The Spy Who Left Me
Agent Ex Novel #1
St. Martin's Press
The Spy Who Left Me was a Barnes and Noble "Must-Read" for November 2011! Romance buyer Jules selected it as one of his ten "books we love" picks.
Praise for The Spy Who Left Me...
“Punctuated with Bondworthy downhill car and bike chases and near-death surfing parties, Robinson’s clever concoction of lust and longing is a refreshing tropical cocktail.”—Publishers Weekly
“At times laugh-out-loud funny, Robinson's foray into the world of James Bond has its poignant side, assuring that readers will be back for more.”—Booklist
“This first Agent Ex novel is good, old-fashioned fun. Full of laughter, intrigue, and, of course, steamy spies, it’s a great weekend escape. Robinson knows how to balance a book with lighthearted romps and serious romance.” —RT Book Reviews
"Gina Robinson’s THE SPY WHO LEFT ME is a hilariously brilliant romp into the world of espionage and intrigue. Ty and Treflee are amazingly sympathetic characters and the world that Ms. Robinson has built for them to play in is dazzling and colorful. It isn’t much of a stretch for the reader to hear the native birds sing and smell the coconut oil as they read this delightful novel!"--Reader to Reader Reviews
“Mystery, mayhem, sexy spies, and lots of laughter. Gina Robinson writes a damn good book!” —Christie Craig, award-winning author of Don’t Mess with Texas
From Gina Robinson, America’s acclaimed master of the super-sexy spy thriller, comes a red-hot novel of top-secret missions, high-level intrigue, and
His lips are sealed...
THEY WERE UNDERCOVER LOVERS
If there’s one thing that can ruin a vacation, it’s running into your ex. Just ask Treflee Miller. If she’d only known that her husband Ty would be here in Hawaii—muscular, sun-bronzed, and infuriatingly gorgeous—she would have brought the divorce papers for him to sign. But life is full of surprises when you’re married to a world-class spy…
NOW THEY’RE STRANGERS IN PARADISE
Ty Miller can understand why his wife is tired of playing Mrs. James Bond. He’s never home, he’s always on a mission, and he’s usually surrounded by exotic informants. He has to admit that the perfect spy makes a pretty lousy husband. But for the sake of Ty’s security and Treflee’s safety, they can’t blow his cover. Not here. Not now. Not when his longing is so strong, her lips so tempting—and his enemies so close…
St. Martin's Paperbacks; First Edition
Paperback: 336 pages
Release Date: November 1, 2011
Don’t miss the next two novels
in this thrilling new series by
DIAMONDS ARE TRULY FOREVER
- coming June, 2012
LIVE AND LET LOVE
- coming 2012
Coming soon from St. Martin’s Paperbacks
THE SPY WHO LEFT ME Excerpt
There are two things a girl would really rather not experience on her Hawaiian vacation—the monthly curse and a run-in with her soon-to-be ex. For the first time since puberty, Treflee Miller had managed to dodge the first. She was staring at all six-foot-two well-muscled, lying, spying, ran-out-on-her inches of the second as he hefted her cousin Carrie’s bags up the steps of the Big Auau Sugar Plantation’s lanai.
He’d bleached his brown hair to a sun-streaked blond and grown a goatee, but it was him. The corner of his mouth curled into that sexy half grin of his and his eyes danced with flirtation as he stared at Carrie, not seeing Treflee.
Treflee flushed, feeling an unexpected jolt of jealousy. Whether she wanted him or not, he was still her man. Her mouth fell open into what was surely an unflattering gape. What was he doing here on her vacation? Shouldn’t he be playing spy boy, not bellhop, on something other than U.S. soil?
Damn! She didn’t have the divorce papers on her. Technically, he wasn’t legally her ex-husband. Yet. He’d run off on another top secret mission without signing the final paperwork. If only she had them with her, she’d make short work of her still-married status.
She snapped her mouth shut and gave him her hard-core “I’m so angry I could kill you” glare. He should have known it well by now. She’d aimed it at him with regularity this past year. When he was around, that is. But he clearly hadn’t noticed her yet as he flirted with Carrie.
In the distance, past the stately trees of the plantation and waving fields of sugarcane, the Pacific Ocean sparkled behind him. The scent of plumeria and ginger wafted toward Treflee, tinged with a hint of his all too familiar, and totally hot, cologne. The man knew how to scent himself, that’s for sure. It was commitment and the thought of family life he had trouble with.
As his gaze lifted from Carrie to Treflee, his eyes went from dancing to clinically cold.
He cut her off. “Aloha! Ty Smith. General purpose vacation instructor and island guide.” He sounded deceptively friendly and charming.
Yeah, he could really put it on. But as he extended his hand and leaned toward her, he flashed her a hard-edged “you blow my cover and there will be hell to pay, nearly ex-wife or not” look. His threatening look was much more convincing than hers.
She backed off, but not before she mouthed the word “bastard” for his eyes only.
“Treflee Miller,” she said, voice dripping with artificial sweetness. “Vacationer.” And hacked-off wife, she could have added, but it wasn’t totally necessary. She thought he pretty much knew how she felt.
“E komo mai! Welcome to Hawaii. And your week of fun and adventure.” Ty’s voice gave away nothing of his displeasure and discomfort at seeing her. His ability to hide his emotions made him a fantastic spy. And a miserable husband.
Treflee didn’t want an adventure. She loathed adventure. She longed for peace and quiet, sunbathing and solitary beach walks at sunrise and sunset. Maybe the occasional tropical drink featuring a heavy dose of pineapple juice and rum.
It had been Carrie’s sadistic idea to drag her beleaguered bridal party to Maui after she dumped her fiancé, Kane, a week before the wedding for cheating on her. Carrie had planned a Hawaiian wedding and honeymoon and she was going to get them. Well, a Hawaiian vacation anyway, with her bridesmaids in tow. Why would the girls complain? They’d already paid for their nonrefundable airfare. She was simply making sure Treflee and company got to benefit from it.
Carrie was not your typical weepy, depressed ex-bride. A lady cop, she had a take-no-prisoners personality. If she wanted to go to Hawaii with her nearest and dearest, they were going with her. End of story.
So she salvaged what she could of her wedding budget, sweet-talked the hotel she’d reserved for her wedding into letting her bridal party stay sans wedding, and booked a vacation package for all of them. And here they were, dancing supportive attendance to her as if she were still the happy bride and they were still the dutiful bridesmaids.
Beside Treflee, Carrie’s curvy, amply endowed best friend, Laci, whispered in her ear, “He’s hot. This is going to be fun.”
Yeah, it’s going to be fun all right. If Treflee could keep from murdering Ty. She shrugged noncommittally.
“You don’t like?” Laci asked, nodding toward him, obviously incredulous.
“Not my type.” Treflee could lie pretty well, too, when she wanted to.
There were six in their party, with enough baggage for a dozen. And Treflee wasn’t thinking strictly of luggage. If Ty was planning on carrying it all in for them, they were in for a wait.
Treflee grabbed her bag, not out of any charity toward him, but because she was wilting in the afternoon sun.
The plantation door opened and a heavy, middle-aged Hawaiian woman dressed in a muumuu stepped out, followed by a broad-shouldered blond guy. The woman spread her arms in an all-encompassing gesture of welcome. “Aloha auina la!” She nodded toward the blond guy and he started grabbing bags.
“Meet Greg, my fellow instructor, and Tita,” Ty said. “She’s the big wahine around here.”
Tita’s rich laugh shook her body and brought a smile to Treflee’s face. “Who you calling big, skinny boy?”
“I meant that in the most honorable way, as in you’re the boss lady.” He gave her a deferential nod of his head, but his grin said he was half teasing.
“You mean kahuna, haole. I’m the big kahuna and don’t you forget it.”
With a smile and a flip of her hand, she dismissed his lack of respect. “Come, let’s get you all settled in and refreshed before your night on the town.”
Ty handed Carrie’s bag to the blond guy and grabbed Treflee’s. “We need to talk,” he whispered in her ear.
“There’s nothing to talk about,” she said. “I’ll have my lawyer e-mail or fax you the papers here. We’ll never have to talk again.”
He gave her the look again. “No e-mailing. No faxing. We’ll talk.” He turned to Tita, and nodded toward Treflee. “Which room?”
“Excellent.” He hauled Treflee’s bag into the building, up the beautiful, coiling wooden stairs, and down a hallway with her trailing after him, trying to take in the sights so she didn’t explode with anger. She only maintained control out of a sense of patriotism. What if blowing his cover meant vital U.S. secrets got out, security was breached, and we had another Pearl Harbor on our hands? It sounded melodramatic. But you never knew with Ty. You never knew anything.
He walked so fast, they lost the rest of the girls.
Finally, he came to an abrupt stop in front of a red door in the middle of the mellow, sea-foam-green hall. He pulled a universal key from his pocket, let them into the room and pulled the door closed behind them.
Being led into a bedroom by Ty used to be a totally exhilarating experience. She’d be lying if she didn’t admit to feeling a thrill of the old excitement. She brushed it off, relegating it to a somatic response.
The bedroom was truly spectacular. Just what she would have picked for herself. Large comfy bed covered with tasseled pillows and a linen comforter. Bamboo floors with deep cream throw rugs. A ceiling fan floated lazily above it all. At the far end, a door stood open onto a balcony that faced the ocean. The white curtains surrounding it fluttered in the ocean breeze. Paradise.
Ty broke the spell by speaking. “What are you doing here?”
Ty was his real first name. He hadn’t been terribly creative in his choice of cover. Maybe he was tired of answering to so many different names.
“Why the surprise?” She snorted. “Any spy worth their salt would have looked at the guest log and seen my name.”
“Tita keeps the guest list. I barely glanced at it.” He paused, frowning, looking as if he couldn’t have missed something as obvious as her name, even at a glance. Suddenly, he cursed beneath his breath. “Wait a minute—you’re Betty Miller?”
“What? Betty! Are you crazy?” She hated that nickname and he knew it. Her given name was Elizabeth. Everyone called her Treflee, a childhood mutation of trying to call herself Bethy and being unable to make the “th” sound. Beffly had somehow morphed into Treflee and stuck. Her mother had wanted to call her Betty. No way.
“You’re Betty according to the list.” Ty shook his head, looking at her suspiciously. As if she’d tried to pull one over on him.
“That Carrie and her warped sense of humor. I’m going to strangle her.” Only the family and Ty ever called her Betty, and only when they wanted to pull her chain.
Treflee had another beef with him. “Speaking of my cousin Carrie, you were flirting with her!”
“Flirting with the ladies is part of my cover--” He stopped short as if registering what she’d just said. “Your cousin?”
“Yeah, duh. You’d know that if you were ever around long enough to attend a family function or two.” Spite was not an easy thing to keep out of her voice.
He cocked a brow. “She wasn’t at our wedding.”
The man had a photographic memory. “She was serving in Iraq.”
“You never showed her a wedding picture? She didn’t seem to recognize me.”
Treflee shrugged. “I’m sure she saw one a long time ago. I haven’t been in the mood to flash one around lately.” Did she sound put out? She didn’t think she sounded sweet. “You’re obviously incognito now. I doubt she’ll make the connection. The bleached-blond look is good on you.”
He ignored her jibe. “I don’t recognize the others.”
“I just met the others. They’re all Carrie’s friends, fellow cops and former military. Except for Carla. She’s a nurse. You’d better watch yourself.” Treflee couldn’t help smiling. “Cops have a habit of sniffing out the truth.”
Carrie and Treflee lived states apart. They weren’t actually that close. Mostly it was blood and the devoted relationship between their mothers that bound them. Carrie had been under duress to make her part of the bridal party. When the whole thing fell through, she couldn’t very well exclude her from the vacation, even though Treflee had tried to wiggle out of it.
She put her hands on her hips as they stared each other down. “I checked the weather every day for the past six months.”
When he was away on a mission, they communicated by posting seemingly innocuous comments on their hometown’s local weather blog. Their comments were actually coded messages to each other.
“You always check the weather,” he said.
He was probably being deliberately obtuse just to frustrate her. “You know what I mean.”
“What would I have said, Tref? Graupel?”
Graupel? That one wasn’t in their lexicon. Graupel was hail snow. Hail snow? Then it hit her--hell no!
“Very funny, Ty. Hail hath no fury.”
She crossed her arms. “You could have been dead for all I knew.”
“And lying in a ditch,” he added. “If I was dead, Emmett would have shown up at your door with a folded American flag and your widow’s benefits.”
Okay, he has me there. As chief spy, Emmett Nelson is the Agency’s harbinger of death.
Ty ran his hand through his hair and sighed. “How can I get you to go home?”
“Sign the divorce papers.”
“You don’t have them on you.”
“I can get them. If you insist on the no e-mailing, no faxing rule, I’ll call my lawyer and have him overnight them.”
He snorted in disbelief. “E-mailing, faxing, overnighting, texting, posting them to a Web site, skywriting, or carrier pigeoning, I can’t take the chance. I’m on an important mission. I can’t have anything around anywhere with my real identity, anything that will blow my cover.”
She lifted her chin. “You have me.”
He shook his head and crossed his arms. “Do you have a picture of me in your wallet?”
“Egocentric bastard,” she said. “I shredded every last picture I had of you months ago.”
“On your cell phone?” He grabbed her purse from the bed where she’d dropped it. Before she could stop him, he had the phone and her camera out. He dropped them in his pocket.
Shoot! There might be a picture or two of him still on the phone. Call her a sentimental fool.
“I’ll return these when I’ve checked them out.” He pulled her wallet out and leafed through as she stood watching him, fury making her almost speechless. Only a few sputters managed to escape her lips.
Finally, he dropped the wallet back into the purse and the purse back on the bed. “Clear. Now, go home before anyone gets hurt.” His eyes twinkled wickedly. He was deadly serious.
“I can’t. Ex-bridezilla out there will hunt me down and kill me.” She explained about Carrie. Besides, she wasn’t leaving without her divorce. When she finished her story, she shrugged. “So, sorry, but I’m staying. Want to fill me in on the mission?”
“If I told you that--”
She waved her hand at him. “Yeah, yeah, yeah, you’d have to kill me. That’s what all the spies say. You really should come up with something more original. You know it’s all this secrecy that killed our relationship?”
He smiled. Her heart thawed just a tiny bit. She’d always loved his smile and the way he got her sense of humor.
“You won’t tell me?”
“What do you think?”
What she really thought was that it was a crying shame they hadn’t worked out. She always liked sparring with him. Instead, she said, “As long as I’m here, I may as well enjoy myself. I’ve never seen you at work before. This could be fun. Take-your-nearly-ex-wife-to-work day. I like it.”
He gave her a warning look. “Don’t say a word. Nothing slips, got it?”
She held up her hands to show him she was no threat, no threat at all. “Hey, silence is my middle name.”
He arched a brow and patted his pocket. “I’ll return these later.” He turned and walked to the door, pausing before he left to speak over his shoulder. “I’ll be watching you.”
“Just like old times,” she said and winked, trying to get his goat.
He shook his head and left.
Treflee plunked down on the bed and put her head in her hands, taking a deep breath. She’d never imagined seeing Ty in his element would shake her up so much or that witnessing him flirt with other women could still make her jealous. But he’d definitely thrown her equilibrium off. Hadn’t he always? Hadn’t that been part of the excitement and the problem?
When she finally calmed down, she got up, opened her suitcase, and pulled her travel jewelry pouch out. She reached into it and pulled out the dangly charm bracelet Ty had given her when they were dating. He brought her back a charm from every mission. When he originally gave the bracelet to her, it had a single charm on it—a tiny silver heart locket. Now it was loaded with charms.
As she opened the locket and stared at the miniscule picture of Ty, her eyes watered and she couldn’t help sniffing. What type of a charm would Ty have brought her back from this Hawaiian mission? A silver palm tree? A gold Maui sandal? A hibiscus flower? Or a white pearl?
Deep down Ty was a romantic and had a wicked sense of humor. The pearl was her birthstone, and a white one represents honesty and faith. Yeah, he would have gotten a big kick out of the dual meaning. As if he were ever honest.
She told herself she only brought the bracelet with her so she could see how well the big, honking black pearl she planned to buy for herself would look on it. But in all honesty, sentimental fool that she was, she never left home without it.
You aren’t as smart as you think, spy boy, she thought. She had a bit of leverage after all.
Buy a copy today from:
Ty and Treflee’s Wedding Vows
I, Ty, take you Treflee to be my wife, my partner in life and my one true love. I will cherish our friendship and love you today, tomorrow, and forever. I will trust you and share my secrets with you. I will laugh with you and cry with you. I will love you faithfully. I will care for you, honor and protect you. I lay down my life for you, Treflee, my friend and my love. Only death can separate us.
Today, Ty. I join my life to yours, not only as your wife, but as your friend, your lover, and your confidant. Let me be the shoulder you lean on and the companion of your life. Don’t ask me to leave you, or to return from following after you. For where you go, I will go. Where you live I will live. And where you die, I will die. We will always be as one.
Here are some pictures of the Chinese wedding that inspired the wedding scene in the book.
Balloon arches guide the couples to the stage
28 couples at once!
The deeper the bow, the deeper the love...
Traditional "Double Happiness" candy and cigarettes