Thursday, September 15, 2011

Book Club: With No Remorse by Cindy Gerard


By: Brooke Hren

Black Ops, Inc. operative Luke – Doc Holliday – Colter is taking some much needed down-time, making his way across the Peruvian Andes via rail, when banditos attack the moving train in the midnight hours.  It soon becomes apparent that robbery is not their intent but the abduction of super model Valentina, who is traveling incognito while recovering from a public scandal involving her ex-husband, high profile US Senator, Marcus Chamberlin.  Luke whisks Valentina off the train in a daring escape but the two of them become the targets of a relentless manhunt.  Enlisting the aid of Luke's BOI teammates, they soon discover that Val’s intended abduction is linked to a plot put in play by an international gun smuggling alliance.  The BOI team led by Luke, with Val along as a necessary pawn, must race halfway around the world to thwart a ruthless attack that would not only result in a devastating loss of life but destroy a tenuous peace the US and her allies have established in a vastly unstable part of the world.

This was my first book I'd read in the Black Ops Series and I admit to downloading the rest to my Nook by the end of the day.  

“Luke Colter’s number one rule of self preservation: Don’t ignore the itch.” 

With No Remorse starts with a bang and keeps on going.  It begins with both characters on a train traveling thru the Andes Mountains of Peru.  Luke is returning from vacation when his train is stopped and group of heavily armed men storm the train.  It looks like a robbery but Luke quickly realizes it's an attempted abduction and Luke flees with the young boy the bad guys are after.  Oh, but the young boy turns out to be Luke's adolescent crush, Valentina.  Valentina, or Val, is also on her way back to the states after taking some time off to escape the media circus that her life had become.  

I have to admit that I've had a long time crush on Harrison Ford and to have Luke referred to as "Indy" and the mention of the fedora, *swoon*.  I really liked Luke.  Not having read any of the previous books it was my first time getting to know him.  I'd like to gush over Luke like he was gushing over Val.  He's my ideal military hero; he's strong, funny, and a little tortured by his past, but a good woman helps him through it.   
I also liked Val- most of the time.  But I understand where she's coming from.  She's a woman who wants to stand on her own feet after feeling like she's had no control over her life for a long time.  And having her marriage end the way it had didn't help her either.  She did pull herself up when Luke needed her and followed his directives.  I did want to go "Why?!" when she called her ex-husband for help when Luke stepped out.

I was thrilled when the rest of the Black Ops team showed up as well.  I was drawn right into their tight family and didn't feel like anyone was a stranger.  Their joking back and forth made me laugh out loud several times.  Val summed it up best when she thought, 

Good Lord. Doesn’t Luke have any ugly friends?

The sub-plot weaved in very nicely and didn't overshadow the growing relationship of Luke and Val; it enhanced it.  There were times that the hesitation between Luke and Val drove me crazy.  They each had their own hangups but Luke's strong but gentle personality was just what Val needed.  His knowledge of her from entertainment magazines worked for me and brought tension relief at times.  The Epilogue brought everything together for me and it was nice to see Luke and Val in a everyday setting.  After all, they "had me at potato."

Overall it was a wonderful book and I will definitely be checking out the rest of the Black Ops series.  Cindy Gerard grabs you right from the beginning and holds you until the very end.  

Thanks to Cindy for joining us today and don't forget to comment!  Cindy will be giving away 2 copies of With No Remorse!!

*RECIPE*

Potato Soup
(my grandmothers recipe)

Val and Luke spend some quality time with potatoes so I thought this was appropriate.

Ingredients
10 whole Potatoes
1 whole Onion, Diced
8 ounces, weight Cream Cheese
1 can Cream Of Celery Soup (10 Ounce Can)
1 can Cream Of Mushroom Soup (10 Ounce Can)
1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoons Pepper
Milk (optional, For Desired Thickness)
1 bunch Green Onions (diced, For Garnish, If Desired)
1 cup Cheddar Cheese (shredded, For Garnish, If Desired)

Preparation Instructions
Peel and dice Russet potatoes into 1-inch cubes and place into a Dutch oven or a large saucepan. Cover with water and boil potatoes and onions til fork-tender. Add cubes of cream cheese to the mixture and stir until the cheese melts. To this mixture, add creamy soups and mix. Add garlic powder, salt, pepper, and milk (if desired).  Serve up the bowls, and garnish with cheddar cheese and green onion.

61 comments:

krisgils33 said...

Great job Brooke!

I love, love, love all the BOIs, but Luke was soooo long awaited that I was definitely doing a happy, happy dance on release day!!! Doc's story did not disappoint. I totally loved how the opening scene just grabs and YANKS you into the story. I liked how Luke originally thought Val was a boy on the train. The whole thing was way cool. I would hope that anyone who hasn't read these books will get them ASAP.

ShellyE said...

Great write up Brooke!! I love Cindy Gerard's books. I have them all, and there isn't a stinker in the bunch! I will admit that I have this book but I haven't read it yet. I'm saving it for a rainy day! Cindy - how did you come up with the BOIs and are there more books in the series coming up? and when?

Mary G said...

Nice writeup Brooke
I'm in the middle of this one now & I so get the Indy thing. Fave line so far:

"capable stranger who had a little-too-perfect, cowboy-warrior-Indiana Jones vibe going on."

All my faves.

Mary G said...

Forgot to say that Cindy is one of my faves.She does what few can do
(besides MF & CR of course).

Most series start to fade & I think the author should have stopped. Don't know how she does it but my fave Bodyguard book was the last- Into The Dark & the BOIs are no exception.

Crystal said...

Great write up Brooke.
I can't believe Doc's book has been released and I've some how not got it yet. I have all the other BOI books in paperback and they are in storage. I was wanting to do a re-read of the series before I read Doc's book.

Cindy this series is amazing! You write the military men that we all love so much and you make them so unique. Which character is your favorite so far?

Cindy Gerard said...

Hey Brooke. Thanks for the great review. And thanks for liking the book AND going out and buying the rest of the BOI series. I appreciate it.
So glad you loved Luke. And I'm glad you liked Val - and even forgave her for a not so brilliant moment. I like to make my characters flawed. They make mistakes sometimes ... sometimes big ones ... just like I do.
In Val's case, she was up against the wall, made a wrong decision but for justifiable reasons.
In any event, she grew as the book grew which is always a goal for me when I write a story, to have my characters have to grow. Life after all, is a journey - even for fictional characters :o)
Love the potato soup recipe! It's chilly here in Iowa all of a sudden and it sounds good for dinner tonight!

Cindy Gerard said...

Hi Kris and thanks so much for the props on the series. I've had so much fun writing it!

Alison said...

Great write up Brooke!

I love Cindy's books! They just keep getting better and better. Doc has been a favorite of mine since I started reading the BOI series. I thought it as so cute when he gushed about Val!

I'm so excited for Joe's book. I can't wait to see if the conspiracy theories I've come up with are right. LOL!

Cindy Gerard said...

Shelley - again, thanks for the props and I hope you find that rainy day soon to read about Doc and Val.

There's one more book in the series - LAST MAN STANDING - which is Joe's book. It will be out in February. After that, don't worry, you'll be seeing the BOI's again from time to time in cameo appearances in a new series that I can't talk about yet :o( I know. Not nice to tease but hang in there ... I hope to have some details to share soon.

As for how the Black Ops series got started - it all began at the END of my Bodyguard Series (in INTO THE DARK) Dallas and Amy (the h/h of ITTD) were cornered by a pack of really bad guys in a back alley in Buenos Aires, with no hope of getting out alive - when out of the shadows stepped this bigger than life warrior. It was Gabriel - the Archangel - Jones and the guy just blew me away. I had no idea if he was a good guy or a bad guy but he polarized me and I knew there was a whole lot more of that man I wanted to see. Gabe ended up being the hero of SHOW NO MERCY and the Black Ops series took off from there.

Marie Force said...

Morning everyone! Great job on the hostessing duties, Brooke, welcome to book club!

And welcome also to Cindy! Great to have you here. I've heard such great things about this book! I've got it on the iPod and ready to read! Looking forward to it.

Cindy Gerard said...

Mary G - you are so kind. and you've touched on a real issue we writers face: making each book live up to the last book.
You'd think the writing would get easier but, unfortunately, it doesn't. I'm constantly digging to come up with bigger, dicier, juicier stories and not just a homogenized version of the last one.
But that's part of the fun too :o)

Hope said...

I love this whole series....I was one of the few that didn't know the Body Guard series was kind of a lead in to the BOI series, so after I read the first 2 BOI books, I, of course, had to go back and read all of the Body Guard books...

I have waited for Doc since the beginning, so carefree and happy. I loved reading him get beat at the end of each book by the girls playing poker. I wasn't at all disappointed by his book. Sooooo good!!! Reed will forever be my favorite, but Doc is a very close second.

I read on your website that Joe's book will be the last, and that is VERY sad news for me, but what do you have coming up after the BOI's are all happy??

ShellyE said...

I loved Gabe!! I think his book is my most favorite of yours. I wondered if the BOI's came about because of something you had seen on the news, or someone you know personally? They are all awesome - tough, but with hearts of gold! yummy too!! Glad we will be seeing more of them coming up, and can't wait until you can tell us more about the new series!!

Cindy Gerard said...

Crystal - thanks to you too. It's so gratifying to hear that people love these guys as much as I do.
As to which one is my favorite? Oh man. that's kind of like asking a mother to pick a favorite child. BUT, if I were forced into a corner, Johnny D. has always held a special place in my heart. He was such a bad boy. Such an arrogant little womanizer ... and yet, he had so many deep seated childhood issues that it's a wonder he didn't turn into a criminal. He grew so much over the course of the books and yet still retained his charming bad boy ways that I love so about him.

Cindy Gerard said...

Alison - Oooo - conspiracy theories! Love that you're mind is cooking on possibilities.
Wish I could share what happens :o)

Cindy Gerard said...

Hey Marie
Thanks for the invitation. I feel honored to be hear. I've got your latest in my que on my Kindle and can't wait to dig in. These pesky deadlines, however, always interfere and keep me from my reading pleasures.
Very big congrats on all of your success. Love it when good things happen to good people.

Cindy Gerard said...

Hi Hope and thanks for the nice words on both the Bodyguard and the BOI books.

It's always sad when a series ends - sad for me too. I love these guys and have so enjoyed getting to know them. But, having said that, the last thing the I or my publisher want to do is running the series until it wheezes it's last breath. So, it's time for something new.
What I can tell you about the next series is that it will lead off with a character you met in With No Remorse. Mike Primetime Brown pretty much stole my breath when he showed up to give the BOI's a hand in this operation. Primetime and Johnny D are cut from the same bolt of cloth, let me tell you and I full expect that he is going to take me on one wild ride :o) Don't be surprised if the BOI's and some of their women make cameo appearances from time to time either :o)

Mary G said...

Hi Cindy
The other challenge authors have is writing in the voice their readers love but not having cookie cutter books. That's what you & very few others do so well.

Cindy Gerard said...

thanks for that Mary. I've occasionally taken some flack for not always writing kick-ass heroines but I've done it intentionally. They can't all be Lara Crofts or Wonder Woman. Ordinary people, thrust into extra ordinary circumstances are also interesting to me. How will they adapt? How will they cope? Will they grow?
There's only one answer: they'd better, LOL, or they are not heroines worth rooting for.

Hope said...

Oh that is GREAT, I am so glad that Mike Primetime Brown is in the next series, I was very intrigued by him as well. And it does my heart good to hear that the BOI's and their ladies might show up. Kind of like catching up with old friends.

oklanannie said...

A fantastic review Brooke! And yummo on the potato soup - a favorite of mine in fall and winter! Hello and welcome to Cindy Gerard! Thanks so much for spending time with us today.

Luke "Doc" Holliday was a tease from his first appearance in the "BOI" series. I could hardly wait for his story. And WITH NO REMORSE did not disappoint. From the cover (just a little peek at Luke and that "eye" had me!)to the last word, Cindy always gives readers an edgy and romantic storyline.

One of my most favorite things about Luke's book is the conversations he has with himself. Cindy is a master at writing clever, witty and snarky dialogue and it's a great addition to each book. I'm always grateful to get a revisit with the "BOI" brotherhood as well. Their interaction is icing on the cake.

Looking forward to Joe's book but not to saying good-bye to the BOI gang. Glad to hear that whatever comes next might include them to some extent as well.

"Doc" is my favorite . . . so far! But I'm extremely pleased to hear that "Primetime" has a future!!! He certainly made an impression and could not be forgotten.

Have a fantastic fall day everyone!

Ronlyn said...

WOW you guys are all up and at'em early this morning!
Wonderful job on the write up Brooke!
Cindy, WELCOME to book club!
I'm excited to hear Primetime is going to be kicking off a new series! YAY us!
So, my question: when you start a series (either the Bodyguards, BOIs or this new series) do you have a general idea about how many books it will run?

Cindy Gerard said...

oklanannie - thanks for that. I loved Doc's sense of humor too. But I especially loved that he was really having a crisis of 'self' when this book started. He was pretty lost ... and troubled ... and still, that irrepressible spirit that I so love about him could not be dampened. made him even more of a hero in my mind. Can you tell I love my guys? LOL

Cindy Gerard said...

Hi Ronlyn and thanks for having me.
As for your question:when you start a series (either the Bodyguards, BOIs or this new series) do you have a general idea about how many books it will run?

Generally, I plan on at least 3 books. If, however, there is reader interest in more books and if there are characters who show up just begging me to have their story told, it could evolve into more. The Bodyguards was originally intended to be a 4 book series but my publisher was happy with the fan support and asked for 2 more books. BOI was always kind of open ended. I knew there would be 3 books - Gabe's, Sam's and Johnny's - and I'd hoped to get to write Doc's book but hadn't known if the other guys would get their stories as well until the series became so popular (yea!) and we pushed it to more - 7 novels in all + one novella and possibly another novella in the works. Yes. Nate and Julianna may get their story. fingers crossed :o) Oh - and there are also 2 short stories in the BOI collection, neither of which have been published yet. If you all are interested, sign up for my newsletter at my website (www.cindygerard.com)and I'll let you know when they're coming out.

Ronlyn said...

*off to double check if I'm signed up to receive your newsletter* I'm fairly certain I do, but...

YAY! Cindy, can you tell us what your "writing day" is like?

Marie Force said...

Thanks so much for checking out my book, Cindy! I really hope you enjoy it! Great to have you here today!

tresa said...

loved the book !!

Cindy Gerard said...

Ron - my writing day is a work day just like anyone who gets up and clocks in at a nine to five job.
I'm usually at the computer by 7:30 and pretty much stay there except for lunch (with a few too many quick snack runs here and there) until around 5:00 or 6:00. Depending on how close I am to deadline and how much book I still have to write, I also write a lot on the weekends. Nights are pretty much out for me though unless my back is really against the wall. My brain just sort of shuts off around dinner time :o)

Cindy Gerard said...

Thanks Tresa!

Stormee G said...

I looove the BOI's. All of Cindy Gerard's books are amazing and she makes you feel like you are right there in the midst of everything. Just got this book a week ago but I haven't had time to read it yet. Hopefully soon =]

Modokker said...

I love this series. I won a copy of one of the books in the middle and then tracked down the others and read them in order. Johnny is my favorite followed by Doc Luke Colter. Excited to see his book. I went back and grabbed the bodyguard series too while i was at it. Can't wait for the last book and the novellas. New series coming too. I am signed up for the newsletter so i don't miss out.



Lisa B

Cindy Gerard said...

Lisa and Storm. Thanks so much ladies. You make me smile :o)

Alison said...

YAY! I'm glad we haven't seen the last of Mike Primetime Brown ;-)

Cindy - what kind of research do you do for your books?

Jane said...

The cliffhanger ending really stayed with me for a few days. I wish we could know what happens now. I also can't wait to see what kind of father Gabe will be.

Cindy Gerard said...

Alison - the question might be: What kind of research DON'T i do for my books? LOL. I haunt the web. I mine my military contacts for information until they are sick of me. I even do some of the things my h/h do. I've shot all the weapons I've use in the books. I've jumped off a 40 foot cliff into the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. I've white water rafted, flown in a helicopter, zip lined through a rain forest ... ridden a camel, although I haven't used that in a book yet LOL.
What I haven't done is visited all of the countries where I've set the stories. Frankly, some frighten me too much to want to go there. Others fascinate me and i hope I'll make it sometime. My research on Sri Lanka especially captivated me.

Di said...

I'm copying out that recipe so I can make on a cool fall day while I'm reading a fun book like 'With No Remorse'.

Ronlyn said...

Cindy, what has compelled you to write "military romances"?

Cindy Gerard said...

Jane - sorry about the cliff hanger. Even then i wasn't certain what was going on with Joe but i knew it was heavy duty.
As for Gabe as a daddy. Because it makes me all mushy inside thinking about it, here's a little line from Last Man Standing that makes reference to Gabe in daddy mode:
>>>>>>>>
Little Ali Lin was a whooping two months old, came into the world a squalling seven pounds eleven ounces just in time for Christmas and had brought one of the fiercest warriors in the Western hemisphere to his knees. Gabe Jones had been pure, malleable putty the moment her tiny pink fist had clamped around his little finger.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>

No surprise there, huh ?

Cindy Gerard said...

Di - I'm with you. Brooke had me at potato! LOL
For anyone who has already read WNR, you'll know why I'm grinning.

Cindy Gerard said...

Ronlyn
What compelled me was 9/11. Like so many of us, I was profoundly affected by the attacks and by the devastating aftermath. I watched the news as our troops were deployed to Afghanistan. Sent care packages to our soldiers. Got invested in some of them as friends and I couldn't help but wonder, what did these men (and women) do when they came home from the trenches? Did they reup? Did they check out? Did they go into law enforcement or private securities? How did they handle their ghosts? How did they deal with 'life after' war?
And I knew I wanted to tell their stories.

Ronlyn said...

LOL. I've gotten so used to Facebook I'm trying to "like" Cindy's comment about the potato...

Crystal said...

Gabe a daddy..... be still my heart!

Brooke said...

Thank you! I had a great time reading this amazing book. It was my first time reading the BOI and I am hooked!

I liked the other characters but I think Luke will always be my favorite. The image of him in a fedora with a smirk, just wow.

Cindy - Thank you. I LOVED Luke. He is one of the best military men I've had a chance to read. The fact that he read tabloid magazines is awesome. I've secretly caught my husband reading mine occasionally. It's been pretty cold in Michigan this week as well. Of course, next week is back to the upper 70s. I can't wait to read the rest of the series.

ShellyE said...

I'm with Crystal! Gabe has got to be an awesome daddy!!

Mary G said...

I love your questions Oprah, I mean, Ronlyn.
You are good!

Ronlyn said...

LOL. thanks Mary. I've been wearing my "interview" hat for bit now, haven't I?

Susan T. said...

I can't believe BOI has only 1 more book :( Love Luke's story. Thinking back on the book, potato comes to mind.

Tatiana L. said...

Great review. I especially like the recipe.

tatiana_lwg(at) yahoo.com

Cindy Gerard said...

Brooke - I'm so glad that With No Remorse was a good experience to you. And I love it that you hadn't read the other books but had no problems with this one as a stand alone. Some readers are afraid they have to start at the beginning of a series but I try really hard to make each book independent of the other ones.

Having said that - you might have more fun if you start with the Body Guard series (the first book is To The Edge) because when you get to book 6 of that series, you meed Gabe, Sam and Johnny and then we launch right into SHOW NO MERCY, the first book of the BOI series.

Cindy Gerard said...

I agree - Ronlyn does ask great questions.
And never fear, Susan - you'll see the BOIs again in future books :o)

Tatiana - I love the recipe too!

Ronlyn said...

I'm going to spin off my own question about military heroes (SWOON at your answer of 9/11 inspiring you Cindy!) to tortured heroes. Do you consider your heroes to be 'tortured'? Gabe of course, comes to my mind as being the most tortured, but all the BOIs have been through the wringer a time or two for sure...

Kara C said...

Looks like I've missed a great time here today. Work can knock the fun out of just about anything. ;-)
Cindy is one of my all-time, favorite, auto buy authors! She had me at To the Edge, and I've loved every book since.
I absolutely adore that your female characters, Cindy, are not all kick-ass heroines. You write my very favorite kind of heroine - ones I feel like I might know because they are SO real.
Hey Ronlyn! CINDY is the author I followed into the restroom in Orlando. In my defense, I in no way disturbed her. I did, however, immediately call every reader friend I
have and maybe mentioned it...once or twice.
Cindy, welcome to book club!

Ronlyn said...

LMAO! I *knew* you'd followed someone into the restroom like a fangirl. ;-) Love it!

Cindy Gerard said...

Ronlyn - good question about tortured heroes. IMO, all of us have 'issues' that we carry around. could be something that happened when we were kids, could be a big loss, a big disappointment, something we feel guilty about. No one is immune to 'life happening'. Granted, some ghosts are bigger than others.
I cannot imagine that a warrior - no matter how ruthless in battle - does not struggle with the things he's seen, the losses he's suffered, the things he's done. Some of my guys are tortured and combat weary ... and why would they not be? and yes some blow right past those problems and just 'deal' but have never still dealt with the father they could never please, or the absentee parent, the abusive parent. Like i said, no one is immune. And I think that's why readers relate to not only my characters but in general the characters in any books. They see a part of themselves. They have struggled. So they cheer for the heroes/heroines because they want them to win the fight on many levels.

Cindy Gerard said...

Kara - you make me laugh! I do remember you. You didn't have a square to spare. (that's an old Seinfeld bathroom joke for those of you who didn't follow the show)

and thank you for having me on your auto buy list AND for loving my not so kick ass heroines. i love writing women who have to become so much more than they thought they could ever be through the course of the book. I mean, seriously - how many women do you all know who are comfortable carrying a Glock in her purse and are not afraid to blow someone away? yes, i like to write the kickass heroines too. In fact, when i start writing Primetime's story, I'm thinking he's going to need a tough, in his face warrior babe to give him a run for his money. That boy definitely needs a strong woman to put him in his place. LOL

Jane said...

Thanks so much for the sneak peek of Gabe in daddy mode. I'm a little verklempt.

Cindy Gerard said...

lol jane

Jolene and Family said...

Wow, sounds fantastic. I've been trying to get my hands on this series and I have a couple of them and not in the order I need :) I can't wait to get started though and you ladies make me want to read these out of order just to get started lol

Cindy Gerard said...

Jolene - Hi. You won't have any problems reading them out of order. Hope you enjoy them!

Cindy Gerard said...

Thank you everyone for visiting with me today. The winners of the books are Tatiana and Jolene.

Ladies - if you would contact me at: cgerard@iowatelecom.net I'll get them out to you.
And if you already have a copy of With No Remorse and would like a different book, just go to my website: www.cindygerard.com and check out my book list. I'm sure we can come up with something.

Thanks to Marie and all for inviting me here. Had a blast!

Ronlyn said...

CONGRATS TO THE WINNERS!!