[BookStrand Sci-Fi Romance]
Jon Paige discovers his employer is developing mind-control techniques. He quickly learns how to hijack the system and breaks down his beautiful assistant's persistent walls. Will Holly forgive him, if she ever learns of it?
Holly Maddox is determined not to dip her pen in the company ink, a policy that's served her well…until Jon comes along. He steals her mind when he's in the room, weakens her fortitude with every flash of his flirty eyes and secretive smile. How will she keep herself from falling in love with her boss when he melts her impulse control?
When Jon and Holly decide to sabotage the mind-control experiments, they learn they're up against a far greater power than they'd bargained for. Doing the right thing risks lives. Will the truth of their beginnings wreck their sizzling affair?
A BookStrand Mainstream Romance
4.5 TEA CUPS: "Holly is a single mother looking for a job in a down economy. Jon is working freelance for the Demarco group, hiring medical billers. Although Holly is over qualified for the job, Jon hires her anyway, as a favor to an old friend. And despite his initial misgivings accepts a job as head of Human Recourses, in an attempt to stay near Holly. From the initial hirings, to the training of the new employees, to the start of daily business, something has been off at the Demarco group. While investigating the reasons for a mass firing almost immediately after a mass hiring, Jon and Holly uncover a plot that uses Demarco employees as lab rats in an attempt to develop mind control. What ensues will leave them wondering if the Demarco Group is a health care conglomerate, or a front for the CIA. Michele Hart's characters are well written, completely believable, and relatable. Dr. Josephina Demarco Ramirez is in charge of sleep studies, and is using them to continue her grandfather’s work, developing a mind control method for the CIA. The paranoia and possible insanity of Dr. Ramirez, make this scenario all too possible. She has effectively cut herself off from the outside world and completely immersed herself in her work. Her delusions and total disregard for human life make her a truly frightening villain, but also give glimpses into what her life could have been if she hadn't been corrupted by power and hatred. As it is a once promising doctor now holds no regard for human life, "Life comes and goes in too great a volume to be considered rare." The chemistry between Jon and Holly is apparent from the beginning, their witty banter and shared tragic history connects them in a way that purely physical attraction would never do. So amongst all the breaking and entering, and disguises, the two of them venture into a relationship that could be as dangerous as the people they are up against. Jon and Holly are simply two good people who have stumbled upon a grave injustice and are doing their best to fix it. Each of them struggles with their own personal demons and fears, like the rest of the world trying to do the right thing and occasionally messing up along the way. The deeper they go to find the truth, the more they risk. The snappy dialogue and intense situations pulls you in and completely blow your mind. Michele Hart's Mind-Blown is a spine tingling thriller, complete with armature sleuthing, mind control, shadowy government agencies, and unethical doctors. A veritable rollercoaster of conspiracy, paranoia, and just a touch of romance."-- Kylie, Happily Ever After Reviews
Jon hit the power button on the computer, shutting it down, then he dove for the covered chair, and he crawled under the dust cover and into the seat, unseen. He quickly shut his flashlight off.
Through heat-dispersal holes in the plastic cover, he watched the doctor enter the room and turn on the lights, pushing the door all the way open and leaving her keys hanging from the doorknob. The door stop didn’t catch the latch, and the door closed anyway. She didn’t seem bothered to have found the room locked when he’d found it unlocked, or she hadn’t noticed. A notebook in hand and appearing distracted with work, she made a beeline past the mind-control machine for the computer that controlled it stationed in the back of the room, and she booted up the machine.
Patient at first, Jon watched as she typed into the system some unseen information, and he wondered what brain-washing stunt the center would pull next. Considering the majority of the center’s funds came from pharmaceutical companies, he didn’t want to imagine what connection these will-penetrating experiments had to their funders.
Dr. Ramirez must have been at the computer for twenty minutes, poring over paperwork and inputting letters and numbers. Remaining perfectly still to stay uncaught, Jon grew hotter under the latex mask and the dust cover, now growing impatient for his opportunity to slip away unnoticed.
He had too much time to think. He hadn’t anticipated feeling a flicker of guilt about his attempt to influence Holly into his arms, but now, watching the granddaughter of Dr. Frankenstein plot her next breach of someone’s mind, he felt the violation ofHolly’s will it really was. It was no big guess to know she’d be livid if she learned of it, but there was no way to back out now. He’d already slipped pictures of himself into her slideshow file, piggybacking whatever mind-tampering methods the sleep center used. Would he be able to forgive himself when he held Holly in his arms?
Yep, probably so.
Of course, a really good guy would wait Dr. Ramirez out until the woman left the room, and he’d delete the pictures he’d planted. Jon hadn’t yet decided just how good a guy he wanted to be.
The shriek of a police siren in close proximity blaring then silencing came blasting through his earpiece too loudly, nearly deafening him, and Jon spotted Dr. Ramirez spin around in her seat, her eyes narrowed on the covered chair. She’d caught his startled jerk and heard the siren. The brain-washing machine lay between her and the door.
Jon was caught. He heard Holly whisper, “Damn.”
Through the pin-prick holes in the chair’s dust cover, he watched Dr. Ramirez, her eyes wide with fright over a stranger hiding in the room and so close to her. She swept her space for a weapon.
“Ya need any help, little lady?” Jon picked up a male voice with a rough Southern drawl in his headset. The drop of Dr. Ramirez’s jaw said she clearly heard the voice coming from the chair.
“No, officer,” Holly’s stressed voice replied, “I just finished changing my tire, and I’ll be on my way.”
Frightened, Ramirez snatched the leg of one of the nearby medical carts, dumping its electronics, and she brandished the cart as a weapon. The cart shook in her hands.
“You don’t look like ya got yourself dirty doing it, sweetheart,” the male voice replied. “Ya sure you aren’t out here working this block?”
The police were about to arrest Holly for prostitution. How would Jon get out of this room?
Dr. Ramirez brought the light-weight medical cart crashing down onto the chair, barely missing Jon in her assault. When she reared back for another swing, Jon caught Holly’s denial, “No, officer! I’m just trying to get home from working night shift at Scrappy Joe’s. My house is just down the block. My husband’s on his way.”
“Scrappy Joe’s closed two hours ago.”
Jon ducked just in time to avoid the second blow, still unseen under the dust cover, though his movement again gave him away. The cart crashed into machinery behind him, another close miss. It was time to take action.
Jon scampered out from under the cover, revealing himself in the chimp mask. He let out a terrifying chimp scream, waving his arms high in the air to scare her more, and it worked. She backed up all the way to the wall, her hands held up before her in defense, having lost her weapon in her second swing. Her eyes were alive with the shock of seeing her opponent. She couldn’t have expected a man-sized chimpanzee.
Taking advantage of her fright, Jon snatched the door open, bolted over the threshold, and slammed the door of the room shut. Then he pulled the key from the doorknob lock, shoved it into the deadbolt and spun it, locking a terrified Dr. Ramirez in the telephoneless room.
The police officer gave Holly a disbelieving bellow of laughter. “What’re you selling tonight, little lady? Ya showin’ alota skin at work.”
Harking back to his days on the football field, Jon fisted the keys and ran as hard as he could down the science center’s main hallway, pumping his arms double-time to the quickened sound of Holly’s anxious breath in his ear. This was going to hurt.
Coming up on the foyer, he shoved the keys into his jeans pocket, flattened himself to the wall, and leaned, spotting Travis and Eddie again pressed to the glass, now watching the police confront Holly outside the building. Jon had to get there before the police hauled her to jail.