Night Watch (Tall, Dark and Dangerous Series#11) [NOOK Book]

Overview

When U.S. Navy SEAL Chief Wes Skelly was sent to L.A. on assignment, he agreed to go on a blind date with beautiful single mother Brittany Evans, sister-in-law of a fellow SEAL. After all, he had been secretly in love for years, albeit with a woman who belonged to another man. So what did he have to lose?

Plenty, it turned out. Because suddenly, the woman he thought he could never have was available. However, so was Brittany -- and not only that, she was in danger. Because of ...

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Night Watch (Tall, Dark and Dangerous Series#11)

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Overview

When U.S. Navy SEAL Chief Wes Skelly was sent to L.A. on assignment, he agreed to go on a blind date with beautiful single mother Brittany Evans, sister-in-law of a fellow SEAL. After all, he had been secretly in love for years, albeit with a woman who belonged to another man. So what did he have to lose?

Plenty, it turned out. Because suddenly, the woman he thought he could never have was available. However, so was Brittany -- and not only that, she was in danger. Because of him. He knew he could keep her safe. But why was he increasingly certain that he was the one in danger?

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781459205352
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 6/1/2011
  • Series: Tall, Dark and Dangerous Series , #11
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 60,228
  • File size: 969 KB

Meet the Author

Suzanne Brockmann

Suzanne Brockmann is an award-winning author of more than fifty books and is widely recognized as one of the leading voices in romantic suspense. Her work has earned her repeated appearances on the New York Times bestseller list, as well as numerous awards, including Romance Writers of America’s #1 Favorite Book of the Year and two RITA awards. Suzanne divides her time between Siesta Key and Boston. Visit her at www.SuzanneBrockmann.com.

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


Brittany Evans hated to be late. But parking had been a pain in the butt, and she'd spent way too much time trying to decide what to wear—as if it really mattered.

She surveyed the scattering of people standing around the college baseball stadium's hot dog stand as she came out the door that led from the locker rooms.

And there he was.

Standing under the overhang, out of the gently falling rain, watching the players on the ball field. Leaning against the wall with his back to her.

At least she thought it was him. They'd never really met—at least not for more than two and a half seconds. Brittany, this is whatever-his-naval-rank-was Wes Skelly. Wes, this is Melody Jones's sister, Britt.

Hey, how are you, nice to meet you, gotta go.

The man who might or might not be Wes Skelly glanced at his watch, glanced toward the main entrance of the stadium. His hair was longer and lighter than she remembered—of course, it was hard to remember much from only two and a half seconds of face time.

She could see his face better as he turned slightly. It was…a face. Not stunningly handsome like Mel's husband, Harlan "Cowboy" Jones. But not exactly Frankenstein's monster, either.

Wes wasn't smiling. In fact, he looked a little tense, a little angry. Hopefully not at her for being late. No, probably just for being. She'd heard a lot about Wes Skelly over the past few years. That is, assuming this was really Wes Skelly.

But he had to be. No one else in the place looked even remotely like a Navy SEAL.

This guy wasn't big, though—not like her brother-in-law or his good friend Senior Chief Harvard-the-Incredible-Hulk Becker—but there was something about him that seemed capable of anything and maybe a little dangerous.

He was dressed in civilian clothes—khaki pants with a dark jacket over a button-down shirt and tie. Poor man. From what Mel had told her about Wes, he would rather swim in shark-infested waters than get dressed up.

Of course, look at her. Wearing these stupid sandals with heels instead of her usual comfortable flats. She'd put on more than her usual amount of makeup, too.

But the plan was to meet at the ball game, and then go out to dinner someplace nicer than the local pizza joint.

Neither of them had counted on rain screwing up the first part of the plan.

Wes looked at his watch again and sighed.

And Brittany realized that his leaning against the wall was only feigned casualness. He was standing still, yet somehow he remained in motion—tapping his fingers or his foot, slightly shifting his weight, searching his pockets for something, checking his watch. He wasn't letting himself pace, but he wanted to.

Gee whiz, she wasn't that late.

Of course maybe her five-minute delay wasn't the problem. Maybe this man just never stood still. And wasn't that just what she needed—a date with a guy with Attention Deficit Disorder.

Silently cursing her sister, Brittany approached him, arranging her face into a smile. "You have that same 'Heavenly Father, save me from doing favors for friends and relatives' look in your eyes that I've got," she said. "Therefore you must be Wes Skelly."

He laughed, and it completely transformed his face, softening all the hard lines and making his blue eyes seem to twinkle.

Irish. Darnit, he was definitely at least part Irish.

"That makes you Brittany Evans," he said, holding out his hand. It was warm, his handshake firm. "Nice to finally meet you."

Nice hands. Nice smile. Nice steady, direct gaze. Nice guy—good liar, too. She liked him instantly, despite the potential ADD.

"Sorry I'm a few minutes late," she said. "I had to drive almost all the way to Arizona to find a parking space."

"Yeah, I've noticed that traffic really sucks here," he said as he studied her face, probably trying to figure out how she could possibly be related to gorgeous, delicately angelic-looking Melody Jones.

"We don't look very much alike," she told him. "My sister and I."

She'd surprised him with her directness, but he recovered quickly. "What, are you nuts? Your eyes are a little different—a different shade of blue. But other than that, you're a…a variation on the same lovely theme."

Oh, for crying out loud. What had her sister's husband told this guy? That she was a sure thing? Just liberally sling the woo, Skelly, and she'll be putty in your hands because she's lonely and pathetic and hasn't had a man in her bed—let alone a date—in close to a decade?

It was her own stupid fault for giving in to Melody's pressure. A blind date. What was she thinking?

Okay, she knew what she was thinking. Mel had asked her to go out with Wes Skelly as a favor. It was, she'd said in that baby sister manipulative manner of hers—the one that came with the big blue eyes, the one that had enabled her to twist Britt around her little finger for the past several decades—the only thing she wanted for her upcoming birthday. Pretty please with sugar on top…?

Britt should have cried foul and gotten her a Dave Matthews CD instead.

"Let's set some ground rules," Brittany told Wes now. "Rule number one—no crap, okay? No hyperbole, no B.S. Only pure honesty. My sister and your so-called friend Harlan Jones manipulated us to this particular level of hell, but now that we're here we're going to play by our own rules. Agreed?"

"Yeah," he said. "Sure, but—"

"I have no intention of sleeping with you," she informed him briskly. "I'm neither lonely nor pathetic. I know exactly what I look like, exactly who I am and I happen to be quite happy with myself, thank you very much. I'm here because I love my little sister, although right now I'm trying to imagine the most painfully horrific way to torture her for doing this to me—and to you."

He opened his mouth, but she wasn't done and she didn't let him speak.

"Now. I know my sister, and I know she was hoping we'd gaze into each other's eyes, fall hopelessly in love and get married before the year's end." She paused for a fraction of a second to look searchingly into his eyes. They were very pretty blue eyes, but her friend Julia had an Alaskan husky with pretty blue eyes, too. "Nope," she said. "Didn't happen for me. How about you?"

He laughed. "Sorry," he said. "But—"

"No need for excuses," she cut him off again. "People think alone means lonely. Have you noticed that?"

He didn't answer right away. Not until it was good and clear that she was finally finished and it was his turn to talk.

"Yeah," he said then. "And people who are together—people who are a couple—they're always trying to pair up all of their single friends. It's definitely obnoxious."

"Well meant," Britt agreed, "but completely annoying. I am sorry that you got roped into this."

"It's not that big a deal," he said. "I mean, I was coming to Los Angeles anyway. And how many times has Lieutenant Jones asked me to do him a favor? Maybe twice. How many times has he bailed out my butt? Too many to count. He's an excellent officer and a good friend, and if he wants me to have dinner with you, hey, I'm having dinner with you. He was right, by the way."

Britt wasn't sure she liked either the gleam in his eye or that grin. She narrowed her own eyes.

"About what?"

"I was having a little trouble there for a while, getting in a word edgewise."

She opened her mouth, and then closed it. Then opened it. "Well, heck, it's not exactly as if you're known throughout the SEAL teams as Mr. Taciturn."

Wes's grin widened. "That's what makes it all the more amazing. So what's rule number three?"

She blinked. "Rule three?" She didn't have three rules. There was just the one.

"One is no bull— Um. No bull," he said. "Two is no sex. That's fine 'cause that's not why I'm here. I'm not in a place where I'm ready to get involved with anyone on that permanent of a level, and besides, although you're very pretty—and that's not crap. I'm being honest here as per rule one—you're not my type."

"Your type." Oh, this was going to be good. "What or who exactly is your type?"

He opened his mouth, but she thumped him on the chest as the action on the field caught her eye. It was a very solid chest despite the fact that in her heels she was nearly as tall as he was.

"Hold that thought," she ordered. "Andy's at bat."

Wes fell obediently silent. She knew that he didn't have children, but he apparently understood the unspoken parental agreement about paying complete and total attention when one's kid was in the batter's box.

Of course, her kid was nineteen years old and a college freshman on a full baseball scholarship. Her kid was six feet three inches tall and two hundred and twenty pounds. Her kid had a batting average of .430, and a propensity for knocking the ball clear over the fence, and quite possibly into the next county.

But it had just started to rain harder.

Andy let the first ball go past him—a strike.

"How can he see in this?" Britt muttered. "He can't possibly see in this. Besides it's not supposed to rain in Southern California." That had been one of the perks of moving out here from Massachusetts.

The pitcher wound up, let go of the ball, and… tock. The sound of Andy's bat connecting with the ball was sharp and sweet and so much more vibrant than the little anemic click heard when watching baseball on TV. Brittany had never known anything like it until after she'd adopted Andy, until he'd started playing baseball with the same ferocity that he approached everything else in life.

"Yes!" The ball sailed over the fence and Andy jogged around the bases. Brittany alternately clapped and whistled piercingly, fingers between her teeth.

"Jones said your kid was pretty good."

"Pretty good my eye," Britt countered. "Andy's college baseball's Barry Bonds. That's his thirty-first homerun this year, I'll have you know."

"He being scouted?" Wes asked.

"Actually, he is," she told him. "Mostly because there's another kid on the team—Dustin Melero—who's been getting lots of attention. He's a pitcher—a real hotshot, you know? Scouts come to see him, but he's still pretty inconsistent. Kind of lacking in the maturity department, too. The scouts end up sticking around to take a look at Andy."

"You gonna let him play pro ball before he finishes college?"

"He's nineteen," Brittany replied. "I don't let him do anything. It's his life and his choice. He knows I'll support him whatever he decides to do."

"I wish you were my mom."

"I think you're a little too old even for me to adopt," she told him. Although Wes was definitely younger than she was, by at least five years. And maybe even more. What was her sister thinking?

"Andy was what? Twelve when you adopted him?" he asked.

"Thirteen." Irish. Melody was thinking that Wes was Irish, and that Brittany had a definite thing for a man with a twinkle in his eyes and a smile that could light his entire being. Mel was thinking about her own intense happiness with Harlan Jones, and about the fact that one night, years ago, Britt had had a little too much to drink and admitted to her sister that her biggest regret about her failed marriage to That-Jerk-Quentin was that she would have liked to have had a child—a biological child—of her own.

That would teach her to be too heavy-handed when making strawberry daiquiris.

"That definitely qualifies you for sainthood," Wes said. "Adopting a thirteen-year-old juvie? Man."

"All he really needed was a stable home environment—"

"You're either crazy or Mother Teresa's sister."

"Oh, I'm not a saint. Believe me. I just… I fell in love with the kid. He's great." She tried to explain. "He grew up with no one. I mean, completely abandoned—physically by his father and emotionally by his mother. And then there he was, about to be shipped away again, to another foster home, and there I was, and…I wanted him to stay with me. We've had our tough moments, sure, but…"

The look in Wes's blue eyes—a kind of a thoughtful intensity, as best she could read it—was making her nervous. This man wasn't the happy-go-lucky second cousin to a leprechaun with ADD that she'd first thought him to be. He wasn't jittery, as she'd first thought, although standing still was clearly a challenge for him. No, he was more like a lightning bolt—crackling with barely harnessed excess energy. And while it was true he had a good sense of humor and a killer smile, there was a definite darkness to him. An edge. It made her like him even more.

Oh, danger! Danger, Will Robinson!

"You were going to tell me about your type," she reminded him. "And please don't tell me you go for the sweet young thing, or I'll have to hit you. Although, according to some of my patients, I'm both sweet and young. Of course they're pushing 95."

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 146 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(69)

4 Star

(50)

3 Star

(16)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 148 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Definitely a favorite

    I have to say, the final book in the Tall, Dark, and Dangerous series is one of my favorites--even though Wes is the team ten member who least matches the "tall" part of the description. We didn't really learn too much about Wes in the other books--he was mostly the shorter, mouthier half of the infamous duo Bobby and Wes--but he really gets fleshed out here. I really loved that Brockmann tied the series up by bringing back Brittany, Melody's sister from Everyday, Average Jones (fortunately, Brittany's the sister who got the brains. But at least Melody's pretty ;-)) and her adopted son Andy. It was like seeing old friends again. The stalker plot got to be a bit much at times, but in all I really enjoyed this read and was sorry to see the series end. Oh, well--Troubleshooters, here I come!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 6, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Jennifer Wardrip - Personal Read

    Another great read in Suzanne Brockmann's TALL, DARK & DANGEROUS series!<BR/><BR/>You'll get to see cameo appearances from a number of other Navy SEALs in this story, plus Wes and Brittany make the best couple. This is a laught-out-loud sexy story that you don't want to miss!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2004

    Wonderful Wes

    This is my favorite Suzanne Brockmann romance. I'm not exactly sure what sets it apart from the others (which I also really, REALLY like), but I think it might have something to do with Wes--he's not a movie star SEAL--he's short (5'8'), and at first Brittany describes his face as just a face--even when the attraction between them has built, it's individual features that are described as attractive--pretty eyes, beautiful mouth--but he's never this drop-dead gorgeous guy, he's a NORMAL-looking guy, who just happens to have a fine body, some self-esteem issues, and a high moral code. Same with Brittany--she's sharp-featured, and a little pushy about getting her say--I know people like that. The conversation when they meet and she tells him she has no intention of sleeping with him? Yeah, I don't think I'd say something like that, but I can believe that she might. And Wes thinking that he might want to get her pregnant? Well, the whole relationship developed from intro to proposal in less than a week, so this might be a suspension of disbelief issue--I'm willing to accept it, since it's appropriate to the character, even if a little premature. But, oh, the dance of attraction, of will he kiss me, should I kiss her, I like her but I'm in love with somebody else, but I really, REALLY like her, don't like him too much, he's in love with somebody else--I wish there were more books out there like this one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2004

    Who cares???

    This book was annoying. I didn't like how Brittany started off by telling Wes that she wasn't loose, wasn't looking for a relationship with him...before they even went on their first date. And what guy (Wes) thinks to himself that he wants to impregnant someone he just met? I would run to the hills if I met someone like that.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2013

    Night watch

    Loved it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2013

    Good

    This was a good book in the series. Others were better, but this was a nice quick read. The sub-plot with the son, was not really needed IMO. It didn't really add anything.

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  • Posted May 24, 2013

    I'm hooked!

    This was the first novel I have read from Suzanne Brockmann and let me just say WOW! After reading this book, I have gone on to purchase and read others of hers, all very good. It seems as though each book in the series "Tall, Dark, and Dangerous" is the story of an individual SEAL and how they go about meeting and romancing their partner/wife integrated with some sort of mission/assignment (which allows for the action and suspense part), however the author does a beautiful job of keeping all of the SEALs alive throughout the book (with the main focus being on one SEAL at a time/each book)
    She does a very good job of switching from the point of view of one character to another in such a smooth transition that it flowed really nicely. She gives the intimate parts enough to engage the mind and not too much to be trashy.
    The SEALs seem realistic enough, and it appears as though she has done extensive research, as there are certain terms and lingo that I assume used in their world, which is integrated throughout the book. This is a wonderful series for those who enjoy romance/action/thriller type films or books, as she so ornately combines all three into a powerful read. I enjoyed this and others of her's very much, and I am left wanting to read more!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2012

    Excellent

    Sweet romance a real must buy! Cute hero

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  • Posted July 31, 2012

    HOT! HOT! HOT!!!!!

    This is the BEST SERIES I have read. I wished it never end. I love each and every one of the books. Makes me want to go find me a NAVY SEAL. LOVE IT!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2012

    Great book

    Liked book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2012

    Highly recommend

    If you love suspense and SEALS, read this!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 26, 2011

    Please read! You will enjoy her books.

    Suzanne Brockmann is one of my favorite authors. She has the same characters in her books, so you feel as if you know them. If you can read her books in the order she wrote them, that would be awesome. She incorporates her Navy Seal characters with adventure and romance. I love all her books. Please read her other books and you will see what I am talking about.

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  • Posted September 14, 2011

    highly recommend...

    cute book..nice love story...man of dreams....

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    Night Watch was a great ending to a terrific series in the Tall, Dark and Dangerous Series. The pairing of Wes and Brittany was terrific. Wes found that he didn't need to pretend he was something he wasn't around her. For whatever reason, he felt totally at ease with Brittany and he could tell her things he couldn't tell anybody and he didn't need to hide behind his vices of smoking and drinking. I was glad Suzanne didn't decide to pair him with Lana. Wes found his perfect mate in Brittany and even accepted her relationship with her son. Brittany made Wes feel that he was a worthwhile person and not a "screw-up" as he was fond of calling himself. All of the couples in this series have all been strong characters and perfect complements to each other. I have enjoyed reading all of the books.

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  • Posted June 23, 2011

    Loved it!

    WES IS A GREAT MAN, WITH LOTS OF HEART ACHE. ALTHOUGH, IN TAYLOR'S TEMPTATION BOOK WHERE COLLEEN (WES's SISTER) AND BOBBY (his best friend) GET TOGETHER, ETHAN DIES WITH A FRIEND DRUNK DRIVING. IN THIS BOOK, THEY HAVE ETHAN DYING ALONE. BUT I LOVE HOW WES SHEDS ALL HIS HEART ACHE IN THIS BOOK. HE IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE SEAL TEAM MEMBERS. AND IT WAS GREAT TO READ BRITTANY FINALLY FOUND LOVE SINCE HER SISTER MEL FOUND IT WITH ANOTHER SEAL. I WAS HAPPY TO READ ABOUT ANDY GROWING UP WITH BRITTANY AND HAVING THAT FAMILY LOVE HE WAS DENIED AS A CHILD.

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  • Posted April 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    One word Awesome

    One of my all time favorites by Suzanne. My word it had it all. The romance was so real, and it had a great plot with other secondary plots, that made it interesting in all directions. I read this in one day. Read the whole series and the Troubleshooter series it will keep you in romance world for weeks.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2010

    Very boring

    I could not finish this book.I really like this author,but she really failed on this.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2006

    LOVED IT!!!

    As the last book in the TDD series, I must say that I am in love w/ Wes! Yeah, he has issues, but who doesn't? He's a real fixer upper in the emotional department but then there is Brittany who has no problem with that. I swear I have read this book at least 8 times! It is that good. Ms. Brockmann is an excellent writer. Everyhting that I have read by her has been excellent!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 8, 2003

    This book is awesome!!!

    OMG!!! I absolutely loved this book. I couldn't put it down. This was the first book by this author that I have read but I went out and bought more of her Tall, Dark & Dangerous series. I love the way the characters react with one another.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2003

    Team Ten Is Back

    Wes Skelly and Brittany Evans both agreed to a blind date after much pestering by their well-meaning relatives. They both thought they could have this one date and be done with it. Neither was counting on this red-hot attraction. Wes has been a favorite of mine in the Team Ten series and its great to see him have his own story. Wes has a lot of personal issues to work through but none of them scare Brittany away from him. Brittany is the perfect match for Wes. Instead of letting Wes stay at a hotel while he is in town, Brittany offers Wes her couch, this adds to the sexual tension between them. It was wonderful watching their story unfold. Night Watch has laughter, tears, suspense and sizzle, everything you want in a Suzanne Brockmann book.

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