With No Remorse (Black Ops Inc. #6)

With No RemorseBy Cindy Gerard

Publisher: Pocket Star
Publication Date: July 19, 2011
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Source: Publisher

A dangerous man:
For Luke Colter, down time is an illusion. He should know better than to ever leave his gun behind. Especially since he risks his life to save world-famous supermodel Valentina.

A rebellious woman:
Val thought traveling incognito through the mountains would be the perfect cure for her bruised heart . . . until someone tries to kill her. Without knowing who is after her—and why—does she dare trust her irresistible protector?

A perilous mission that could seal their fate:
Luke’s elite military training offers little defense against his feelings for Val. When his BOI team links her ruthless enemy to the cutthroat global weapons trade—and to a man from her troubled past—he’ll do anything to save her. So when Val offers herself as bait, will he make the right call . . . or surrender to the hold she has on his heart?

Goodreads Summary

Luke Colter had been badly injured on his last mission for the mercenary group he worked for and was taking some downtime to deliver vaccines to a small Peruvian city when the train he was traveling on was suddenly boarded by men who appeared to be bandits. Appeared to be – because they didn’t seem that intent on stealing anything, they seemed more interested in the young boy sitting across the aisle from him. Watching them kill an innocent man as they approached, Luke knew his playing hero was the only option and with nothing more than the multifunction tool in his pocket as a weapon, he took down one of the bad guys, grabbed the boy and jumped from the train, making a run for it.

That boy turned out to be supermodel Valentina, the star of the fantasies of millions of boys and men, including Luke. Trying to escape a storm of paparazzi following a scandalous divorce from a popular U.S. Senator, she decided to vanish into the mountains of Peru for a while. She has no idea why anyone would be after her – she parted on good terms from her husband, she doesn’t have any enemies and she hardly knows any state secrets. She and Luke are on a run for their lives through the rocky forest area where they jumped from the train until they can get to an area where they can call in and get help from his team, Black Ops., Inc. – BOI.

One BOI extraction later, the team is fully assembled and using some information Luke pulled off of one of the bad guys he eliminated during their run, they connect the thugs after Valentina with an arms dealer connected to Kim Jung Il and someone even closer to her. None of it explains why someone wants to get their hands on her badly enough to kill though until one of the BOI members takes a trip to Washington and uncovers a case of treachery, corruption and treason that only Valentina’s face can expose.

This isn’t my first Gerard book, but it’s the first I’ve read in the Black Ops., Inc. series. It does stand alone pretty well – there are couples that appear that seem to have had their own earlier books and I think it may have been a little helpful to have read a little about the “old” Luke, but other than that, I think this works fine read by itself. I know I didn’t mention any romance in my summary – that was deliberate because it sort of wound its way in and out of the story and was so different from Luke and Valentina’s perspectives that it would have made the poor thing ten paragraphs long.

The story is loaded with the action that I’ve always found in Gerard’s books and it was good stuff. There are bad guys everywhere and when Luke and Valentina were on the run in Peru I was flipping through the pages as fast as I could read them. Where else but in a book like this could you have a mercenary team with a super high tech headquarters in the same building as a dingy cantina (with one-way windows so you can look in on it, of course), trucks loaded with explosives, very creepy Korean arms dealers and Vulcan sleeper holds? There really wasn’t much of a lull in the activity from start to finish aside from the small time-outs for a little romance between Luke and Valentina.

Luke was a very complex, damaged hero which is one of the reasons that I wished I’d read earlier books to have learned more about him. He’d been critically wounded not long before this story started and was having major doubts about whether he was any sort of hero material any more. He knew he’d been fundamentally changed and thought that meant he was just less of everything. Meeting Valentina and having to rescue her might not have been a good situation for him. He’d fantasized about her for years and to be her knight in shining armor was almost too good to be true, especially when she started to see him that way. On paper it read very romantically that he was possessive, but it felt a little creepy and sad sometimes given how long he’d been thinking about her and how damaged he’d been recently. I really liked him and I wanted her to be a better person for him, sooner.

Valentina was okay. I think that she was rightly shown to be mistrustful of her judgment when it came to relationships but I also wish some of what she did hadn’t made Luke look so much like a puppy waiting for her to notice him in the early parts of their relationship. The fact that she was a model was generally dropped – for the most part, unless it was Luke remembering what he used to do to pictures of her in the past (yes, that) or a plot point required someone to notice who she was, her notoriety really wasn’t a factor. She made a couple of TSTL decisions but I forgave her since I think they may have become requirements for romantic suspense novels.

Of course wrapping it up meant all the BOIs, lots of other big hunky mercenary-types, lots of explosives, guns, trucks, flying things, face paint and heroics of the necessary and unnecessary kind. Gerard managed to sneak some good kissy-faced stuff in there too.

My Summary: It’s been a while since I’ve read a romantic suspense book that had this much action in it and I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected to (I have to admit, some of my low expectations came from the less than spectacular cover). I loved Luke’s layers, his wounded heart and the way Gerard let him be less than a hardened warrior. I didn’t love Valentina as much as I hoped, but their romance was steamy once it got going and I liked their HEA. Even if you don’t pick this up for the romance, it’s a great suspense novel and I really enjoyed the look at the BOI – enough that I picked up a couple of the other books in the series.

My Rating: B+

Barbara

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Comments

  1. Yay! I'm so glad this one turned out all right, despite your reluctance to read it. I'm a sucker for the rom suspense, especially when some sort of military guy is involved. I think I'll have to go back through and begin with the first one though.And you're right, the cover is not very exciting. Makes it seem like the book will be hokey.

  2. I was really hoping the first one would be Nate's, the commander, but it wasn't (sad). I bet he'll be the last. I was trying to decide if I wanted to start from the beginning and looking at Goodreads and I think they all were rated above 4 stars. All of the guys were interesting, so I don't think you can go wrong with any of the books.The cover really is kind of bleh. I know the others are similar – just the side of a face and stark lettering so she wants to stick with the same theme but it's not working. Especially in the gray. I don't know if I'd have picked this up in the store, even knowing it's a Gerard.

  3. thanks for following my blog, I'm following you back now [:Great Review! I had never heard of this before, but am glad you enjoyed it.Erin @ Let's Evaluatehttp://letsevaluate.blogspot.com

  4. Thank you for the kind comments and the follow, Erin! I really appreciate both. 🙂

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