The Blackthorne, Inc. covert ops team is back with another action-adventure romantic suspense from Terry Odell. This time, it’s Computer Nerd meets Cartel Lord.
For Jinx, interacting with people is highly overrated. Computers are his life. On the job, he’s an intel gathering expert for Blackthorne, Inc. Off duty, he’s a shooter in computer role playing games. But what happens when he’s sent into the field to face real enemies with real guns?
Josiah Ignatius Nix—Jinx to all who know him—is the glue holding the Blackthorne, Inc. covert ops teams together when they’re on a mission. In the comfort of his basement office, with his favorite companions—his computers— a click of the mouse provides him with up-to-the-minute intel, which keeps the team alive.
Until the intel fails and a hostage rescue mission goes south. Both the hostage and team are captured, and the boss sends Jinx to the jungles of Mexico as an undercover field agent. The cartels have been kidnapping American engineers to build and maintain their private cell phone networks. Jinx’s skills make him a prime target for capture, a way to infiltrate the cartel and rescue not only the company’s client, but also the missing team of operatives.
Soon, he finds himself paired with Elle Sheridan, a cop whose missing sister is in the middle of a human trafficking ring. Will Elle be able to convince Jinx that Blackthorne’s mission needs to be expanded to include rescuing her sister? And if she does, will the two of them be able to stay ahead of rival cartel leaders and get out alive to make some private connections of their own?
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Reviews for Dangerous Connections
Single Titles: intrigue and fast paced action in DANGEROUS CONNECTIONS, the fifth book of her Blackthorne Inc. series. This is a stand alone book but fans of Terry Odell will tell you that once you are introduced to the Blackthorne men you can not get enough
Gumshoe Review: “A sexy thriller,” says Gumshoe Review. “Odell provides plenty of action and enough sex to satisfy romance readers. She does a deft switch of gender stereotypes with a heroine adept with guns and survival and an inept computer geek who would rather play video games than catch bad guys.”
Backlit against the glare, a silhouette appeared in the passageway between the sitting room and bedroom.
Still too shadowy to make out details, there was no mistaking the curvaceous figure of the voice’s owner. Or the gun clutched in front of her chest.
“Hey, take it easy.” Jinx kept one hand on the towel as he raised the other above his head. “I’m unarmed.”
“You could have a weapon strapped to the inside of your leg under that towel,” she said.
He wondered if she was going to check. Or if he’d mind. In the light, her features went well with her body. Her hair, shiny and brown, was braided into a plait hanging over a shoulder. Diamond stud earrings caught the light.
Tanned skin, high cheekbones, deep brown eyes, and wide, full lips glistening with peach-colored lipstick.
She wore a see-through, white blouse unbuttoned low enough to reveal what he assumed was a blue bathing suit top, not her bra. Under other circumstances, he’d be glad to confirm it.
White slacks hugged her legs—and he’d bet she had a great ass, but again, circumstances didn’t warrant wasting time thinking about it. She wore low-heeled sandals, and her toes were painted a coral that matched her lips, and—his eyes returning to the gun she held—matched her fingernails as well.
There was a vague familiarity about her, but nothing he could place. One of the poolside women, he decided. One of the smiley, flirty ones, although she wasn’t smiling now.
“I assure you, I’m weaponless,” he said.
Her gaze ducked to the towel, and she smiled. “You’re right.”
Elle Sheridan studied the man in front of her, wondering if she’d been wasting her time. It was his eyes. Deep blue, thick lashes. Compelling, but all wrong. Cautious, guarded. Maybe a little fearful. Not cop eyes. Not investigator eyes. Soft. Everything about him seemed soft. Untested. He seemed uncomfortable in his own skin. Not what she’d expected.
Had her source been mistaken? Was this the wrong man? When she’d gone through his things, nothing indicated he was anything but a man on vacation. The clothes were all new, but it wasn’t totally out of the realm of possibility for a man visiting a different climate. And if he was a Blackthorne investigator, he’d have made sure his cover was perfect. She hadn’t risked opening his laptop—she wasn’t a computer techie, and without someone from the geek squad with her, she didn’t think she’d be able to get anything out of it.
After a week in this resort, she’d made no progress in locating Trish. If there was the slightest possibility this man could help her find her sister, she’d give it a shot.
“Sit down, Mr. Brand,” she said. “I assume you know what you’re doing. I’m willing to go along with your charade.”
He sat, then took another bite of his apple. “Charade? I already told you—more than once—I’m trying to get a little distance from a lousy situation at work. How about telling me how you got into my room.”
Although she wasn’t used to being on the receiving end of an interrogation, she opted to let him ask his questions. “I’ve got connections with housekeeping.”
And thank goodness for that. Her leave of absence from the force would be over in a matter of days, and her funds had already plunged into the red. If not for the kind hearts in the housekeeping department, she wouldn’t have lasted this long. But the resort was full now, and the room they’d let her crash in was no longer available.
“The maid let you in?” he asked.
She shrugged. “I told her I was surprising my fiancé.”
He stopped, eyes wide, the apple halfway to his mouth. He shook his head. “You got half of that right,” he said. “The surprise half, in case you’re wondering.”
Terry Odell was born in Los Angeles, moved to Florida, and now makes her home in Colorado. An avid reader she always wanted to “fix” stories so the characters did what she wanted. Once she began writing, she found this wasn’t always possible, as evidenced when the mystery she intended to write rapidly became a romance. Although her genre is labeled “romantic suspense”, Terry prefers to think of her books as “Mysteries With Relationships.” Her titles include the Blackthorne, Inc. series, the Pine Hills Police Series, the Mapleton Mystery series as well as stand alone novels and short stories. You can find more about her at her website, http://www.terryodell.com.
Also by Terry Odell
What’s in a Name?
Nowhere to Hide
When Danger Calls
Where Danger Hides
Rooted in Danger
Danger in Deer Ridge
Interview with Holly Hewson
HH: Terry, thank you so much for talking with us at TRS. Your featured book is Dangerous Connections and the fifth book in your Blackthorne Inc. series. What can you first tell us about this amazing series?
TO: They’re all based on the premise of “Who do you call when Uncle Sam can’t help you?” I wanted to have a covert team of operatives that rescued hostages among other things, but I didn’t want to be confined to the rules of what government agencies can and can’t do. Fiction is great for that!
HH: What can you tell us about the first four books?
TO: First, all the Blackthorne, Inc. books have an underlying ‘fish out of water’ theme. The covert ops field agents are experts when they’re on the job, so for me, it was more fun to pull them out of their element and make them face life in “civilization.”
They’re all stand alone titles, but the same characters will show up in many of the books. Book 1, When Danger Calls, features Ryan Harper, who was accused of being a traitor after 2 ops he was on went south. He meets up with single mother Frankie Castor, and what starts out as a simple problem involving her aging mother, escalates into a run-in with terrorists.
Book 2, Where Danger Hides, features Dalton, who was introduced in Book 1. He’s a Texan who can scam his way in and out of any situation, but he’s obsessed with capturing a drug lord, and his boss pulls him from covert duty to investigate people gone missing from a halfway house. He’s working with Miri Chambers, and again, what starts out with what should be a simple problem ends up being much more, involving illegal aliens and drug dealers.
Book 3, Rooted in Danger, features Fozze, the cocky Aussie who’s the surveillance expert for the Blackthorne, Inc. team. With his sophisticated equipment, he can spot the fleas on a squirrel’s balls from five hundred feet in the air. Of course, in the book, he doesn’t have access to any of his sophisticated equipment. He gets caught up in the problems of Torie Stoker, the woman whose father hired Blackthorne, Inc. to find, and tries to help her get out from under the thumb of a demanding family.
Book 4, Danger in Deer Ridge, is the story of Julie Ann, one of the women who readers met in Where Danger Hides, who was running from her abusive husband. She’s changed her name to Elizabeth, and she and her son have relocated to a small Colorado town, where she meets Grinch, one of Blackthorne’s former pilots. He’s now the single parent of a five-year-old son, and is stumbling through instant parenthood. Elizabeth has something her husband wants, and he will stop at nothing to get it. Grinch has to teach Elizabeth how to disappear, and she has to teach him to be a father.
HH: How does Dangerous Connections continue it?
TO: Dangerous Connections is more of a role reversal book. Jinx isn’t a field operative. However, his skills are needed, and after the Blackthorne, Inc. team is captures, Jinx ends up in the jungles of Mexico trying to infiltrate the cartels who are holding a hostage the team was trying to rescue. Fozzie is back in this book, along with Dalton and a couple of other familiar faces. This one, unlike most of the other books, actually takes place on the op, but because Jinx isn’t trained for that kind of work, it’s a different approach. Truth be told, the book was going to take place somewhere in middle America, but when I was researching locations for my standard “opening op” scene (which my daughter refers to as my MacGyver Gambit openings), I discovered that Americans were being kidnapped to help build cell phone networks for the Mexican cartels, and I knew that was going to be my story instead.
HH: What do you like about Elle and why will readers identify with her?
TO: Elle Sheridan is a cop who’s looking for her missing sister. Her sources lead her to Jinx, whom she believes is an experienced field operative. However, she soon learns that his skills aren’t the ones needed to rescue her sister, and she becomes lead on the search. I think readers will enjoy seeing her strength and determination, and how she copes with being a woman in a man’s domain.
HH: What do you like best about Jinx and why will readers love him?
TO: Jinx would much rather be role-playing in computer games, but he steps forward and does the best he can. I think readers will enjoy the way he interacts with Elle, accepting that although he’s the man, she’s the one with the expertise. Plus, he has a great sense of humor.
HH: Will there be more to come in this series?
TO: I think so! At least that’s the plan.
HH: What else do you have in store for lucky readers?
TO: My next release is book 3 in my Mapleton Mystery series. It’s tentatively titled Deadly Puzzles, and is in the editing process. Look for an April release. Also, I’m thrilled that many of my books are being made into audio books. So far, it’s my Pine Hills Police series, and my stand alone title, What’s in a Name?, but eventually, they’ll all become books you can listen to as well as read.
HH: What are you reading now?
TO: Fatal Distraction by Diane Capri
HH: What appearances do you have coming up in 2014?
TO: I’ll be at the SuperStars Writing Seminars in Colorado Springs in early February, and at SleuthFest in Orlando at the end of the month. The Writers’ Police Academy in September, and I’ll be going to the Novelists, Incorporated (NINC) conference in October. I’ll also be doing some local appearances at libraries, and giving workshops to writing groups.
HH: Where can readers find you online?
TO: My website, http://terryodell.com
On Twitter, I’m @authorterryo
My blog, Terry’s Place: http://terryodell.com/terrysplace
And sign up for my newsletter, where I have exclusives just for subscribers.
You can also find me at Booklover’s Bench, a group author site where we have monthly giveaways and prove that “Readers are Winners.”