Published by: Grand Central
Publication date: August 16th 2016
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
When Shaw Kinnard encounters the incongruously elegant Jordie Bennet in a seen-better-days bayou bar, it’s not love at first sight. He’s there to kill her. Instead, he abducts her, eager to get hold of the $30 Million her brother has pocketed from his badly bent boss. Now they are on the run from said boss—and the FBI.
STING – DREAM CAST
Shaw – Tom Hardy
Jordie – Jaimie Alexander
Even though it’s almost thirty years old, the movie “Top Gun” and its characters are referred to several times. If the soundtrack followed the relationship between Shaw and Jordie, it would start out with “Danger Zone” and end with “Take My Breath Away.”
If you’re on Spotify, you can find the TOP GUN soundtrack here: https://open.spotify.com/album/6K8iDZW8jPaoiqSzFFebJA
STING by Sandra Brown
Three days earlier, Shaw had been sunning himself beside a sapphire-blue swimming pool, watching two topless girls cavort in the shallow end, catching a buzz from a tall, pastel drink from which a hibiscus blossom sprouted, enjoying the hedonistic lifestyle that could be bought with new money in Old Mexico.
He was a guest in a villa that sat on a cliff overlooking the Gulf. The white stucco structure sprawled atop a jungle-draped hillside that tumbled down onto the sandy shore. The palatial property belonged to the man Shaw would execute later that night.
However, that afternoon as he’d watched the girls play and sipped the tropical cocktail, he didn’t know that yet.
After the swimming party, guests had been given time to retreat to their rooms and change into their casual chic before reconvening for an extended cocktail hour, followed by a four-course dinner served by a deferential, all-male staff who wore white cotton gloves on their hands and carried black pistols belted around their crisply starched uniforms. For dessert each guest was offered his choice of sweet confection, after-dinner cordial, controlled substance, and senorita.
While making his selections, Shaw’s cell phone vibrated. He excused himself to take the call and left the terrace for one of the open-air rooms that accessed it. The study was opulently furnished. Too opulently. It attested to the owner’s youthful flamboyance and poor judgment.
Shaw answered his phone with a laconic “Yeah?”
A gravelly voice said, “You know who this is?”
Shaw had spent months trying to win enough trust to be granted an interview with the hit man. He finally agreed to a meeting with Shaw, during which both were watchful and wary . . . of their surroundings, surely, but mostly of each other. In carefully coded language, Shaw had provided Mickey with his résumé and the extent of his experience in their unique field of endeavor.
Something, maybe his subtlety and disinclination to boast, had convinced Mickey that he was competent. At the conclusion of their coffee date, Mickey said he would been in touch should the need for Shaw’s services ever arise. That had been six months ago. Shaw had almost given up hope of hearing from him.
“You still want a job?”
Shaw glanced out onto the terrace where the dessert course had deteriorated into a full-fledged orgy. “One-man show?”
“You partner with me.”
“Must be a special gig.”
“You want it or not?”
“What’s the split?”
You couldn’t get more fair than that. “When do you need me?”
That had been Tuesday evening, leaving Shaw very little time to wrap up his job there and get to New Orleans by the appointed time.
He’d had a hundred more questions for Mickey Bolden, but, the opportunity being too good to pass up, and figuring he would get the details of the contract soon enough, he’d put his curiosity on hold and told the man that he could count on him.
It had required some deft maneuvering and tortuous travel, but he’d finished his business in Mexico that night and managed to reach Louisiana with time to spare. He and Mickey had rendezvoused yesterday and then had driven together to the township of Tobias this morning.
They’d spent the day reconnoitering and developing a strategy for how best to go about killing Jordan Elaine Bennett, owner of Extravaganza, a much-sought-after event planning business in New Orleans. She was sister to and only living relative of Joshua Raymond Bennett, a much-sought-after crook.
He and Mickey had followed Jordie Bennett around town as she ran mundane errands. At a little after six p.m. this evening
she’d returned home. They’d waited three hours, but she didn’t reappear. Believing their target had settled in to spend a quiet Friday night at home, he and Mickey had gone to a local diner for dinner. Over tough steaks and greasy fries, Mickey outlined a plan of attack.
Shaw had expressed surprise when Mickey had identified their target the day before. Now he questioned the expediency of the hit. “Why tomorrow?”
“Seems rushed. I figured we’d watch her for a few more days, get a better feel for her routine, then pick the best place and time.”
“Panella picked our time,” Mickey said as he sawed into his T-bone. “And the customer is always right. He wants it done tomorrow, we do it tomorrow.”
“He’s under a deadline?”
Following dinner, they’d decided to wash down the bad food with a drink before making the hour drive back to New Orleans. This bar had been recommended by the diner’s busboy, whose standards obviously weren’t very high.
However, it had suited their purposes, because in no-name places like this everyone kept his head down.
Jordie Bennett sure as hell did. As Shaw continued walking along the bar toward her, she was concentrating hard on her glass of wine as though waiting for it to ferment some more. When he reached the end of the bar, he didn’t break stride, but walking right past her, he caught a whiff of expensive perfume. A spicy scent. Something exotic and elusive that would make a man want to conduct a sniffing search for its source along all sixty-six inches of her.
He didn’t stop till he reached the listing Wurlitzer against the wall. Standing in the multicolored glow of its bubbling tubes, he propped his forearm on the arced top. The stance put his body at a slight angle so that while he flipped through the song selection cards pretending interest, he could use his peripheral vision to keep an eye on Jordie.
She took a sip of wine with lips straight out of a dirty dream, then lowered the glass to the bar and left her hand resting there. Long slender fingers. No rings. Nail polish so pale Shaw wondered why she’d bothered to spend an hour in the salon that afternoon. Her wristwatch was a basic tank style with a no-nonsense brown alligator strap, more practical than pretty, but you could probably buy a good used car with what she’d paid for it.
Sandra Brown is the author of more than sixty New York Times bestsellers, including DEADLINE(2013), LOW PRESSURE (2012), LETHAL (2011), TOUGH CUSTOMER (2010), SMASH CUT (2009), SMOKE SCREEN (2008), PLAY DIRTY (2007), RICOCHET (2006), CHILL FACTOR (2005), WHITE HOT (2004), & HELLO, DARKNESS (2003).
Brown began her writing career in 1981 and since then has published over seventy novels, bringing the number of copies of her books in print worldwide to upwards of eighty million. Her work has been translated into over thirty languages.
A lifelong Texan, Sandra Brown was born in Waco, grew up in Fort Worth and attended Texas Christian University, majoring in English. Before embarking on her writing career, she worked as a model at the Dallas Apparel Mart, and in television, including weathercasting for WFAA-TV in Dallas, and feature reporting on the nationally syndicated program “PM Magazine.”
In 2009 Brown detoured from her thrillers to write, Rainwater, a much acclaimed, powerfully moving story about honor and sacrifice during the Great Depression.
Brown recently was given an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Texas Christian University. She was named Thriller Master for 2008, the top award given by the International Thriller Writer’s Association. Other awards and commendations include the 2007 Texas Medal of Arts Award for Literature and the Romance Writers of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award.