All three of the Men of the Sisterhood novellas together for the first time!
For the first time the menfolk are stepping out of the pages of #1 New York Times bestselling author Fern Michaels’ beloved Sisterhood series and into the spotlight…
After years of standing by their women, the Sisterhood’s significant others have also become loyal friends. And now Jack Emery, Nikki’s husband, has enlisted Ted, Joe, Jay, Bert, Dennis, and Abner to form a top-secret organization known as BOLO Consultants.
Jack has two missions in mind. The first: offering some behind-the-scenes help to Nikki’s law firm as they take on the all-powerful Andover Pharmaceuticals. Andover’s anti-leukemia drug causes terrible side effects in young patients, but a class-action suit seems doomed to fail. BOLO Consultants have a prescription to cure that. Meanwhile, Virginia’s lieutenant governor has a sideline as a slum landlord, and his impoverished tenants are suffering. Tyler Sandford believes his status puts him above the law. But when the Sisterhood and their allies decide to get involved, no one is beyond the reach of true justice…
“The storyline is like a grand roller-coaster ride, with dips and sharp curves…Michaels has outdone herself.”—RT Book Reviews on Gotcha!
“Delectable…Revenge that’s creatively swift and sweet, Michaels-style.” —Publishers Weekly on Hokus Pokus
About the Author
FERN MICHAELS is the USA Today and New York Times bestselling author of the Sisterhood, Men of the Sisterhood, and Godmothers series, as well as dozens of other novels and novellas. There are over one-hundred ten million copies of her books in print. Fern Michaels has built and funded several large day-care centers in her hometown, and is a passionate animal lover who has outfitted police dogs across the country with special bulletproof vests. She shares her home in South Carolina with her four dogs and a resident ghost named Mary Margaret. Visit her website at www.fernmichaels.com.
Hometown:Summerville, South Carolina
Place of Birth:Hastings, Pennsylvania
Read an Excerpt
By FERN MICHAELS
KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP.Copyright © 2015 Fern Michaels
All rights reserved.
Jack Emery propped his chin on his cupped hands and looked out the window of the Bagel Emporium at the blustery weather outside. His thoughts traveled back in time to a year ago, to the last day that Emanuel Macklin was seen. A lot had happened in the past year. Much of his life, and the lives of his friends, had been turned upside down. And sometimes he had a hard time coming to terms with the way all of it had happened at what seemed to be the speed of light.
He was a free agent these days. Right after the first of the year, he'd left his wife's, Nikki's, law firm, with her reluctant approval, supposedly to write a book. It was something that never happened. He'd done some consulting work for a few months, but that hadn't worked either. He'd then stepped into his old shoes at the district attorney's office, prosecuted two cases, and walked away. He'd won both cases but they were both on appeal. Some smart-ass defense attorney would come up with some frigging loophole, and the bad guys would be right back out on the street. So, disillusioned, he'd thrown in the towel and walked away, frustrated and angry at a criminal justice system that seemed to coddle the criminals and leave the good guys, the victims, to fend for themselves.
Jack's eyes were glued to the redbrick building across the street from where he was sitting. His building. Well, not totally his. He, along with Ted Robinson, Joe Espinosa, Harry Wong, Bert Navarro, and Jay Sparrow, owned the building. They'd invested the bonus money they'd gotten years ago when they worked for Hank Jellicoe, money that none of them had ever touched until a few months ago, when he convinced his little band of avengers that this was what they needed to do. This meaning buying the six-thousand-square-foot brick building, refurbishing it, and going into business together. Into a business that was completely off the grid. And today was move-in day.
In a shopping bag at his feet, he had a bottle of champagne, crystal wine flutes, and a jug of tea for Harry so they could christen their new business in—he looked down at his watch—ten more minutes. Next to the shopping bag was Cyrus, a huge, sleek, 140-pound black German shepherd, who was his new best friend forever. Cyrus was two years old and, as far as Jack was concerned, half human and half dog. Cyrus was so in tune with Jack, he knew what Jack was going to do before Jack knew himself.
Four months ago, he had stopped in for his morning bagel while Cyrus waited outside. While he waited in line for his coffee and bagel, the door opened, and a man bellowed, "Everyone on the floor!" As he was dropping to the floor to obey the robber's orders, Jack saw a black streak clear the door with inches to spare. In the blink of an eye, all 140 pounds of ferocious dog propelled the robber to the floor, then sat on him. Jack, in a lightning move, scooped up the gun the man had been brandishing while Domingo Lopez, known to his patrons as Ding, called the police. Cyrus was the hero of the day, and, as Ding said, "I don't care what the Health Department's rules are, Cyrus can come in here anytime." His patrons agreed, and everyone else looked the other way. Jack reached down to pat the magnificent dog on the head. Cyrus nuzzled his hand.
Jack returned to his thoughts as he stared out the window. The weatherman had predicted a possibility of snow flurries later in the day. It was, after all, December, so snow flurries were to be expected. Just like last year, when the same prediction led to three weeks of arctic air and so much snow that the District had to shut down because there was nowhere else to move the white stuff.
So much had happened during that short period of time. Charles Martin had flown the coop, Jack and Nikki had hit a rough patch, and he'd resigned, to her initial chagrin. But in the end, she agreed because she just wanted him to be happy with his life. During the past year, her twelve-member all-female law firm took on six new associates and seven new paralegals. The expansion was needed to deal with three class-action lawsuits that would make the firm kazillions of dollars. If the workload didn't kill everyone first. All they had to do was work twenty hours a day to make it happen. Sometimes, he didn't see or talk to his wife for days at a time. What the hell kind of life was that? Things were still sticky between the two of them, but they were both trying to work it all through. Alexis Thorn, Joe Espinosa's significant other, had given Espinosa the boot shortly before Valentine's Day, saying she preferred her job to a relationship, and she hoped that he understood that she couldn't do both. Espinosa did not understand, any more than Jack did. They'd cried into their beers way too many times the last ten months.
Maggie Spritzer was back at the Post as the EIC after John Cassidy resigned because he didn't have enough time to go fly-fishing. It had taken a lot of sweet-talking on Annie de Silva's part to get Maggie back in harness, but, finally, all the perks Annie dangled in front of Maggie won her over, and she was once again calling the shots at the Post. Not a bad thing, Jack had decided at the time. Or as Ted put it, "She's out of our hair for now."
Jack's little "guy group," as he called it, had three new exclusive members and one long-distance member. The other members referred to it as "an off-the-grid spy group," whatever the hell that meant. The name conjured up all kinds of weird images and possible scenarios. Bert Navarro was the long-distance member. Dennis West, cub reporter and Ted Robinson, hero worshipper, as well as a new billionaire, Abner Tookus, hacker extraordinaire, and Jack Sparrow, who out of necessity was called Jay for a little while, were the latest recruits to the off-the-grid avengers club.
Jack let his thoughts wander to Myra and Annie, who had settled in for the long winter ahead. The last time he'd checked with Myra, she was knitting. Knitting. She'd said she was making a scarf that was two miles long, and she needed a wagon to carry it in. Or, as Annie put it, one long line of colored yarn filled with sloppy stitches. Annie said she was taking cooking lessons and brushing up on her pole dancing. She had mumbled something about feathers on shoes, or maybe it was her white cowboy boots that she always wore, but he hadn't understood a word of what she was saying. What he did understand was that, unlike the others, who were running themselves ragged, she and Myra were bored out of their minds.
Women! He would never understand them. Never!
Isabelle Flanders Tookus was still in England, designing a new-age city, and had no downtime available for Abner, which pretty much left him at loose ends and ready to dive into the guy group. Yoko, it appeared, at least according to Harry, was happier than a pig in a mud slide with her plant nursery and raising Lily, which left precious little time for Harry, who these days was meaner than a wet cat on a treadmill.
Kathryn Lucas, fiancée of Bert Navarro, thrived on driving the open roads in her eighteen-wheeler, making two stops a month in Las Vegas for, as Bert put it, booty calls. He also said theirs would be the longest engagement in history because Kathryn had no intention of ever marrying again. Bert said he was okay with the engagement because he had no other options, and he loved Kathryn heart and soul.
Cyrus raised his head, then reared up. He'd heard the sound of Harry's Ducati before Jack had. "Okay, big guy, do your thing while I pay the bill." Doing his thing meant going from table to table to offer up his paw and, with luck, get a little treat from his friends at the other tables. When he finished his rounds, he barked, and Ding came out from behind the counter and handed the big dog a monster dog treat. Cyrus barked, offered up his paw, and waited for Jack to open the door. Ham that he was, Cyrus turned and bowed. The patrons loved it and always clapped. Jack said, "You are the biggest ham I've ever seen, Cyrus. Hero worship is a sin. Do you know that?" Cyrus barked, waited for a break in traffic, and raced across the road to greet Harry, who obligingly ruffled his ears.
"Let's walk around back so we can all go in together. I want us all to oooh and aaah at the same time. Ted just turned the corner, and I think I saw Sparrow come in from the other direction. Haven't seen Abner yet, though. Oops, there he goes. How's it going, Harry?"
"It's going, Jack. You?"
"It's going, Harry. You up for this gig?"
Never long on words, Harry said, "I'm here."
"Let's do it!" Jack said as he picked up his feet and raced to the back alley behind the newly remodeled property, where the guys were waiting for them. Cyrus barked a greeting, then offered his paw. It was a ritual that had to be observed, or Cyrus would bark relentlessly until the others made it happen. Satisfied that he had all the attention he needed, the big dog stood back while Jack allowed the retina scanner to check his eyeball, then listened for the hydraulic hiss of the door opening at their new, off-the-grid digs.CHAPTER 2
One by one, the men entered a small eight-by-ten room that was totally empty except that it contained a good-sized state-of-the-art kitchen, replete with stainless-steel appliances. A manly kitchen. As they walked down a short hall to the main part of the building, the scent of newness—fresh paint, new wood, furniture that smelled like it came straight out of a warehouse, as it probably had—assailed their nostrils. The carpet was top grade, lush and thick, and the windows were covered not by drapes but natural-wood-colored plantation shutters. A few ficus trees and lush green plants were strategically placed in the foyer and all the offices. Dennis, who said he had a green thumb, had agreed to take over their care, watering and feeding them plant food according to the instructions that came with all the greenery.
There were six rooms in all, then one large room that ran the entire length of the building. The sign on the door said it was the COMPUTER ROOM. That meant it was Abner Tookus's domain and off-limits to everyone but him unless invited in. He had designed it to duplicate the special computer room he had at his own home. Jack had literally choked when Abner told him the equipment cost millions of dollars. Abner had personally bought, paid, and installed everything in the room at his own expense, which relieved Jack of all his anxiety. The guys, most of whom were seeing it for the first time, ooohed and aaahed, but it was Dennis West who said it looked like a room at NASA. And it was climate controlled, Abner said, because the machines were as delicate as the stuff NASA and the NSA had. He looked around at the group, and announced, "If the door is closed, do not open until you knock and I say you can come in." Heads bobbed up and down. In this room, Abner was king.
As they trekked through the building, they saw that each room had been furnished with a computer, a monitor, webcams, a fax, a color printer, and a landline. The building had seven different landline phone numbers. There were tablets, iPads, and a box of twenty-four different cell phones—all encrypted so as not to be traceable thanks to Avery Snowden—and each room had a seventy-six-inch television on one of the walls.
"What do you think, guys?" Jack asked anxiously. "Do you like the furnishings?"
Everyone started talking at once, with a lot of hand waving. The bottom line was, "You did a great job, Jack." Jack beamed his pleasure.
"What are we calling this ... ah ... enterprise? What does the plaque outside the door say this business is?" Ted asked.
Jack laughed. "BOLO Consultants. The plaque reads THE BOLO BUILDING, and underneath it says CONSULTANTS. We are whatever we want to be."
"What does that mean?" Dennis asked.
Sparrow raised his hand. "Let me guess. BE ON LOOKOUT, right?" To the others, he explained. "It's a law-enforcement tag." Jack nodded, and, for the first time, noticed how dressed up Sparrow was. The rest of the group were in casual clothes, the same sort of clothing they had worn when they came to observe the renovations on the building.
He commented on Sparrow's attire, his gaze questioning. When Sparrow was not more forthcoming, Jack thought maybe he was going to attend a funeral or a wedding after the meeting. He led the group out to the main part of the building to a room off to the right, whose polished doorplate announced CONFERENCE ROOM.
The conference room was long and narrow, and featured a beautiful, antique, carved-mahogany table with twelve leather-covered chairs. There was a credenza of sorts against one wall, and two ficus trees stood sentinel in front of a shuttered bay window. The lighting was subdued and not offensive. The carpet was a dusty taupe and smelled new. Colorful Jackson Pollock paintings hung on the walls. All in all, a pleasant room but still a man's room.
Jack placed the shopping bag on the table and brought out the champagne and the jug of tea for Harry. Within minutes, the champagne was poured, and they were toasting their new BOLO venture. When the glasses were empty, Jack motioned to the chairs and told everyone it was time for an update so that they were all on the same page.
"First things first. Is everyone happy with the building and what we did with it?" He received a glowing response. "Okay then. Let's get to the financials, so we all understand where we stand. The building is paid for, so we have no mortgage to worry about. We prepaid our taxes and insurance for five years, so we don't have to worry about that, either. In case we hit a dry spell and money isn't rushing in. I like to be prepared. Utilities are paid monthly, and Abner said he would see to that. Just for the record, Bert, Ted, Espinosa, Harry, and I put in all the bonus money we received from Hank Jellicoe, which Lizzie Fox had invested for us. I must say, she was quite the financial guru because we more than doubled our initial investment. Sparrow put his share in from his winnings in Monte Carlo, and Abner sold off his beachfront property in Baywater, Maryland. With the exception of Dennis West, we are all equal owners.
"Dennis, with the help of Lizzie Fox, has turned most of his fortune over to BOLO. As you all know, Dennis recently came into a very large fortune. With the help of some excellent financial planners and Lizzie, money from that inheritance has been allocated by Dennis to many things. He now has trusts for any children he might have in the future. He's donated handsomely to many, many charities, concentrating on children's causes and animal-rights causes, and will continue to do so. He's made provisions for his parents and several cousins. He purchased a farm for himself in McLean, Virginia, which is not too far from Myra's and Annie's homesteads, but he has yet to move into his new digs. Dennis is set for life, thanks to his wealthy benefactors.
"And he has, with Lizzie's help, set us up so that BOLO is more than solvent. His contribution far outweighs what all of us put in the pot to buy this building, and that includes the equipment and the prepaid taxes and insurance. I want us to vote to give him a share just like ours in this building. Raise your hand to vote." Every hand shot in the air. Dennis's chest puffed out, his face pink with excitement at really belonging to this secret one-of-a-kind group.
"Now, to salaries. I'm the only one without a job at the moment. I plan to work out of this office full-time. I'm not looking for a salary—Nikki and I are financially set—but I would like an expense account. Actually, I think we should all have expense accounts, which are not to be abused. I think, and tell me if you agree, that we should all take a small salary of five thousand dollars a month. If we don't need it, we can pump it back into the business. I know I said I don't want a salary, but Lizzie is the one who suggested the salary in case of an audit and to keep things on the up-and-up. We've set up a special fund for Avery Snowden and his people. We all know how much that costs from the times that Charles showed us the financials back in the day. It goes without saying that Snowden and his group of retired spies are worth every penny. Are you all following me here? Raise your hands if you agree." Once again, all hands shot into the air.
Excerpted from Double Down by FERN MICHAELS. Copyright © 2015 Fern Michaels. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
ContentsPart I: Upside Down, 1,
Part II: Countdown, 97,
Part III: Take Down, 199,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Full of suspense, humor, getting even, relationships and love all in one story. What a spinner of tales is Ms. Michaels.this series is right along with the Sisterhood and Godmother series.
Already read all 3 ,,kinda upset i spent money on this,,ugh
Really enjoyed this spin off series. Jack and Harry are a hoot !!!! On to the second installment.
I enjoyed the book
Title: Double Down - The Men of the Sisterhood Author: Fern Michaels Published: 9-29-15 Publisher: Kensington Publishing Group / Zebra Books Pages: 352 Genre: Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense Sub Genre: Serial, Women's Fiction, Action and Adventure ISBN: 97814201343130 Reviewer: DelAnne Reviewed For: NetGalley . Double Down is the combination of Upside Down, Countdown and Take Down all in one book. Now you can enjoy The Men of the Sisterhood series in one sitting with one book. The men have come together to form BOLO Consultants. They have helped there women where needed when they were working to bringing justice to those let down by the legal system. Now the women have returned to private lives before the Sisterhood was formed. The men have all decided that they want to continue doing what the Sisterhood started, but do not want the women to know about their project. You can catch up on relationships to see who have survived and who have parted ways. Although Yoko, Katherine, Maggie, Nikki, Alexis and Isobel are as close as ever the personal lives have taken them on separate paths. While some have suffered in their personal relationships Nikki's and Alexis's and health have suffered as well. The men have decided that they are going to take on slum lords, Tyler Sandford and his wife Fiona, as well as Lionel Marks who provides a blind between the Sandfords and the criminal negligence they knowingly allowed that caused the death of three children. They also agree to see begin investigating Andover Pharmaceuticals which gave out an unsafe drug to children with leukemia patients to suffer greatly and sped up their deaths and the Dog Food Processing Plant where a massive number of animals died horribly. With Fern Michaels typical flair and talent se delivers a fast paced action filled plot that grabs your attention and does not let you go till the very end. I have purchased both the three book series and then Double Down so that I would have them all in one place. Fern Michaels has never let me down with any of her books and The Men of the Sisterhood has kept that trend going. I hope she plans many future books centering around the men.
Me too. What a waste, should have explained that this was just repeat of other books. I expected a new story.
This is the first book from fern that I was disappointed in.it was boring
Loved all three stories. Cannot wait for the next Sisterhood/Brotherhood novel. Thank you Fern Michaels.
I also wasted my money buying this, after already reading each one. Not happy!