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Silent Truth [Mass Market Paperback]

Sherrilyn Kenyon , Dianna Love

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Book Description

April 20 2010 B.A.D.: Bureau of American Defense
In the sizzling new adventure from New York Times bestselling authors Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love, a red-hot BAD boy teams up with a sexy television reporter on an explosive quest for revenge.

Tough-as-nails Bureau of American Defense agent Hunter Thornton-Payne is no stranger to uncomfortable top-secret missions, but tonight takes the cake. He just needs to stick out a stuffy charity fund-raiser long enough to find the ruthless assassin he’s hunted for four years. It’s a rogue operation, but Hunter’s got nothing to lose—until a beautiful brunette unexpectedly pulls him into her own dangerous agenda. Abbie Blanton will do anything to cure her mother’s mysterious illness. When a high-profile heiress is murdered as Abbie tries to blackmail her for clues, Abbie realizes she’s stumbled into an unforgiving conspiracy—and she’s the next target. Soon, she and Hunter discover an alarming connection and begin a treacherous battle against an evil enterprise that someone will go to terrifying lengths to keep hidden.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books (April 20 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 141659745X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416597452
  • Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 10.4 x 2.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #302,123 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Sherrilyn Kenyon is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of several series, including the Bureau of American Defense novels BAD Attitude, Phantom in the Night, Whispered Lies, and Silent Truth and the Belador series that includes Blood Trinity, Alterant, and The Curse. There are more than 25 million copies of her books in print in over one hundred countries. She lives with her family near Nashville, Tennessee. Visit her website at SherrilynKenyon.com.

Dianna Love is the New York Times bestselling coauthor of Blood Trinity, Alterant, and The Curse in the Belador series. She is a national speaker who started writing while working over a hundred feet in the air, creating marketing projects for Fortune 500 companies. When not plotting out her latest action-adventure, she travels the country on a motorcycle to meet fans and research new locations. She and her husband live near Atlanta, Georgia. Visit her website at AuthorDiannaLove.com.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One

Four years ago off the coast of Kauai, Hawaii


Hunter Wesley Thornton-Payne III didn’t believe in premonitions of doom, but now might be an optimum time to reevaluate those beliefs. That last bone-jarring shudder of the thirty-year-old fishing trawler beneath him qualified as a preemptive warning.

Salt water sprayed across the deck from each side of the wheelhouse where he stood. Wearing a wetsuit didn’t mean he wanted to be blasted with water every thirty seconds. For the past forty-five minutes this floating hazard had plowed south through the Pacific Ocean toward tonight’s black-ops objective.

Failure would trigger hideous deaths for unsuspecting CIA agents over the next twenty-four hours.

A simple mission… on paper.

Scaling a sheer rock cliff rising two thousand feet out of windswept waves, and on a moonless night, might give him pause if not for his partner Eliot Sawyer. Having him on this mission should quiet any concerns.

But a dark shadow continued to hover over Hunter’s psyche, a sixth sense he trusted almost as much as he trusted Eliot.

A ferocious wave broke across the starboard side, the tip of its watery tail lashing his face with cool spray. The faded teakwood deck quaked beneath his feet.

“This piece of shit better hold together long enough to get us into position.” Hunter wiped water from his eyes again. “You can bet that sack-a-shit Retter is riding around out here in something that can do more than ten knots. I should be hauling hisass up that cliff since this was his idea.”

Eliot laughed. The bastard laughed more than any other human Hunter had ever known. Even in college, humor had balanced out his mammoth size. “Thought you agreed this was the only way to slip inside Brugmann’s compound.”

Hunter hitched a shoulder in a don’t-remind-me response. He’d come to the same conclusion as Retter—BAD’s top gun and the lead on this operation—that approaching from the north under the guise of a decrepit fishing boat offered the optimum insertion point. Ehrlich Brugmann’s private residence perched on a cliff above a vertical wall of volcanic rock overlooking the northern coast of Kauai.

Brugmann had traveled alone to Hawaii this trip. Had he thought the United States wouldn’t notice him selling out the CIA and national security if he didn’t do it in DC at his primary residence?

Hunter suffered another whiff of fishy stench permeating the wood. He stared out over the starboard side at the last shred of light as the sun sank closer to the ocean. Twilight silhouetted a pair of fifty-footers bucking waves a mile off.

Two more boats held together with hope and slime.

Retter’s doing as well.

Boats were okay in Hunter’s book—the sleek half-million-dollar ocean racers he’d once piloted to trophy finishes.

But he hated the kind that tended to sink without notice.

Aging joints creaked in complaint when the deck pitched again. Hunter’s grumble ended in a vicious curse.

“Good night for a swim, eh?” Even Eliot had to grab a handhold or bust his silly ass. Pale lights mounted to the wheelhouse cast a sallow glow over his wide body outfitted in an identical black wetsuit, and lit his crooked-tooth grin.

The same grin Hunter had run up against the night he bumped into Eliot while breaking into the dean’s office at Harvard. Eliot had already disarmed the alarms when Hunter appeared beside him. Surprisingly, he and Eliot had broken in for the same reason—to correct the grades of a female student who had spurned the advances of a tenured professor and stood to lose her scholarship. Eliot had laughed in the dark and told Hunter to cover their butts, which he did. And was still doing.

Nothing bothered Eliot.

Not even the time the yacht they’d been on had stopped floating in the middle of the night. An explosion in the engine room had been at fault, but the reason really didn’t matter when you had to tread water for the next nine hours.

“Not worried about tonight, are ya?” Eliot pushed and prodded until he got what he wanted, a part of his personality that could be annoying as hell at times.

“Worried? Be serious.” Hunter ran over the mission again in his mind. His brain assured him everything was a go. His gut argued but failed to produce concrete evidence of a problem. Didn’t matter either way. He and Eliot were going in. They thought as one mind and had faced missions more dangerous than this one. With an unmatched ability to breach any security and expert climbing skills, Eliot was the perfect partner.

But the deciding factor had come down to a matter of trust.

Hunter trusted no one, or at least he hadn’t until Eliot took him rock climbing back in college. By the end of that first day, Hunter’s life had been in Eliot’s hands more times than he’d wanted to count. After that, he knew without question that Eliot had his back in any situation.

And he had Eliot’s.

Of course, Eliot’s heart was his greatest weakness.

“What about the CIA?” Eliot was back on track with the mission. “If they find out you’ve been here or seen their list of agents—”

“They won’t. We’re in. We’re out. No one’ll know. He’s got two rent-a-guards. Stop worrying like an old woman. I got this,” Hunter added, using their “end of discussion” phrase. With no choice but to insert, he wanted Eliot thinking only about breaching that security system. He gripped the vertical aluminum rail bolted to the wheelhouse and changed the subject. “Speaking of women, you still seeing that professor?”

“I am.” Eliot’s grin curved up, widened. Beamed.

Ah, hell. That silly look can’t mean what I think.

“Was going to tell you this later, but…”

No, Eliot, we had a deal. What happened to the “no ties, no commitments, no baggage” rule they’d shaken hands on in college?

“I never could keep a secret from ya for long. Cynthia and I got married.” Eliot shrugged. “I would have included ya in the wedding, but we did a quick trip to Vegas.”

Married. Of all the stupid things to do. Hunter licked saltwater from his dry lips. Open mouth and say something, dammit. This is my best friend.

Only friend.

“Congratulations. I guess?” Hunter scratched his chin. One thing was for sure, he’d never complicate his life that way. Not for a woman. They all came with agendas. Like his mother, for one. “Wasn’t a shotgun two-step to the altar, right?”

“No way. I’m crazy about Cynthia.”

“What about what we do for BAD?” Hunter had joined the Bureau of American Defense after leaving the CIA. BAD operated as a covert agency that protected national security. They had no boundaries, no red tape, and no support if they got in trouble since their secret existence wouldn’t be acknowledged. “Cynthia’s another person an enemy could use against you if they found out about her.”

Eliot stopped smiling and swallowed so hard his Adam’s apple pulsed. “My family’s never met her, doesn’t know she exists. You’re the only one who knows about her and I trust you with my life, so she’s safe.”

What could he say to that? Hunter felt the weight of Eliot’s confidence press down on his shoulders, but Eliot was right. Hunter would protect his friend—and any other BAD agent—with his life. “Have you told her what you do?”

“I told her I do investigative work for INTERPOL and that she can’t say anything about my job without putting us both in danger. She’s solid as a rock.”

“And what about the risks we take?” With anyone else Hunter would have let it go and wished the poor sucker good luck. But he’d been friends with Eliot too long to give him the patent superficial garbage Hunter’s family considered the foundation of all relationships. Showing a sincere interest in someone’s personal life was paramount to asking how much a luxury car cost. Wasn’t done in his family.

Eliot swayed with the rocking boat, moved his feet for balance, and wiped water that dribbled from his buzz-cut head off his face. “She thinks I’m teamed up with a guy named Leroy, which would be you. I told her you handle all the dangerous work. I’m just the on-site geek.”

Like any good lie, that had a trace of truth. Eliot really had contracted to INTERPOL after a stint with the CIA, where he’d been trained along with Hunter. They were both proficient in electronic invasion, but in spite of looking like the bigger physical threat Eliot’s natural gift was cracking a safe or violating security systems, which left Hunter to neutralize opposition. Not a problem.

Hunter didn’t mind getting his hands dirty on an op.

But he had no patience for bullshit, which had gotten him in deep trouble with the CIA on one particular job.

If the director of BAD hadn’t intervened, Hunter would have disappeared like a puff of smoke in a strong wind.

The CIA had allowed him to walk away—alive—as long as he stayed clear of any agency operations. They’d never know he was at the Brugmann compound tonight… unless something went wrong.

The FBI thought their people were coordinating with a covert CIA team. No one knew BAD existed, except the U.S. executive branch, and no one there would admit such. Plus the CIA wouldn’t confess to having a team on U.S. soil, which made it easy to step in when ...

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  25 reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best BAD Agency story so far! April 21 2010
By Katy A - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I've been following the BAD Agency series for a while now, and I'll tell you that ever since Whispered Lies, I hated Hunter Wesley Thornton-Payne III. Hunter was a rotten rat.

But I'll be the first to stand up and say that Kenyon and Love have proven that even a rotten rat can be a hero. Hunter is the BEST BAD BOY IN THE SERIES SO FAR! And perhaps because he is so damaged, his story is the most poignant I've ever read in a Romantic Suspense.

I guess it's true that "the darker the character, the more powerful the redemption." This story had me from the first page, and didn't let go until The End.

In between those pages there's one brilliant, heart-stopping plot, one steamy, to-die-for hero, one awesome girl-next-door heroine, and I could not put it down. One of the best things about series like this is getting to know the team. I love every member of the BAD team and learning more about them with each story. There's no way to describe these villains without giving spoilers, and I won't do that, but I will say that whoever came up with these villains has one twisted mind. The assasin in this story is complex, deeply-developed and brilliantly drawn.

In particular, I like that there's a bigger threat--not just one situation per book, but a threat to the whole world that we can see coming and which gets more complex and twisted with each book. I love where this series is going, and that says something, because in a series like this, the suspense plot usually leaves me thinking, "meh--that's been done before"....but not this one. I usually see the end of a particular book a mile away. But not this ending. I did not see this one coming. They had me to the last moment of the book's climax. I can't find any holes in this story. More than any other in the series so far, this story made me laugh on one page and cry on the next, and hold my breath and then smile, and then sit up and go "OMG! OH NO!!!!!" right after that.

Kenyon and Love do not cheat the reader. They do not pull punches. The story gets better with every page you turn, and they don't fall back on the expected. No cliches in sight.

SILENT TRUTH is a masterpiece of a suspense and a masterpiece of a love story all in one. I don't know which BAD agent's story is next in line, and I don't know how the authors will top this book, but I really hope they'll be able to do it, because this is one helluva good read.

If you like thrillers or suspense, BUY THIS BOOK. If you like a fantastic love story, BUY THIS BOOK! If you like to see characters hurt and heal and grow and change and become something more than you thought they could be--than THEY thought they could be, BUY THIS BOOK! You will not be disappointed.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the Series! April 26 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The BAD Agency series just keeps getting better. Not only are Kenyon and Love a winning combination in putting this series together, but SILENT TRUTH's Hunter and Abby are a great duo with strong and sympathetic motivations. I found myself rooting for Hunter right out of the gate, and felt his pain as his motivation became clear. I also enjoyed Abby. Her motivations were believable and she definitely avoided that fatal "too stupid to live" category that a lot of female characters fall into in this genre.

Surprisingly, I also really connected with a repeating secondary character, Linette, aka "the BAD agency mole" inside the Fratelli organization. Well, maybe that's not too surprising since Kenyon and Love have done such a good job with her story. I was flipping pages as fast as I could read to see what was going to ultimately happen to the Hunter, Abby, AND Linette. Just putting my two cents worth in here, but I really hope Linnete gets her own book eventually.

This series has progressed well, and has really found its footing with the further development of the Fratelli, the evil mastermind organization who wants to rule the world. Where the Fratelli were still a little shadowy in PHANTOM IN THE NIGHT and began to take on more substance and clearer motivations in WHISPERED LIES, they have really come into their own as a complex villainous organization in SILENT TRUTH. I found myself hating Fra Vespia, a sure sign that this writing team has got the story well in hand.

Bottom line: SILENT TRUTH is proof that Kenyon and Love are hitting their stride well in this series. SILENT TRUTH has built my enthusiasm for this series overall and I don't plan to miss any future installments.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars high octane romantic suspense April 24 2010
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Bureau of American Defense operative Hunter Thornton-Payne has been a dedicated warrior since he joined the black ops squad. However he also has a personal vendetta, which the karabiner he carries with him always reminds him of. For four years ever since his newly married friend Eliot died on a mission off the coast of Kauai, Hawaii, he has hunted the killer; at the same time he avoids Eliot's wife Cynthia and their son, unborn when he died.

Hunter attends a women's shelter in Chicago as apparently a terrorist group to include Eliot's killer plans to be there also. At the gala is investigative reporter Abbie Blanton who Hunter knew during his affluent social days. When her mother becomes critically ill following a visit to the women's center, Abbie investigates. However, neither she nor Hunter expected to run into each other and to be on the run from some bad dudes.

The latest BAD thriller (see Whispered Lies and Phantom in the Night) is a high octane romantic suspense starring two people who after each went rogue unites to elude danger. The story line is razor thin and takes abrupt leaps, but is fun to follow as Hunter fears love even before his best friend died, which accentuated his belief that operatives don't marry, but Abbie has him crazy with desire even with danger engulfing them.

Harriet Klausner
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Actually this is a 4.5 April 25 2010
By C. Farley - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is one of my fav new series--I find it a little more consistent than even the great Dark-Hunter series Kenyon does on her own. My complaints are very small and minor in the overall excellence of the story. Characters well done and reasonable--kind of hard to find in many series books today. Setting excellent and I especially liked how no matter how much we as Americans insist there is no class system--one still remains very much in place. The notion that one's cover could be blown over a small detail such as the handling of an invitation at the door of an exclusive party was smart and correct. I especially enjoyed the sad acknowledgment that big money does not always buy the big, HAPPY life. The villians are intriguing and not predictible too. So what's my issue? Simply the tempo was a little slow. At least twice I was tempted to put down the book before page 100. Based on past author experience I didn't and it was worth it--but those who want the faster, action packed books may need extra encouragement to hang in there. However, the authors and series will remain an auto-buy for me.
4.0 out of 5 stars SILENT TRUTH May 5 2014
By Elaine Tanner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoy anything that is written by Sherrilyn Kenyon. This is the second time I have bought this book. Pretty good.

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