Killing Time(One Eyed Jacks#1): Cindy Gerard

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An exciting new series featuring Mike "Primetown" Brown, a character from her popular "Black Ops, Inc." series.

For the seven years after Operation Slam Dunk went south, Mike Brown got drunk on each anniversary. The eighth year was no different--until he was drugged by a woman and woke up to her questions about what had happened eight years ago in Afghanistan. CIA attorney Eva Salinas has her own theory behind what happened to Mike's team--which included her husband--in Afghanistan eight years ago, and she's determined to prove foul play. Though she doesn't trust him, Mike is the only person she can turn to for help. Under an assumed name, Eva convinces Mike to assemble a new team and go after the traitor who screwed up both their lives. As they track down the rogue who started it all, Eva and Mike discover they can't live without each other. But can they stay alive while an enemy is still on the loose?

Kim's Rating:
4 out of 5 Stars

Kim's Review:

He'd checked out. For eight years he'd been killing time.
Taking up space. And it was wrong.

Mike "Primetime" Brown is drifting...just hanging out in Peru, killing time, and trying to forget his past including what ruined his career and his life 8 years ago. He is dead inside, full of self pity, and drowns his sorrows every  year on July 15 the anniversary when it all ended for him. 

The end of days. That's how he thought of the debacle in Afghanistan eight years ago. Sobrietus interruptus. That's how the thought of his annual commune with alcohol and self-pity. He was holding a postmortem. Throwing a pity party. Conducting a wake for the friends who'd lost their lives eight years ago. For the life and career he'd lost.

...he was the perfect male package: tall, dark, and broad-shouldered--dangerous. Add a face with  ridiculously intriguing angles and planes, a touch of some ancestral Spanish blood, and a thick brown hair, and he  definitely lived up to his lady-killer billing. Even in his current state, Brown was Hollywood gorgeous--primetime TV gorgeous. The quintessential all American male...But his wild-card rep--supported by the diamond stud in his left ear--pegged him as a renegade and a troublemaker. So did the flirty smile, laser blue eyes, and an alpha male swagger that was too natural to be staged.

Enter Eva...She blindsides him in more ways than one. She lures him into a trap in order to get info from him. She makes him deal with issues he has tried to bury and gets him involved in a whole mess of trouble. Eva is trying to clear her dead husband's name. She is smart, tough, and caring. She is not afraid to put herself on the line to find out the answers.

She'd also replaced her "slut suit" with a blinding white T-shirt, tight jeans, and a pair of lace-up leather boots that had seen a fair share of wear. And yet, if you overlooked the gun, she was still damn sexy--in a kick-ass, GI Jane, ball-breaker kind of way.

Mike and Eva have a spark from the beginning. And they are feisty, snarky,  and sarcastic. They have to learn to trust each other. And it was only a matter of time before the spark goes from slow burn to an explosion. They have hot chemistry and good rapport. 

As of now, he was officially back in the game, because this lying, conniving sexy-as-ever-loving-sin, wack-job of a woman had dragged him out of his hidey hole. So...did he thank her or throttle her? And what in the holy hell was he supposed to make of her? 

"Because the chemistry between you two could blow up a science lab."

Mike is a bad ass alpha but has a vulnerable side. He doesn't understand his reaction to her, as he has never had feelings for a woman before Eva. Eva is also conflicted. So deny, deny, deny...

...and hell, he was flat-out, un-freaking-believably captivated by everything about her. Yeah, captivated. Who was he, Lord-freaking-Byron, all of a sudden? He didn't think in those terms. Hot, Smokin'. Sexilicious. Those were his kind of words. What he hell was wrong with him?...Dipstick--party of one. Your table is ready. He did not get why this woman messed up his head so badly.

Affected, she supposed. By his physical presence. By his smart-ass sense of humor. Or by the vulnerability that he tried to hide behind everything from anger to sick humor to a don't-give-a-damn swagger.

It had been a long time since a woman had needed him. A long time since he'd wanted one to. But he wanted to be important to her, strong for her, and even weak for her so she would understand how much she was giving him in return. 

The love story is imbedded in the black ops story dealing with  drugs, weapons, betrayal, Anti American sentiment, and greed. It has it all: romance, danger, excitement, and intrigue. There is an air of mystery as they try to figure out who is responsible for the past events. And suspense as they try to work together to try to bring those to justice in some very dangerous and extreme situations. It is about revenge, redemption, honor, friendship, brotherhood, and Patriotism. And I really liked Mike and Eva as a couple and as a team. They were fun, flirty, hot, sweet, strong, and everything in between. 

We will finish this...When this is over, we will figure this out and we will finish it.

I have not read Cindy Gerard's Black Ops Inc. books but I can see why they would be so popular. This is a spin off series and has some of the characters from those books especially Gabe and Joe. But she gives you enough info about them, that I had no trouble understanding their place in the story and it makes me want to go back and try that series beginning with. She has the first 6  in 2 collections:  volume 1 and volume 2, and a the last book Last Man Standing is coming out 1/31/13. 

Killing Time also sets the stage for more books in the One Eyed Jacks series  featuring Taggart and Cooper. They obviously deserve their own stories. I love the male characters Cindy Gerard creates since they have humor, serious hotness, likeability, and a fierce sense of loyalty. 

Thanks to edelweiss and Simon and Schuster for providing me with an arc of this book in exchange for my honest review

Tammy's Rating:
4 out of 5 Stars

Tammy's Review:

"It's just...these guys are so intense, you know. And so present. They're gorgeous, tough, intelligent, a lot driven, a little broken."

This quote pretty much sums up why I love special ops books. They are alpha males in their truest forms. Killing time was no exception. The men in this book, whether it was the main character or the secondary characters, grab your attention and keep you hanging on. Their tough as nails act mixed with their sweet protective side keeps you turning the pages. I adored Killing Time. It took me a bit in the beginning to get comfy and enjoy the book. Parts of it were really intriguing and at other times it moved a bit slow. Once I got around chapter 9 though the book really picked up, things started to flow, and I was hooked. The suspense grabbed me enough to make me want to figure out what in the world kept Mike Brown down and broken for 8 years.

"She was still damn sexy-in a kick ass, GI Jane, ball-breaker kind of way."

Mike and Eva were a great combination. Both kick ass in their own ways. One of the things I loved most about this story was when Eva took out Mike, a seasoned trained Black Ops. I freely admit that I love heroine's who can kick ass and ask questions later, with a heavy dose of sass. Our girl did not let us down. She rocked the entire book. Easily one of my favorite heroine's in a long time.

"As of now, he was officially back in the game, because of this lying, conniving, sexy-as-eve-loving-sin, whack-job of a woman had dragged him out of his hidey hole."

Mike, now I wasn't too sure of my feelings about our hero. He kind of checked out 8 years ago, sweeping the huge mess called Operation Slammed Dunk under the rug. Drinking his self into darkness. Brown allowed Uncle Sam to take away his dignity and his life, along with everything in it he cared about. It took awhile for him to grow on me, but he eventually did. I loved his quirky way of making a joke out of tense situations. I tend to do the same thing, so it gave me something to connect to him with.

"By his smart-ass sense of humor. Or by the vulnerability that he tried to hide behind everything from anger to sick humor to a don't-give-a-damn swagger."

Once our hero grew on me I started to appreciate Mike for who he is. He had so many facets to his personality. I began rooting for him to get the girl, and for them to make it out of the mess they were trapped in trying to solve the questions about what happened 8 years ago in Afghanistan.

Over all I really liked this book. Her mixture of suspense, love and witty banter totally worked. I really enjoyed how her writing brought to life not only Mike & Eva but also the secondary characters Gabe, Taggart, and Cooper making me instantly want to read their stories. I loved the character chemistry, and not just between our lovers. 

I added this quote just because it was one of my favorites in the book and I think it described Evan and Mike perfectly. With this new terrain they both fought and denied any real feelings. This quote reminded me of a scene at the end of the book where Mike breaks the bathroom door in order to get to Eva after she had been avoiding him.

"How will I know she's the one, master? The final one? The only one I'll ever want to be with?""Well, grasshopper, when the top of your head blows off and your heart explodes along with it, you can pretty much bet your sorry ass that you've entered dangerous new territory."

Thanks to edelweiss and Simon and Schuster for providing me with an arc of this book in exchange for my honest review.


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