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AGENT I1: TRISTAN

D.I.R.E. Agency, #1

 

He’s an agent for hire. 

She’s a small town sweetheart.

What could they possibly have in common… except danger?

 

Raised in the art of warfare, Former Navy SEAL Tristan Jacobs has always been a force to reckon with. Now that D.I.R.E. has successfully implemented his scientific enhancements, he’s a walking weapon. Unstoppable, as long as he stays focused.

When ex-BUD/S teammate Aidan Monroe interrupts his long-awaited sabbatical to call in a favor, Tristan reluctantly fills the simple request: take out his sister’s fiancé.

One problem: Rachel Monroe – smokin’ hot, kind-hearted, and in desperate need of a protector. After a night of mind-blowing passion, Tristan’s afraid unstoppable is just a memory. Knowing Aidan’s temper, Tristan could be, too.

Rachel Monroe had a plan to help her mother. Her brother ruined everything when his gorgeous, super-agent friend teleported her to his island getaway – and his bed. She’s drawn to him despite the fact he’s a professional agent, much like the people suspected of killing her father.

Now, his enemies have come to her small town, looking for vengeance. Have they found more than they bargained for? Or, does the past have its own retribution in mind?

EXCERPT

Chapter 1

Being invisible had definite advantages – slipping in and out of rebel compounds, stealing enemy technology and weapons, and listening in on private conversations, to name a few. But none, not one, proved more beneficial, more gratifying, more freaking hot, than watching Rachel Monroe dress in this church, undetected.

Tristan Jacobs ducked around the full-length mirror to get a better angle. His conscience told him he should be shot for standing there ogling Aidan’s sister. His former BUD/S teammate and swim buddy, Aidan Monroe, had saved his life once upon a time and Tristan owed him.

Or, had owed him – until last night.

Living with the ability to see himself but not be seen by others had made his job so much easier. He could honestly say this was the first time he’d used his ability for personal, unscrupulous gain. The ability to teleport from one place to another with the scan of a thumbprint on his armband had given him a whole new spin on time management.

His lower body hummed as he stared at the bare flesh highlighted in the sunrays shining through the skylight. Rachel was a goddess. Not in the supermodel, movie starlet sense. Those women did nothing for him. She came off more as the small town, girl next door, they-know-how-to-grow-‘em-down-on-the-farm-type goddess. And damn, was she blessed.

Her push-up bra urged him to text his broker and buy stock in women’s lingerie. If she walked into the Stock Exchange wearing that thing, she could single-handedly revive Wall Street and the nation’s economy.

Tristan stifled a groan as she slowly rolled up an ivory silk stocking and hooked it to her garter. The woman’s legs were all kinds of long, her stomach flat and smooth. Her skin held the hint of a tan – even the cheeks peeking out of her ivory lace panties shone a golden hue.

He took a steadying breath. Don’t go there, Jacobs.

Aidan knew calling in that favor was the only way he’d leave his long-awaited staycation in Trunk Bay. The hothead all but ordered him to help save his older sister, the saint.

Rachel shimmied into her fitted wedding gown. He’d never seen a saint with curves like that.

Aidan could only blame himself for Tristan standing in the bride’s room of an old, Victorian church in Podunk, Texas, watching his sister don a wedding dress she wouldn’t use. He’d told Tristan to meet him there.

Aidan was late.

“You’re doing the right thing,” Rachel told her reflection, as she smoothed the lace skirt over her hips. “This will fix everything for Mom.”

Tristan frowned. No, you’re not doing the right thing. I did the right thing for you.

Last night, he’d crashed Cody Brewster’s bachelor party. Of course, no one had seen him there but Aidan. He’d seen first-hand what an arrogant ass Rachel’s fiancé could be. According to Aidan, Brewster and his father, Jock, owned nearly the entire town. That proved evident in the way men sucked up to them at the party. Gifts and drinks were expected from everyone and, other than Aidan, they had delivered.

“Hi, Mom.”

Rachel’s deep sigh and soft voice brought him out of his reverie. Damn, he hadn’t heard Kate Monroe enter the room. Ogling his only friend’s sister while her mother stood by, well… even a corrupt mercenary like him had his limits. He needed to get out of there.

“Rachel, you’re absolutely beautiful.” Kate rushed forward to give her daughter a hug.

The woman looked the splitting image of Aidan, with her copper hair and green eyes. Rachel must’ve gotten her chocolate waves from her deceased father.

The heavy, oak door swung open. Aidan stuck in his head and looked around.

“Anyone come by searching for me?”

Kate pinned Rachel’s veil to the crown of her head.  “No.” She looked over at her son. “Who’s looking for you?”

Dismissing them without an answer, Aidan pulled the door halfway shut and left.

Good boy.

With sincere regret, he left behind Rachel and the hottest fifteen minutes he’d experienced in a long time. Tiptoeing around the faded, olive-colored sofa, he steered clear of the glass lamp on the end table.

Invisibility didn’t mean he could move through objects.

Slipping through the doorway, Tristan strode out into the hallway. He wanted to do a quick surveillance of the church and grounds before he found Aidan. With only fifteen minutes to go before the start of the ceremony, he wanted to ensure turmoil loomed on the Brewster side of the church.

Stepping out into the June, early morning sun, he took a deep breath. The smell of oil hung heavy and dank, making him long for home. If all went well, he could still get in a full afternoon and evening on his private beach.

Rounding the side of the church, past the St. Michael statue, he made his way to the back parking lot – and stopped cold.

Jock Brewster and another man had Cody propped up in the passenger seat of a big, black pickup. Jock’s son looked unconscious, his head flopping onto his chest while they tried to slip his arms into a tuxedo jacket.

Tristan did a mental fist pump while he cursed low in his throat. Obviously, the mega-dose of Rohypnol he’d slipped into Cody’s drink last night still worked. He just couldn’t believe Jock would try to pull off the wedding.

He had to tell Aidan.

Jogging down the church hallway, he found a closet. Looking around, he slipped inside and shut the door behind him. Sliding open the copper plate on his armband, emblazed with The D.I.R.E. Agency emblem, he ran the pad of his forefinger over the scanner beneath. Closing his eyes, his blood pumped wildly as an electrical current shot through his system, deactivating the gold and copper compound. A bright flash of light flickered behind his eyelids, before the bulk of his flesh weighed on his bones.

He was visible again.

Opening his eyes, he smoothed down his grey-striped tie and adjusted the cuffs of his white shirt. Rushing out the door, he ran to the bride’s room. Reaching for the knob, he stopped short when the door yanked open from the inside. Rachel ran straight into him, Aidan on her six.

Don’t look down, Jacobs. Don’t even think about those impossibly perfect breasts crushed against you. Aidan will kill you on the spot.

He stared at Aidan above Rachel’s head. “Houston, we have a problem.”

Aidan let out a breath, his tense shoulders dropping in relief. “Where the hell have you been?”

Trust me, you don’t want to know.

“Bogey and company at nine o’clock, about a half click.”

Looking away, Aidan cursed a blue streak.

Rachel whipped around to glare at him.   “Aidan, we are in a church.”

Cocky, smartass Aidan Monroe actually blushed. Tristan grinned to himself. If the situation weren’t so urgent, he would’ve harassed him about it.

Rachel stared up at Tristan, hands on hips. “Who are you and what are you talking about?”

An answer formed in Tristan’s head but couldn’t seem to pass his lips. She focused on him now, her big, aqua eyes shimmering against her tanned skin. His body felt as charged as it had during his visibility transformation a few seconds ago.

“He’s out cold,” he told Aidan. “The old man is dragging him in here. What do you want to do?”

Rachel’s gasp almost swallowed her words. “Who’s out? Cody?”

Brows furrowed, Aidan glanced back at his mother. Kate turned away with a groan.

“Rachel,” Aidan said, “go down the hall with Tristan while Mom and I talk to Jock.”

She turned back to her brother. “No.  If Cody is here, we’re getting married.”

A muffled hum and the echo of heavy-booted footsteps grew stronger and louder with each passing second. Rachel moved in closer, trying to see beyond Tristan’s shoulder.

Without a word, Aidan motioned for Tristan to let him and Kate pass. Rachel pushed forward to follow.  Tristan stepped into the doorway and turned his back on her. She peered around his bicep.

Jock Brewster shuffled into view, dragging his son under one arm. Cody remained lifeless, his head bobbing in rhythm with their steps. The rubber toes of his boots dragged on the concrete floor, leaving twin, narrow tracks down the church hallway.

Somehow, Jock had managed to get Cody into a full tuxedo. He labored to keep his hulking son upright.

Cody.” Rachel’s small hands pushed against Tristan’s shoulders.

Stiffening, it took all he had not to flinch away from the contact.

“Let me pass.” She shoved him in the back.

His arm shot out and braced against the doorframe, blocking her further.

“Good heavens, Jock,” Kate cried. “Do you honestly expect Rachel to marry him while he’s unconscious?”

Jock lowered his son into a metal, folding chair beside a water fountain. Cody fell over sideways, his blond head resting in the basin.

“Aw Kate,” Jock said in a breathless voice, his white hair mussed from the exertion. “We all know they both agreed to this. Why don’t we just have Pastor Collins come back here and marry them? No one in town will know the difference.”

Tristan slowly lowered his arm.  Holy shit, was this guy serious?

Aidan laughed, his arms crossed over his chest. “I always knew you were crazy, Brewster, but I never knew how crazy until you said that.”

Jock waved a dismissive hand. ““Hell son, you were in the SEALS. You can’t tell me you didn’t look the other way a time or two.”

“Like Sheriff Andrews does when he catches you breaking the law?” Aiden glared daggers at him. “And, I’m not your son.”

Stop.” Rachel stood on her toes to peer over Tristan’s shoulder. “First things, first. Aidan, make your henchman, here, let me pass.”

His henchman?

With a smirk at Tristan, Aidan shook his head. “I don’t think so, Rach.”

She pounded Tristan on the back with her fist. He grinned to himself, flexing his shoulders in resistance. So, the saint possessed a streak of hellion. Very hot.

“Is he okay, Jock?” Rachel nodded at Cody.

“Ah, he’s fine.” Jock gave another dismissive wave. “He must’ve had one helluva bachelor party last night.”

Aiden and Tristan exchanged a smirk.  I enjoyed it, anyway.

“He’s embarrassed my daughter in front of everyone in town.” Kate popped Jock on the chest. “This is unforgivable.” Lowering her voice, she said, “I was counting on this marriage, Jock.”

Tristan felt Rachel still behind him. She swallowed hard and took a deep breath.

“I’ll do it.”

Shock zipped through him before Tristan whipped around.  What the hell? She couldn’t be serious. Although, judging by the determined tilt of her chin and her laser-sharp gaze, Rachel meant business.

No wonder Aidan felt the need to step in on this wedding. The woman didn’t play with a full deck.

Aidan pointed a finger at her. “No.  Don’t be ridiculous, Rachel.”

Jock gave a wily smile. “She’s a consenting adult, son.”

A wiry, middle-aged man wearing church robes came around the corner. “Hello, everyone.”  He nodded at Cody who made soft, groaning noises in the fountain drain.  “Looks like someone is trying to wake up.”

Jock and Kate rushed to Cody’s side. Aidan turned to Tristan, his green eyes intense, glittering. Taking Rachel’s hand, he slapped it inside Tristan’s palm. Sparks of awareness erupted under his skin.

“Take her. Now.”

Rachel stiffened beside him. “No.”

Tightening the grip on her hand, Tristan tried to drag her down the hall.   Rachel held her legs stiff.

He yanked on her arm, nearly toppling her face first on the floor.   Dammit, the woman was stubborn.

He helped her straighten.

“I’m not…” She shoved the veil out of her face. “…going anywhere.”

Aidan growled through gritted teeth.  “Rachel, go.  We’ll find another way.”

Yanking hard, she tried to break free of Tristan’s grip.  He held firm, surprised at her strength.

“There is no other way, Aidan,” she said, tugging down on her hand.

“Like hell there isn’t.” Turning to Tristan, Aidan clenched his jaw. “Do it.”

Tristan stilled, his grip faltering.  Oh, hell no. Not here. Not now.

No.”

Rachel halted mid-motion. “Do what?”

Aidan shoved him back into the bride’s room. Rachel stumbled along with him.

Do it.”

“No, Aidan,” Rachel said. “I’m not going anywhere. Now, stop this, once and for all.” She turned her big, blazing eyes on Tristan. “And you. Let go of me.  Now.”

“What the hell is going on in there?” Jock boomed out in the hallway.

Aidan shoved Rachel flush against Tristan’s chest. The scent of orchids overwhelmed him.

Go.” Aidan’s usually jovial gaze turned dark with worry.

Cursing a blue streak in his head, Tristan gazed down into her wide eyes, then lower. Her breasts nearly burst free of her strapless gown.

Damn. He should not have Aidan’s saintly sister crushed against him like this. Did Aidan have any idea how long it had been since he’d had a woman?

Cursing aloud this time, he threw his arms around Rachel. He didn’t sign up for this – he was on vacation, dammit. Only six days remained before he had to be in Brazil to intercept one of Naylor’s gun technology deals.  He did not want to spend them babysitting.

Intense heat enveloped him like a firestorm. A trickle of moisture slid down his temple.

Was he sweating? Good God. He acted like he hadn’t held a beautiful woman before.

Rachel’s heart galloped against his chest. Fear shone bright in her round eyes and flushed face. He had to get them out of there.

Reaching behind her back, he shoved aside the cuff of his shirt and found the cover plate on his armband. Sliding his thumb over the scanner, he stared into her big, beautiful eyes as the thick, green plasma surrounded them.

“What did you do? What’s happening?”

“Hold onto me, Rachel. And, whatever you do, don’t let go.”

REVIEWS

…Joni Hahn has won herself a new fan.  Admittedly I’m not typically a ‘superhero’ fan, but definitely started to discover the appeal with the release of the Avenger’s movies, especially Iron Man.  With AGENT I1: TRISTAN Joni Hahn introduces readers to a unique agency that uses scientific enhancements to gift agents with superhero abilities which is pretty dang cool.  What I really loved about this story is how the author brings these characters to life through their various attributes, stressful situations and emotional angst.  Rachel’s inherent goodness and the sexual tension between her and Tristan is the perfect balance for the chaos that otherwise seems to want to steal the spotlight.

Read the entire review here.

“Joni Hahn’s Agent I1: Tristan is a fantastic introduction to the MEGA five star D.I.R.E. Agency must”

Everyone wants to love a hero, but finding one can sometimes be a little hard. Particularly if they don’t perceive themselves as hero material. However, writer Joni Hahn hits it out of the ballpark with her new suspense laden romance series, The D.I.R.E. Agency, that offers a touch of the paranormal too.

For fans of Doctor Who, you’ll discover some fellow time travelers (though not Time Lords). If you’ve ever been fascinated by the urban legend of Einstein and the Philadelphia Experiment, you’ll really enjoy Joni Hahn’s take on it (and, like me, perhaps recall the 1984 sleeper film with Michael Paré). But most of all, if you love romance, you’ll discover Hahn has the perfect ear to deliver strong, independent, and sassy heroines, while at the same time making sure her alpha heroes are strong and tough, with a little something extra. These D.I.R.E. agents have a soft center, particularly for those they love. So watch out, you may be getting a little fan girl crush on them as well!

The first book of the initial trilogy of the series is Agent I1: Tristan. From the moment I started reading it, I couldn’t put it down. Literally, I couldn’t’ put it down. I read through the night and then continued on books two and three. By morning I was bleary-eyed and slightly exhausted, but absolutely delighted as this new author delivered a fierce, wonderful, and inventive plot that twists and turns – and was not at all predictable. There are heroes and villains – and sometimes it’s a little hard to gauge who is who. But that makes it all the more interesting.

So, have I caught your interest yet? If so, I’ll continue with a brief review of each of the three books, but before I do, may I say you should wander away for a moment and download book one. Yes, really, go ahead. It’s free right now. Maybe read a little bit and come back to read the rest of the review. But make sure that you give this new series a try. You won’t regret it.

As I mentioned earlier, I couldn’t put D.I.R.E. Agency Book One: Agent I1: Tristan down once I began reading it. The story opens as a bride prepares for her wedding day as a man watches her don her dress. Curious that. But this man is Tristan and one of his special powers, which the scientists at D.I.R.E. have created and given to him, is invisibility. While I don’t think he’d normally take advantage of spying on a woman dress herself, Tristan is at the church on a mission.

The bride (Rachel) is the sister of Aidan, Tristan’s former Navy SEAL team member and best friend. It seems like she’s being forced into a marriage and Aiden wants Tristan to help him stop it. When the future groom arrives at the church not just drunk, but essentially comatose from the bachelor party the night before (and perhaps with a little help from Tristan too), both the bride’s mother and groom’s father demand the wedding proceed. However, before that can happen Aiden gives Rachel to Tristan and they both disappear together. WOW! Now that is what I’d call a fast-paced, thrill-laden opening and that pace continues through the whole book.

It’s quickly apparent that there’s quite the chemistry growing between this battle-hardened soldier D.I.R.E. super agent and the small town girl-next-door, but what’s not clear even on a date around-the-world, is if they might have the possibility of a future together. When they finally give in to passion atTristan’s island paradise, it might be a one-night-stand (or even a few nights), but you’ll have to read the book to find out. Be prepared for some more secret agents, unexpected traitors, fascinating characters, and plenty of HOT romance.

In conclusion, I’d recommend that you add Joni Hahn’s D.I.R.E. Agency series to your bookshelf. I’m adding it my permanent one as this is a series I anticipate going back to reread in the future. And yes, I still want a date like Tristan gave Rachel – hopping city to city across the globe in one magical evening!

Joni Hahn’s D.I.R.E. Agency series is a MEGA five star must- read. Be prepared to stay up all night to finish it!

Reviewed by Emsy Van Wyck
Courtesy Fab Fantasy Fiction
Posted January 20, 2014

Agent I1: Tristan, A Review

Another delightful find from Netgalley! Agent l1: Tristan by Joni Hahn is the first book in her D.I.R.E series and let me tell you this, she leads off with a home run.

Rachel Munroe is the woman everyone turns to. The woman you lean on, whether it’s during her career as a nurse or marrying the town bully (or in this case the bully’ s son) to save her mother from financial disaster. She is a small town girl with a true beauty inside and out.

Tristan Jacobs has lived his life cut off from any emotional connections. A second generation SEAL, he has retired from the military and now works for D.I.R.E . He has been genetically enhanced with the ability to teleport and to disappear which he uses to help save the world. But right this minute he’s supposed to be on vacation. Instead he is fulfilling a debt. He’s supposed to stop his partner’s sister’s wedding. That should be easy enough…if he didn’t find himself immensely attracted to her.

Stopping the wedding was easy, stopping the force that is Rachel is an entirely different story. From the first moment these two meet there is a connection that both try and deny. But when circumstances keep them together longer than they planned everything goes haywire, literally.

On top of stopping the wedding, Tristan discovers that D.I.R.E.’s archnemeisis is on the lose and heading to small town Texas. It seems that whilst Tristan has been taught to form no connections others in the D.I.R.E. organization haven’t quite followed those rules and it seems that this time things are very personal.

Ms. Hahn spins a twisted tale of love, hate, revenge and the fight to save the world. There is a lot going on behind the scene and some excellent plot twists and yet we never quite lose sight of our main couple. An excellent read. I am definitely looking forward to her next book.

Shauni

Tea and Book

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