Overview

Ex-cop Gina Ryan traded in her Smith & Wesson to follow a dream. Now she's creating decadent desserts aboard a luxury cruise ship in the Caribbean. But a gorgeous passenger is about to send her perfect world up in smoke.—

Trace O'Halloran is a hard-edged navy SEAL, under strict orders to take some high seas R & R. There's a shipload of women in bikinis eager to help him unwind, so why can't he take his mind off the stubborn pastry chef ...

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Code Name: Bikini

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Overview

Ex-cop Gina Ryan traded in her Smith & Wesson to follow a dream. Now she's creating decadent desserts aboard a luxury cruise ship in the Caribbean. But a gorgeous passenger is about to send her perfect world up in smoke.—

Trace O'Halloran is a hard-edged navy SEAL, under strict orders to take some high seas R & R. There's a shipload of women in bikinis eager to help him unwind, so why can't he take his mind off the stubborn pastry chef with an attitude the size of Montana?

When a dangerous assassin from Trace's past appears, Gina and Trace must join forces to save the ship's guests. The clock's ticking, and they'll need every weapon at hand— from body armor to chocolate ganache!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

It's The Six Million Dollar Manmeets The Love Boatin this fifth addition to Skye's energetic Code Name series (following Code Name: Blondie). Fresh from a northern Afghanistan war zone and worse for the wear, microchip-enhanced navy SEAL Trace O'Halloran has a new assignment guarding valuable human tissue samples aboard a luxury cruise ship en route to Mexico. Trace, who'd rather be in a northern Afghanistan war zone, grimaces his way through boarding and the first uncomfortable meal before meeting pastry chef Gina Ryan, a rising industry star who gets her kicks creating and plating a thousand crème brûlées a night. Unfortunately, Ryan's nascent celebrity has netted her an enemy in Blaine Richardson, the Cruella DeVille of beverage service. When a villain from Trace's past resurfaces, things go from bad to deadly. While the romance between Trace and Gina feels inevitable and uninspired, and the plot line barely plausible, it makes a fun, antic read. Series fans will find what they came for, but newcomers will want to save themselves some confusion by starting at the beginning. (July)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Library Journal

After nearly being killed in Afghanistan, bionically enhanced Navy SEAL Trace O'Halloran is sent off on a cruise ship both for a little R & R and on assignment as security for a government courier. It should have been restful, but a murder plot and attractive pastry chef Gina Ryan keep it anything but. Soon, the couple are drawn into a deadly game with a clever enemy that threatens the entire ship. Fast-paced action, flashes of humor, and futuristic flavor typify this romantic action-adventure. Fans of the "Code Name" series will enjoy this delicious addition.


—Kristin Ramsdell
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781460302736
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 9/17/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 105,803
  • File size: 411 KB

Meet the Author

Christina Skye loves a good adventure. Living in Arizona gives her plenty of room to practice target shooting and to trek off-road on her motorcycle, researching the details for stories rich with “snappy dialogue” and an unerring ability to keep “the narrative energy high and the pacing swift” (Publishers Weekly). With over two million books in print, her novels appear regularly on national bestseller lists. Visit her online at www.christinaskye.com.
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Read an Excerpt

Northern Afghanistan Winter

DARKNESS.

Wind and death.

Trace O'Halloran didn't move. Cold dug under his Kevlar vest as he watched the rugged road below him.

Something moved over the snow-dusted ground near his feet. Another rat.

Red eyes glowed in the faint green light of his nightvision goggles. Only rats could survive in this godforsaken mountain pass in winter.

It was Christmas Eve. Back in the States, families sang hymns and parents assembled dollhouses to surprise wideeyed children while snow fell in the soft hush.

But here on a rugged plateau in Afghanistan, the cold was merciless and wind cut with icy fingers. Frostbite was unavoidable if he didn't find shelter soon. But the mission came first.

Trace leveled his gaze on the road three hundred feet below his hiding spot. He didn't think about the fresh wounds across his left wrist or the blood that darkened his forearm, courtesy of a difficult high altitude, low opening—HALO—jump.

Abruptly he felt movements in the night. Leaning forward, he read a change in energy patterns. A three-truck convoy crawled through the darkness. Their Korean-made trucks were guarded by soldiers wielding Soviet RPG-7 shoulder-launched missiles.

An equal-opportunity war, he thought grimly.

And this was his target. The convoy carried covert German communication technology extorted from a weapons designer based in Singapore. Not surprisingly, the man had disappeared before he could reveal his blackmailer. In the hands of a trained technician, the new device could track a massive quantity of U.S. communications. Through the application of mathematical predictive models, government assets could be located and areas of vulnerability tapped within minutes. In enemy hands the system could inflict catastrophic damage, and Trace's job was to see that the hardware never reached its destination.

Truck lights carved the darkness. The convoy stopped with a screech of brakes. Agitated voices cut through the cold, still air.

The men in the Korean trucks were ruthless and well trained. They would shoot anything suspicious on their trek to an isolated mountain stronghold sixty miles to the north. But Trace didn't intend to be noticed until he was ready. As he glanced at his watch, his skin burned. Frostbite was setting in.

Ignoring his pain, the SEAL fingered a button on the device in his left pocket.

Something moved down on the road. The first truck pulled sideways and two soldiers jumped out. Arguing loudly, they pointed to a paper flapping in the bone-chilling wind.

Right on schedule, Trace thought. Nice to see technology working right for once. His maneuver had lured them exactly where he wanted them.

Dark fur brushed his arm. Ears raised alertly, a black Labrador retriever held his down position behind a rock, awaiting Trace's next order. The big dog had trained with Trace for months to prepare for this mission, and Trace sensed the dog's eagerness to go to work.

Not yet, Duke.

His hand settled on the dog's head. The Lab watched every movement, waiting for the next touch command.

As the wind keened over the rocky slope, Santa Fe and Christmas cheer were a universe away. Trace couldn't even remember his last Christmas at home. His last two leaves had been cut short because of security alerts. As part of a top-secret government team, code-named Foxfire, Trace trained hard and kept personal attachments next to nil. That was the price of admission for special operations work, but the conditions had never bothered Trace, not when the stakes were so high.

Other people might call him a patriot. But for Trace the job boiled down to very personal terms—protecting family, friends and a way of life from enemies without honor or scruples. If doing his job meant taking a bullet, he was more than ready to pay that price with his own blood.

A silent alarm vibrated at his wrist.

Showtime.

Silently, he pulled a small box from his Kevlar vest. The dog sniffed, then gripped the box's metal handle between his teeth. When Trace touched the Lab's collar in a prearranged command, weeks of training kicked in. Duke skirted the rocks, turned and then headed for the road below.

Be safe, Trace thought. Stay low and move fast. He didn't have to project the commands. Duke would do exactly as trained.

Trace leveled his scoped assault rifle and measured his target. A third hostile soldier jumped down, shouting at his teammates. Trace took out the nearest truck's tires and front windshield with a four-second burst.

The insurgents scattered. Gunfire hammered the air above Trace's head. His next volley drilled the middle truck's gas tank. Under the explosive flare of an orangered fireball, he jumped a boulder and dropped into a narrow wash that snaked toward the road.

Hidden by walls of sand, he followed the curve of the wash, a shadow swallowed by the greater darkness of the night. One short tap on a small transmitter alerted his backup team that the encounter had begun. Now he had only minutes to complete his objective and head for the extraction point.

He sprinted to the bottom of the wash and found the big package exactly where he'd left it a day earlier, buried beneath a foot of sand. In seconds Trace had opened the hours. He rechecked the uniform pockets, then hefted the dead weight over his shoulders.

Hidden by the mayhem of the explosion, he carried the along a second trail barely visible in the light from the burning truck.

If all went as planned, the insurgents would find the com using them. Everything they picked up from U.S. sources would be carefully constructed disinformation.

Trace wasn't crazy about using human remains for a mission, but their local allies had provided unidentifiable bodies of insurgents killed in a violent skirmish earlier that day. Now they were dressed and outfitted as American soldiers.

Automatic weapons fire punched the air to his left, and a tracer round whined over his head. For every round he could see, Trace knew there were three others invisible in the darkness. The SEAL followed the rocky slope away from his service dog, who bounded toward a nearby covered, he turned into the open and made a clumsy run toward the highest ridge, his movements calculated to draw maximum fire.

The maneuver worked. Down the hill, dark shapes raced toward him, rifles level.

Kevlar was good, but it wouldn't stand up to repeated bursts from an AK-47. That's where the ceramic plates in his vest took over. But a glancing blow hit him with deadly force and knocked him off his feet.

Calculating the speed of his pursuers, he primed a grenade and lobbed it over his shoulder. Rocks shot up, clawing at his back and neck while gunfire burned near his face and tore through his glove. His excited pursuers clustered at the top of the slope below, shouting in delight when they saw Trace fall.

A second burst of fire drilled up his arm, but he didn't move, feigning a fatal wound.

His heart pounded.

Sweat streaked his face.

Footsteps raced behind him. He calculated strike force, distance and probable accuracy as the wind howled over the rocks, and then his fingers closed around another grenade. He yanked the pin and lobbed the deadly metal sphere hard, generating a wall of noise that masked more enemy fire.

The blast was deafening. Sand flew into his eyes and mouth. Another round tore through his right deltoid.

Trace's vision blurred. More shrapnel from enemy fire tore into his chest and neck. He stumbled and then plunged forward, the wind in his face as he hit the cold sand. A chopper crested the mountain, the whine from its engines blessedly familiar.

Another explosion ripped through the night, and the lead truck vanished in a red fireball.

The big Lab had accomplished his mission, planting his C-4 charge under the last truck while the insurgents were distracted by Trace's clumsy run.

Nice job, Duke.

Pain raked Trace's chest. He stumbled as blood gushed thickly over his Kevlar vest, every muscle stiff, every movement strained. Over his head the mountains seemed to darken, blurred between cold wind and night sky.

And then he died.

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 19 of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Ffast-paced and filled with plenty of action

    US Navy Foxfire specialist Lieutenant Trace O'Halloran has chips implanted inside him that enables him to be more than he could have been otherwise. The chips allow him to scan anything breathing with the scope of his psionic net.------------------ However, on his last mission he was severely injured and his chips turned off with the understanding they will be reactivated once he heals. Feeling ready to return to the job, albeit without the use of his chips, Trace is assigned backup duty guarding a package heading to Puerto Vallarta, but he knows it is a gimmick to get him on R&R. For ten days Trace is to relax on the cruise ship, but he cannot stay calm as he feels that is inappropriate even for a backup and besides which he is attracted to pastry chef Gina Ryan whom he met on dry land. However, someone on board wants her dead although no motive seems to surface and only Trace can keep her safe, but she wonders about the cost to her heart.----------------------------- Fans of Christina Skye will feel that the cruise is a homecoming as Carly McKay nee Sullivan of GOING OVERBOARD is on the ship (nice touch). The latest Codename romantic suspense thriller is fast-paced and filled with plenty of action with the irony being that the audience knows who wants to kill Gina and why. Adding angst to the tale is that Gina is going blind even as she has obtained a TV show (some readers might feel that subplot is going overboard to gain unnecessary empathy towards the lead female) although the enigmatic Izzy sees opportunity. Fans of the ongoing SEAL series will appreciate this terrific entry.-------------- Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2012

    Looks kiind.........

    Looks kind of nasty fo a 11 year old girl don't you think about that because lf my mom were to see this she would freak out!

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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