Cindy Gerard, Show No Mercy

Posted May 1, 2012 by Kathy Davie in

Show No Mercy (Black Ops, #1)Show No Mercy by Cindy Gerard
Series: Black Ops, Inc., 1
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

First in the Black Ops, Inc romantic suspense series featuring the BOIs of Black Ops, Incorporated, a private security firm started when a spec ops team got fed up with armchair generals and power-hungry politicians dictating their tactics. The primary couple focus is on Gabe Jones and Jenna McMillan with a secondary focus on Captain Nathan Black and Dr. Juliana Flores.

An opponent of the original Task Force team had referred to Black’s men as Black’s Obnoxious Idiots. The name stuck, bonding the men from the different branches of the military into a team. It also served as the inspiration for the name of Black’s company.

My Take
Oh, lovely! Finally an author who writes intelligently, leading her characters through believable set-ups and not simply using words to “tell us” what will happen next. Gerard even gives us a treat with her heroine—one who knows to duck and follow orders! That’s not to say she doesn’t rage and question after the action, though.

I especially adored the very believable reasons Gerard gave as to why Jillian can’t go home and why Gabe has to stick to her. This, after he’s practically shoved her onto a plane and locked its door!

Sure, Gerard did give into the clichés about the non-relationship-forming, he-man stoicism that Gabe displays—hey, clichés come about for a reason! But she also gives us teammates with a surprising amount of empathy. As well as the clichéd repartee that I enjoy so much! I was particularly happy about Jillian’s character contributing to the intel without trying to make bargains.

I’ll have to read more Gerard just to see if she really is as smart a writer as she seems…!

The Story
The beginning sets the contrast and the dream. From Gabe, we learn his reason for getting out of the military and his fantasies about the woman he saved nine months earlier. From Jenna, we learn of her fears and her determination to rediscover the fire that impelled her through her dangerous career and the man who fires her dreams at night.

The Characters
Jenna McMillan is an hard-hitting, world-traveling reporter who gets the goods. That last trip to Argentina, though. Okay, the cause was good, but the end results have left Jenna shaken and terrified. And reporting on bees and caribou migration while she hides out on her parents’ Wyoming ranch is just fine with Jenna. Nugget is her stuffed dog who goes everywhere with her. Hank Emerson is her editor at Newsday back in Washington D.C.

Gabriel Jones, a.k.a., Archangel, has a reputation in Buenos Aires—men step aside while women step up. He and his teammates had been a Spec Ops team for the U.S. government until their CO, Captain Nathan Black (Marine), got fed up with their last op in 1999 in Sierra Leone with Bry’s senseless death. Black never re-upped and started Black Ops, Inc. instead. As each of his men finished out their terms (Luke Colter (SEAL), a.k.a., Doc Holliday, Sam Lang (Delta) who adheres to the Teddy Roosevelt philosophy of war; Johnny Duane Reed (Force Recon marine); Mendoza (Army Airborne Ranger); Wyatt “Papa Bear” Savage (CIA); and, Green (CIA)), they joined his private security firm—Black Ops, Inc.

Angelina Flores is the woman Gabe loved. The woman tortured and killed by Erich Adler. Dr. Juliana Flores and her husband Armand ran an underground railroad rescue operation. Unwilling to wait for Gabe, Angelina penetrated Adler and Edmund Walker‘s vile operation and was caught. Gabe still doesn’t understand how Juliana can forgive him for her losses.

Emilio Maxim is a Boston-based investor and planning to corner part of the Argentine market in a deal with the Congreso de la Nación Argentina. For some reason, he feels the need for BOI bodyguards instead of his own in-house team. He has also insisted on Newsday interviewing him, specifically Jenna McMillan. He also has some terrorist ties the U.S. government wants to know more about…hence the acceptance of this assignment. El Diablo is a nutjob who uses intimidation, torture, and murder to instill obedience into his cadre. With the help of Ramón, his second-in-command, he intends to wreak revenge upon his enemies.

Robert and Ann Tompkins are Bryan Tompkins’ parents, Stephanie his sister. Together they make the BOIs welcome and consider them family.

The Cover
The cover is reds. A subtle range of reds that shadow and highlight the nude torso of Gabe with his five o’clock shadow and the dogtag around his neck.

The title reminds us that you’ll stay alive longer if you Show No Mercy.

View all my reviews

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