Into the Night (Troubleshooters Series #5) [NOOK Book]

Overview

Beloved and bestselling author Suzanne Brockmann writes terrific edge-of-your-seat novels of romantic suspense set in the world’s exciting danger zones and exotic hotspots. Now, in her new sensational novel, she comes stateside for her most action-packed adventure yet.

It was supposed to be a “dog and pony show”—an elaborate demonstration of SEAL rescue techniques—to celebrate a presidential visit to a California naval base. Professional, ...
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Into the Night (Troubleshooters Series #5)

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Overview

Beloved and bestselling author Suzanne Brockmann writes terrific edge-of-your-seat novels of romantic suspense set in the world’s exciting danger zones and exotic hotspots. Now, in her new sensational novel, she comes stateside for her most action-packed adventure yet.

It was supposed to be a “dog and pony show”—an elaborate demonstration of SEAL rescue techniques—to celebrate a presidential visit to a California naval base. Professional, no-nonsense White House staffer Joan DaCosta arrives early to scope out the area. Assigned to be her SEAL liaison is Lt. (jg) Mike Muldoon, a born leader—strong, decisive, tough, and fearless.

Against her better judgment, Joan finds herself drawn to the handsome young officer. Skilled at being “one of the guys” in the mostly male world of politics, she is dismayed when Muldoon breaks through her defenses. While the tension mounts between them, fueling their growing attraction, a far more sinister danger is lurking, as terrorists plot a daring attack against the president. To protect their commander in chief, Joan and Muldoon must not only risk their hearts—but their very lives. . . .


From the Hardcover edition.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A terrorist plot to assassinate the president on U.S. soil transforms what could have been another humorous, larger-than-life Navy SEAL romance from Brockmann (Out of Control, etc.) into a sobering story that will strike a patriotic chord with readers. Brash, 30-something White House PR assistant Joan DaCosta and shy, super-polite 25-year-old Navy SEAL Mike Muldoon are an unlikely couple, but the two quickly connect when Joan is sent to scope out the naval base in Coronado, Calif., for a presidential visit. Though their attraction is immediate, Joan can't bring herself to get over their age difference and the fact that they live on opposite sides of the nation. Intertwined with their off-and-on romance are the recollections of Joan's grandparents (one a WWII veteran and the other a WWII widow); details of a terrorist plot to sneak machine guns onto the base; and a side story involving SEAL wife Mary Lou Starret's friendship with a man of Arab descent. As always, Brockmann's snappy dialogue infuses each encounter with wit and vigor, but what really stands out is her sympathetic portrayal of Mary Lou, arguably one of her least likable recurring characters. Although it will take readers a while to warm up to Mary Lou, as well as to Joan and Mike, who are less dynamic than the protagonists from Brockmann's earlier books, this is a worthy addition to the author's SEAL saga. (Dec.) Forecast: Sales should be spectacular for this romance veteran. For the past two years, Brockmann's books have dominated RWA's Favorite Books of the Year list, and her previous title hit #20 on the extended New York Times bestseller list. Though this isn't Brockmann's best effort, it will likely sell just as well. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Brockman has won a Romantic Times Career Achievement Award, and two recent novels were voted the Romance Writers of America's favorite book of the year, but this romantic thriller is her hardcover debut. FBI agent Alyssa Locke helps an ex-boyfriend track down his kidnapped daughter. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345498687
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/14/2006
  • Series: Troubleshooters Series , #5
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 24,882
  • File size: 597 KB

Meet the Author

Suzanne Brockmann
Suzanne Brockmann is a bestselling author. She has won numerous awards, including one Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for Series Romance, seven Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Awards, sixteen WISH Awards, and two RITA Awards from the Romance Writers of America. She has also garnered six Gold Medal reviews from Romantic Times magazine.

She lives west of Boston with her husband and two children.


From the Paperback edition.

Biography

Although Suzanne Brockmann can't remember a time when she wasn't scribbling something (one of her earliest masterpieces was an action-packed radio play called "Mice on Mars"), she didn't begin to write seriously until she was married with young children. She spent several years trying to break into the super-competitive field of screenwriting before deciding to try her hand at genre fiction; and, it was only after months of intensive research that she finally homed in on Romance. In June of 1992, she sat down to write her first book. By year's end, she had completed ten manuscripts, and in August of 1993, she sold her first book, the contemporary romance Future Perfect.

Brockmann's first novels were stand-alones. But as her career progressed, she noticed that romance mini-series, with their opportunities for character development and intersecting story lines, had become extremely popular. Seeking to increase her readership, she decided to write a mini-series of her own. She found her "hook" in a magazine article on Navy SEALs and, in 1996, she released Prince Joe, the first novel in her Tall, Dark and Dangerous series. The alpha males of Brockmann's fictional SEAL Team 10 proved to be the perfect romantic heroes, and the series was an immediate hit with readers. Four years later, she launched a second series of military/romantic thrillers centered on the friendships, romances, and working relationships among a team of Navy SEALS and members of an elite security agency called Troubleshooters, Inc. Starting with The Unsung Hero in 2000, the Troubleshooters books have catapulted the author to the top of the charts.

Brockmann is known in the industry as a risk-taker, having written stories around such sensitive topics as interracial romance and homosexuality, In 2004, she garnered attention for her eighth Troubleshooters novel, Hot Target, which involved one of her most popular recurring characters, openly gay FBI agent Jules Cassidy, in a romantic subplot. Brockman, who dedicated the book to her gay son Jason, was not sure how readers would respond. To her surprise, the reaction from gay and straight alike proved positive. She stated on her website: "I love the fact that the world I've created in my books -- a diverse American world filled with the same variety of people who live in my urban American neighborhood -- has been so enthusiastically embraced by readers."

Brockmann's distinctive literary blend has come in for its fair share of praise. Writing in the Chicago Tribune, veteran Booklist reviewer John Charles stated: "Brockmann strikes the perfect balance between white-knuckle suspense and richly emotional romance." And USA Today has called her "[t]he reigning queen of militaray suspense." As further proof of her mainstream appeal, she remains one of a handful of Romance novelists to have made the leap from mass market paperback to hardcover.

Good To Know

In an interview with the online magazine All About Romance, Brockmann says: "I started reading when I was three (my first 'real' book was Beverly Cleary's Here Comes the Bus -- I remember this because no one believed that I was really reading it and I got really upset when my older sister took it back to the school library before I'd finished it!)."

A serious history buff from her youth, Brockmann has read widely on WWII and has been known to incorporate stories from that era into the books of her Troubleshooters series.

Brockmann loves music. She attended Boston University as a film major with a minor in creative writing but dropped out to perform with a rock and roll band. She also sang with and served as music director for a Boston-based a cappella group called "Serious Fun" and produced its first and only CD in 1998.

Brockman is married to novelist Ed Gaffney.

The mother of an openly gay son , Brockmann is a proud member of PFLAG (Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays).

In her writing, Brockmann employs a device she calls Deep Point of View. She explains it in an interview with the online writers' journal Writers Write: "In my books, I use subjective point of view, but I'm not satisfied with merely showing the reader what that camera sees from its perch atop a character's head. I bring the camera down, inside of that character's head, so we see the world through that character's eyes. We hear things through his ears. We smell what he smells, feel what he feels, think what he think. With deep POV, I write using words that that character would use. I tell the story with that character's voice."

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Read an Excerpt

Months later

In the space of forty-five minutes, White House public relations assistant Joan DaCosta had been demoted from an admiral all the way to a lieutenant, junior grade.

She tried not to take it personally, or as a quantitative measure of her perceived importance here on the base, but rather as a crash course in U.S. Navy rankings.

Interestingly, not only did the face time get shorter and shorter with each step she was pushed down the chain of command, but the men inside the gleaming white uniforms got younger and more handsome.

Not that the admiral wasn't worthy of his own page in a hunk-of-the month calendar with his thick salt-and-pepper hair and that solid mix of both laughter and worry lines around his eyes. Since he was the Commander of Naval Special Warfare Command-or CDRNAVSPECWARCOM in Navyspeak-Joan would have been concerned if he hadn't had a worry line or two.

He'd greeted her upon her arrival in Coronado, and she'd instantly relaxed. She'd met Admiral Morton "Call me Chip" Crowley several times before on her own turf, back in Washington, D.C. He was that rare type of person who actually listened while others spoke.

But her sigh of relief proved to be a little premature when Crowley gently and almost apologetically passed her off to Rear Admiral Larry Tucker, the base commander.

Tucker was a bona fide dumbass, and she knew it even before he opened his mouth. In her job, she'd met enough self-important dumbasses to accurately ID them at first glance. And Tucker, with his too-handsome face and his impeccably combed hair-each strand inventoried and strategically placed to hide the fact that it was thinning-was a textbook case.

He was also a slimeball. He held her hand much too long after their handshake, his gaze lingering on her breasts, with a smile that said, "We both know you want me, because I am, after all, Mr. Wonderful."

Ick. He was wearing a wedding ring, which was a great big double ick.

Joan wanted to wash her hand as he bombastically reassured her that he would personally take charge of security on the base for the President and his daughter's upcoming visit.

She didn't know whether to be ecstatic or horrified at that news. Did it mean Tucker would be too busy Being Important to deal with the day-to-day details, i.e., all those little things on her agenda? Or did it mean that he'd be getting out his Krazy Glue and permanently bonding himself to her side?

The glue stayed in his desk, thank God. And she was far too relieved to be insulted when Tucker clearly got a rush of superiority as he lobbed her in the direction of one significantly lower ranking Lieutenant Commander Tom Paoletti, who was merely the commanding officer of SEAL Team Sixteen.

Merely.

Team Sixteen was the group of SEALs the President had specifically requested meeting during his upcoming visit. Team Sixteen was the group of SEALs with the incredible record of outstanding bravery and efficiency and ingenuity and stamina-all those things that made a huge difference when fighting a war against terrorism.

The rear admiral went off to be superior somewhere else as Paoletti ushered Joan into his office with a brief handshake.

And, oh my God. Wasn't he delicious? He was a Man, with a capital M and no hint of smarm about him. The broad chest, the jawline, the glint of intelligence in his hazel eyes . . .

Joan managed to keep herself from checking out his butt in those cute, pristine white uniform pants they all wore. She'd hated it when Tucker had done it to her, and she was determined not to disrespect Paoletti in the exact same way.

But, oh dearie, dearie me.

The commanding officer of Team Sixteen was about her age, maybe a few years older. His hair-or lack of it-was doing that Bruce Willis thing, and he took it just like Bruce. Like a real man, he was just going to let it disappear without a fuss. It so obviously didn't matter to him. And why should it? With a body like his . . .

She forced herself to focus on his face. On his hands. No wedding ring.

Stop it, Joan!

He was talking in a smoky voice about how honored the team was to be chosen to receive a presidential citation. "I understand the President's wish to visit the men on the base here in Coronado. And my team and I, of course, will be willing to give him a complete tour, if he should, in fact, decide to come-"

Joan cut him off. "Excuse me, Commander, I guess you haven't heard, but the visit is on the official schedule, and has been for quite some time. As far as I know, President Bryant will be here only for the morning, to present the citation and observe a demonstration, but his daughter will be arriving in a few days. And she'll definitely be taking a tour."

The muscle jumped in his jaw as he looked at his watch. He was not a happy camper. Joan wasn't sure why, although she suspected she knew. President Bryant's daughter Brooke, from his first marriage, was known throughout the world as "the wild child" despite the fact that she was pushing forty.

It was Joan's job to provide public relations opportunities in which Brooke would be unable to embarrass either herself or her father as she "helped" with his reelection campaign.

Brooke Bryant was actually quite a nice person. But she'd had terrible luck as far as news photographers went. Whenever she made a mistake, someone had always been there to record it for posterity and throw it onto the front page of USA Today.

And okay, admittedly Brooke had made her share of mistakes. She was notorious for falling in love with total shitheads and then acting stupid after finding out just how much of a shithead her latest boyfriend truly was. And since the shithead index in Washington, D.C., was pretty high, she'd had plenty of opportunities to expand her resume of mistakes.

Lieutenant Commander Paoletti was probably imagining the embarrassment of having pictures of Brooke falling off some Navy pier plastered on the front page of every major news publication and all over the Internet.

"This is something we'll need more time to discuss," Paoletti told her. "I'm really sorry, I wish I could talk right now, but I have another meeting I have to get to. I've made arrangements for you to tour the base this afternoon-in about ten minutes, actually, if that's okay with you."

"That's fine."

"We'll connect later," he told her. "If not today, then tomorrow or the next day. I'm going to leave you now in the very capable hands of Lieutenant Casper Jacquette, my XO."

"I'm free for dinner." Joan followed the commander out of his office. Connect was such an interesting word choice for him to have used. She was a firm believer in the "you cannot win if you do not play" adage, and she'd always had a real thing for Bruce Willis. "If that's convenient."

"Oh," he said, scratching his chin. "No. Thank you. Tonight's not good for me. I've already got plans to meet my fiancée."

Aha. Information received. And so gracefully and painlessly delivered, too. "Completely understood." Joan smiled to make sure he understood, too, so that there'd be no awkwardness or embarrassment. "You can't blame me for trying, Commander."

"Thank you," he said easily. "My ego thanks you, too." His smile was a killer. Whoever this fiancée was, she was one lucky babe. And probably in a real rush to get a wedding band on Paoletti's ring finger. "You're welcome to join us. I'm sure Kelly wouldn't mind."

"Unless it's really urgent that we talk tonight, I'll pass," Joan told him. "I'm still on D.C. time. I should really use this evening to de-jet lag." She was going to be in town for about four weeks, taking a vacation after Brooke's visit. Normally she'd just try to stay on East Coast time, but if she spent anything more than a few days out of her usual time zone, her body naturally adjusted. She might as well try to get it over with all at once.

"Maybe we can all do lunch later this week," he said. "I happen to know that Kelly really would like to meet you. The West Wing is her favorite TV show."

Joan laughed. "Tell her that working there is great, but not as great as it would be if Josh Lyman really were in the next office over."

Commander Paoletti laughed, too, as he led her into another room. He had a terrific laugh. What a shame. But no real surprise. The smart, handsome, honorable, gracious, nice ones were always already taken.

It was just as well. The dead last thing she needed was to get involved with a Navy SEAL that she was working with. Talk about idiotic choices.

No, even if there were no fiancée, Tom Paoletti and his liquid eyes and sexy laugh and fantasy body were best placed in the look-but-don't-touch category.

And, since it was really just eye candy that she wanted, Paoletti's XO-whatever XO meant-was top shelf and a fine replacement.

Lieutenant Jacquette was a strikingly handsome and enormous African-American man-not so much tall as he was broad. And it wasn't the fat kind of broad, either. No, he was just plain huge, with the kind of shoulders that looked wide enough to carry the weight of the entire world, if need be.

His office was smaller than the lieutenant commander's, but they didn't stay there long after Paoletti excused himself with one last smile.

Jacquette led her back into the hall, down the stairs, and out into the brilliance of the afternoon as he repeated everything that Paoletti had told her.

His cell rang, and as he grimly excused himself and took the call, Joan had enough time both to find her sunglasses and to search through the long list of Navy abbreviations that Meredith had put into her file before she'd left her office last night.

XO . . . XO . . .

Executive officer. Second in command. Aha. This Lieutenant Jacquette was Navy SEAL Team Sixteen's Mr. Spock.

Thank God for all those Star Trek reruns she'd watched in fifth grade, or she'd be completely in the dark.

"If there's anything you need while you're here," Jacquette told her with an appropriately Vulcan-like intensity, "come see me. Oh, good, here's Muldoon."

Joan looked up, and there, indeed, was Muldoon. Silhouetted by the sparkling backdrop of sunlight dancing on the ocean, this Muldoon couldn't have made a more dramatic appearance if he'd tried.

He was all broad shoulders and wide chest and long legs, packaged neatly into that same gleaming white uniform.

From a distance, he looked like a Lieutenant Commander Paoletti clone, with the same man-sized, extra-ripped build.

"Joan DaCosta-Lieutenant junior grade Michael Muldoon," Jacquette intoned.

The choir of angels missed their cue as Muldoon came close enough for her to see his face. But, hot damn, a face like that demanded a full forte gloria in excelsis deo.

Yes, as fit the pattern, Lieutenant junior grade-which made him sound as if he were a Daisy Scout compared to the non-junior lieutenants-Michael Muldoon was more picture-perfect handsome than both Jacquette and Paoletti combined. Of course, he was also only about twenty years old.

If the trend continued, within the next three minutes she was going to be handed off to a ten-year-old ensign, and then to that toddler seaman recruit she’d seen scrubbing the floor when she’d first arrived on the naval base.

“Lieutenant Muldoon is going to be your SEAL liaison for the duration of your visit,” Jacquette informed her.

It really was remarkable. The guy was right out of central casting. Hello, Gertrude? Yeah, we need a Navy SEAL hero type over on lot twenty-four this afternoon. Make sure he stands well over six feet tall, is built like a Greek god, has neon blue eyes, golden brown hair, and a face more hand-some than Brad Pitt’s, will ya?

“Ma’am.”

And he should definitely be ridiculously young, so as to make me feel as old as possible by actually addressing me as ma’am.

Shit. When had she become a ma’am? Thirty-two didn’t honestly qualify as ma’am-dom, did it?

“Lieutenant Muldoon will give you today’s tour,” Jacquette said. “And he’ll accompany you whenever you’re here on base. Please try to stay with him at all times.”

Oh-ho. Lieutenant Junior was her baby-sitter. Wasn’t that annoying news?

And although he gave no outward sign—Junior was either unswervingly polite or brain dead—Joan had to believe that this was not an assignment that he’d requested. No, this was one he’d gotten stuck with, poor thing. He was doomed to be as miserable as she was.

“That’s not just for your own personal safety,” Jacquette continued, “but also for security reasons, of course. Again, if you need anything . . .”

Enough games. The U.S. Navy might not take this PR opportunity for Brooke Bryant seriously, but she sure as hell did. “I need full access to this base, Lieutenant,” Joan told him.

He pretended not to understand. “Then I’ll let you and Lieutenant Muldoon get to it,” the XO said smoothly. “Enjoy your tour.”

“Sir, I have full security clearance,” she said.

But he was already taking another call on his cell—or at least pretending to take one—ending their conversation by turning his broad back and walking away.

And then there she was. All alone with Junior.

“Do you want fries with that?” Mary Lou Starrett asked.

The skinny sailor with a bad case of acne hardly looked at her once, let alone twice. “Just a vanilla shake.”

“Small or large?” There was a time—not so long ago—when this kid wouldn’t have been able to take his eyes off of her. And she, well, she wouldn’t have given an enlisted loser like him the time of day.

“Large. And I’m in a real rush, so if you don’t mind ...?” He finally looked at her, and it was with “Come on, you moron” in his eyes.

Mary Lou took a chicken sandwich from the warming bin, squishing a big hole in the bun with her thumb as she put it into the paper sack. It wasn’t as satisfying as spitting into his shake, but it would have to do.

She took his money and gave him his change, and he grabbed his food and left. And the lunchtime rush at the Navy base’s McDonald’s was officially over.

Her husband, Lieutenant Sam Starrett of U.S. Navy SEAL Team Sixteen, hadn’t come in with the rest of the crowd. Even though he knew she was working today. Even though he knew this was one of the three weekdays she dropped their daughter, Haley, at Mrs. Ustenski’s day care center and actually got her ass out of the house . . .

Her twenty pounds overweight, size humongous, never-gonna-wear-a-thong-again big-ass ass.

It had been thirteen months since Haley was born. And it had been longer than that since she and Sam had had sex. Real sex. Not this do-it-in-the-dark-with-any-random-blow-
up-doll-available-type sex they’d had very infrequently since then.

Mary Lou slowly organized the stack of paper cups along-side the soda machine, knowing if she didn’t look busy, Aaron the asshole manager would find something for her to do.

Maybe if she lost this weight, Sam would look at her again as if she were a woman, instead of a sack of potatoes. Maybe when she finally stopped breast-feeding. Everyone said that breast-feeding made you lose weight, but maybe she was some kind of freak of nature. Maybe after she weaned Haley, she’d get thinner. And maybe then Sam would want her.

He stayed up late, watching TV in the living room, waiting until after she was asleep to come to bed. Or so he thought. She was usually awake, lying there wishing that he would reach for her, but knowing that he wouldn’t.

If she wanted some, she had to make it very obvious. And even then, there had been times when he shut her down. Which eventually became so mortifying, she’d flat out stopped trying.

But maybe if she lost this weight . . .

Desperate, Mary Lou had tried over the past few months to make Sam happy by making his home beautiful. She cleaned the shit out of it every single day.

She tried to please him in other ways, too. By being agree-able. By holding her tongue and avoiding arguments at all costs.

She might not be the thinnest wife in the world, but she was working hard to be the least troublesome.

For instance, Sam had made a stink about her visiting the Team Sixteen building on the base. Apparently—even though the other SEALs’ wives came to visit frequently—
Sam didn’t want Mary Lou to visit him at work. So she’d made sure she didn’t bother him there, unless it was important or unless he was being deployed. Then, of course, all bets were off.

Their marriage wasn’t perfect, but what marriage was? And he didn’t have to marry her. Some guys wouldn’t have, despite the fact that she’d been pregnant.

No, he’d married her because on some level, deep down, he loved her. And now she finally had someone—not just someone, a Navy SEAL—to take care of her. They had a daughter together, and a house and two cars—although hers was pretty much a rolling piece of crap.

Sooner or later, she’d lose the weight and make Sam happy again. He’d admit that he loved her, and maybe then the rest of her life would turn around, too. She’d finally be accepted by the other wives of the SEALs in Team Sixteen.

They were polite to her, sure. But she couldn’t call a single one of them friend.

It wasn’t fair—the wives’ club was supposed to be part of the package, one of the perks of marrying an officer in the U.S. Navy SEALs. Her life was supposed to be glorious now, filled with wonderful girlfriends with sweet little babies like her own Haley, with Sam hurrying home to her every night after his training missions here in Coronado.

He was supposed to look at her with the same keen hunger in his blue eyes that had made her weak in the knees when she’d first laid eyes on him in the Ladybug Lounge nearly two years ago. He was supposed to make jokes and then they would laugh the way they’d laughed back then.

Of course, back then they’d both been drunk off their asses pretty much all the time they were together. They’d make plans to meet at the bar, and she’d arrive early and get warmed up. He’d come in, pound down a few, and then they’d stagger back to her place and get naked and laugh some more.

Course back then she usually ended up drinking until she puked or passed out.

But she’d grown up with a drunk for a mother. And she was good and goddamn sure that wasn’t going to be the case for her little Haley.

“Mary Lou!”

Shit. Aaron was going to ask her to clean the fry machine. She just knew it.

But, “Counter,” he said instead. She had customers. Glory be to God. She turned with relief at the reprieve and froze.

It was Alyssa Locke. Standing in front of Mary Lou’s counter, intently gazing up at the menu as if it had radically changed in the past few years. Her FBI partner was with her.
Jules Something. Sam had told her he was actually gay.

He was even prettier than Alyssa, and that was saying something, because Alyssa Locke was beautiful.

She was slender, with slim hips and thighs. Of course, her breasts were barely there. Mary Lou probably wore a larger bra size at age eleven.

Her dark hair was cut boyishly short, accenting her exotic green eyes, her mocha-colored skin, her high cheekbones, and her full lips. Making her look extremely non-boyish.

They hadn’t noticed her, hadn’t recognized her. Please God, don’t let them recognize her.

“What was it I swore I’d never order again?” Alyssa asked her partner, her eyes still firmly on the menu.

“That was at the other place,” he said. “Burger Hell.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yeah. What’s today’s special?” Jules asked, giving Mary Lou a wink.

Didn’t it figure? The one man who flirted with her today was gay.

Mary Lou didn’t pretend to laugh at his joke. She couldn’t. She couldn’t so much as smile.
She just stared at the cash register as she took their order, praying they wouldn’t recognize her, praying they would just take their lunch and leave.

“My turn to pay,” Alyssa said to Jules in a husky voice that didn’t have a trace of the deep south’s honey and syrup.Everything about her was all business. Efficient and precise. Except for that lush mouth.

As Mary Lou watched, she opened her fanny pack and got out her wallet.

And it was then, while Mary Lou was giving her change, that Alyssa’s gaze flickered down to her name badge.

And then up directly into Mary Lou’s eyes.

And there it was. Recognition. Realization of who was waiting on her dawned in Alyssa’s eyes. And Mary Lou couldn’t hide the fact that she knew damn well who Alyssa was, either.

For about seven seconds, no one spoke. Mary Lou actually dared to hope that Alyssa would turn away, pretend that flash of recognition had never happened. After all, there had to be at least several thousand women named Mary Lou in San Diego.

But no. Alyssa had to open her perfect mouth. “I didn’t realize you worked here.”

No shit, Sherlock. Mary Lou didn’t doubt for one second that Alyssa wanted to avoid her as much as she wanted to avoid seeing Alyssa. If Alyssa had known, she wouldn’t have come within two miles of this place.

“Yeah,” Mary Lou said instead. “I’ve been here for about three months now.” And just so that Alyssa wouldn’t think she had to work, that somehow Sam wasn’t providing for her, she added, “Three four-hour shifts a week. Just enough to get out of the house for a while. See a few people who don’t have diaper rash for a change.”

Jules was looking back and forth between Alyssa and Mary Lou as if he were mystified.

“This is Lieutenant Starrett’s wife,” Alyssa told him. He instantly became expressionless and bland. “Oh, right. Of course. Mary Lou. We met at your house about six months ago.”

Yes, they did. Right before Sam left for Indonesia. Mary Lou certainly remembered. It was right before Alyssa Locke left for Indonesia, too.

Are you in town to fuck my husband? The words were on the tip of her tongue, but she choked them back. She didn’t have to ask. She already knew. Sam still mumbled Alyssa’s name in his sleep.

He swore—repeatedly—that he hadn’t been with her since he and Mary Lou got married, that whatever had been between him and Alyssa was over and done with, a thing of the past. But it had been well over a year since Sam and Mary Lou got married. There was no way he’d still be dreaming about Alyssa if he wasn’t still seeing her.

No way.

Sam wasn’t the kind of man to go for months on end without sex. And he sure as hell wasn’t getting any from Mary Lou.

Jealousy clogged her throat and angry tears threatened to escape.

“It’s nice seeing you,” Alyssa said insincerely. Mary Lou just stood there as they took their food and pushed through the doors, out into the heat of the sunny afternoon.

“Earth to Mary Lou!”

She turned to find Aaron the asshole standing right next to her. “Where the heck did you go?” he asked, laughing as if he’d made a huge joke. “Standing there, spacing out, like someone came and vacuumed out your brain.”

It took everything in her to keep from slapping him simply for being a fool.

“Your husband called a while ago,” Aaron told her. “It was before you got here. I forgot to tell you. He said he’d try to make it in during lunch.”

Well, he hadn’t. And Mary Lou didn’t know whether to be upset about that or relieved. The only thing worse than see-ing
Alyssa would have been seeing Alyssa and Sam in the same room.

“He said to say he’s going out with the team tonight,” Aaron continued. “He won’t be back until tomorrow, probably in the evening.”

Of course Sam wouldn’t make it home tonight. That was no real surprise.

Alyssa Locke was in town.

Mary Lou took off her hat. She had to get out of there.

Now.

“Where are you going?” Aaron asked.

“I told Matt last time I was in,” Mary Lou lied. “I have to leave early today. Haley’s baby-sitter has a doctor’s appointment. I would’ve tried to get a replacement, but Matt said it was okay—”

“Go,” Aaron said. “See you next week.”

Mary Lou went.

From the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 92 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(54)

4 Star

(23)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(6)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 92 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2002

    A must-read in the ongoing saga of SEAL Team 16

    My journey with Suzanne Brockmann started with a blind buy at a bookstore. Whilst searching for *something* to read - I chanced upon two books with gorgeous covers of men in military dress-white uniforms. *** I bought the first book thinking that I would return for the second in the series if the author warranted another buy. Little did I know that night that an obsession was well on its way! *** After the second book in Ms. Brockmann's SEAL Team 16 series I was hopelessly hooked on her fascinating characters, wonderfully realistic dialogue and action-packed suspense. I waited impatiently for the third book and was shocked to find out that the main characters were *not* previously covered secondary characters Sam Starrett and Alyssa Locke. *** After searching for Ms. Brockmann on the internet (with the intention of pleading for Sam & Lys' book) I found out that the fourth book was *also not* going to feature Sam & Lys as the main characters. *** Resigned to just dig in and bear the horrendous wait for *that book* I was pleasantly surprised that Ms. Brockmann's SEAL Team 16 books got better each time. Book four (Out of Control) is right up there with my favorite books of all time. Magically, a previously unromantic secondary character was transformed into the most romantic hero I've ever had the pleasure to meet between the covers of a book. *** Needless to say, Ms. Brockmann had raised the standard sky-high - could the momentum continue with the most recent book released in the series? *** I'm happy to report that "Into the Night" contains a suspense sub-plot that besides being patriotic is also a timely and deftly handled treatment of the current American awareness of terrorists in our midst. *** Our main characters Joan DaCosta (30-something White House PR assistant) and Mike Muldoon (25-year-old Navy SEAL officer) are engaging as Mike convinces the reluctant Joan that neither age nor distance (Joan is based in Washington D.C. while Mike operates from a not-so-close Naval base) should prevent them from loving each other. *** For fans of Ms. Brockmann's SEAL Team 16 series we are treated to updates on the lives of characters from previous books. *** I also very much enjoyed Ms. Brockmann's customary third sub-plot concerning events from the second World War. *** My only reservation with "Into the Night" is that the terrorism sub-plot, while wonderful in developing secondary characters, is not really as dynamic as the suspense sub-plots in the previous four books. *** For me, "Into the Night" was unable to top "Out of Control", but then there can only be one book at the top, afterall. ;-D *** "Into the Night" is a must-read in the ongoing saga of SEAL Team 16 and leads nicely into the much anticipated next offering from Ms. Brockmann (Sam and Lys' book - rumoured to be titled "Gone Too Far").

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2009

    I always enjoy Suzanne

    Not the very best but. I have read the entire Trouble shooters series. I love them all.. some as always are better than others, but I am never disappointed. The stories are great, the characters, and I always feel the strong romantic pull of the main characters. I look forward to the next one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2006

    Loved it!!

    This is probably the best Brockmann novel I've read. Just loved it. I didn't think Mike and Joan could overcome their differences, but the author sold me. Boy, was it good!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2006

    If only men like Mike really existed

    I'm SHOCKED that every reviewer for this book didn't give it 5 stars. Their copy must have had missing pages or something because this book is so hot, I had to force myself to put it down periodically and get my sorry self to work. I was devastated when I finished it because I wanted it to go on forever. And someone didn't like it?? what is this world coming to? I might have my name legally changed to Mrs. Mike Muldoon!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2003

    I could read it over and over again

    I found this book extremely romantic and fell in love with Mike Muldoon myself!! This is the first book I've bought from this author and am looking forward to the next book in this series. I'm also going to try and get the previous books. The characters in this book were so likable and romantic. Way to go, Suzanne!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2014

    super book

    Love the action and romance. Such good writing.

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  • Posted February 22, 2012

    Highly...one of my fav's

    Into the night is one of my favorite Suzanne books, it was the first one I read and I just reread it, which I don't do very often. Once you start reading Suz, you want to read all her books.

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  • Posted September 11, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Good Book to a Great Series

    This is Mike's story -- the same Mike that Stan tried to hook up with Teri. He is assigned to show Joan, a White House representative, around the Navy's training base. He's super attracted to her, but she feels that she's too old for him and tries to keep her distance. Of course this is Suzanne Brockmann's story, so that is just the most superficial part of this amazing story.

    We get a better look into Sam and Mary Lou's doomed marriage and get to know Mary Lou better. Of course if Sam is in the story, so is Alyssa (I'm SO jealous of her) and we get a little bit closer to their book.

    Overall, this was a good book. I still love the series and can't wait for #6!

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  • Posted June 23, 2010

    So-So

    I've reead all her the troubleshooters series and I guess it makes it easier to write reviews. This was was a-ok book. Not all that. I felt myself looking for soemthing more, like there needed to be something, but that "something" wasn't there. The romance between Joan and Mike was good - he took the time to show her that he was more than a junior...LOL!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2009

    Painful

    This book was so bad and boring in some parts it was almost painful! They drawed out the book so much and nothing major happens. I could only find one plot twist. I didn't feel like I connected to the characters, so I wasn't as into it as I was for other books. The ending was okay but not very climactic. I love Suzanne Brockmann and have read a lot of her other books, but this was just plain aweful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2006

    Terrific Read!

    Brockmann writes a great romance, suspense book like no other! She keeps your interest to the last line.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2006

    I sure wish I was Joan...

    I didn't understand the negative feedback this book got. Although it contains less combat/action scenarios, it still made an excellent read. Suzanne Brockmann is a romance author. People need to understand that. Anywho...I loved Mikey and Joan. As much as Joan wanted to keep Mike and bay, she didn't stand a chance. Especially when Mike approaches the situation with a 'Do Not Fail' order. I also liked how we, as the readers, got to see a different side of Mary Lou, one of the least liked recurring characters in previous Brockmann books. I loved her story with Ibraham and her road to self discovery. Go get the book. As a lover of romance, you won't be disappointed

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2003

    This Brockmann Fan - DISAPPOINTED!

    I have read ALL of the Seal Books, so looked forward to INTO THE NIGHT. It is not the page turner the others are. I will not give up on Ms. B's books so will be at the bookstore waiting for Sam Starrett's story when its published. Also FRISCO'S KID.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2003

    a reviewer and fan

    I was dissappointed with this novel. I felt ms. brockmann could do a much better job developing the characters as well as the plot.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2002

    couldn't put this one down!

    I loved this book. I felt so bad for Mary Lou at the end, after getting over her racist thoughts of Alyssa and Ihbraham, and losing her heart to the one man who truly loved her. And Mike! Joan frustrated me so much when she refused to be with him. What a perfect pair they were. Bless the USA for Navy SEALS! whew, what gorgeous men!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2003

    Great read.

    I found this book to be one of the best I've read in a long time. I bought it without reading the others in the series and found it to be a totally delightful read. So much so that I had to go and get her other books so that I could catch up on all the other characters lives. The previous books were good but a little too romatic and explicit, this was a good all around book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2002

    Blah

    This latest installment in the series was big disappointment. The characters didn't interest me, the suspense was boring, and the multiple story lines are getting to be a drag. This will be my last Brockmann.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2002

    Can't wait to dive in!!

    Suzanne Brockmann's "Troubleshooters" series is one of the best I have ever read! I happened upon this wonderful author's books when I was browsing the romance aisles in my local bookstore. The cover of "The Defiant Hero" caught my eye, with the peek of the man in the desert uniform. Coincidentally, my husband, that I sorely missed, was deployed in the desert, dressed in a similar uniform. My thoughts of him prompted me to read the cover and I knew that I had to purchase her book. After staying up nearly all night, I finished this book in a short two days! To my delight, there were more of her books at the bookstore when I went back and I purchased "Out of Control" and "Over the Edge", and proceeded to tear through them. I haven't read the newest title yet, but I am eagerly anticipating its release. Reading her books is like catching up with old friends. And the plots are like riding the Scrambler ride at an amusement park. She catapults you forward with her fantastic plots as they unfold, then she shoots you back into a flashback with the same intensity as the main plot! All the while you're twisting and turning, but still moving at that fast, exciting pace! I, like many others, am dying to know more about Sam, Alyssa and Mary Lou. When you read about them, you want to dive into the book and tell them that they are meant for each other! I hope that in the next book, they realize this and do something about it! I will be very sad when the series concludes, for I could read about these people for many more years! Thanks Suzanne for keeping us engrossed with your fabulous books!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2003

    An enjoyable way to wait for Sam and Alyssa's eventual reconciliation

    I've been reading Suzanne Brockmann for years now and have loved all of her books. I absolutely loved how she interwove the "historical" stories in both "Out of Control" and "Into the Night". Her ability to use multigenerations in her books as well as to bring back characters that she's introduced in other books, ie Wild Card and Tom Paoletti, etc. really appeal to me. I'm not very sympathetic to Mary Lou, although my sister was after her read. I feel strongly that Suzanne is having Sam "learn and grow" so that he and Alyssa can actually make a go of it. They both, her included(Max B. is just passing the time w/ her waiting for that young girl)must grow to realize and to cherish their life together. Mike Muldoon was a great character who was macho and sweet, sexy and sensitive...the perfect Alpha and Beta male!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 13, 2002

    Dissapointed Fan

    Suzanne Brockmann was one of my favorite authors. I've read everything she has published, that's why I was really surprised with this book. It has fallen short of my expectations. I was unable to relate to the two main characters, and I really started to dislike the multiple story lines. It really distracted the reader from the story of Mike and Joan which lacks character development and doesn't show Suzanne's growth as a writer. I am hoping that her next book will be different. I'm sorry to say that this book was a big dissapointment. But I'm still optimistic that her next book in the series will be different.

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