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Everyday, Average Jones (Tall, Dark and Dangerous Series #4)
     

Everyday, Average Jones (Tall, Dark and Dangerous Series #4)

4.2 45
by Suzanne Brockmann
 

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All her life Melody Evans has wanted to marry a plain, average man who didn't take risks. But when the foreign embassy where she works as an aide is taken over by terrorists and she's rescued by a daring navy SEAL, Melody blames the extreme circumstances for their ensuing passion. When it comes to ordinary, Harlan "Cowboy" Jones is anything but, and their encounter

Overview

All her life Melody Evans has wanted to marry a plain, average man who didn't take risks. But when the foreign embassy where she works as an aide is taken over by terrorists and she's rescued by a daring navy SEAL, Melody blames the extreme circumstances for their ensuing passion. When it comes to ordinary, Harlan "Cowboy" Jones is anything but, and their encounter leaves Melody with a little more than just memories....

Seven months later when Cowboy pays Melody a visit, he's surprised to find her pregnant--with his child. Now all he has to do is convince her that they are meant to be together. That he can be as ordinary as the next guy. The only problem is, once a hero, always a hero….

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780373078721
Publisher:
Harlequin
Publication date:
08/01/1998
Series:
Tall, Dark and Dangerous Series , #4
Pages:
251
Product dimensions:
4.23(w) x 6.65(h) x 0.77(d)

Read an Excerpt

Everyday, Average Jones


By Suzanne Brockmann

Thorndike Press

Copyright © 2001 Suzanne Brockmann
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0373047002


Chapter One

It was extremely likely that she was going to die.

And with every hour that passed, her chance of making it out of this godforsaken country any way other than inside a body bag was slipping from slim to none.

Melody Evans sat quietly in the corner of the little windowless office that had become her prison, writing what she hoped would not be her final words in a letter to her sister.

Dear Brittany, I'm scared to death of dying....

She was terrified of the finality of a single bullet to the head. But she was even more afraid of the other sort of death that possibly awaited her. She'd heard of the kinds of torture that were far too prevalent in this part of the world. Torture, and other archaic, monstrous practices. God help her if they found out she was a woman....

Melody felt her pulse kick into overdrive, and she took slow, deep breaths, trying to calm herself.

Remember the time you took me sledding up at the apple orchards? Remember how you got on the sled behind me, and told me in that supertheatrical voice you sometimes used that we were either going to steer a straight course down the hill through the rows of trees - or die trying?

Her older sister had always been the adventurous one. Yet it was Brittany who was still at home in Appleton, living in the same four-story Godzilla of a Victorian house that they'd grown up in. And it was Melody who, in a moment of sheer insanity, had accepted the job of administrative assistant to the American ambassador and had moved overseas to a country she hadn't even known existed until six months ago.

I remember thinking as we plunged down the hill - God, I couldn't have been more than six years old, but I remember thinking - at least we'll die together.

I wish to God I didn't feel so alone ....

"You don't really think they're going to let you send that, do you?" Kurt Matthews's acerbic voice dripped scorn.

"No, I don't." Melody answered him without even looking up. She knew she was writing this letter not for Brittany, but for herself. Memories. She was writing down some childhood memories, trying to give herself a sense of that peace and happiness she'd known once upon a time. She was writing about the way she'd always tried so desperately to keep up with a sister nearly nine years older than she was. She skipped over the sibling infighting and petty arguments, choosing to remember only Britt's patience and kindness.

Britt always made such a big deal over Melody's birthday. This year, even though Mel was thousands of miles from the New England charm of their hometown in Massachusetts, Britt had sent a huge box of birthday surprises. She'd taken care to send it far enough in advance, and Melody had received it four days ago - more than a week before her twenty-fifth birthday.

She was glad now that she hadn't followed Britt's written orders and instead had opened the pile of presents in advance of the so-called special day. Britt had sent five new pairs of warm socks, a thick woolen sweater and some new athletic shoes. Those were the practical gifts. The fun gifts included the newest Garth Brooks CD, Tami Hoag's latest romantic thriller, a jar of real peanut butter and two videotapes on which Brittany had recorded the past three months' episodes of ER. It was America-in-a-box, and Melody had both laughed and cried at her older sister's thoughtfulness. It was the best birthday present she'd ever received.

Except now it looked as if she wouldn't live to see those episodes of ER. Or her twenty-fifth birthday.

Kurt Matthews was ignoring her again. He'd gone back to his asinine discussion with Chris Sterling. They were trying to figure out just how much CNN would pay them for the exclusive rights to their story after the deal between the terrorists and the U.S. government was made and they were released.

Matthews, the fool, actually had the gall to say that he hoped the talks weren't going too smoothly. He seemed to think that the monetary value of their story would increase with the length of their ordeal. And so far, they'd only been held for two days.

He - or Sterling, either, for that matter - didn't have a clue as to the seriousness of this situation.

Melody, on the other hand, had done research on this particular terrorist group who had overthrown the entire government in an unexpected coup early Wednesday morning. They'd taken the American embassy by storm shortly after that. They were terrorists, and the U.S. didn't negotiate with terrorists. Right now they were only talking. But if the talking didn't end, and end soon, this group of zealots was not likely to continue to show their three civilian hostages the same amount of respect and creature comforts they had to date. Provided, of course, that one could call being locked in a tiny, nearly airless office with two idiots, irregular deliveries of food and water and a washroom facility that no longer worked "comfortable."

Matthews and Sterling both seemed to think they were being held under rather dire conditions.

But Melody knew better.

She closed her eyes, trying to force away the image of the cold dankness of an underground cell. When she'd left Appleton to take this job at the embassy, she'd had no idea that the desert could be so cold during the winter months. It was March now - early spring - and it could still be chilly at night.

She focused instead on her feet. They were warm, clad in a pair of the socks and the cross trainers Brittany had sent.

They'd be taken from her - both shoes and socks - before she was thrown into that dark cell.

Lord, she had to stop thinking like that. It wasn't going to do her a bit of good.

Still, the image of the prison cell was better than the other picture her overactive imagination cooked up: three American infidels, dead at the hands of their captors.

Cowboy watched the back of the American embassy through high-powered binoculars. The place was jumping with tangos, arriving and leaving at apparently unscheduled times.

"Cat," he said almost silently into his lip microphone.

Captain Joe Catalanotto, commander of SEAL Team Ten's Alpha Squad, was positioned on the other side of the building. He was cooling his heels with the five other members of the team, having set up temporary camp in an abandoned apartment. The owner of the unit was no doubt some smart son of a bitch who had grabbed his TV and run, realizing the obvious negatives in owning real estate so close to a building that could go up in flames at any moment.

For Alpha Squad's purposes, the apartment was perfect. The master-bedroom window had a nifty view of the front of the embassy. With one of the other SEALs seated in an easy chair in front of that window, and with Cowboy positioned somewhat less comfortably on a rooftop overlooking the back, they could track the tangos' - SEAL slang for terrorists - every move.

"Yeah, Jones." Cat's flat New York accent came in loud and clear over the headphones Ensign Harlan Jones, otherwise known as Cowboy, was wearing.

Cowboy said only one word. "Chaos." He had made himself invisible on the roof, but he was well aware that the windows were opened on the floor directly below him, so when he spoke, he was as concise and as quiet as possible. He kept his binoculars trained on the building, moving from one broken window to the next. He could see movement inside, shadowy figures. The place was huge - one of those old mothers of a building, built during the middle of the previous century. He didn't doubt for a moment that the hostages were secured in one of the inner chambers.

"Copy that," Catalanotto said, a trace of amusement in his voice. "We see it from this side, too. Whoever these clowns are, they're amateurs. We'll go in tonight. At oh-dark-hundred."

Cowboy had to risk a full sentence. "I recommend we move now." He could hear Cat's surprise in the silence that grew longer and longer.

"Jones, the sun'll be going down in less than three hours," the CO finally said. The SEALs worked best at night. They could move almost invisibly under the cover of darkness.

Cowboy switched the powerful lenses to the infrared setting and took another quick scan of the building. "We should go now."

"What do you see that I don't see, kid?" Joe Cat's question was made without even a trace of sarcasm. Yeah, Cat had a wagonload of experience that Cowboy couldn't begin to compete with. And yeah, Cat had recently gotten a pay raise to O-6 - captain - while Cowboy was a measly O-1, an ensign. But Captain Joe Catalanotto was the kind of leader who took note of his team's individual strengths and used each man to his full ability. And sometimes even beyond.

Every man on the team could see through walls, provided they had the right equipment. But no one could take the information that equipment provided and interpret it the way Cowboy could. And Cat knew that.

"At least fifty T's inside."

"Yeah, that's what Bobby tells me, too." Cat paused.

"What's the big deal?"

"The pattern of movement."

Cowboy heard Cat take over Bobby's place at the bedroom window. There was silence, and then Cat swore. "They're making room for something." He swore again. "Or someone."

Cowboy clicked once into his lip mike - an affirmative. That's what he thought, too.



Continues...


Excerpted from Everyday, Average Jones by Suzanne Brockmann Copyright © 2001 by Suzanne Brockmann.
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Known for blending passionate romance with pulse-pounding plots and harrowing drama, Suzanne Brockmann is widely recognized as one of today’s leading romantic suspense writers. She is the author of more than fifty books and many series, including her award-winning Troubleshooters series about Navy SEAL heroes, and the young-adult Night Sky paranormal series, which she writes with her daughter. Her top books include Do or Die and All Through the Night.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Boston, MA
Date of Birth:
1960
Education:
Attended Boston University
Website:
http://suzannebrockmann.com

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Everyday, Average Jones (Tall, Dark and Dangerous Series #4) 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 45 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book was okay, but it wasn't one of her best. Jones, of course, was great, but Melody was irritating. I mean, really! Here is a man who can protect her in any given situation, and who wants to be a part of her life, and this is a problem for her? She keeps lamenting the fact that his job is dangerous. So what? So is driving on the freeway. Get over it.
Ejaygirl More than 1 year ago
Harlan "Cowboy" Jones was on the SEAL team assigned to rescue three embassy workers from a country taken over by terrorists. Melody Evans was one of the three and from the moment Cowboy showed up, she had absolute trust that he would save her life. Following the rescue, they were inseparable for days until it was time for her to return to her life in Appleton, Massachusetts and she ended it, knowing what they had wouldn't last. Seven months later, Cowboy shows up in Appleton, not having been able to forget Melody. To his surprise, he discovers she's pregnant with his child and committed to raising this child alone. He begins his mission to prove that they need to marry for the sake of this child. There are two stories here, the first and last halves of the book. The first was fantastic, with an exciting operation surrounding the rescue of Melody and her co-workers. It's always great to see the SEAL teams in action. The chemistry between Melody and Cowboy was powerful and the pages sizzled with that connection. However, I don't understand why Brockmann omitted Cowboy and Melody's post rescue interlude, granted it was revisited in some detail. The second half was laborious as we waited for Melody to meet Cowboy at least halfway. He made extreme sacrifices and she made him prove himself over and over again. On one hand, I understood Melody's reluctance to succumb to Cowboy since they really hadn't had an opportunity to "know" each other. On the other hand, you reach a point where you commit to try if you say you want the best for your child. Her stubbornness was maddening, to the extent where I almost wanted him to walk away. Bottom line, though, I enjoyed the book even if the second half made it weaker. Cowboy is so appealing and sexy and handsome and.well I digress. I liked Melody but she drove me nuts. Maybe it was the hormones. My rating is based on the strength of the first half.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked the story. It was predictable of course. I liked the energy in the beginning of the book, the excitement, and fast pace. The middle of the story slowed down more and some of the things the main character, Melody, did irrated me. I kept thinking, why is she letting the father of her child sleep in a tent outside her home, during the fall season in the northeast, for more than a couple of days? Doesn't she have a consience? She let him stay out there for weeks, while the poor guy kept trying to please her. This part was a little unbelievable. The end was positive and heart warming, but you feel sorry for the guy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
## I enjoyed the first part of the book and cowboys character. Thats why i gave it two stars. After that, the book turned frustrating. The Melody character was awful. About 100 pages in the middle were rediculous. I just wanted to clobber her
Anonymous 19 days ago
Jones is the perfect guy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
CeCeSG More than 1 year ago
This book was such a disappointment.  It started out great and exciting.  The hero is a Navy SEAL.  The heroine seemed smart and strong, up to the task of being equal partners with a Navy Seal built like a Greek god.    That's how it started... It deteriorated to not only a secret baby plot, but also a paranormal book apparently as Melody (the heroine) was apparently able to read the heroes thoughts, feelings, and true motivations, no matter what he said (yeah, major eye roll).  I didn't mind the secret baby plot device so much, as I've seen it done well in other books before.  However in this book it grew to hair pulling out, banging your head against the wall, throwing the book across the room proportions.    So let's hash it out.... So Melody is pregnant with Cowboy's baby after he recuses her from the Middle East.  Melody goes to the local gossip meal meeting and announces it to them, but doesn't even bother to give the father a heads up?  Really??  She had built it up in her mind that he wouldn't want the baby.  Wouldn't want her (even though he wanted to have a relationship with her and she broke it off). She had it built up in her mind that he only wanted to do the right thing by her out of some unmentioned code, and not out of a desire to get to know their child and be in that child's life.   No matter what HE said, she was sure she knew his mind better than him. I cannot tell you how aggravating that merry-go-round of illogic became.  I honestly didn't mind so much that she didn't want to marry him the minute he showed up.  I would have been annoyed if she had caved so easily, but for her NOT to be willing to come up with some kind of compromise with him really was just selfish (and illegal, father's have parental rights too!)  Really the last straw for me was during a life or death situation mid-way through the book, during which Cowboy ordered Melody to safety, twice!!! While she just stood there.  Now, ok, I will make room for the possibility that she was frozen by fear although that is not what we saw of her when they were in the Middle East.  So afterwards he yells at her for not doing what she was told, and rightly so, clearly he was afraid for her.  She instead has the nerve to lash out at him for ordering her around! Really??  He told her to go to safety but he's the bad guy?!  And HE apologizes!!  ugh!!   After that point in the book, I flipped quickly through the rest of the book just to get to see how things would end with Andy (the kid in the book).   I have to say this one wasn't worth the read.  Cowboy was practically a dream come true.  Melody was a complete nightmare.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story! A real must buy
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This book was great. I love cowbog hes such a gentleman and he sooo loves melody. But my favorite character is the kid that brings them closer together...andy... he gets into fights but finally finds a great home with those who love him
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