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!!


Potato Soup
(my grandmothers recipe)

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

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.