Reviewed by May
Jamie Cooper is one of the One-Eyed Jacks, three friends who recently were both reunited and given the chance to form their own little black ops elite team. Partnering with another team (the BOIs from Gerard’s previous series) they are taking care of national security and eliminating threats as only they can. One of the newest members is a beautiful woman named Rhonda- known for her incredible computer skills she brings a great skill and experience set to round out the team. Too bad Cooper can’t stop thinking about what it would be like to hook up with her. Of course, Rhonda can’t stop thinking about him either.
Jamie Cooper was impossibly gorgeous. Sitting beside him on the cramped commercial flight this morning, she’d felt the undercurrent of his sexuality radiate from his body, which did things to her body, regardless of how hard she tried to ignore him.
When an unknown enemy puts their good friend into the ICU battling for her life this pair finds themselves dispatched to take care of some routine security checks on random bases. Little do they know that they might find themselves in the middle of the action – both in and out of the bedroom.
Right off the bat you need to know that nobody does romantic suspense like Cindy Gerard. Her heroes are both sweet and pure alpha as well as amazingly gorgeous and emotionally scarred. Her leading ladies are no different – they are strong, skilled, and they would never pull “too stupid to live” stunts that are all too common in this genre. I mention this because even when a Gerard book misses the mark for me, it is still better than almost anything else out there.
Sadly, this book was a big miss for me. To start things off, we begin with a huge action scene. No explaining about the One-Eyed Jacks, what they do, or even who they are. No recap of information or a lead-in that will help despite the nearly two years since book one came out. In fact I was so lost with who these characters were or why they would be hanging out with my beloved BOI team that I had to go find my copy of book 1 and skim the last third of it for a refresher. I mention all of this because we are talking about an author and spin-off of one of my all-time favorite series so for me to be so lost points to an incredibly bad done start to this book.
There is an eventual recap somewhere around the 30% mark – it was too little way too late.
Back to the story, I didn’t find the injured friend to be a compelling plot choice because this is a romance author and we’re talking about a woman who starred in a previous book. She wasn’t going to die and at no point did I believe her to be in actual danger because of the romance land rules. The other part that I had trouble with was the bizarre and convoluted connections between the sniper, the bad guys, and our couple featured in this book.
There are two problems with the interconnected (two) “bad guy” action plots. The first is that I never cared about the sniper nor did I understand why that was even a part of the story. The second is that so much time is given to this crazy/creepy/awful person that it takes page time away from building a believable romance between Rhonda and Coop.
I will say this for Gerard – she knows how to make a crazy (as in good) villain and this was no exception. The sniper wad definitely creepy but because that person had no real connection or interaction with the main couple that particular plot felt like it would have been better separate as a novella type story bridging the gap between the first Jack book and this one.
Back to our main characters- they were classic Gerard. Strong, capable, smart, sexy, good-looking, and in lust with each other. I would have liked a bit more time to see them together outside of their mission so that I could believe what they had was happily ever after and not just one hot week – but that comes with the suspense genre in general I suppose.