Tall, Dark and Daring: The Admiral's Bride / Identity: Unknown

( 49 )

Overview

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Suzanne Brockmann has thrilled audiences with her tall, dark and dangerous series. Experience them here, with two classic tales of heroes who face the most daring adventure of all—falling in love.

The Admiral's Bride

When six canisters of a lethal nerve agent are stolen from a military testing lab, Admiral Jake Robinson must recover the chemicals—by any means necessary. With Dr. Zoe Lange at his ...

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Tall, Dark and Daring: The Admiral's Bride / Identity: Unknown

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Overview

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author Suzanne Brockmann has thrilled audiences with her tall, dark and dangerous series. Experience them here, with two classic tales of heroes who face the most daring adventure of all—falling in love.

The Admiral's Bride

When six canisters of a lethal nerve agent are stolen from a military testing lab, Admiral Jake Robinson must recover the chemicals—by any means necessary. With Dr. Zoe Lange at his side he defies convention and decides to infiltrate the compound where religious fanatics have stored the deadly toxin. But Jake fears his instant attraction to Zoe might compromise the mission.

Identity: Unknown

Navy SEAL Mitchell Shaw woke up one morning with no clue as to who he was. The items hidden in his possession were no help: an address and a .22 caliber sidearm. But the address led him to the Lazy 8 Ranch—and its beautiful manager, Becca Keyes, who made him believe he might have a future. Even if he wasn't sure about his past.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780373776245
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 3/29/2011
  • Series: Tall, Dark and Dangerous Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 804,165
  • Product dimensions: 6.52 (w) x 4.28 (h) x 1.34 (d)

Meet the Author

Suzanne Brockmann
Suzanne Brockmann
One of the leading lights in romantic suspense, RITA Award winner Suzanne Brockmann hit the big time with her bestselling Troubleshooters Series -- military/romantic adventures starring Navy SEALs and members of an elite security agency comprised of military and law enforcement personnel.

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

The Pentagon.

Dr. Zoe Lange gazed out the window of the limo as the driver pulled up to the Pentagon.

Damn.

She was way underdressed.

Her boss, Patrick Sullivan, had told her only that she was a candidate for an important and potentially long-term assignment. Zoe had figured that appropriate dress for such a meeting meant comfortable—blue jeans, running shoes, a T-shirt with a little blue flower print, and hardly any makeup. She was who she was, after all. If she were going to join a long-term mission, everyone might as well know exactly what to expect right from the start.

She didn't dress up unless she had to.

Unless she were going someplace like, oh, say, the Pentagon.

If she'd known she was coming to the Pentagon, she would have put on her skintight black cat suit, her three-inch heels, dark red lipstick and worn her long blond hair in some kind of fancy French braid, rather than this high-school cheerleader ponytail she was wearing. Because men in the military tended to think female agents who looked like Emma Peel or one of James Bond's babes could hold their own when the going got tough. But little blue flowers, nuh-uh. Little blue flowers meant they'd have to hand her hankies to mop her frightened tears. Never mind the fact that little blue flowers didn't compromise her ability to run hard and fast, the way three-inch heels did.

Well, okay. She was here now. The little blue flowers were going to have to do.

She put on her sunglasses and picked up her oversize handbag that doubled as a briefcase and let herself be escorted by the guards into the building, through all the security checkpoints and into a waiting elevator.

Down. They headed down, further even than the B that marked the basement floor. Even though no more letters or numbers flashed on the display over the door, they kept sinking. What could possibly be this far down besides hell?

Zoe smiled tightly at the idea of being summoned for a meeting with the devil himself. In her line of business, it was entirely possible. She just hadn't expected to meet him here in D.C.

Finally the elevator stopped and the doors opened with a subdued chime.

The hallway was a clean off-white and very bright, not the dimly lit, smoky magentas and red-oranges of hell. The guards waiting for her outside didn't carry pitchforks. Instead they wore naval uniforms. Navy, huh? Hmm, wasn't that interesting?

U.S. Navy Lieutenant Clones One and Two led her down that nondescript corridor, through countless doors that opened and closed automatically. Maxwell Smart would've been right at home.

"Where are we heading, boys?" Zoe asked. "To the Cone of Silence?"

One of the lieutenants looked back at her blankly, either too young or too serious to have seen all those late-night Get Smart reruns she'd watched as a kid.

But as they stopped at an unmarked doorway, Zoe realized her joking question had been right on the mark. The door was ridiculously thick, reinforced with steel, layered with everything else—lead included, no doubt—that would render the room within completely spy-proof. No infrared satellites could look through these walls and see who was inside. No high-powered microphones could listen in. Nothing that was said inside could be recorded or overheard.

It was, indeed, the equivalent of Maxwell Smart's Cone of Silence.

The outer door—and it was only the first of three she passed through—closed with a thunk, followed by the second. The third door was like a hatch on a ship—she had to step over a rim to get inside. It, too, was sealed tightly behind her.

Apparently, she was the last to arrive.

The inner chamber was not a big room. It was barely sixteen by thirteen, and it was filled with men. Big men, wearing gleaming white naval dress uniforms. The glare was intense. Zoe resisted the urge to pull her sunglasses down from where she'd pushed them atop her head as they all turned to look at her, as they all rose to their feet in a unison display of chivalry.

She looked at them, scanning their faces, looking for someone, anyone familiar. The best she could do was count heads—fourteen—and sort through the various ranks on their uniforms.

"Please," she said, with her best professional smile. "Gentlemen. No need to stand on my account."

There were two enlisted men, four lieutenants, one senior chief, two commanders, a captain, a rear admiral lower grade and three—count 'em, three—full-grade admirals, complete with scrambled eggs on the hats that were on the table in front of them.

Seven of the men were active-duty SEALs. Two of the admirals wore budweisers, as well—the SEAL pin with an anchor and an eagle in flight gripping Poseidon's pitchfork in one talon and a stylized gun in the other—which meant they'd been SEALs at one time during their long military careers.

One of the SEALs—a blond lieutenant with an even, white-toothed smile and a much too handsome face, who looked as if he might've come straight from the set of Baywatch—pulled out a chair for her. Nodding her thanks, she sat next to him.

"Name's Luke O'Donlon," he whispered, holding out his hand.

She shook it quickly, absently, smiling briefly at both O'Donlon and the SEAL on her other side, an enormous African-American man with a shaved head, a diamond stud in his left ear and a wide gold wedding band on his ring finger. As she set her bag down in front of her, her attention was held by the men on the other side of the big table.

Three admirals. Holy Mike. Whatever this assignment was, it required this spy-proof room and three full-grade admirals to launch it.

The admiral without the budweiser had snow-white hair and a face set in a permanent expression of disgust—as if he carried bad fish in his inside jacket pocket. Stonegate, that was his name. Zoe recognized him from his newspaper picture. He was always showing up in the Washington Post. He was part politician, something she didn't quite approve of in a man of his rank and standing.

Beside her, O'Donlon cleared his throat and gave her his most winsome smile. He was just too cute, and he knew it, too. "I'm sorry, miss, I didn't catch your name."

"I'm afraid that info's need-to-know," she whispered back, "and probably beyond your security clearance level. Sorry, sailor."

The senior chief next to her overheard and deftly covered his laughter with a cough.

The admiral who had reclaimed his seat next to Stone-gate had a thick head of salt-and-pepper hair. Admiral Mac Forrest. Definitely a cool guy. She'd met him at least twice in the Middle East, the last time just a few months ago. He nodded and smiled as she met his eyes.

The admiral on Mac's left—the man directly across the table from her—was still standing, his face hidden as he quickly rifled through a file. "Now that we're all here," he said, "why don't we get started."

He looked up then, and Zoe found herself looking into eyes that were amazingly, impossibly blue, into a face she would've recognized anywhere.

Jake Robinson.

The one and only Admiral Jake Robinson.

Zoe knew he was in his early fifties—he had to be unless he'd performed his heroics in Vietnam as a twelve-year-old. Still, his hair was thick and dark, and the lines around his eyes and mouth only served to give his handsome face strength and maturity.

And handsome was a complete understatement. Jake Robinson was way beyond handsome. He needed a completely new word invented to describe the sheer beauty of his face. His mouth was elegant, gracefully shaped and ready to quirk up into a smile. His nose was masculine perfection, his cheekbones exquisite, his forehead strong. His chin was just the right amount of stubborn, his jawline still sharp.

Lieutenant Cutie-Pie sitting next to her—now he was

merely handsome. Jake Robinson, on the other hand, was the Real Deal.

He was looking around the table, quickly making introductions that Zoe knew were mostly for her benefit. Everyone else here knew each other. She tried to listen. The two enlisted SEALs were Skelly and Taylor. One was built like a pro football linebacker, the other looked like Popeye the sailor man. Which was which, she didn't have a clue. The African-American senior chief was named Becker. She'd met O'Donlon. Hawken, Shaw, Jones. Try as she might to memorize names, to attach them permanently to faces, she couldn't do it.

She was too busy flashing hot and cold.

Jake Robinson.

Great glorious God, she was being given a chance to work a long-term assignment under the command of a living legend. His exploits in Vietnam were legendary—along with his more recent creation of the Gray Group. Robinson's Gray Group was so highly classified, so top secret, she could only guess the type of assignments he handed out. But she could guess. Dangerous. Covert. Intensely important to national security.

And she was going to be part of one.

Zoe's heart was pounding as if she had just run five miles. She took a deep breath, calming herself as the admiral introduced her to the rest of the room. By the time fourteen pairs of very male eyes focused on her, she was completely back in control. Calm. Cool. Collected. Positively serene.

Except thirteen of those fourteen pairs of very male eyes didn't seem to notice how absolutely serene she was. Instead, they all focused on her ponytail and her little blue flowers. She could read their speculation quite clearly. She was the secretary, right? Sent in to take notes while the big strong men talked.

Guess again, boys.

"Dr. Zoe Lange is one of the top experts in the country—possibly in the world—in biological and chemical weapons," Jake Robinson told them in his husky baritone voice.

Around the room, eyebrows went up. Zoe could almost smell the skepticism. Across the table, the admiral's eyes were sparkling with amusement. Clearly, the skepticism's stench was strong enough for him to smell it, as well.

"Dr. Lange works for Pat Sullivan," he added matter-of-factly, and the mood in the room instantly changed. The Agency. He didn't even need to say the name of the organization. They all knew what it was—and what she did for a living. Admiral Robinson had known exactly what to say to make them all sit up and take notice of her, little blue flowers or not. She sent him a smile of thanks.

"I truly appreciate your being able to join us here today, Doctor." The admiral smiled at her, and it was all Zoe could do not to melt at his feet.

It was true. Everything she'd ever read or heard about Jake Robinson's smile was absolutely true. It was warm and genuine. It was completely inclusive. It lit him from within, made his eyes even more blue. It made her want to follow him anywhere. Anywhere.

"It's my pleasure, Admiral," she murmured. "I'm honored that you invited me. I hope I can be of assistance."

"Actually—" his face sobered "—it's unfortunate that we need your assistance." He looked around the table, all amusement gone from his eyes. "Two weeks ago, there was a break-in at the Arches military testing lab just outside of Boulder, Colorado."

Zoe stopped watching the man's eyes and started paying attention to his words. A break-in. At Arches. Holy Mike.

She wasn't the only one shifting uneasily in her seat. Beside her, Senior Chief Becker was downright uncomfortable, as were most of the other SEALs. Like Zoe, they all knew what was tested at Arches. They all knew what was stored there, as well. Anthrax. Botulinum toxin. Sarin. The lethal nerve gas VX. And the newest man-made tool of death and chemical destruction, Triple X.

The last time Zoe had been in Arches, she'd written a hundred-and-fifty-page report on the weaknesses in their security system. She wondered now if anyone at all had bothered to read it.

"The break-in was done without force, without forced entry, even," the admiral continued. "Six canisters of a deadly nerve agent were removed and replaced—it was only by dumb luck we discovered the switch."

Zoe couldn't stand it a minute longer. "Admiral, what exactly was taken?"

Stonegate and several of the other high-ranking officers were looking at her as if she deserved to get her mouth washed for speaking out of order. But she didn't give a damn. She needed to know. And Jake Robinson didn't seem to mind.

He met her gaze steadily, and she saw the answer in his eyes even before he opened his mouth to speak. It was the worst possible scenario she could imagine.

Trip X. Six canisters? Oh, God.

She realized she'd said the words aloud as he nodded. "Oh, God is right," he agreed with rather grim humor. "Dr. Lange, perhaps I could impose upon you to explain exactly what Triple X is, as well as our options for dealing with this little problem."

Little problem? Holy Mike, this was no little problem. "Our options for dealing with it are extremely simple, sir," she said. "We have only one option—there are no choices here. We need to find and regain possession of the missing canisters. Believe me, gentlemen, Triple X is not something we want floating around out there. And particularly not six canisters' worth." She looked at the admiral. "How in God's name did this happen?"

"How's not important right now," he told her almost gently. "Right now we need to focus on what. Please continue, Doctor."

Zoe nodded. The thought of six canisters of Triple X set loose on the unsuspecting world made her blood feel like ice water as it flowed through her veins. It was terrifying. And she wasn't used to feeling terrified, even though her job was a frightening one most of the time. She spent hours upon hours learning the awful details of all the different weapons of mass destruction that were out there, ready to wreak havoc on the planet. But she'd learned to sleep dreamlessly at night, untouched by nightmares. She'd learned to sit impassively while reading reports of countries that tested chemical weapons on prisoners and the infirm. Women and children.

But six missing canisters of Trip X…

That scared her to death.

Still, she took a deep breath and stood up, because she'd also learned how to give tight, to-the-point, emotionless information even when she was badly shaken.

"Triple X is currently the nastiest chemical weapon in the world," she reported. "It's twenty times more potent than the nerve agent VX, and like VX, it kills by paralysis. Get a noseful of Triple X, gentlemen, and you choke to death, because your lungs, like the other muscles in your body, slowly seize up. Trip X or Tri X or T-X. It's all the same thing—airborne death."

Zoe moved around the table to the whiteboard that was on the wall behind Admiral Robinson. She picked up a marker and scribbled the two chemical components on the board, labeling them A and B.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 49 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 50 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2012

    Amazing boooks!!!

    She never disappoints... love her stories they become addicting ... i can't put the book down till i finished both stories... then i can't wait to start the next one till im done with the whole series .... which of course i never want to end! I love suzanne brockmanns books there amazing. If you like these try here troubleshooter series with more NAVY seals!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2012

    Great books!

    Suzanne Brockmann's books never disappoint. Great stories.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2014

    Autumnshade

    Pads out gratefully

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2014

    Forestleaf

    She follows.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2014

    FreePaw

    "Thank you."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 25, 2014

    Darkclan Medicine Den

    ~Shimmerstar

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2013

    Tall dark and daring

    Great books gotta love the seals

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  • Posted January 11, 2013

    Recommend

    Love this series, hope she writes more of these. I have read two of her series on Seals and love them. Keep them coming.

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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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  • Posted April 25, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    A real page turner!

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