent, scented with the perfume she always wore.

Images of Brian holding that pillow to his face before he lay down to sleep at night went through him. Brian had loved that woman more than anything. They had met as sophomores in college at a Laundromat and had fallen in love instantly. Teresa had been the first thing Brian had talked about in the morning and the last thing he thought about before he slept.

Brian had died with a picture of her and Cody in his pocket.

Steele frowned as he saw one of the men tearing pages out of Brian's notebook, where he kept a diary of their days in hell. Brian had been extremely proud of it. "One day, Cody will want to know what his dad did while he was away. This way, he'll know exactly how many times I thought of him and his mother."

"What are you doing?" Steele asked the private.

"The captain said to confiscate anything that might contain classified material so that the platoon sergeant could go through it later."

Steele glared at him. "Those are diary entries for his wife and kid."

"They could compromise us."

Compromise them?

Now that was funny as hell, coming from their captain.

Steele shot to his feet with his rifle habitually in his hand, but he knew it wouldn't do any good to attack these men; they were just following orders. "Brian didn't put anything in there that would — "

His words broke off as he saw the other private sorting through pictures. He was pulling out anything that showed Brian in uniform, which was almost all of them.

Those pictures and Brian's letters were all Teresa and Cody had left of the man they'd both loved.

This was bullshit! His anger burning through him, he grabbed the notebook out of the private's hand and headed for their illustrious captain.

With every step that Steele took, his temper mounted. What they were doing wasn't right. Brian hadn't been a replaceable cog. He'd been a man with a future. One with a family who loved and needed him.

You're a soldier. You know the life.

Steele was from generations of soldiers. Men died in war. It was to be expected.

And yet he couldn't get over Brian's death that easily. He'd been too close to the man. Brian hadn't been just another soldier to Steele.

He'd been a brother.

Steele paused as he neared the captain's tent. He could hear him speaking on the phone. "No, sir. I'm not sure how the men got lost." The captain actually laughed. "You know how the desert is. It's not exactly teeming with landmarks. Accidents happen, and out here, they happen a lot."

Steele felt a tic starting in his jaw.

"No, sir. They were only to scout out the lay of the land. Sergeant Steele wasn't supposed to engage the enemy. I'm still trying to figure out what happened myself."

Bullshit. That sonofabitch had sent them out with a clear objective. It had blown up in their face — the enemy had known they were coming, and now the bastard was trying to say that he had no knowledge of it....

Steele gripped his rifle even tighter as the captain continued to make light of the whole affair that had cost Brian his life.

After a few seconds, the captain hung up.

Before Steele could get a handle on his emotions and enter the tent, the captain came outside.

"We were lost?" The words were out of his mouth before he could stop them.

The captain, who hadn't even realized he was there, stopped dead in his tracks and turned to face him. His brown eyes narrowed dangerously on Steele. "Is there something bothering you, Sergeant?"

"We weren't lost — " He waited deliberately before he added, "Sir. We were right where you ordered us to be. And we did exactly what we were ordered to do."

He could tell by the captain's body language that he was pushing the man too far. But he didn't care. The man's stupidity had killed Brian, and he wasn't about to let him get away with this.

Not about to allow him to laugh this off.

The captain moved forward in that age-old military method of trying to intimidate. It might have worked better had the man not been five inches shorter than Steele.

Then again, Steele had been immune to that tactic since he'd grown up with his father trying to use it on him constantly.

The captain spoke in a low, deadly tone. "You will never speak of this event again with another living soul. Do you understand me, soldier?"

Steele ground his teeth as rage whipped through him, and he kept his mouth closed to prevent himself from saying something that was guaranteed to get him into trouble.

"Do. You. Understand?"

"Yes, sir."

The captain nodded. "Good. You will be assigned a new spotter this afternoon. At sixteen hundred hours, report to my tent for your next assignment."

Steele knew to keep his mouth shut, but he couldn't stop himself. "Is this another mission where we get lost, sir?"

The hatred in the man's eyes was tangible. "Don't mess with me, Sergeant. You know weapons malfunctions happen to even the best of us. Be a damned shame for a man with your talents to have a defective rifle when he needed it, wouldn't it, Sergeant?"

Now the bastard was threatening him? It was all he could do not to punch him straight in that smug face. But he knew better than to try it. All it would get him was arrested.

"Yes, sir," Steele said from between clenched teeth.

The captain spent another three seconds glaring at him before he withdrew. "You will do what you're told, soldier, and you will remember who is in charge here."

Steele watched as the man made his way toward the south end of the tents, but with every step he took, Steele's rage increased.

That cocky fucking bastard had no business being in charge of anything.

He looked down at the notebook in his hand and saw the neatly written words.

Hi Cody,

Another note from Dad. I was thinking of you today and missing you like crazy. I know you're taking good care of your mom for me...

Brian's face flashed through his mind...followed by the sight of his death.

Even now he could feel Brian's warm, sticky blood as it splattered across his face.

"Malfunctions happen to even the best of us..."

That threat was more than he could stand. Dropping the notebook, Steele lifted his rifle and took aim.

Before any rational thought could waylay his emotions, he squeezed off a single round.

The helmet on the captain's head went flying. It landed with a thump against the sand as it sprayed particles around it. Total silence descended as everyone tried to figure out if it'd been a shot or a backfire they'd heard unexpectedly.

The only two who knew what had happened were him and his target.

And as the captain pissed his pants there in front of everyone, Steele's satisfaction was mitigated by one single thought.

That was without a doubt the dumbest move of his life.

Copyright © 2005 by Sherrilyn Kenyon

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 114 )
Rating Distribution

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(47)

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(41)

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(18)

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(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 115 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 3, 2008

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    I Also Recommend:

    First Sherrilyn Kenyon and not last

    This was my first Sherrilyn Kenyon book and definantly not my last. The story line was great. Steele was an army sniper and took a pot shot at his commander. Sentenced to 25 years in army jail he takes the offer that BAD is offering him. Syd is a mouthy strong woman that is nick named Syd Viscious. However, when she meets Steele she seems to turn to mush. I would have looked for more back and forth between the two of them. Kind of like a love hate relationship. It was worth the time I spent reading it. Very interesting and not boring.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Delightful tongue in cheek romantic suspense thriller

    Bureau of American Defense Agent (BAD) Sydney Westbrook knows she must find the right person for the job, but need to do it quickly. She needs a sniper willing to quietly kill an enemy agent before that combatant assassinates a key international figure, who has kept nuclear weapons away from terrorists, during a peace conference held in the United States. Her sister agent Tee informs Sydney that she has just the man for her though there is a slight bump. Former soldier Joshua Daniel Steele is a resident of Leavenworth for shooting his CO. Sydney thinks this guy has the perfect BAD ATTITUDE profile although she knows cons carry a lot of emotional baggage.......................... At first sight Sydney and JD are ready to kill one another, which climaxes in a sexual encounter. As they struggle to keep their attraction out of their business relationship of her spotting for him top make the kill, they begin to fall in love. However, first there remains stopping a professional killer so that nuclear weapons remain out of the hands of terrorists. ............ BAD ATTITUDE is a tongue in cheek romantic suspense thriller starring two crazy combatants who get smart about life by falling in love with one another. Fans will enjoy this fine tale, which has a serious undertone dealing with nuclear weapons ending up in the wrong hands (not just Iran or North Korea, but Al Qaeda, etc.). Still this is an action-packed light hearted farce in which readers will wonder how safe the world will be if the lead couple have offspring.................. Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Bad is Good!

    I really enjoyed Sherrilyn Kenyon's BAD Series. Not only is this a sexy book, it is also pretty funny. Looking forward in readying more of this BAD Series.

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  • Posted October 10, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Great Read!!

    I love Sherriyl Kenyon's books. They are great!! My only problem is I have read it too fast now it is over.

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  • Posted June 14, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Love can be so BAD!

    I just finished reading this book a few minutes ago and I have to say like all of the other "BAD Agency" novels, I love this one too. I had never really pegged myself for someone who would read anything remotely James Bond-ish like these novels are but I'm really enjoying them. Kenyon is a fantastic writer and I may have to cross over into her world of "Dark Hunter" which I haven't read any of, yet.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2006

    GREAT!!!!!!!

    I love The BAD agency. I only wish this one had been longer, spent all day the day after Christmas reading it.. I can not wait for another story about BAD and I hope it is full length also. Each charector you meet in the books makes you want to know more about them and the agency. I really want to hear about Joe and The.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2005

    I want a BAD Boy.

    Bad Attitude was really good. I didn't expect it to be that well written and well plotted. The suspense was killing me. It was filled with one twist after another. Kenyon's other BAD agent stories were really a bunch of hot, sexy FLUFF! They had no plot and no suspense. But BAD ATTITUDE was funny, sexy, and thrilling. Carlos and Andre's witty dialogue is hilarious! And I want to know what will happen between Tee and Joe. They got chemistry so Sherrilyn please make it happen!

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