Alias Smith And Jones by Kylie Brant released on Dec 25, 2002 is available now for purchase.
Read an Excerpt
Alias Smith And Jones
By Kylie Brant
Harlequin Enterprises LimitedCopyright © 2003 Harlequin Enterprises Limited
All right reserved.
Chapter OneAnaliese Tremaine didn't go around seducing men. If asked, the available men in Tangipohoa Parish could attest that even thinking of Analiese in a sexual way would be tantamount to signing a death warrant. Her three older brothers were as protective of her as a pack of wild dogs, and since the Tremaines owned just about everything round those parts, a fella could be dead and buried and no one would dare question the disappearance. The talk hadn't hurt Analiese's brothers' reputations a whit, but neither had it done anything interesting for her social life.
She'd never had more reason to regret her dearth of experience. The man she'd traveled a thousand miles to hire was scowling down at her. His face, which might have been handsome without the day's growth of beard, was a mask of impatience. At a time like this a woman could use a bit more exposure to the art of flirtation and seduction. As it was, she could only chalk up one more grievance against her brothers and hope that the smile she aimed at the man looked more confident than desperate.
"Listen, Mr. -"
"Jones. No 'mister.' Just Jones."
The fact that he gave no first name made her pause. There'd been no mention of one in her brother's files, either. Just Jones, and a private numbershe'd traced, with no little difficulty, to this island. To this half-naked man.
He either hadn't bothered with a shirt that day or had dispensed with it as the temperature soared. His brown hair was clubbed back into a short ponytail, and the sun had streaked it tawny. His lashes, absurdly long for a man, were tipped with the same color. But there was nothing warm about his expression. Most people would have quailed beneath the menacing look in his narrowed gray gaze, but Analiese considered herself something of an expert in dealing with short-tempered males.
"I'll double your normal fee."
"I said no, lady. I meant it."
He turned and began striding down the dock. Hurrying after him, she divided her attention between her words and her footing. Huge cords of rope lay in jumbles on the dock, a treacherous obstacle course for the unwary. "Do you really think that's wise? You're turning down quite a bit of money. A man who makes his living as you do can't afford to be picky, can he?"
Her remark brought him around, but because her gaze was on her feet, she rammed into him with enough force to jolt her teeth together. Two hard hands clamped around her forearms and set her away, but not before she'd felt for herself the steely muscles beneath that burnished skin. Smelled the mingled scents of sun, sea, sweat. Scents that shouldn't have been so appealing.
"What the hell's that supposed to mean?"
Analiese preferred to blame her breathlessness on the force of the recent impact rather than her proximity to his rock hard body. "I'm ... um ..." Since the sight of his tanned muscled torso seemed to have stricken her dumb, she averted her gaze from the distraction in question and gathered her scattered thoughts. "I meant your occupation, of course. It's dependent on tourists and weather, isn't it?"
When she chanced another look at him, his expression had eased infinitesimally, but was no more welcoming. "Listen, lady ..."
"Smith." Raising her Ray Bans with one hand, Analiese offered him the other, along with the phony name on her passport. "Ann Smith."
He ignored both her hand and the introduction. "Like I said, I've got a three-day fishing party to take out at dawn tomorrow. Try one of the other charter services I told you about. I'm booked."
"Are they as good as you are?"
"No one's as good as I am." His well-formed mouth didn't even quiver with a hint of humor. It was a simple statement of fact from a man who lacked an ounce of humility. "But I'm not available." He turned around again, clearly believing the matter closed.
She trotted after him. "Your party could be sent to one of the other services. They wouldn't have to be inconvenienced at all."
"They won't be. Because they've already got me."
"I'll give you two and a half times your regular fee." Desperation sounded in Ana's voice, and she made a conscious effort to smooth it. It wouldn't do to let this man suspect how badly she needed him. Or why.
"Nope." Nimbly he leaped from the dock to the deck of the gleaming white ship with Nefarious emblazoned on its bow.
She took a moment to wonder if the ship had been named when he'd bought it or if he'd christened it himself. And if he had, what the name symbolized. But frustration edged out curiosity. "Would you mind telling me why?"
He sent a glance her way, then bent forward to more tightly secure the ship's mooring. "No, I don't mind." His sudden verbosity should have warned her. He'd been maddeningly reticent up to now. "Number one - I gave the other party my word. That might not mean much to folks like you, but it does to me. And two ..." He looked at her then, really looked at her. An insolently thorough once-over that left her flesh tingling as though he'd stroked her skin with one callused palm. "... you look like trouble. I don't like trouble."
There was a definite glimmer of satisfaction in his pale gray eyes as he took in her gaping jaw, before he turned his back on her.
When she found her tongue again, she managed, "Trouble? What kind of trouble could I possibly cause?"
"You're a woman, aren't you?"
Her answer, if she'd been able to form one, would have fallen on deaf ears. He'd gone below deck and left her, jaw hanging open and temper on the rise, to bake in the tropical sunshine.
Well, damn. Crossing her arms over her less-than-ample chest, Analiese snapped her mouth shut and fumed. Of all the possible scenarios she'd imagined, somehow this one had failed to occur. Belatedly aware of the interested stares from people on ships docked nearby, she turned, raised her chin and stalked away. The man was being a bit more recalcitrant than she'd anticipated, so she'd have to go back to the motel. Regroup. Form a new strategy. She had until dawn tomorrow to do so.
Because none of the other charter services would do, of course. It had to be Jones. Just Jones.
Excerpted from Alias Smith And Jones by Kylie Brant Copyright © 2003 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This book is not only good on it's own...it is the start of a series called the Tremaine Tradition and we have at least three more books to look forward to! This book reminds me of why I like the SIM line in the first place. Smart, slightly quirky heroine; hot, slightly shop worn hero...sigh. What a great way to kick off the New Year! Analiese Tremaine is the youngest of the Tremaine children. Wealthy parents killed when she was just a baby, she has been raised (or should I say over-protected) by her older three brothers. To be fair to them, the over-protection probably stems from her being kidnapped at age 3, so you can see how they would want to keep her under wraps. Ana, on the other hand, isn't too fond of being over-protected. As an encrypter in the Tremaine software branch, she is privy to government information. Keeping tabs on her brothers secretly, she knows that brother Sam is not the international lawyer he appears to be on the surface, but rather an operative for a government agency. She herself is a courier for a government agency and when Sam comes up missing she jumps in to try to get him back without involving her two other brothers. Jones is a charter boat captain. He used to be CIA, but left the life after being shot in the back by his partner. Now he just wants to hide and be left alone. Unfortunately for him, Ana has traced her brother's movements to him - he dropped Sam off on an island with an unstable government right before he disappeared. Does he know Sam and what he does for a living, or is he innocent? Ana is the perfect heroine. Smart, resourceful but not hard. Knows how to get what she wants and how to improvise when she needs to. I really liked her and the way she was able to get the best of Jones. Jones is hot. Longish hair to his shoulders, great body...oh, yeah, let's play pirate and captive, baby. He doesn't want emotional involvement but Ana is really irresistible. I can highly recommend this book, and I can't wait to read the others in the series. Here's to something good to look forward to in 2003!
Sam Tremaine lived a covert life. Everyone believed him to be an international lawyer, even his family ... or so he thought. When Sam disappeared for over two weeks, Analiese, his sister, went searching for him. The family business was named Tremaine Technoligies and it handled some of the United States government's most sensitive orders. Analiese was one of the best in the tech world. Even Sam's encrypted files were not safe from Ana if she chose to look at them. Ana had known for years about Sam's covert career. Sam, however, did not know that Ana had been running as a courier for his contact, Sterling, for over two years thus far. Ana tracked her brother to Laconos, a country that had recently undergone some major changes in its government. Sam's files mentioned using a particular charter service from Bontilla owned by a man listed only as "Jones". She began her hunt there. Jones owned the ship named the Nefarious. The lady calling herself Ann Smith reeked of trouble. Figuring she was an island-hopping rich girl, and him needing the commission, he agreed to take her to Laconos and show her the beaches. Ann seemed to attract trouble. He found himself trying to protect her from the corrupt government and its military. Not an easy task considering she kept ditching him to see the island's nightlife. Jones could not even figure out why he cared. What she did was none of his business. Besides, the less she was around him, the less chance she would figure out his secrets. ***** This story has as many secrets as a James Bond movie. The main characters were constantly snooping, spying, and getting into dangerous scenarios. Author Kylie Brant did an excellent job of pairing this couple off and made the entire plot seem believable. The book is first of a short series, but has closure. Seems each Tremaine sibling will get a story. I, for one, am glad to know that because this book left me breathless for more. I eagerly look forward to May release! ***** REVIEWER: DETRA FITCH