The Way Home | Running Blind
One-Eyed Jacks 2 & 3
October 29, 2014 | February 24, 2015
Gallery Books | Pocket Books
And to think I almost skipped Cindy Gerard! Oh what a crying shame if I actually did! See, I got THE WAY HOME last year, but because I wasn't feeling romantic suspense at that time (really I didn't know who CGerard is. Ignorant, right?), I conveniently put it in a box and forgot all about it. Thank the book gods for Spring Cleaning otherwise these gems would be sitting ignored and I would've missed out on something truly awesome.
One-Eyed Jacks series is a spin-off of CGerard's other series, The Bodyguards followed by Black Ops Inc.. None of which I've read, including the first Jack book, Killing Time. It didn't damper my interest for these though, nor did I feel lost in the story. CGerard provided brief backstories about the characters and previous events so I was pretty much filled in.
THE WAY HOME is my favorite of the two, and one of the best military romantic suspense I've read in possibly EVER! The story was two-fold, one part was stateside involving Jess, a widow, and her sweet romance with former military man, Tyler Brown. Unbeknownst to Jess, her husband J.R. is still alive in Afghanistan, but severely injured, has amnesia, and PTSD. J.R. is being nursed and hidden from the Taliban by, Rabia, an Afghan whom he has fallen in love with. Jess and Tyler were made aware of the situation while planning their wedding, and as if this wasn't enough, Tyler volunteered to help with J.R.'s rescue resulting to a heartpounding and nail biting military extraction complete with conspiracies, and other hair raising revelations.
As you can tell, THE WAY HOME's plot is beyond complex. I had anxiety over this love-square because it felt so unfair that these people had to deal with this, while feeling relieved that J.R. is alive and surviving the horrors of his campaign in Afghanistan. I was flying through the pages because I would like to know how the heck CGerard is going to untangle the kinks out of the situation. Obviously she did it brilliantly! Oh my poor heart was tugged, pulled and stretched in different directions. I felt like my chest did yoga because I was emotionally spent after reading this, but in a good way. I know the cover looks Christmasy, THE WAY HOME wasn't overflowing with holiday stuff. The resolution just happened right around Christmas so the message about peace and harmony was more meaningful than the usual for the characters.
RUNNING BLIND is totally different from The Way Home in that it's less emotional, more action-packed, and adrenalin drenched. Here we have a gorgeous couple complete with model good looks, and brains & brawn to boot! It was lust at first sight for Jamie Cooper and Rhonda Burns, and out of professionalism, they tried to fight their attraction, but to no avail. Eventually they gave in and it was quite obvious that they belong together.
I love the sinister plot of RUNNING BLIND. Aside from the MC's POV, we're also treated to the One-Eyed Jacks's would be assassin's plot to kill the Jacks. I admit it was a little anti-climactic because we're spared the guesswork of who the villain is. CGerard made up for this by providing us with high-powered chases involving Russian counter-intelligence, a secret project in Area 51, and a revenge plot that goes back as far as the Jack's inception in the Middle East. There's a lot of history involved here and past couples made powerful cameos that were really touching. I enjoyed Coop and Rhonda's fiery romance. Rhonda in particular captured my heart because this buxom beauty is not only a computer genius, she can handle and dish out major firepower too! Rhonda saved Coop from a Russian ambush and I love that little role reversal.
One-Eyed Jacks has everything I love about the romantic suspense genre, plus it doesn't hurt that our heroes and heroines are part of the armed forces. A little terrorist action never hurt a book like this, and CGerard dealt it in spades. The romances are always tender and spicy, but not overly lusty that one would doubt the emotional connections of the couples. So if you want to give your heart a little work out, try this series. It's sure to sensitize your desensitized palate. These HEA's will shake you to the core and will linger on your mind long after you've put down the book.