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Night Fall: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – September 30, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Cherry Adair has garnered numerous awards for her innovative action-adventure novels, which include White Heat, Hot Ice, On Thin Ice, Out of Sight, In Too Deep, Hide and Seek, and Kiss and Tell, as well as her thrilling Edge trilogy: Edge of Danger, Edge of Fear, and Edge of Darkness. A favorite of reviewers and fans alike, she lives in the Pacific Northwest, where she is at work writing the next T-FLAC mission.

www.cherryadair.com

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

One

Mallaruza Central West Africa

“Morning,” Kess Goodall said absently as she and Simon Blackthorne passed in an upstairs hallway of the city offices of Mallaruza’s state capitol building. Tear and sweat tracks painted pale lines through the dirt on her sunburned cheeks, and her gray eyes were shadowed. Something was up. She made no effort to hide it; in fact Simon observed that despite the greeting, she was barely aware of those she passed, and probably wasn’t even seeing individuals as she speed walked by.

Intrigued, he turned to watch her retreat.

Cute ass.

She was publicist for Abioyne Bongani, Simon’s old college friend and current president of Mallaruza. Goodall had held up well in the past two months, considering that she’d been banished to this tiny country in midwestern Africa. No one wanted to hire her back in Atlanta, Georgia, where she was from. The PR community there had closed ranks on her. Instead of looking for a job anywhere else in the United States, she’d opted for a time-out here in Africa.

She hadn’t chosen easy, that was for sure.

Escalating skirmishes on the border between Mal- laruza and Huren, an outbreak of some deadly virus, and the upcoming elections were all keeping her out of trouble and on her toes.

As far as Simon could tell, she’d done a pretty decent job of promoting the good Abi was doing for his country. Since Abi was becoming suspiciously more saintlike as the day of his reelection approached, her duties were of the cheerleader variety—exactly what the untidy, yet vivacious, Ms. Goodall excelled at.

She wasn’t going to hinder Simon’s investigation in any way. Intel divulged that she’d been fired from the PR company she’d worked for. Being phenomenal at her job had saved her cute ass every time she’d pulled some insanely over-the-top stunt. Like attacking one of the other members of the staff, or throwing a vase full of flowers at a client.

She was impulsive, volatile, and unpredictable.

Simon had a wary respect for unpredictable.

His work as a T-FLAC/psi operative made unpredictable the norm. But an unpredictable civilian, right in the middle of what had the potential to be an extremely volatile conflict between two small countries, was not good.

His job here was simple. As president, Abi Bongani had called him in because he suspected another wizard might be manipulating the skirmishes on his border with Huren. The Hureni were a violent people, but they usually kept their fighting internal. Recently they’d started sending sorties deeper into Mallaruza.

Pillage, murder, rape, and general mischief. The Hureni were full-service bad neighbors, and bad for Abi’s campaign.

As a friend, Abi didn’t want Simon doing any more than tracking down the wizard responsible. He had his own ways of finding out why.

Simon was happy to have an all-expenses-paid vacation in Africa. The ocean was nearby and he was between ops. Why not? It had been years since he and Abi had tossed back a few beers and caught up on college memories.

Hmm. There’d been a redhead then, too. Or had it been a blonde? Since Goodall was reportedly a magnet for trouble, and wanting to know what the tears meant, he decided to follow her, undetected, into Abi’s office. Loose cannons tended to go off in the worst possible situations.

The wide hall was filled with people rushing about. Simon strolled into a nearby public rest- room, letting the door swing shut behind him. He checked the stalls, making sure the men’s room was deserted.

He shimmered, invisible, back into Abi’s opulent office to hear what she had to say. Of course Abi, being a half-wizard, sensed that he was there. He lifted his head and frowned in Simon’s general direction before he waved Goodall to one of the chairs in front of his desk.

“How was the trip?” Abi asked, his deep voice holding only a hint of Africa beneath his American high school and college English. He was an intelligent guy, with a capacity to do good like few people Simon knew.

He and Abi had lost touch over the years, but Simon knew his old friend was an idealist, a champion of lost causes, and had a competitive streak a mile wide. Simon had been intrigued to get the call asking for his help.

Crossing his arms Simon took up position near a zebrawood bookcase holding leather-bound, foiled, first editions. None read. Just for show. But a classy show.

He considered himself a good study when it came to women. The bedraggled, baseball-cap-wearing redhead, walking to some internal tragedy, would not normally have garnered his attention. He liked women a great deal, but he had an aversion, a strong aversion, to sloppy and ill-kempt. When he had time to indulge himself, he usually went for sophisticated, well-educated, well-groomed, brunettes.

Goodall was a bit too straight up and down for his taste. And her red hair wasn’t just red. What he could see of it was wild, grab-your-attention, screaming orange. The color matched the bright orange hiking boots on her small feet. Subtle, she wasn’t.

What she was was hot.

No matter what the hell his eyes conveyed, the message got tangled en route to his brain. Oval face, tender mouth, big eyes, freckles, and long lashes. The small, messy package that was Katie Goodall was sexy as hell, no matter how disheveled.

The president remained standing until his publicist sat in one of two fussy high-backed chairs in front of his mile-wide desk. Abi was an okay- looking guy. Not quite as tall as Simon’s six three, and a little paunchy, but attractive enough to get his fair share of the ladies back when they’d attended MIT together. The conservative light gray custom-made suit and white shirt complemented his dark skin.

The somber, businesslike attire was a good choice for his position, but not Abi’s usual taste, which ran to garish, flamboyant colors, and in the case of his office: baroque and ostentatious.

Goodall fell more than sat in the chair. Her cheerful bravado had apparently left her at the door. Beneath the dirt and the smell of clean perspiration was the scent of warm woman. For some inexplicable reason, and stunning him to the core, Simon felt his body tighten. For her? His senses became sharper as he looked beyond the too-baggy khaki pants, the filthy, once-white T-shirt, the baseball cap, and the orange hiking boots.

Now that she was somewhat sedentary— somewhat being the operative word since the woman moved even when she was seated—Simon reevaluated his first impression.

She whipped off the khaki cap and pulled out the elasticized blue fabric tying her hair back. “We were too late,” she said morosely, running her fingers through curly, dust-dulled hair and dislodging a shower of sand and debris.

Abi’s brow folded into a frown at her words. Like Goodall, he was oblivious to the bits of grass and twigs littering his carpet. He rubbed a broad-palmed hand across his mouth, his black eyes shadowed. “Terrible. How many dead?”

“Five entire villages, all the way upriver.” She scooted forward to perch on the edge of the deep seat. “Mr. President, I know you’re doing everything you can to help. But I really think we need to ask the World Health Organization to step in. Whatever this virus or disease is, Konrad—Dr. Straus—none of the doctors can keep up with it. Thousands of your people are dying every day while they try to figure out how the disease is transmitted. We have to find someone who can get an immediate treatment. And we have to do it now.”

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (September 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345499905
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345499905
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #927,466 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author



New York Times bestselling author Cherry Adair's innovative action-adventure novels have appeared on numerous bestsellers lists, won dozens of awards and garnered praise from reviewers and fans alike. With the creation of her kick butt counterterrorist group, T-FLAC, years before action adventure romances were popular, Cherry has carved a niche for herself with her sexy, sassy, fast-paced, action adventure novels. She is hard at work on two new series - CUTTER CAY and LODESTONE, and loves to hear from readers. Cherry loves to interact with readers, and she's easy to find on Facebook http://tiny.cc/l1iva or Twitter http://twitter.com/CherryAdair.

To see scenes from Cherry's books, find a printable book list, read excerpts, watch videos, learn more about characters, or receive her newsletter, visit www.cherryadair.com

For a free bookmark send a SASE to Cherry Bookmarks, P. O. Box 8591, Covington, WA. 98042

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By S Walker VINE VOICE on November 10, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I really liked this book from beginning to end. The hero (Simon) and heroine (Kess) were likeable characters, with different background story lines that I liked, it made it different (not cookie cutter) and interesting. (no spoilers, but Simon was having issues with his Psi Powers but didnt fall into the woe is me role, and what power he did have was very unique from the other TFLAC books, and Kess was just a 3 dimensional heroine flaws and all, not all good not all bad, just interesting and funny and you rooted for her... As a avid reader, they are all the same after awhile especiallhy if you read alot of the same genre....But this was what I was looking for.. Interesting and a good read, not confusing not too deep just fun and well written..
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 23, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Night Fall is the start of a new trilogy into the same world that her Edge books (Edge of Danger, et al) are in. While I enjoyed all the Edge books, I found this book both a bit confusing and a bit lacking.

I've never preferred books where the hero and heroine and lusting each other through every page from the minute they met and yet have no idea what the other is like other than their looks. While the heroine of this book is very open and I feel that the hero knows her fairly well by the end, I don't believe that the heroine knows him except through her own (perhaps) rose coloured glasses. Of course we, as the reader, know that he's a great guy so I suppose that we shouldn't concern ourselves about this. This takes about a half point off my rating.

The book seems to contradict itself at times such as whether or not Simon and Nomis can or cannot be in basically the same place. It's stated early that they cannot, but later they are. Is it "just not a good idea" because of other people seeing them together or is there a reason that they shouldn't be close to each other? Again that's another half point.

The major conflict at the end was difficult for me to follow and I wish that it had been clearer what was happening. Another half point.

There seemed to be little to no character development. The two main characters were developed somewhat, but no one else. A chapter in the beginning showing the medical team interacting so that we could get to know the two missing doctors would have been nice. A little more about the president (a very one dimensional character) would also have been nice, although perhaps he was supposed to have no real personality or mind. I don't know.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Reader on March 20, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The story is nothing great.It is a light read.I mean is not intense.I liked(not loved) both Simon and kess.Kess did not seem perturbed or scared that simon was a wizard.she accepted him readily.The sex part of the story is good.Not much of a depth to the story.If u love this writer and her earlier books, then i suggest u borrow this book from the library instead of purchasing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Hooked on September 28, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Our heroine Kess is the PR manager handling a reelection campaign for the president of a small African country suffering a viral epidemic. The hero Simon is a wizard, undercover ops agent, and the president's college buddy. He is on vacation but pulls himself off R&R to battle an evil wizard, help the president, and get it on with Kess.

Pros: It's fast-paced and easy-to-read. Having a wizard experiencing technical difficulties with his magical abilities sets up some really funny scenes. The car at 100 mph scene made me chortle out loud. The background story about the country, the basilica etc. has more substance than a lot of romance novels. I enjoyed the story, liked both the hero and heroine and wanted to keep reading.

Cons: All of the problems major and minor were wrapped up way too quickly in the end. The romantic portion ended too quickly and too neatly.

Nit-picky cons: Q&A in a dialog could be confusing (e.g. Kess would ask a question, there would be two paragraphs of thought, Simon would answer the question and you would have to look back to see what question was.) This happened at least six times and was annoying. The sex scenes were good and varied, but occasionally missed continuity on a physical detail (e.g. you read that his hand was on body part A and then somehow it got to body part B when you thought it was still on A.) Sometimes the POV shifts needed more delineation, a line of space would have been nice.

Overall this is a fun read and I'll buy the next in the series. Recommended 3.5 stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By SavvyChris on July 13, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Cherry Adair is all over the place as a writer. I have read 3 of her TFLAC books and there just isn't any consistency.

I LOVED "Kiss and Tell". I actually re-read it last month and loved it again just as much as the first time. It was fast paced, fun, intriguing and steamy.

I HATED "Hide and Seek". It was ridiculous, badly written, pathetic characters, a bad book.

In "Night Fall", she seems to hit middle ground. I don't like fantasy for the most part and the main character, Simon, was a wizard that could transport himself anywhere he wanted and materialize things out of air. Kess is a strong female trying to prove herself. I liked the writing, for the most part I liked the characters and it was quite steamy. However, there were things that happened without explanation and very resolution. At the end of the book, I am asking myself, "How did that happen? What about him? What happened to that?" Adair brought up so many far-fetched story lines in this book and then just dropped them. I'm always surprised things like that get past the editors. Did anyone at Ballantine Books actually read this?

All that said, not a bad book, just ok. It's a quick read, but visit your library for this one, don't bother buying it.
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