Angela: Cindy Gerard knows how to write Romantic Suspense. She always delivers a fast-paced, action packed, sensual love story with wonderful alpha males who meet their match in strong heroines. Killing Time is the first book in the One Eyed Jack series which is a spin-off from her much beloved Black Ops, Inc. and reading it made me want to go back and reread all her backlist.
Jen: I have always thought Cindy Gerard writes the best Romantic Suspense. I was thrilled when I found out she was starting a new series although still a little sad that we wouldn’t have anymore BOIs books. I am happy to say that there were some BOIs in this one so not only did we get a new group but we got to visit with the old group. Win/win.
Our hero: Mike “Primetime” Brown
Angela: Cindy Gerard has to be my all time favorite Romantic Suspense author. I love her, she writes THE BEST heroes and Mike “Primetime” Brown is no exception. I fell for him as soon as he drunkenly picked up what he thought was an easy woman in a cantina. Mike lives with the guilt of losing most of his team in a total fuck up in Afghanistan eight years ago, Operation Slam Dunk haunts him. Every year on the anniversary he gets pissed drunk and tries to forget, but this year he wakes up handcuffed to a bed and being interrogated by a gorgeous woman about what really happened that night eight years ago.
His hair’s too long, he’s a little too good-looking and he has a smart mouth that he isn’t afraid to use in any situation:
For the record, you’ve been a rock through all this.”
She scowled . “What did you expect? That’d I’d fall apart and start crying for my mommy?”
“Actually I thought I might do that. I still might, Hold me?”
Jen: What I love most about Ms. Gerard’s heroes is that they are completely alpha but they have deep vulnerabilities. Mike is pretty messed up from Operation Slam Dunk and he has spent 8 years with it haunting him. 364 days of the year he is perfectly normal but on that anniversary he is anything but. From the beginning I felt his pain and I was rooting for his HEA.
Our heroine: Eva Salinas
Angela: When some classified documents are leaked to Eva she finds out that her husband didn’t die how she has always believed, this leads her to start fact-finding for herself. She has preconceived notions of Mike’s guilt and involvement in Operation Slam Dunk. Since the all signs point to the incident being caused by him showing off and disobeying orders she thinks the worst of him, until she sees his reactions to her questions and starts to doubt the official accounting by the military.
I really, really loved Eva. She is strong without being annoying, smart without being bitchy and plays off Mike’s smart ass comments by using her dry wit to her advantage. Mike is quite taken with her from the beginning. I can see why. Cindy Gerard created the perfect heroine for a man like Mike “Primetime” Brown.
Jen: I also thought Eva was perfect for him. She was able to deliver the kick in the ass that he needed. Mike had spent 8 years wallowing and he finally found someone that could provide the support to get him back on the right track.
I like how she was smart enough to take Mike’s account of OSD and go with it. She didn’t spend a lot of time accusing him of lying or going back and forth. She recognized his genuine emotion and feeling and took him for his word. The story could have really gotten bogged down if she hadn’t believe Mike. Eva’s dead husband was not a fan of Mike’s so there could have been some serious strife here but there wasn’t.
Jen: So part of the suspense plot was awesome and part kind of bothered me. I thought it was very tight and believable up until the very end. When the bad guys were dispensed of it just happened so quickly. I was kind of like, what? What just happened there? They are gone? Just like that?
Other than the end, it was very well written and flowed fast. Sometimes with a romantic suspense novel my eyes are glossing over because of too many technical details. I didn’t find that to be the case, at all. The plot moved from place to place and situation to situation very cleanly.
Angela: I agree! The end wrapped up so neat. I was expecting more trouble, more issues, especially when they find what they find in the “bat cave” toward the end. I expected this to draw out the suspense plot more, but it just wraps up nice and neat very quickly.
I will say that I never really have any issues with the technical aspects of Ms. Gerard’s suspense plots. Even though her character’s jump from country to country and usually fight a mix of bad guys from evil drug lords to home-grown terrorist cells she always gives me just enough humor and romance to keep me engrossed. Her romantic suspenses are just so well written and paced well that everything just seems to come together perfectly.
Angela: As much as I loved the sexy times between these two, and how they developed from two people who had a lot of trust issues between them to being so comfortable and protective of each other… this line at the end of the book is what did it for me:
She smiled into his eyes. “I love you. Promise you’ll always make me laugh.”
“With me, not at me, right?”
“Yeah. Like that.” She kissed him.
“Say it again.” He wasn’t laughing now. He needed to hear it. Lived to hear it.
“I love you. But more important, I really, really like you, MIke Brown.”
“I really,really like you, too.”
That’s what made this couple work for me. They didn’t have insta-love. There was instant attraction, but they made intelligent decisions and came to genuinely like each other, and love followed. While reading I could tell how much this couple enjoyed being with each other and this is what made everything, every part of this book just do it for me.
Jen: I love the kick ass heroine giving the kick ass hero a what for in their first meeting. Nothing turns me off from the romance than a weak heroine being paired with a strong hero. They have to be evenly matched. We could see from their first meeting that the pair were perfect for each other. Eva totally played Mike. It was fantastic.
Somewhere in the back of his mind, a warning bled through his lust-induced fog, telling him to slow the hell down, reminding him that if he hadn’t been so drunk, he might have used a few more questions. That maybe, if he added two and two together he might come up with something other than fournicate.
The One Eyed Jacks:
Angela: I was expecting some distance between Cooper, Taggart and Mike because of the time apart and the misunderstanding after what happened at their court marshal. I was pleasantly surprised to find that these characters just seemed to fall back into their hilarious back and forth banter.
“Winner and new champeen.” Cooper crowed in a whisper as he lifted his hands, free of the restraints.
“I’ll make sure you get a medal,” Mike grumbled. “If my friend Simmons hadn’t tried to beat my face into hamburger, you’d still be second best.”
“Nice try, but your face has nothing to do the cuffs.” Cooper went to work on Mike’s cuffs. “Did sort of improve the way you look, though. Too bad you’ve lost your edge.”
Jen: I have to admit that I was enjoying the book up until about the 80% mark and then I LOVED it. Why? Because Taggart and Cooper showed up. They banter between Mike, Taggart and Cooper was the best part of the book, for me. Even when they were in the worst situation they were funny. You could tell they just all had a good time together and really missed the camaraderie. I was kind of sad that we didn’t have more time with them all together.
I WANT TO SEE MORE BOIS!
Angela: After seeing glimpses of Gabe and Joe I realized how much I miss the rest of the BOIs. I want Reed to show up next… that is my wish for the next book, to see Johnny Duane Reed help out the One-Eyed Jacks. I can only imagine how awesome he and Primetime will play off each other. I must have a weakness for good-looking, smart ass, alpha men.
Jen: I will second that (the weakness and wanting more BOIs)! And now I totally want to go back and read her backlist again. The small glimpse we got just made me want more!
Angela: Everytime I read a new Cindy Gerard book I get the feeling that “this is the best one”, then I pick up another and think it all over again. When I finished this one I hugged my Kindle to my chest and sighed a big sigh. I loved it. Final Grade: A
Jen: I really enjoyed this book. After my initial happy dance of finding out Ms. Gerard is doing a new series I was so pleased that the book lived up to all her others. This book is full of great characters, funny moments, good action and yummy sex. Because of how cleanly this one wrapped up I wonder where the next book will go. Taggart and Cooper are great characters and I look forward to their stories as well as hoping we get to see more of Mike and Eva. Final grade: A-
He braked suddenly. Jammed the Jeep into park, turned off the ignition, and stared at the dark glasses he’d whipped off and held in his hand.
“What?” She asked after several seconds ticked by.
He turned his head slowly, “I need a moment.”
She looked puzzled, then amused. “A moment? You need a … moment?”
“Okay, fine. I want a moment.”
Then he reached for her.
She knew what he was going to do. The question was, would she let him? Before she could decide, he dragged her against him and kissed her. Kissed her as if yesterday was nonexistent, tomorrow would never come, and this moment was all that mattered.
Hundreds of boxes, about three feet by two feet, were stacked on pallets to the ceiling. All of them had pork and an expiration date stamped on the outside.
“In a pig’s eye,” Mike said.
“Sorry. I never back away from a pun.”