Sunday, March 27, 2016

Thoughts: Into the Dark

Into the Dark
by Cindy Gerard
Book 6 (final) of The Bodyguards series

~ Goodreads ~

Rating:  4.0 Stars

Into the Dark marks the introduction of Cindy's currently more popular romantic suspense series, Black Ops, Inc.  In this particular book, we are introduced to some of the key characters in the series following the world of The Bodyguards.

In the book, I get a first glimpse of the main hero who is to become my most favorite and beloved of all the Cindy Gerard heroes created to date.  He has captured my heart and I'm not quite sure I want him to give it back.
**Side note on 3/27/2016:  This last book in the series was the one I'd looked forward to when the coupling of Dallas Garrett and Amy Walker first appeared in Book #3, To the Brink.  I'm not sure what drew me to them, but SOMETHING about the beginnings of their love story was attractive.

It is this particular couple that cemented my "must read" tingles for this first romantic suspense series set by Cindy Gerard.  Even though in the end, they didn't quite become my favorite couple of the series, I have to admit that they do hold a special place in my heart.

There's always danger in over-hyping yourself to outrageously high expectations for any book. Ever since Dallas and Amy met during the rescue mission in To the Brink, I'd fallen for all the possibilities in store for their story when it came around. And even as I had to read through two other books to get to them, I'm appreciative of the little carrots dangling along the way, slipping in to update us on Dallas's mentality about the whole situation after Amy disappears. It was nice.

I'd been at the edge of my seat in anticipation and glad that the books in between (about Janey and Jase, about Manny and Lily) weren't too bad of a diversion (especially Janey and her Baby Blue!).

So I'm glad to say that I really DID enjoy seeing the dysfunctional couple that is Dallas Garrett and Amy Walker finally have their adventure and their happily ever after. In a word, it was nice.

The story, as per typical Bodyguards formula, was intense and exciting filled with suspense and conspiracy. Ms. Gerard's writing had come a long way since the first book in this series -- while To the Edge seemed overly laden with unnecessary descriptions and an imbalance of elements, her following books in the series began smoothing out decently. I'm looking forward to catching her other books in other series to see what other suspenseful excitement is in store and what other couples I can fall in love with. (Because I'm still a hopeless romantic at heart when the right situation comes about, doncha know.)

I won't make much comment about the missions and the military aspect since I know little about that area. I know for certain that I got hooked by the players in this story and the rush of excitement for the impending outcome. Of course, like the previous few books, this one isn't without its faults and, of which I tuned out for the sake of enjoying the book on its own logic and its own terms. There was a lot to absorb considering the fictionally global extent of our mysterious conspiracies -- on a level, things were pretty incredible.

But I'm not too hung up on it. Sometimes it just doesn't matter to me.

As for the main romance of this book, I'm glad that we finally get (after trudging through two other books) the time we all anticipated with Dallas and Amy -- two broken souls groping to find their lives and their futures with each other. Again, for lack of a better descriptor: it was nice.

It was intense and it all went by in a flash, but it was nice. Because Dallas and Amy just seem to fit together. Dallas doesn't stand out as much as I'd expected him to -- after five other books of heroes and strong alphas, it just goes to show that Dallas is simply one among many. But that doesn't stop me from loving him, if only because he doesn't try to be special or overly amazing; he just is. Amy was strong and broken at the same time, but she kept her head on her shoulders and did what she needed to do. She chose not to let life turn her into a victim anymore, did something about it, and turned into some badass female warrior (despite the fact that we don't really get to see her in action too many times, but whatevs, at least no one was questioning her capabilities). I love her just as much as I love Dallas and I love the two of them together even more.

Finally, Gabe and Jenna were an interesting pair... but I'm not sure whether or not I'm too enthusiastic about them. The old-fashioned bickering romance is always fun, there's no doubt about that. But as Dallas Garrett was an exception to my love, I think I've had my fair share of broken, brooding alphas with their tragic pasts and their never ending nightmares. I'm not saying they aren't alluring -- but typical brooding alphas tend to get really frustrating... and too macho in that "I can take on the world by my strong self" type of way.

I'm drawn in by the brief appearance of that Johnny Duane Reed as well -- in contrast to Gabe, he's got layers that I am actually kind of interested in exploring. And a "character" I know I could enjoy.

On that note, with the ending of this series, I think I'm going to miss seeing the non-endangered-and-running-for-their-lives, more peaceful side of the Garrett family and friends during their gatherings and getogethers. They certainly are a fun lot.  I'm hoping to see more of them in the series that seems to follow-up after this one, Black Ops Inc..  It would certainly make my day. 

This review was originally posted at Ani's Book Abyss / BookLikes in May 2014.

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