Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of meeting author Gina Robinson when I flew out to Seattle to present a tax workshop for the Greater Seattle RWA chapter. Much to our surprise, as we chatted over lunch, we realized that not only had we contracted with the same publisher, but we also had the same editor and the same release date as well. Gina’s books, like mine, contain an entertaining mix of romance, crime, and humor. She’s a former engineer and I’m a CPA/tax advisor, so we’re both recovering nerds, too. It’s like we were twins separated at birth!
Recently we wondered what it might be like if the heroines of our novels met each other, too. Both of the women have trust issues when it comes to the men in their lives. We decided to let them meet over drinks at a bar and compare notes. Read on to see what happens as Treflee of Gina Robinson’s “The Spy Who Left Me” Meets Tara of “Death, Taxes, and a French Manicure” . . .
IRS Special Agent Tara Holloway, still dressed in her gray business suit, bellies up to the bar and takes a seat on an empty stool next to a pretty blonde. Thank goodness it’s happy hour. She could use a drink or two. She catches the bartender’s eye. His biceps are the size of hams. Nice. He definitely works out. “Sex on the beach, please.”
The bartender slides a flirtatious grin Tara’s way. “Is that a drink order or a proposition?”
Tara returns the grin. “Drink order,” she replies. “As tempting as you are, I’m having enough man trouble right now.”
Treflee can’t help overhearing the woman next to her. Too many years of being married to a spy. Eavesdropping is second nature to her. She takes a sip of her martini, shaken, not stirred, and turns to the woman in the gray business suit with great empathy. “You, too? Must be something in the water around here.” She smiles at her. “I’m Treflee. What has your man done?”
“That’s the problem, Treflee,” Tara says, glad to have someone to confide in and share a drink with. “I’m not entirely sure whether my boyfriend Brett has done anything or not. But I have some suspicions he may be involved with a con artist.” Tara takes a long drag through her straw, savoring the peach flavor. Yum! “What about your man? How is he giving you trouble?”
“My husband? He’s a con artist himself.” Treflee sees Tara’s shocked expression and laughs softly. “Sorry to give you the wrong impression. I’m kidding. Sort of. I should have said lying, secrecy, and intrigue are his stock in trade. He’s not a crook. He has the government’s blessing. The thing is, the secrecy doesn’t stop when he comes home, if he comes home at all, and it’s killing our marriage. I can’t live his life of lies anymore. It’s just too dangerous.”
Treflee pauses, fearing she may have said too much already. You never know where an enemy agent may be hanging out or who’s listening in. Tara looks like a member of the sympathetic sisterhood of women with man troubles, but she could be a foreign spy. Still, Treflee can’t help adding, “I think he may have done something, really, really bad. And now he’s put me in danger.” She takes another sip of her drink. “You and I are suffering from the worst kind of man problems—the kind where they could either be completely innocent, or in horrible trouble. What are you going to do?”
“I’m going to get some answers. I have ways to make men talk.” Tara pulls back her jacket to give Treflee a glimpse of the Glock holstered at her hip, then flashes a smile to let her new friend know she’s teasing. Tara can’t imagine using a gun on Brett, though slapping her handcuffs on him could lead to some fun. Was it possible to boink the truth out of someone? Tara was willing to try. “I suppose I’m a bit of a hypocrite,” she admits. “I’ve kept some secrets from Brett, too. The guy has no idea I carry a gun on the job.” Tara leans toward Treflee, her voice low. “As difficult as secrets can be, sometimes having secrets can be kind of fun. Sexy even. A little mystery keeps things exciting, don’t you think?”
Join in the conversation. Should couples always be completely honest with each other or does knowing everything about each other take the fun out of a relationship? When, if ever, is it okay to have secrets?