Reviewed by May
This story kicks off with an emotional beginning, as we meet our lead characters in a war zone, falling for one another. We also see how Bobby Taggart doesn’t fully trust Talia Levine the ‘journalist’ that catches his eye in the bar and he shouldn’t. She’s undercover and her mission to seduce and try to get a location on a prime target that she and her people want taken out. She’s on a mission, it isn’t personal, and yet… it becomes so much more than just another mission.
“God.” She cut him off with a disbelieving glare. “You really don’t trust me?”
If she was playing him, she was damn good at it.
That was fine. He could play with the best of ‘em. “With my heart? Oh you’re going to steal it for certain. And I’m ok with that. With my life? That I’m not so sure of.”
Years later Bobby hasn’t forgotten the beautiful woman who betrayed him, nearly got him killed, and broke his heart. But not to worry – the operative is working and thriving with the One Eyed Jacks (and the BOI’s) team and doesn’t have much time to think about her. That is, until she shows up moments before a bomb rocks the building they are both in and the pair is forced to work together. This time united, and to bring home a boy in grave danger from a vicious terrorist group.
While this book is one of the One Eyed Jack series, it could easily stand alone. The story is well contained and the supporting characters and cameos from past couples are kept well on the sidelines. I really appreciated this as it’s been some time since I’ve stepped into Gerard’s world. What I love about her stories is that she manages to keep things moving at a brisk pace while engaging me fully with emotional, action packed, and exciting stories.
The best part of this book is the beginning – it is really great to see both sides and to fully experience the back story without flashbacks or clunky bits dropped in. You can really see them falling for one another, as well as their motivations for their actions. Instead of feeling like a flashback or info bomb, the introduction really feels like a strong part of the story making their meeting years later that much more loaded.
He knew she was sorry. Sorry that she’d deceived him… sorry that everything they could have been together had been stolen by circumstance, duty, and war. Too much had happened between them to be forgotten. Too much to be forgiven. And he knew she was as sorry as he was that nothing they did in this bed tonight would change things between them come morning.
The problem I had with this book is that I was not pleased with the development (or lack thereof) of a relationship and building for the future between the two characters. The intensity and momentum of their relationship growth just wasn’t sustained throughout the story. Instead of continuing to draw me in, make me more invested I found myself caring less as the story went on. The action and adventure of the plot kept things moving, but the characters themselves didn’t stand out or remain memorable. I didn’t feel like these two were really building a happily ever after. I struggled to see a developing long term romance when all they ever shared was sweaty hot love for about a week years ago.
Gerard has written some of my all-time favorite romances, and she sets the standard for military/action romance in my world. While this one missed for me in a few ways, it was still an action packed story full of cameos from former favorites, with twists at every turn, and smoldering romance as well.