I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Running Blind by Cindy Gerard
Series: One-Eyed Jacks #3
Genres: Romance, Romantic Suspense
Published by Pocket on February 24, 2015
Source: the library
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Also in this series:
Also by this author:
No commitments, no promises, no looking back. Those are her rules. They used to be his rules, too. Counterterrorism operative and shameless playboy Jamie Cooper has gone head-to-head with some formidable opponents, but none so quick-witted, free-spirited, and smokin’ hot as security analyst Rhonda Burns. She lives up to her name, all fiery passion and zero inhibitions.
In the wake of a sniper attack that leaves a close friend clinging to life, the duo is pegged to undertake the One-Eyed Jacks’ latest security mission alone—an assignment that leads them to a top-secret desert military facility. Almost immediately, the sexual tension that has been brewing for months erupts, blindsiding Rhonda and Jamie with the intensity of their feelings. They try to play it cool, but when an elite terrorist team makes the future uncertain, they ask themselves: is it now or never?
Third in the One-Eyed Jacks romantic suspense series (a spin-off from Black Ops, Inc.) and revolving around the surviving One-Eyed Jacks. The couple focus is on Rhonda Burns and Jamie Cooper.
If you’re interested, there is a chronological listing of the One-Eyed Jacks books on my website.
It’s a cute trope that Jamie is madly in lust for Rhonda and doesn’t hide it, much, and Rhonda carefully hides her interest, although she doesn’t hide her sexuality. Mmm-mmm, Rhonda dresses like a sexpot and doesn’t care if people think it’s too sexy for her job. She’s proud of her curves and dresses for herself.
“If you find yourself in a fair fight, you didn’t plan your mission properly.”
– David Hackworth
If the assassin is such hot stuff, how come she did such a bad job? She does recover nicely with the spin she puts on it to “explain” why she screwed up. As for her upbringing, the “reason” why she’s gone bad…yeah, I do feel bad about the abuses she suffered. It’s definitely a reason for forcing parents to get a license to have children.
“If the enemy is in range, so are you.”
I did have to laugh at Coop as he dithers between hot and heavy and total avoidance. He’s definitely playing a head game on Rhonda, but no worse than what he’s doing to himself.
The duo gets diverted to Area 51 to do a heavy duty assessment, but they’re still in the dark after they get there. And Coop’s urge to know won’t hold him back from breaking into offices he’s not slated to access. And that super-secret, need-to-know restriction Gerard is using in this story, along with Coop’s nosiness and Rhonda’s hacking skills are gonna save their butts. I did like her effective decisionmaking at the end there. Why more good guys don’t shoot someone in the leg to slow ’em down, I don’t know.
“You think anyone trying to steal it is going to give two figs about access?”
If this Corbet guy is so important, then why hasn’t the government ensured that his family joined him?
Gerard does a good job of increasing my curiosity about Rhonda’s past, what has her so anti-men, and what a disappointment when she finally lets out the reason why. Oh, brother. I can’t decide if this was too stupid for words or simply an example of how stupid people can get when their emotions and pride are involved.
“Growing old is mandatory. Growing up is optional.”
It’s a sneak attack that ends with Eva bleeding out. An assassin determined to take down the One-Eyed Jacks in revenge. And money. The One-Eyed Jacks and the BOIs are all up in finding that sniper, but work doesn’t take a backseat to their anger. Jamie’s up on rotation, and he can’t figure out how to get out of this assignment.
Nor can he figure out how to substitute any one else in Rhonda’s place. The powers-that-be will assume she’s not up to being on the team if he doesn’t take her. With him. After that kiss, he’s not sure he’ll be able to keep his distance.
Rhonda “Bombshell” Burns, a.k.a., Buttercup, is the new head computer analyst and security expert in the One-Eyed Jacks with an interest in avoiding any and all relationships.
Jamie “Hondo” Cooper is a retired marine and Australian model. I know, an odd combination. I’d love to hear the story on that one some day. Rossella Cooper is Jamie’s mother, and she’d been a soap opera star in Columbia 35 years ago when she met and married Lawrence Cooper, a businessman with an exotic-wood import business.
The One-Eyed Jacks are…
…part of the International Threat Analysis and Prevention Agency (ITAP), which is a cover agency to ensure the One-Eyed Jacks can operate with anonymity and complete autonomy. Bobby “Boom-boom” Taggart, retired Army Special Forces, is Jamie’s best friend. Mike Brown is the boss; Eva is his wife and an attorney for the CIA (see Killing Time, 1). Enrique Santos. Brett Carlyle and Josh Waldrop had helped the BOIs out in Sierra Leone in Last Man Standing, BOIs 7. The wheelchair-bound Peter Davis is the operations manager.
The BOIs include…
…Joe and Steph Green (it’s been three years since they married; see Last Man Standing). They’ve adopted Suah, a Sierra Leonean street orphan. Nate Black was a captain in the Marine Corps and now commands the BOIs. Gabe Jones and the flirtatious Johnny Reed who’s married to Crystal “Tinkerbell” along with B.J. Mendoza, who is married to Raphael and has resources and assets worldwide as a former DIA field agent, join the One-Eyed Jacks in finding the assassin.
Peterson Air Force base
Master Sergeant Lowden is in charge of the computer center.
Area 51, the Groom Lake facility is…
…a super-secret facility that was supposedly dismantled. Lieutenant Dodd is the greeting committee. Leonard is one of the weekend guards.
Eagle Claw is the super-top-secret technology developed by Dr. Adolph Corbet, a Russian defector working for the Americans. Svetlana is his wife, and they have a daughter, Anna.
Captain Ramsey and First Lieutenant Baxter are the pilots.
She was Ray Brewster‘s bisexual psycho girlfriend (Killing Time). Anya is the code name she’s using with her Russian employer, Vadar Melnik.
Maxwell Robbins was a city employee with access to traffic cams. Marjorie Reynolds, a.k.a., Jane Smith, is an average looking woman.
The Idaho compound had been a political cult, United We Denounce (UWD), run by Joseph Lawson and commanded by General Brewster. Barry Hill was Lawson’s number one disciple and former army. It was blown up in Killing Time.
Vadar Melnik is in charge. Ivan Grachev is his second-in-command and both are former Spetsnaz, Soviet special forces. Now they work for the Russian mafia. Sergeant Mavriky Shirshov is a brutal combat veteran. Nikolai, Vasin, Goraya, and Pavel are the rest of his team. Matvey Polzin and Iosif Yakovlev are the computer technicians.
The Cover and Title
The cover is black with a gray highlight in the floorboards in the background and a flash of peach in Jamie’s face and his hands. Jamie is in, hey, I said it was black, in black leather, T-shirt, and jeans — and let’s not forget those sunglasses. It’s a set look on his face, this boy is gonna kick some ass. The author’s first name and the title are in all-caps and an embossed metallic green while her last name is a green metallic band revealing the black letters.
The title reflects that The One-Eyed Jacks are Running Blind as they grope for clues on the why of this attack. It could also be a reference to those black-painted windows…