The first book in the T-FLAC: Black Rose Trilogy series, published in 2005 (only, so far there are only two books in this so called trilogy).
The only thing Taylor Kincaid likes more than diamonds is stealing them. But when she snatches the elusive Blue Star diamonds from a murderous terrorist organization – and inadvertently snags the secret security-system codes to a South African diamond mine – this ultra-chic freelance jewel thief becomes a hunted item herself. Also in hot pursuit is top T-FLAC operative Huntington St. John, who Taylor thinks is just plain hot. The feeling, emotional and otherwise, is very mutual. But since ecstasy is fleeting and diamonds are forever, Taylor bolts to reclaim the jewels she stashed overseas. True to his name, Hunt is close behind. If they can survive danger at every turn, they just might get everything they desire.
Another case of the blurb totally misrepresenting the book. I hate it when that happens.
T-FLAC, a private counterterrorist organisation, well funded and with the latest gadgets and intel, and of course very hot operatives, has received some disturbing data on José Morales, the leader of the terrorist organisation Mano del Dios. Huntington St. John is in charge of the operation, and he needs a thief, the best there is, for the job.
So after cross checking thousands of high profile jobs, they finally find the person they are looking for. A woman, fearless, and extremely good at what she does. And her speciality is stealing jewels from criminals. It takes even longer to find out her identity, and where to find her. To his surprise, she is in San Cristobal, robbing Morales. Just what he wanted her to do. Only he was not after the priceless stolen jewellery, but after the secret codes to the plans of Morales and Mano del Dios. They know he has not only normal weaponry and biochemical weapons, but also a nuclear warhead. They need to find out his target, where everything is stashed away, and then stop him.
Just after her successful theft in Morales’ home, Taylor is arrested by the police. How on earth could they know about it? She successfully evaded the best alarmsystems and security available. Could it be that woman who wanted her to work for her gave her away? But Taylor doesn’t give up easy, and she is planning her next escape out of prison, when some guy springs her. Only the guards have hit her so hard, she is temporarily blind, and at the mercy of her rescuer. Of course he is not just a Samaritan, he wants what she just stole from Morales’ safe. But Taylor doesn’t trust him, and won’t tell him anything, not even when he almost seduces her. Why should she believe him? So she escapes once again, leaving Hunt unconscious and chained to the headboard of the bed as he kept her.
It takes months for Hunt to find her again, and this time he is determined not to let her escape him again. Time is running out for them to stop Morales from using his nuke. Taylor effortlessly manages the heist Hunt had thought impossible for her, but when she finally returns to her hotelroom, she finds Hunt waiting for her, lying on her bed. His fellow officers soon follow, and she is truly trapped this time. She still doesn’t trust Hunt or the others, but she sure is in lust with him. And after much persuasion, the tells them where the contents of the safe are: in a bank in Zürich. So they all go there to retrieve the information they need.
But T-FLAC and Morales are not the only ones looking for her and the stolen disks, there is another terrorist group called the Black Rose after the info. They intend to steal everything Mano del Dios has accumulated, and take the glory for themselves. And somehow they seem to know everything T-FLAC does almost as soon as Hunt himself. There has to be a traitor in their midst. After much adventure, Taylor joins T-FLAC in the final stages of the operation, as they need her skills to get into Morales’ stronghold.
This was a really good romantic suspense novel. Cherry Adair managed to amaze me a few times. I loved Taylor. She is such a great thief, she is strong and resourceful and she just won’t give up. She has been after Morales for years now, trying to steal the famous Blue Star diamonds from him, but every time she is just to late. Of course, she doesn’t leave her attempts empty handed, but she wants those particular diamonds.
I really want to tell more about her, but that would really spoil the story. I loved her, her joy for life, and the adrenaline she lives for. The dangers Hunt’s life throws at her, she enjoys immensely. And with all that, she steals Hunt’s heart.
Hunt has always been a loner, like Taylor. They both lost their mothers at a young age. Hunt never had much fun in life, not much laughter. But Taylor manages to make him smile, and laugh. He hates himself for falling for a criminal, for someone without his own high moral standards, but he just can’t stay away from Taylor. Of course she is beautiful, and has a gorgeous body, but it is the inner Taylor that attracts him. He wants to know her secrets, and is angry when she doesn’t trust him and tells him everything. But in the end, the fact that she doesn’t just give in to him, saves the day (and the mission).
I like how Hunt and Taylor are together, and how his men tease him with that. He never wanted woman in the field, and his concern for Taylor proves that. He would do anything to keep her safe, even compromise the mission. But Taylor won’t let him.
I do believe I found out who the traitor is, and I hope to get more clues in the next book. According to Fantasticfiction, this should be a trilogy, but the second book was written in 2007, so I do hope it doesn’t end for good with that book. That would mean a large never-ending story.
I like Cherry Adair’s writing style. This is a very fast-paced book, with lots of action and suspense, but also great humor, and some very hot love scenes. And jewellery. Great main and secondary characters, and I am curious who will be the star of the next book. This book has been on my shelf a very long time, and I am happy I have finally read it. I was in the mood for some good romantic suspense.