Sunday, March 27, 2016

Thoughts: Killing Time

Killing Time

by Cindy Gerard
Book 1 of One-Eyed Jacks series
-- follows Black Ops, Inc. series

~ Goodreads ~

Rating:  4.5 Stars

**Side note on 3/27/2016:

I ♥ "Primetime" and I also  Eva!
And I especially  them together!!

Because on a personal level I still love Johnny Duane Reed (Whisper No Lies) the most out of all the Cindy Gerard adorably broody alpha heroes and I adore the relationship between Johnny and Crystal; but on another more objective level, Killing Time was actually a whole lot more fun to read than Whisper No Lies and Mike "Primetime" Brown is now my second most favorite of the Cindy Gerard heroes and I also love the lovely, sexy, kickass Eva Salinas to death (yes, another girl crush)... if I give this book a full out five star rating I will have to go back and give Whisper No Lies a full out five star rating as well (which I don't see why I don't just do that)...

But who am I kidding? Both books are so on par with each other and Cindy Gerard just never disappoints and I don't want to choose favorites anymore...

And so...

For reasons that may or may not make sense to me (that definitely won’t make sense to anyone else), I am once again struggling with rating a book either the lovely 4.5 Stars or a full out 5 Stars.

And now I’m looking back at this strange rambling of a Bookish First World Problem and going, “Whatever, you can BOTH be my favorite Cindy Gerard Romantic Suspense! I don’t want to have to choose between one or another!”

And so it shall be... Because sooner or later, yet another Cindy Gerard Romantic Suspense will sneak up on me with another broody alpha with a goofy streak who manages to make me fall in love with him and I'll be conflicted about yet another insignificant difference between 4.5 Stars or 5 Stars.

Because, ya’know, whether 4.5 Stars or 5 Stars... it probably doesn’t make a lick of difference.

But Johnny Duane will still be my number one.

Despite the fact that I thoroughly loved Mike “Primetime” Brown so, SO much because he’s got all the right kinds of goofiness, charm, humor, sexiness, and even that rarely seen boyish fluster when faced with feelings that makes him all the more adorable because he’s such a big macho, alpha...

I feel like I’m betraying my love for Johnny. But can’t I just have both?

And Eva Salinas, too. I have developed a girl crush on her because she is definitely kickass and no nonsense and oh, so lovely, and take charge and level-headed at all the right times that I can’t help but love her too.

Ahem... anyway... Enough of the rambling and let's get back to the book, shall we?

The Story:
Mike “Primetime” Brown has been wallowing in eight years of self-pity since the events of Operation Slam Dunk went FUBAR, costing him his career, his livelihood, the lives of his men, and his friends. But a chance encounter with Eva Salinas, a CIA attorney who also has stakes on finding out the truth about what happened during Operation Slam Dunk, changes the direction of his life. Well, we call it a chance encounter, but really Eva uses her sexy wiles (in a cleavage popping bright red bustier) to lure a drunken Primetime into an alley, knocks him out with a light does of Ketamine, then ties him to a bed with zip ties in a rundown hotel so that she can interrogate him while holding him at gunpoint... with his own gun.

(No, no sexy times yet.)

Eva had received an anonymous tip about the happenings of Operation Slam Dunk, a mission gone bad, killing a whole team of soldiers and a town of innocent civilians. The after action report she finds in a flash drive mysteriously appearing on her desk makes mention of several facts that alert her to a deeper conspiracy, especially after she starts asking questions and doors start slamming in her face. Most alarming is the fact that she has a feeling she’s being followed by a sinister presence and now her life is in danger.

Mike has lived with the guilt of his One-Eyed Jacks teammates deaths for eight years. He has also lived with a slandered name, being used as a scapegoat for why the mission had gone bad.

After a somewhat of a “discussion”, Mike and Eva agree to work together to uncover the truth behind how Operation Slam Dunk ended up going down. Eva wants to know how her husband, who had been a part of this team, had truly died. Mike needs to clear his name and uncover what is really going on. And they soon learn that this cover-up goes much higher in the chain of command than they would have suspected. (As is typical for a lot of Romantic Suspense hinged on intrigue, politics, and conspiracy, but that's okay, Cindy, I still loved the book anyway.)

My Thoughts:
The story was pretty exciting, though there might have been certain parts I zoned out on. But overall, I loved the suspense and ate up the story progression. As is typical of a Cindy Gerard book, there is non-stop action with the right balance of Romance and Thrill, and the story has wit, heart, and excellently created characters.

As I’d already stated, Mike and Eva are all sorts of LOVE and FEELS and lovely feels. Mike has a charming humor about him that, on anyone else might come off annoying. But his character is written wonderfully with all the perfect balances of broody alpha, goofy charmer, and sexy macho man, along with a good balance of flaws to even him out. And Eva is just as equally kickass, tough girl, with a smart, level-head who knows how to use her personal arsenal in a battle of wits or a physical battle of fists.

The chemistry is smoking hot, the banter is all kinds of fun, and I just love how flustered Primetime gets around Eva when faced with feelings and emotions and that thing that guys like him always run away from: love. And Eva is so no-nonsense that there isn’t even enough time for the broody alpha to start angsting about their romance before she puts a stop to it and they live Happily Ever After™. Of course, it’s not like she doesn’t do her own fair share of brooding either, but it just seemed like she had more important priorities at hand and stuck to them rather than wallowing in that limbo of “Do I like him? Does he like me? Can we even be together? We are so wrong for each other?” usual Romance conflict antics.

Their romance was all sorts of entertaining, sweet, and adorable.

The new additions to the Cindy Gerard world of Romantic Suspense books includes Jamie Cooper and Robby Taggart, both men who used to be part of the One-Eyed Jacks with Mike before their last mission broke everything apart. Both are men who can set aside eight years of resentment easily to come to an old friend’s aid, and who are both proving to be just as fun-loving, and wittily charming as Mike Brown has been so far.

I certainly think I’m going to love them when they’re in the limelight.

I’ve mentioned little about the storyline, but that’s probably because, as far as story goes, it isn’t anything new. Military operation goes FUBAR due to conspiratorial reasons, big cover up ensues, main character used as a scapegoat, deeper sinister political and greedy aspirations by our main baddies, mission by our couple to uncover said sinister conspiracy, big battle and justice prevails, Happily Ever After™.

What makes these Cindy Gerard books special has always been the characters and how much heart the writing projects on me as a reader. I’ve always loved her books because they are written very well and infuse enough humor and heart, with the right balance of romance and suspense to keep me hooked and loving it all.

Oh, also, Gabe Jones (one of the BOIs from Black Ops, Inc.) makes a very hefty appearance in this book (him in all of his disgruntled and charming glory), which makes me very happy, because that means that we might get to see more of the rest of the BOIs... at least that’s what I’m hoping, ‘cause I really DO miss them a lot.

This review was originally posted at Ani's Book Abyss / BookLikes in May 2015.

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