Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Last Man Standing by Cindy Gerard

Title:  Last Man Standing
Author: Cindy Gerard
My Rating: A

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Black Ops Inc #7
Main Characters: Joe & Stephanie
Release Date: January 2012
ISBN: 978-1451606829
Publisher:  Pocket

Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:

A deadly mission.
A thirst for revenge.
One headstrong alpha hero and one daring woman will settle the score. 
Special operative Joe Green has gone vigilante. His mission: avenge his Black Ops, Inc., brother’s death during a bloody ambush years ago in Sierra Leone. He refuses to drag the BOI team or his lover, Stephanie Tompkins, into the hunt for the man responsible, so when he finds himself beaten, starving, and alone after being falsely imprisoned for the murder of a Freetown priest, he knows he’s as good as dead. Joe meant to protect Stephanie when he walked out on their relationship, but he can’t stop her now from executing his escape. Breaking him out of prison is the easy part. After Joe’s explosive theory pans out and his cunning enemy emerges as the front runner for a high-level presidential appointment, he and Stephanie must race to derail the traitor’s conspiracy if they are to save their loved ones, the nation, and each other.

My Review:
A hot
The Black Ops Inc. series has absolutely been one of my favorite military romantic suspense series for a few years now. This is the series finale and my heart is weeping because I love these guys (but the good news is that we will still see them in Cindy's next series.) But what Cindy does brilliantly in this last installment, is that she takes the series full circle. When we met these guys seven books ago, it was right after the mission where they lost Brian fifteen years ago. Finally, in this book, there is a resolution to how that mission went so wrong, and Joe finally finds the person responsible for Brian's death.

This book is about Mean Joe Green. He was Brian's best friend and has always been the quiet giant on the team. That quiet facade hides a man that has been haunted by Brian's death for the last fifteen years and how he could have prevented it. To complicate his mental state, the last couple of years, Brian has been involved with Stephanie, Brian's younger sister. He knows, when he goes to find proof of the subterfuge surrounding the mission where Brian died, that he is probably not going to survive so he breaks it off with Stephanie (breaking her heart) and doesn't tell any of the BOI's where he is going.

Stephanie works for the NSA, but she is simply a worker-bee within the office. When she comes across a photo of Joe imprisoned dated from a month ago, she knows that she can't sit idly by while he could die in a foreign country. Unfortunately, all the BOI's are away on a mission with no way to reach them. But Stephanie has diplomatic ties had manages to con her way into seeing Joe. He has been beaten and starved daily for over a month, so by the time she sees him, there's not much left. He's in bad shape both mentally and physically and Stephanie is the only one who can save him. 

OMG, I ADORED THIS BOOK! Joe is so vulnerable. This is not a side that we have ever seen from his character as he is at the edge of what he can take both physically and mentally. He loves Stephanie. He knows that and he knows that he broke her heart when he left and he hates himself for that. But he knows that he can't live with himself if the man responsible for Brian's death goes free. On the flip side of that is Stephanie. She loves Joe, but she realizes that she has always just stood by him and accepted things his way. When she suddenly has to take charge and he has to rely on her, she develops an inner-strength and character that is inspiring. She goes through this major transformation in this book where she truly finds herself. I loved her empowerment in this book!

Really, just a truly fabulous book. Tons of action, suspense, and a really sexy love story. I loved the dynamics of these characters and how they evolved throughout the book. The final scene with the whole group at the Thompkins house (I am trying to remember...I think every single one of these books ended this way) broke my heart simply because I know it's the last time. I have grown to love these characters and their stories. I know that I will re-read the books over and over again. Thank you Cindy for that gift!!!

1 comment:

Felicia Sparks said...

So this is the end of the series that follows the series I have? I will have to pick these up if they are done :)