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Steam and Sunshine [NOOK Book]

Overview

Sonny and MJ are back, with all of the fast action and steamy heat of their first book, Racing the Moon! MJ gets an offer he can't refuse, one that leads the eco-friendly explosives man to California, with his ridge-runner, Sonny, at his side. They come out of semi-retirement to take out a man they think is an expert in creating weapons for the government. What they find is Paddy, a pawn in a very dangerous game of cat and mouse, a physicist who thinks his cooked up experiments have no practical application. ...
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Steam and Sunshine

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Overview

Sonny and MJ are back, with all of the fast action and steamy heat of their first book, Racing the Moon! MJ gets an offer he can't refuse, one that leads the eco-friendly explosives man to California, with his ridge-runner, Sonny, at his side. They come out of semi-retirement to take out a man they think is an expert in creating weapons for the government. What they find is Paddy, a pawn in a very dangerous game of cat and mouse, a physicist who thinks his cooked up experiments have no practical application. Paddy's new friend and bodyguard, Neil, knows better. In fact, Neil knows enough to be very dangerous to MJ and Sonny, which sets of a romp that careens across country and spills into the ocean as Sonny and MJ turn to what they know. Running as fast as they can. Paddy and Neil find themselves carried right along, clinging to each other in a world that has suddenly gone crazy. An uneasy partnership springs up between the four men when they realize they just might have a common enemy, and they work together to find out who wants them all dead. Steam and Sunshine is a headlong adventure, with all of the action readers have come to expect from Sonny and MJ, and all of the need and heat these two sets of lovers can provide!
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940000109618
  • Publisher: Torquere Press
  • Publication date: 2/14/2007
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 756,633
  • File size: 569 KB

Read an Excerpt

Prologue

He blew the center out of a cinderblock when he was in the eighth grade for the science fair, dropping the chunk of concrete exactly where he wanted it, causing a fake river to redirect and feed the little fern forest he'd planted. A man in a pair of sandals and swim trunks came up to him after school and asked to meet his parents.

Manning took the guy to meet Mom and the Colonel, watched the Colonel's eyes when the guy offered to take him north for the summer to a camp for gifted students.

He'd never had so much fun and when August came, he didn't go home. There were eight of them then. Seven boys and Paula and they lived and breathed engineering. They built things, they destroyed things.

It was fascinating.

By the time he was eighteen, there were only three of them left from the original group. Greg and Paula and him. Others came and went, burn-out and accidents took their toll. They worked and played and studied and MJ found his niche in the lab. Explosives.

Big ones, little ones, sharp and deadly and specific and ... Yeah

They called him Boomer and he could set a charge anywhere. In a pen cap, in a coffee cup, anywhere. Tiny and perfect and deadly.

He excelled at his work--had his masters by nineteen, his doctorate by twenty-two, and he was in the zone.

One night, he was up on the roof of the shed, harvesting a little of their crop of green to dry, when he saw Greg outside, talking to a stranger.

"...a risk to the project. She's beginning to ask questions."

"What kind of questions?"

"She wants to know what the devices she's creating could be used for. I think there's a mole inthe group, someone creating waves."

"Fine. We'll eliminate her at the first opportunity."

MJ blinked and stopped. A mole. There could only be a mole if this was a covert group. This was college. This was engineering.

This was explosions.

There was only one 'her' and he knew. He knew she'd been asking the mentors questions, knew she'd been talking about traveling after going home to see her family in the desert. Knew that something was up.

It was one of those weird, life-altering decisions, going down the stairs to see her--or a short-haired, older version of Paula, because she'd changed since that morning in the lab. He caught her loading a gun and a load of equipment into bags. "Paula? I. I came to tell you..."

"I know. I heard. Surveillance equipment. Thanks, Boomer." Her eyes were blue. How could her eyes be blue? Her eyes had never been blue before.

"Your eyes."

"Yeah. I ... I have a new job, man."

"Doing what?"

She grinned. "Fixing all the shit I broke. Don't trust Greg, MJ. Don't trust anybody. This set up ... you look into it. You'll figure it out. When you do, come find me."

Then she was gone.

He did figure it out and it didn't take him long. He was quick and smart and partied and laughed enough that no one thought he could be sneaking around. It was harder to arrange his escape, but he had access to the right chemicals, access to the right explosives, and it happened. He poofed and headed toward the desert where she'd said her family was. Where the encrypted emails sent from a Las Vegas motel led him and he did find her in the middle of the low desert in a little cabin, her eyes still blue.

He and Paula worked together for six and a half years--he found out she was ten years older than he thought, that he was considerably dumber than advertised, that the people she worked for were very well-funded and very well-protected, that the desert was damned hot, and that he missed the beach. MJ also discovered that, much as he loved Paula, he didn't want her, and as much as Paula wanted to, she couldn't manage to quit hating anyone long enough to trust them. He kept being the junior partner, the sidekick.

One night, about three years after he'd come back to the desert after a big job involving an oil rig, involving meeting people, getting to know them, and then doing his job anyway, MJ caught sight of himself in a mirror and stared. He wasn't a skinny little blond kid anymore. He was tanned and built and strong and damn, blood did wash off.

He drove to Phoenix that night, got his first ink, got laid. When he walked in the door, Paula looked up and laughed. "It's about fucking time, Boomer."

"My name's MJ, bitch."

Things went better after that.

At least for a few years. Then Cairo happened.

Cairo, where they went to gather information and assure that a certain man was delivered alive to his rescuers. Cairo, where someone lied and Paula ended up taking a bullet to the brain. Cairo, where Greg was suddenly standing there, familiar as anything, telling him they'd been wondering where he'd gone off to. Cairo, where he woke up in a five-by-five box with a rotting partner and a broken shoulder and a pistol with a single bullet. The things that happened in that box were unthinkable and he didn't think after what he thought was the fourth day.

By the end of the fifth day, he'd managed to blow the container's lock using gun powder and shavings from the butt of the gun and wadding made out of Paula's hair, and by the morning after that, he'd killed twenty men, filled a lifeboat with weapons, food, electronics, and ammunition, and then had set the main boat to blow, Paula's body surrendered to the sea.

Then he'd become the senior and solo partner.

MJ went back to the desert house once, but Greg had already been there, the place ashes and smoke. He got in his 'stang and headed west, top down. He stopped twice--once to transfer Paula's cash and add it to his, once to get some ink in her honor. Then he headed to the water to surf.

He was never going to be trapped again and he was never going to settle down and he was never ever going to work with a partner again.

He'd been wrong on all counts.

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