- Title: Last Man Standing (Black Ops Inc, # 7)
- Classification: Adult Fiction
- Genre: Contemporary Romance/Black Ops
- Format: Paperback, 368 pages
- Publisher: Pocket Star (January 31, 2012)
- ISBN-10: 1451606826
- ISBN-13: 978-1451606829
- Author's Website: http://www.cindygerard.com/
"Now I see them. In the dark. In the night."
'For the first time in his life, he was scared. Not of the fight, he was scared that Stephanie was right. That he was losing himself in his need to settle a score.'
He was out to avenge the death of his Black Ops Inc. brother whose death was suspicious. He was determined to find out the truth and exact vengeance on his own. He knew the chances of him coming out of this alive were slim, so he opted to end his relationship with Stephanie. His only regret was leaving her behind.
When the newspaper article crossed her desk, Stephanie had no doubt that the unidentified man in the black and white photo was Joe. It had been dated a month prior. He'd been arrested in Sierra Leone for the death of a priest. It was too much of a coincidence that a man looking like Joe, whom no one had heard from in that same period of time, would be arrested in the place where her brother died. After contacting Joe's Black Ops, Inc. associates to inform them of what she'd discovered, she found out the team was in a total blackout. That meant they were in so deep on assignment there would be no communication. Even though he'd been less than gentle when he'd broken up with her, she couldn't just leave him there to die. She had to do something even if it meant putting herself in jeopardy.
'Arrested in Sierra Leone. So many ghosts there. Bryan's ghost, specifically. She kept coming back to that as her finger hovered over the escape key... And she booked the flight.'
This is the first book of Gerard's Black Ops Inc. series I've read. This could be an incredibly addictive series if the previous books are as good as this one. I liked that there were excerpts in the back of the book for each of the previous books in the series so I could get an idea of what the other books were like.
This was a fun read. Joe carried a lot of baggage that he was hoping to keep from Stephanie. While his reasons for leaving her may have been done for altruistic reasons--to protect her from danger, I kind of felt he owed her the truth. While I understand that certain things in life leave you wanting to know the what and why of a situation, I felt it wasn't really smart on his part to go in alone vigilante style and not let anyone know what he was doing.
Stephanie was awesome. I liked how she really didn't hesitate when Joe needed help nor did she even consider he could be guilty of the crime of which he was accused. She immediately went into action determining that even if there would be no future with him, she couldn't let him die. She had to at least try to save him.
Joe and Stephanie were a great couple although I questioned it a bit at the beginning. The chemistry between the two was explosive. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, they scored a STEAM rating.
Overall, I gave this one 5 out of 5 roses. I loved all the action, drama, and how Joe and Stephanie pieced together and uncovered what had happened to Bryan and what was still happening. Lots of twists and turns and a happy ending. I do have one itsy bitsy complaint. Why did Ms. Gerard's name have to cover up the male model on the cover? I wanted to see the tattoo described as being an 'intricate serpentine design...It began at the nape of his neck and trailed down his spine, ending a few inches below the point where it would have disappeared beneath the waist band of his jeans.' (If anyone asks *cough*mainly my hubby*cough* it was only for reasons of seeing the tattoo. That is my story and I'm sticking to it. *grin*)
Notes to keep you in the know:
A black operation or black op is a covert operation typically involving activities that are highly clandestine and often outside of standard military protocol or even against the law. (Definition gotten from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_ops )
Images of Sierra Leone gotten from photobucket:
Order of Series: