Romance Suzanne Brockmann Into the Night

ISBN 13 : 9780804119726

Into the Night

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9780804119726: Into the Night

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Extrait :

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, a...

Présentation de l'éditeur :

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 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. . . .

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Suzanne Brockmann
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ISBN 10 : 0804119724 ISBN 13 : 9780804119726
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Description du livre Random House USA Inc, United States, 2003. Paperback. État : New. 175 x 109 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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 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. . . . N° de réf. du libraire ABZ9780804119726

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ISBN 10 : 0804119724 ISBN 13 : 9780804119726
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Description du livre Random House USA Inc, United States, 2003. Paperback. État : New. 175 x 109 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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 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. . . . N° de réf. du libraire ABZ9780804119726

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Description du livre BALLANTINE BOOKS. Paperback. État : New. Paperback. 467 pages. Dimensions: 6.7in. x 4.1in. x 1.4in.White House employee Joan DaCosta, at a California naval base to prepare for a display for the president of SEAL techniques, finds herself drawn to her SEAL liaison, Mike Muldoon, as they face a threat to the President. Title: Into the NightAuthor: Brockmann, SuzannePublisher: Random HousePublication Date: 20021101Number of Pages: 467Binding Type: PAPERBACKLibrary of Congress: BL2002014085 This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. N° de réf. du libraire 9780804119726

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