Title: The Admiral’s Bride
Author: Suzanne Brockmann
Series: Tall, Dark & Dangerous #7
Publication date: November 1999
Publisher: Silhouette Intimate Moments
Synopsis: His Mission
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. He defies convention and decides to infiltrate the compound where religious fanatics have stored the deadly toxin.
Dr. Zoe Lange is a biological warfare specialist and an expert in espionage. Zoe agrees to assist Jake on the case, and, posing as husband and wife, they manage to gain access to the compound. But Jake fears his instant attraction to Zoe might compromise the mission.
Their marriage may be a hoax, but Jake’s growing feelings for Zoe are anything but make-believe. With each hour he’s in Zoe’s company, the stakes get higher, the game more real. And the dangers within the compound escalate out of control.
Review: This is the finest example of a May-December romance I’ve ever read, though in the name of disclosure I haven’t read that many. This book may have been written 13 years ago (1999) but it resonates even more today because terrorism has ‘come home’ to many of us, be it domestic or foreign in origin.
We first meet Admiral Robinson in 1969 Vietnam, where he rescues US soldiers who had been left for dead in enemy territory. This is not the first time the SEAL and his team perform a miracle and those they rescued became known as Jake’s Boys.
Fast-forward to ‘present day’ 1999 where we meet scientist Zoe Lange, on her way an important meeting at the Pentagon. Right away you get the sense that Zoe is a no-nonsense, smart woman who isn’t easily swayed by the charming, sexy military men in the meeting. Yet she has a major crush on the Admiral, has had one in fact since childhood.
There’s an instant attraction and chemistry between these two, even as they work to figure out how best to get back the six canisters of a lethal nerve agent that have been stolen from a military testing lab.
I loved how Zoe called Jake on his issues with being 30 years older than her even as she respects his choice to avoid physical contact. Things get shaken up when they practice being a couple prior to going undercover. I loved that scene 🙂
Jake’s age was also an issue for his team on the mission, which provided some laughs at the young men’s expense. (Read the book to find out how)
Far from being an instant ‘hook up’, the literal and emotional dance between Jake and Zoe that night continues inside the militia’s compound…until they finally have sex for real. Their relationship grows from that point toward something beautiful and lasting.
Note: The Admiral’s Bride was reissued in paperback on March 29, 2011 alongside another book from the Tall, Dark & Dangerous series, Identity: Unkown, under the title TALL, DARK & DARING from Harlequin.