Dishonorably discharged, former Navy SEAL Shane Laughlin is down to his last ten bucks when he finally finds work as a test subject at the Obermeyer Institute, a little-known and believed-to-be-fringe scientific research facility. When he enters the OI compound, he is plunged into a strange world where seemingly mild-mannered scientists―including women half his size―can kick his highly skilled ass. Shane soon discovers that there are certain individuals who possess the unique ability to access untapped regions of the brain with extraordinary results―including telekinesis, super strength, and reversal of the aging process. Known as “Greater-Thans,” this rare breed is recruited by OI, where they are rigorously trained using ancient techniques to cultivate their powers and wield them responsibly. But in the depths of America’s second Great Depression, where the divide between the haves and the have-nots has grown even wider, those who are rich―and reckless―enough have a quick, seductive alternative: Destiny, a highly addictive designer drug that can make anyone a Greater-Than, with the power of eternal youth. The sinister cartel known as The Organization has begun mass-producing Destiny, and the demand is epidemic. But few realize the drug’s true danger, and fewer still know the dirty secret of Destiny’s crucial ingredient. Michelle “Mac” Mackenzie knows the ugly truth. And as one of the Obermeyer Institute’s crack team of operatives, she’s determined to end the scourge of Destiny. But her kick-ass attitude gets knocked for a loop when she finds that one of the new test subjects is none other than Shane, the same smoldering stranger who just rocked her world in a one-night stand. Although Shane isn’t a Greater-Than like Mac, as an ex-SEAL, he’s got talents of his own. But Mac’s got powerful reasons to keep her distance from him―and reasons that are just as strong to want him close. She’s used to risking her life, but now, in the midst of the ultimate war on drugs, she must face sacrificing her heart.
A Message from Suzanne Brockmann
Born to Darkness, like many of my books, has a Navy SEAL hero. And I know what you’re thinking. Hey, Brockmann, what’s with the SEAL obsession?
My answer: Have you seen these guys?
Seriously though, I think a large number of Americans are fascinated by the men who serve in the teams, particularly after SEAL Team Six took out Osama bin Laden last year. But I’ve been writing books with SEAL heroes since the mid-1990s, and although Born to Darkness is my 26th book with a SEAL as the hero, the truth is that I just don’t get tired of creating strong, complex characters who are passionately driven to become part of that elite group of the best-of-the-best, the U.S. Navy SEALs.
First of all, you have to be very intelligent to be a SEAL, so that’s a plus for a romance writer, because I think that many women agree with me–smart men are sexy. I also believe that you have to have a sense of humor to survive the punishing BUD/S training that all SEAL candidates endure–and smart, funny men are even sexier.
I also love to write about the loyalties, friendships, and frictions that occur when smart, funny men work together in a team. I’m a long-time lover of the “buddy movie” (my big favorites are Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and Midnight Run), and writing a series of books that lets me use some of those same elements has been extremely fun to do.
But I’ve been writing my Troubleshooters series about fictional Navy SEAL Team Sixteen for 13 years. After 17 books, I found myself wanting to stretch a bit–to write something different, hence the futuristic paranormal world of my new Fighting Destiny series. But when I sat down to plan and plot Born to Darkness, the hero of the book, Shane Laughlin, turned to me and said, “Oh, by the way? I’m a Navy SEAL.”
I gazed back at him–he’s smart, funny, driven, and honorable, with the shiny, golden gleam of a SEAL officer who leads by saying, “Follow me!” And I said, “Yes, you certainly are, aren’t you?”
But Shane is a former Navy SEAL. In Born to Darkness, he’s been dishonorably discharged and blacklisted–and he’s intentionally staying far from the men who served beneath him in his SEAL team, so as not to tarnish them, too. He’s been unable to find work for about a year, and he’s getting pretty desperate when he’s dropped into the heroine’s rather fantastic world.
Shane’s a SEAL without a team, and in Born to Darkness he connects with a group of rather odd people who are on a mission to rescue a kidnapped little girl. He wants to help, but it’s not easy for him, since he’s used to being in charge. And despite his skill and training as a SEAL, he’s also the weakest link in this unusual team’s chain–which is an eye-opening experience for him.
I’ve also written an e-short called Shane’s Last Stand so that readers can meet Lt. Shane Laughlin and see him in his “natural habitat” as I tell the story of his final, fateful mission as a SEAL.