Flash [NOOK Book]

Overview

A blockbuster of sensual suspense from New York Times bestselling author Jayne Ann Krentz
Sparkling with Jayne Ann Krentz's irresistible blend of sassy wit and sheer suspense, this sizzling bestseller explodes into passionate pyrotechnics as a self-made millionaire and a charmingly disorganized entrepreneur team up to corner a killer. Soon, they find their unruly partnership has the power to set the night on fire....
Olivia Chantry may leave ...
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Overview

A blockbuster of sensual suspense from New York Times bestselling author Jayne Ann Krentz
Sparkling with Jayne Ann Krentz's irresistible blend of sassy wit and sheer suspense, this sizzling bestseller explodes into passionate pyrotechnics as a self-made millionaire and a charmingly disorganized entrepreneur team up to corner a killer. Soon, they find their unruly partnership has the power to set the night on fire....
Olivia Chantry may leave her desk in disarray, but she's a business dynamo: her Seattle-based company, Light Fantastic, creates the promotional flash her clients need. Her marvelous success has almost made up for a crumbled marriage that has left her wedded to a career instead of a mate. But all that may change when Olivia inherits 49 percent of Glow, Inc., her uncle's high-tech lighting firm, and she butts heads with the interloper who bagged the other 51 percent: Jasper Sloan, a venture capitalist and deal-maker known as an orderly man with all his ducks in a row.
From the start of their feisty business dealings, the so-called partners nearly crash and burn -- and barely keep control of the sexual energy crackling between them. But when they discover a blackmailer is hard at work uncovering secrets inside Glow, Inc., Olivia and Sloan's steamy joint venture faces the acid test of truth...and a need for absolute trust. For when extortion turns to murder, a union of their minds -- and hearts -- might be their only chance to stay alive.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Bestselling author Krentz (Sharp Edges) once again displays her expertise in contemporary romance thrillers. As in most of her fiction, an attractive hero and heroine are set up as antagonists, then fall in love. Here she pits Jasper Sloan, successful venture capitalist-turned-CEO of GLOW Inc., against Olivia Chantry, who possesses 49% of the stock and is the niece of the company's recently deceased owner. Both powerhouses in their own right, the two expect to dislike each other, but, not surprisingly, the attraction between them leads to steamy encounters. Romance takes a back seat when a mysterious intruder threatens blackmail, and Jasper and Olivia join forces to prevent their respective family secrets from being exposed. Krentz provides the requisite inside look at the glamorous life. Olivia's special events company, Light Fantastic, provides "flash" for product launches, political fund-raisers and corporate happenings, replete with over-the-top interior designs, sumptuous catering and state-of-the-art technology. Though Krentz's hometown of Seattle, Wash., is the setting, there is little local background; the action might as well take place in any major city where financial wizards and corporate executives hobnob with politicians, nosy journalists and gossipy columnists. Yet Krentz delivers on her tried and true formula: charismatic though uncomplicated main characters, a compelling plot with equal parts romance and suspense, and a surprise denouement that neatly ties up all the loose ends. Editor, Linda Marrow. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Krentz (Grand Passion, Audio Reviews, LJ 4/1/94), the master of the contemporary suspense romance genre, is in top form with this title. Burnt-out millionaire venture capitalist Jasper Sloan is looking for a new challenge when the untimely death of Rollie Chantry gives Sloan a 51 percent interest in Chantry's successful high-tech lighting firm, Glow, Inc. Adding spice to this new undertaking is Chantry's niece Olivia, the savvy, beautiful events coordinator extraordinaire for the Light Fantastic company, which now owns 49 percent of Glow. In spite of her initial antagonism toward this interloper, Olivia is forced to unite with Jasper to combat a ruthless blackmailer threatening to expose disconcerting family secrets, and their close collaboration provides ample opportunity for sexual sparks to ignite. Although the abridgment may have some fans clamoring for more amorous encounters, actress Barbara Garrick provides a gracefully enunciated reading that is recommended for most romance collections.--Linda Bredengerd, Hanley Lib., Univ. of Pittsburgh, Bradford, PA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781439120132
  • Publisher: Pocket Books
  • Publication date: 9/7/2010
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 432
  • Sales rank: 126,325
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Jayne Ann Krentz is a New York Times bestselling author of contemporary romantic suspense novels. She also writes historical romance under the name Amanda Quick and paranormal romance under the name Jayne Castle. Jayne loves to hear from her readers and can be found at Facebook.com/JayneAnnKrentz.

Biography

A successful corporate and academic librarian-turned-author, Jayne Ann Krentz wrote serial romances for several publishers (including industry powerhouse Harlequin) before breaking out in the '90s as a writer of romantic novels. To say that she has been successful is an understatement: A New York Times- bestselling author with more than 23 million copies of her books in print, she writes three sub-genres of romantic suspense under three different pen names: contemporary romances as Jayne Ann Krentz, historicals as Amanda Quick, and futuristic/paranormal romances as Jayne Castle. (In her early career, she employed at least three additional pseudonyms!) In 2006, the prolific Krentz launched The Arcane Society series -- crossover thrillers written under all three noms de plume that feature members of a secret organization devoted to the study of the paranormal.

It would be hard to find a more passionate advocate for romantic fiction than Krentz. In 1992, she edited and contributed to Dangerous Men and Adventurous Women: Romance Writers on the Appeal of the Romance, an award-winning nonfiction essay collection that serves an eloquent apologia for the genre. She has also received the Jane Austen Commemorative Medal from Romantic Times magazine for her work educating readers about Romance. "The Romance genre is the only genre where readers are guaranteed novels that place the heroine at the heart of the story," she says on her website. "These are books that celebrate women's heroic virtues and values: courage, honor, determination and a belief in the healing power of love." Clearly, her legions of loyal fans agree!

Good To Know

I have finally reached the point in my career where I have some say over cover art. Unfortunately, it turns out that I have absolutely no talent for cover art design. Thank heavens I'm with a publisher (Putnam/Berkley) that maintains a terrific art department.

I love green tea and red wine and was absolutely thrilled when it turned out that both are now considered health foods.

I love all animals except for squirrels which, I strongly suspect, are aliens from outer space who are here to take over the planet. You have been warned.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Amanda Quick, Jayne Castle
    2. Hometown:
      Seattle, WA
    1. Education:
      BA in History, University of California at Santa Cruz, MA in Librarianship from San Jose State University (California)
    2. Website:

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One
The present...
Jasper knew that he was in trouble because he had reached the point where he was giving serious consideration to the idea of getting married again.
His attention was deflected from the dangerous subject less than a moment later when he realized that someone was trying very hard to kill him.
At least, he thought someone was attempting to murder him.
Either way, as a distraction, the prospect was dazzlingly effective. Jasper immediately stopped thinking about finding a wife.
It was the blinding glare of hot, tropical sunlight on metal reflected in the rearview mirror that got Jasper's attention. He glanced up. The battered green Ford that had followed him from the tiny village on the island's north shore was suddenly much closer. In another few seconds the vehicle would be right on top of the Jeep's bumper.
The Ford shot out of the last narrow curve and bore down on the Jeep. The car's heavily tinted windows, common enough here in the South Pacific, made it impossible to see the face of the person at the wheel. Whoever he was, he was either very drunk or very high.
A tourist, Jasper thought. The Ford looked like one of the rusty rentals he had seen at the small agency in the village where he had selected the Jeep.
There was little room to maneuver on the tiny, two-lane road that encircled tiny Pelapili Island. Steep cliffs shot straight up on the left. On Jasper's right the terrain fell sharply away to the turquoise sea.
He had never wanted to take this vacation in paradise, Jasper thought. He should have listened to his own instincts instead of the urgings of his nephews and his friend, Al.
This was what came of allowing other people to push you into doing what they thought was best for you.
Jasper assessed the slim shoulder on the side of the pavement. There was almost no margin for driving error on this stretch of the road. One wrong move and a driver could expect to end up forty feet below on the lava-and boulder-encrusted beach.
He should have had his midlife crisis in the peace and comfort of his own home on Bainbridge Island. At least he could have been more certain of surviving it there.
But he'd made the extremely rare mistake of allowing others to talk him into doing something he really did not want to do.
"You've got to get away, Uncle Jasper," Kirby had declared with the shining confidence of a college freshman who has just finished his first course in psychology. "If you won't talk to a therapist, the least you can do is give yourself a complete change of scene."
"I hate to say it, but I think Kirby's right," Paul said. "You haven't been yourself lately. All this talk about selling Sloan & Associates, it's not like you, Uncle Jasper. Take a vacation. Get wild and crazy. Do something off-the-wall."
Jasper had eyed his nephews from the other side of his broad desk. Paul and Kirby were both enrolled for the summer quarter at the University of Washington. In addition, both had part-time jobs this year. They had their own apartment near the campus now, and they led very active lives. He did not believe for one moment that both just happened, by purest coincidence, to find themselves downtown this afternoon.
He did not believe both had been struck simultaneously by a whim to drop by his office, either. Jasper was fairly certain that he was the target of a planned ambush.
"I appreciate your concern," he said. "But I do not need or want a vacation. As far as selling the firm is concerned, trust me, I know what I'm doing."
"But Uncle Jasper," Paul protested. "You and Dad built this company from scratch. It's a part of you. It's in your blood."
"Let's not go overboard with the dramatics," Jasper said. "Hell, even my fiercest competitors will tell you that my timing is damn near perfect when it comes to business. I'm telling you that it's time for me to do something else."
Kirby frowned, his dark blue eyes grave with concern. "How is your sleep pattern, Uncle Jasper?"
"What's my sleep pattern got to do with anything?"
"We're studying clinical depression in my Psych class. Sleep disturbance is a major warning sign."
"My sleep habits have been just fine."
Jasper decided not to mention the fact that for the past month he had been waking up frequently at four in the morning. Unable to get back to sleep, he had gotten into the habit of going into the office very early to spend a couple of hours with the contents of his business files.
His excuse was that he wanted to go over every detail of the extensive operations of Sloan & Associates before he sold the firm to Al. But he knew the truth. He had a passion for order and routine. He found it soothing to sort through his elegantly arranged files. He knew few other people who could instantly retrieve decade-old corporate income tax records or an insurance policy that had been canceled five years earlier.
Maybe he could not control every aspect of his life, he thought, but he could damn sure handle the paperwork related to it.
"Well, what about your appetite?" Kirby surveyed him with a worried look. "Are you losing weight?"
Jasper wrapped his hands around the arms of his chair and glowered at Kirby. "If I want a professional psychological opinion, I'll call a real shrink, not someone who just got out of Psych 101."
An hour later, over lunch at a small Italian restaurant near the Pike Place Market, Al Okamoto stunned Jasper by agreeing with Paul's and Kirby's verdict.
"They're right." A] forked up a swirl of his spaghetti puttanesca. "You need to get away for a while. Take a vacation. When you come back we'll talk about whether or not you still want to sell Sloan & Associates to me."
"Hell, you too?" Jasper shoved aside his unfinished plate of Dungeness crab-filled ravioli. He had not been about to admit it to Kirby that afternoon, but lately his normally healthy appetite had been a little off. "What is it with everyone today? So what if I've put in a few extra hours on the Slater project? I'm just trying to get everything in order for the sale."
Al's gaze narrowed. "It's not the Slater deal. That's routine, and you know it. You could have handled it in your sleep. If you were getting any sleep, that is, which I doubt."
Jasper folded his arms on the table. "Now you're telling me I look tired? Damn it, Al..."
"I'm telling you that you need a break, that's all. A weekend off isn't going to do the trick. Take a month. Go veg out on some remote, tropical island. Swim in the ocean, sit under a palm tree. Drink a few margaritas."
"I'm warning you, pal, if you're about to tell me that I'm depressed..."
"You're not depressed, you're having a midlife crisis."
Jasper stared at him. "Are you crazy? I am not having any such thing."
"You know what one looks like, do you?"
"Everyone knows what a midlife crisis looks like. Affairs with very young women. Flashy red sports cars. A divorce."
"So?"
"In case you've forgotten, my divorce took place nearly eight years ago. I am not interested in buying a Ferrari that would probably get stolen and sent to a chop shop the first week I owned it. And I haven't had an affair in -- " Jasper broke off suddenly. "In a while."
"A long while." Al aimed his fork at Jasper. "You don't get out enough. That's one of your problems. You lack a normal social life."
"So I'm not a party animal. So sue me."
Al sighed. "I've known you for over five years. I can tell you that you never do anything the usual way. Stands to reason that you wouldn't have a typical, run-of-the-mill midlife crisis. Instead of an explosion, you're going through a controlled meltdown."
"For which you recommend a tropical island vacation?"
"Why not? It's worth a try. Pick one of those incredibly expensive luxury resorts located on some undiscovered island. The kind of place that specializes in unstressing seriously overworked executives."
"How do they manage the unstressing part?" Jasper asked.
Al forked up another bite of pasta. "They give you a room with no phone, no fax, no television, no air conditioner, and no clocks."
"We used to call that kind of hotel a flophouse."
"It's the latest thing in upscale, high-end vacations," Al assured him around a mouthful of spaghetti. "Costs a fortune. What have you got to lose?"
"I dunno. A fortune maybe?"
"You can afford it. Look, Paul and Kirby and I have already picked out an ideal spot. An island called Pelapili. It's at the far end of the Hawaiian chain. We made the reservations for you."
"You did what?"
"You're going to stay there for a full month."
"The hell I am, I've got a business to run."
"I'm the vice president, second largest shareholder, and the chief associate in Sloan & Associates, remember? You say you want to sell out to me. If you can't trust me to hold the company together for a mere month, who can you trust?"
In the end, Jasper had run out of excuses. A week later he had found himself on a plane to Pelapili Island.
For the past three and a half weeks he had dutifully fully followed the agenda that Al, Kirby, and Paul had outlined for him.
Every morning he swam in the pristine, clear waters of the bay that was only a few steps from his high-priced, lowtech cottage. He spent a lot of time reading boring thrillers in the shade of a palm tree, and he drank a few salt-rimmed margaritas in the evenings.
On days when he could not stand the enforced tranquillity for another minute, he used the rented Jeep to sneak into the village to buy a copy of the Wall Street Journal.
The newspapers were always at least three days old by the time they reached Pelapili, but he treasured each one. Like some demented alchemist, he examined every inch of print for occult secrets related to the world of business.
Jasper thrived on information. As far as he was concerned, it was not just power, it was magic. It was the lifeblood of his work as a venture capitalist. He collected information, organized it, and filed it.
He sometimes thought that in a former life he had probably been a librarian. He occasionally had fleeting images of himself poring over papyruses in an ancient library in Alexandria or Athens.
Cutting himself off from the flow of daily business information in the name of relaxation had been a serious mistake. He knew that now.
He still did not know if he was in the midst of a midlife crisis, but he had come to one definite conclusion: He was bored. He was a goal-oriented person, and the only goal he'd had until now on Pelapili was to get off the island.
Things had changed in the last sixty seconds, however. He had a new goal. A very clear one. He wanted to avoid going over the edge of the cliff into the jeweled sea.
The car was almost on top of him. On the off-chance that the driver was simply incredibly impatient, Jasper tried easing cautiously toward the shoulder. The Ford now had room to pass, if that was the objective.
For a few seconds Jasper thought that was what would happen. The nose of the Ford pulled out into the other lane. But instead of accelerating on past, it nipped at the fender of Jasper's Jeep.
Metal screamed against metal. A shudder went through the Jeep. Jasper fought the instinct to swerve away from the Ford. There was no room left on the right-hand shoulder. Another foot and he would be airborne out over the rocky cove.
The reality of what was happening slammed through him. The Ford really was trying to force the Jeep over the edge of the cliff. Jasper knew that he would die an unpleasant but probably very speedy death if he did not act quickly.
The green Ford was alongside the Jeep now, preparing for another nudge.
Jasper forced himself to think of the situation as a business problem. A matter of timing.
His timing was really quite good when it came to some things.
He slid into that distant, dispassionate state of mind that came over him whenever he concentrated on work. The world did not exactly go into slow motion, but it did appear in very sharp focus.
The goal became crystal clear. He would not go over the side and down the cliff.
The path to that goal was equally obvious. He had to go on the attack.
He was intensely aware of the physical dimensions of the space around him. He gauged the distance to the upcoming curve and the speed of his own vehicle. He sensed the driver of the Ford had nerved himself for another strike.
Jasper turned the wheel, aiming the Jeep's bumper at the Ford's side. There was a shudder and another grating shriek of metal-on-metal. Jasper edged closer.
The Ford swerved to avoid the second impact. It went into the next curve in the wrong lane. The driver, apparently panicked by the thought of meeting an oncoming vehicle, overcorrected wildly.
For an instant Jasper thought the Ford would go straight over the edge of the cliff. Somehow, it managed to cling to the road.
Jasper slowed quickly and went cautiously into the turn. When he came out of it he caught a fleeting glimpse of the Ford. It was already several hundred feet ahead. As he watched, it disappeared around another curve.
The driver of the Ford had obviously decided to abandon the assault on the jeep. Jasper wondered if the other man, assuming it was a man, had lost his nerve or simply sobered up very quickly after the near-death experience on the curve.
Drunken driving or maybe an incident of road rage, Jasper told himself. That was the only logical explanation.
To entertain for even a moment the possibility that someone had deliberately tried to kill him would constitute a sure sign of incipient paranoia. Kirby would have a field day. Probably drag Jasper off to his psychology class for show-and-tell.
Damn. He hadn't even gotten the license number.
Jasper tried to summon up an image of the rear of the green car. He was very good with numbers.
But when he replayed the discrete mental pictures he had of the Ford, he realized he did not remember seeing a license plate.
A near accident. That was the only explanation.
Don't go paranoid on me here, Sloan.

He spent most of the warm, tropical night brooding on the veranda of his overpriced, amenity-free cottage. For a long time he sat in the wicker chair and watched the silver moonlight slide across the surface of the sea. He could not explain why the uneasiness within him increased with every passing hour.
He had put the incident on the island road firmly in perspective. He knew that it was illogical to think for one moment that anyone here on Pelapili had any reason to try to murder him. No, it was not the brush with disaster that afternoon that was creating the disturbing sensation.
But the restlessness would not be banished. He wondered if he was suffering from an overdose of papaya, sand, and margaritas. The problem with paradise was that it held no challenge.
At two in the morning he realized that it was time to go back to Seattle.

Copyright © 1998 by Jayne Ann Krentz
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First Chapter

Chapter One

The present...

Jasper knew that he was in trouble because he had reached the point where he was giving serious consideration to the idea of getting married again.

His attention was deflected from the dangerous subject less than a moment later when he realized that someone was trying very hard to kill him.

At least, he thought someone was attempting to murder him.

Either way, as a distraction, the prospect was dazzlingly effective. Jasper immediately stopped thinking about finding a wife.

It was the blinding glare of hot, tropical sunlight on metal reflected in the rearview mirror that got Jasper's attention. He glanced up. The battered green Ford that had followed him from the tiny village on the island's north shore was suddenly much closer. In another few seconds the vehicle would be right on top of the Jeep's bumper.

The Ford shot out of the last narrow curve and bore down on the Jeep. The car's heavily tinted windows, common enough here in the South Pacific, made it impossible to see the face of the person at the wheel. Whoever he was, he was either very drunk or very high.

A tourist, Jasper thought. The Ford looked like one of the rusty rentals he had seen at the small agency in the village where he had selected the Jeep.

There was little room to maneuver on the tiny, two-lane road that encircled tiny Pelapili Island. Steep cliffs shot straight up on the left. On Jasper's right the terrain fell sharply away to the turquoise sea.

He had never wanted to take this vacation in paradise, Jasper thought. He should have listened to his own instincts instead of the urgings of his nephews and his friend, Al.

This was what ceciate your concern," he said. "But I do not need or want a vacation. As far as selling the firm is concerned, trust me, I know what I'm doing."

"But Uncle Jasper," Paul protested. "You and Dad built this company from scratch. It's a part of you. It's in your blood."

"Let's not go overboard with the dramatics," Jasper said. "Hell, even my fiercest competitors will tell you that my timing is damn near perfect when it comes to business. I'm telling you that it's time for me to do something else."

Kirby frowned, his dark blue eyes grave with concern. "How is your sleep pattern, Uncle Jasper?"

"What's my sleep pattern got to do with anything?"

"We're studying clinical depression in my Psych class. Sleep disturbance is a major warning sign."

"My sleep habits have been just fine."

Jasper decided not to mention the fact that for the past month he had been waking up frequently at four in the morning. Unable to get back to sleep, he had gotten into the habit of going into the office very early to spend a couple of hours with the contents of his business files.

His excuse was that he wanted to go over every detail of the extensive operations of Sloan & Associates before he sold the firm to Al. But he knew the truth. He had a passion for order and routine. He found it soothing to sort through his elegantly arranged files. He knew few other people who could instantly retrieve decade-old corporate income tax records or an insurance policy that had been canceled five years earlier.

Maybe he could not control every aspect of his life, he thought, but he could damn sure handle the paperwork related to it.

"Well, what about your appetite?" Kirby surveyed him with a worried look. "Are you losing w eight?"

Jasper wrapped his hands around the arms of his chair and glowered at Kirby. "If I want a professional psychological opinion, I'll call a real shrink, not someone who just got out of Psych 101."

An hour later, over lunch at a small Italian restaurant near the Pike Place Market, Al Okamoto stunned Jasper by agreeing with Paul's and Kirby's verdict.

"They're right." A] forked up a swirl of his spaghetti puttanesca. "You need to get away for a while. Take a vacation. When you come back we'll talk about whether or not you still want to sell Sloan & Associates to me."

"Hell, you too?" Jasper shoved aside his unfinished plate of Dungeness crab-filled ravioli. He had not been about to admit it to Kirby that afternoon, but lately his normally healthy appetite had been a little off. "What is it with everyone today? So what if I've put in a few extra hours on the Slater project? I'm just trying to get everything in order for the sale."

Al's gaze narrowed. "It's not the Slater deal. That's routine, and you know it. You could have handled it in your sleep. If you were getting any sleep, that is, which I doubt."

Jasper folded his arms on the table. "Now you're telling me I look tired? Damn it, Al..."

"I'm telling you that you need a break, that's all. A weekend off isn't going to do the trick. Take a month. Go veg out on some remote, tropical island. Swim in the ocean, sit under a palm tree. Drink a few margaritas."

"I'm warning you, pal, if you're about to tell me that I'm depressed..."

"You're not depressed, you're having a midlife crisis."

Jasper stared at him. "Are you crazy? I am not having any such thing."

"You know what one looks like, do you?"

"Everyone knows what a midlif e crisis looks like. Affairs with very young women. Flashy red sports cars. A divorce."

"So?"

"In case you've forgotten, my divorce took place nearly eight years ago. I am not interested in buying a Ferrari that would probably get stolen and sent to a chop shop the first week I owned it. And I haven't had an affair in -- " Jasper broke off suddenly. "In a while."

"A long while." Al aimed his fork at Jasper. "You don't get out enough. That's one of your problems. You lack a normal social life."

"So I'm not a party animal. So sue me."

Al sighed. "I've known you for over five years. I can tell you that you never do anything the usual way. Stands to reason that you wouldn't have a typical, run-of-the-mill midlife crisis. Instead of an explosion, you're going through a controlled meltdown."

"For which you recommend a tropical island vacation?"

"Why not? It's worth a try. Pick one of those incredibly expensive luxury resorts located on some undiscovered island. The kind of place that specializes in unstressing seriously overworked executives."

"How do they manage the unstressing part?" Jasper asked.

Al forked up another bite of pasta. "They give you a room with no phone, no fax, no television, no air conditioner, and no clocks."

"We used to call that kind of hotel a flophouse."

"It's the latest thing in upscale, high-end vacations," Al assured him around a mouthful of spaghetti. "Costs a fortune. What have you got to lose?"

"I dunno. A fortune maybe?"

"You can afford it. Look, Paul and Kirby and I have already picked out an ideal spot. An island called Pelapili. It's at the far end of the Hawaiian chain. We made the reservations for you."

"You did what?"

"You're going to stay there for a full month."

"The hell I am, I've got a business to run."

"I'm the vice president, second largest shareholder, and the chief associate in Sloan & Associates, remember? You say you want to sell out to me. If you can't trust me to hold the company together for a mere month, who can you trust?"

In the end, Jasper had run out of excuses. A week later he had found himself on a plane to Pelapili Island.

For the past three and a half weeks he had dutifully fully followed the agenda that Al, Kirby, and Paul had outlined for him.

Every morning he swam in the pristine, clear waters of the bay that was only a few steps from his high-priced, lowtech cottage. He spent a lot of time reading boring thrillers in the shade of a palm tree, and he drank a few salt-rimmed margaritas in the evenings.

On days when he could not stand the enforced tranquillity for another minute, he used the rented Jeep to sneak into the village to buy a copy of the Wall Street Journal.

The newspapers were always at least three days old by the time they reached Pelapili, but he treasured each one. Like some demented alchemist, he examined every inch of print for occult secrets related to the world of business.

Jasper thrived on information. As far as he was concerned, it was not just power, it was magic. It was the lifeblood of his work as a venture capitalist. He collected information, organized it, and filed it.

He sometimes thought that in a former life he had probably been a librarian. He occasionally had fleeting images of himself poring over papyruses in an ancient library in Alexandria or Athens.

Cutting himself off from the flow of daily business information in the name of relax ation had been a serious mistake. He knew that now.

He still did not know if he was in the midst of a midlife crisis, but he had come to one definite conclusion: He was bored. He was a goal-oriented person, and the only goal he'd had until now on Pelapili was to get off the island.

Things had changed in the last sixty seconds, however. He had a new goal. A very clear one. He wanted to avoid going over the edge of the cliff into the jeweled sea.

The car was almost on top of him. On the off-chance that the driver was simply incredibly impatient, Jasper tried easing cautiously toward the shoulder. The Ford now had room to pass, if that was the objective.

For a few seconds Jasper thought that was what would happen. The nose of the Ford pulled out into the other lane. But instead of accelerating on past, it nipped at the fender of Jasper's Jeep.

Metal screamed against metal. A shudder went through the Jeep. Jasper fought the instinct to swerve away from the Ford. There was no room left on the right-hand shoulder. Another foot and he would be airborne out over the rocky cove.

The reality of what was happening slammed through him. The Ford really was trying to force the Jeep over the edge of the cliff. Jasper knew that he would die an unpleasant but probably very speedy death if he did not act quickly.

The green Ford was alongside the Jeep now, preparing for another nudge.

Jasper forced himself to think of the situation as a business problem. A matter of timing.

His timing was really quite good when it came to some things.

He slid into that distant, dispassionate state of mind that came over him whenever he concentrated on work. The world did not exactly go into slow motion, but it did appear in very sharp focus.

The goal became crystal clear. He would not go over the side and down the cliff.

The path to that goal was equally obvious. He had to go on the attack.

He was intensely aware of the physical dimensions of the space around him. He gauged the distance to the upcoming curve and the speed of his own vehicle. He sensed the driver of the Ford had nerved himself for another strike.

Jasper turned the wheel, aiming the Jeep's bumper at the Ford's side. There was a shudder and another grating shriek of metal-on-metal. Jasper edged closer.

The Ford swerved to avoid the second impact. It went into the next curve in the wrong lane. The driver, apparently panicked by the thought of meeting an oncoming vehicle, overcorrected wildly.

For an instant Jasper thought the Ford would go straight over the edge of the cliff. Somehow, it managed to cling to the road.

Jasper slowed quickly and went cautiously into the turn. When he came out of it he caught a fleeting glimpse of the Ford. It was already several hundred feet ahead. As he watched, it disappeared around another curve.

The driver of the Ford had obviously decided to abandon the assault on the jeep. Jasper wondered if the other man, assuming it was a man, had lost his nerve or simply sobered up very quickly after the near-death experience on the curve.

Drunken driving or maybe an incident of road rage, Jasper told himself. That was the only logical explanation.

To entertain for even a moment the possibility that someone had deliberately tried to kill him would constitute a sure sign of incipient paranoia. Kirby would have a field day. Probably drag Jasper off to his psychology class for show-and-tell.

Damn. He hadn 't even gotten the license number.

Jasper tried to summon up an image of the rear of the green car. He was very good with numbers.

But when he replayed the discrete mental pictures he had of the Ford, he realized he did not remember seeing a license plate.

A near accident. That was the only explanation.

Don't go paranoid on me here, Sloan.


He spent most of the warm, tropical night brooding on the veranda of his overpriced, amenity-free cottage. For a long time he sat in the wicker chair and watched the silver moonlight slide across the surface of the sea. He could not explain why the uneasiness within him increased with every passing hour.

He had put the incident on the island road firmly in perspective. He knew that it was illogical to think for one moment that anyone here on Pelapili had any reason to try to murder him. No, it was not the brush with disaster that afternoon that was creating the disturbing sensation.

But the restlessness would not be banished. He wondered if he was suffering from an overdose of papaya, sand, and margaritas. The problem with paradise was that it held no challenge.

At two in the morning he realized that it was time to go back to Seattle.

Copyright © 1998 by Jayne Ann Krentz

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 53 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(33)

4 Star

(13)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(1)

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(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 53 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2001

    As Good as the Rest!

    I too have read many of Krentz's other novels. This was one of my favorites. It had the best plot line. You thought it was over when they caught Dixon but that was only the half of it. You also never expected Elizabeth to snap. She seemed so under control and then Wow! Both this and Eclipse Bay should be made into a movies. I doubt they'd be good but they're so full of action. I recommend Krentz to anyone who enjoys love stories and murder mysteries. The thing i love most about her books are the strong male characters. They're always so strong and suave.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2014

    SpiritEcho

    She watched the serenity of the forest happily.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2014

    Much better then when i tried

    I stunk

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2014

    Horrible.

    Stop, please.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2014

    Anonymus reader to author of fanfic.

    Let me begin by saying that as a perfectly healthy young man, I do sometimes enjoy myself a spot of er<_>otic indulgence, if you catch my drift, from time to time. So I do read these types of stories. The information I hav given you should allow me to continue my review in honesty.<p>I was suprised. Your grammar was nearly flawless, your character (Fluttershy, in this case) was believeable. You captured her innocence well.<p> Your dialouge could have been more present. You did have 3,500 characters to write with. Use them all.<p>I do not usually approve of this particular tv show being made er<_>otic, but I was plesantly suprised. It wasn't the best ever, but it gave me an unexpected "jolt", if you know what I mean. The s<_>ex was a little sudden, but not without decent prelude.<p>I'll tell you this. It might grow on me. I am curious to see what happens.<p>--A satisfied reader

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2014

    Great

    Write more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2014

    Flash - Chapter One

    Fluttershy leaned over Angel, nuzzling him in her usual kind manner. Then, a knocked sounded suddenly. She folded her ears down shyly and opened the door, and seeing a brown stallion standing there, she tucked her wings against her sides closer to her body. "Um...hi.." she peeped.
    <p>
    She didn't notice his smug smile as he slowly walked into her home, eventually cornering her into a wall. "Name's Flash." He grunted. Then, he shoved her hard to the ground. She whimpered, covering her face. "P-llease don't hurt me...." "Oh....I won't." He replied. Then, he did something unexpected. He opened both of her legs and slowly inched his body on top of hers. She squeezed her eyes shut, then, she felt it. His d.i.ck thrust into her opening hard, and she screamed. Meanwhile his hooves teased at either side of it, working at the sides of her slit. "Ooww..." she cried out, but it was too hard to get away.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2013

    Mossshadow

    Bloodclan absolutely hates me but i will help if needed because of what striking did and the anti striking thing.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2013

    BLOODCLAN CAMP ATTACKED BY TYPHOON

    At Bloodclan (located at christmas carol all results) a storm nearly wiped them out. It started out with just a rainstorm. Kits and apprentices were playing. Then the winds started picking up. It was blowing so hard trees were being knocked down. By now everyone was worried and apprentices and kits were being herded into dens. The trees that fell down blocked all entrances and exits. They could not escape. Then lightning hit a tree and a wildfire started that the rain could not destroy. Cats left and right were coking from smoke or burning in fire. The earthquake hit then. A large crack filled the camp. Thankfully no one was killed. For the moment. Everyone was trying to find an escape or hid in dens. Unluckily the dens started on fire. They tired to run for the stream but a few were left behind. All were saved except an apprentice, who died later on. The typhoon soon stopped. But it left the camp in ruins, nearly everyone gravly injured, and a cat dead. They are now being taken care of but they only have one medicene cat. Donations are being sent to help but very few because of Bloodclans raids. Help is needed at christmas carol results 1-3. More updates might be made at result 2.
    <p>
    Hey guys!!!!! Im now making a newspaper called Clan News. It will always be posted on these results. Tell me if something big happens at cats result 1-6. From Reporter

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2013

    Moon

    Lol Moony isn't a meddy just a usually useless rogue. Lol nice job though. )) --Moon of BloodClan

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2012

    Darkstar

    We need people in our clan

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2012

    Whitepaw

    What do u mean?

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2012

    Firegod to dawnstar

    A large rusty colored tom walks in. Hi. I heard you need a mate?

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2012

    Everforest

    Really......... im smoke. Someone just asked to join. They were cold and very hungary........is it ok? (She studders a thanks..........i could give in at any moment

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2012

    To "a brown tom"

    My name is Sasha I am a tortioseshell rouge. I will be your mate. She purred.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2012

    Darkstar

    Firegod is not who he says he is do NOT trust him

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2012

    NOKIT

    Spins on her head.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2012

    A brown tom

    Stalks in with his tail drooping may i join im brown with silver specks all over im looking for a mate as well

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2012

    Rainfire

    Nevermind i came to talk st night but now body was on anywere. Bi

    0 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2012

    Kakidan

    It isnt poisonous. *takes a bite out of it, then the cut on his face disapears* its healing. Now eat. I want you strong if i come back.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 53 Customer Reviews

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