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Defender (Dark Ops #1)

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  1,297 ratings  ·  43 reviews
The sizzling first book in the Dark Ops Defenders series.

When a USO boat goes down in flames, pilot Jimmy Gage pulls a scantily clad Chloe Nelson out of shark filled waters. Chloe isn't looking for a jet-jock to be her bodyguard until she finds herself side by side with Gage on a dangerous mission.
Paperback, 282 pages
Published April 7th 2009 by Berkley
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Apr 10, 2009 Auntee rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of romantic suspense with a military twist
This one is for all you fans of Cherry Adair, Gennita Low, Marliss Melton, and Suzanne Brockmann--you know, the authors who write hot romantic suspense with a military twist. Catherine Mann's alpha heroes are usually Air Force men, so that's a bit of a change from the more popular Navy SEAL heroes. I've read a few of Mann's stories, and for the most part I've enjoyed them all. They're not too complicated with an overabundance of military jargon and whatnot, the plots are usually easy to follow ( ...more
Opening Line:"Smoke trailing from the ass of his plane and terra firma approaching at meteoric speed, Captain Jimmy Gage figured he was about fifteen seconds away from being roadkill."

I was expecting DEFENDER to be an easy and somewhat silly read, thanks to the cheesy looking dude on the cover and equally ridiculous excerpt on the back but to my surprise this was actually really good.

This first instalment in the Dark-Ops series is well written with a gripping non-stop action storyline. The pace
4 stars – Romantic Suspense

I like a good military romantic suspense, especially if it’s nice and steamy and the plot doesn’t get too bogged down with excess military lingo and overly confusing details. Catherine Mann’s style reminds me of Marliss Melton because she has an obvious respect for military men and women, knowledge of the protocol, and shoots for accuracy, yet she doesn’t go overboard with details like Amy J. Fetzer tends to. Although “Defender”, the first book in Mann’s new ‘Dark Ops’
2 Stars

On a mission in Turkey to locate a fellow teammate, Air Force Test Pilot, Jimmy Gage, is pulled away to aid in the rescue of a USO troupe whose boat has exploded in the Mediterranean Sea. Angry and frustrated, Jimmy doesn’t exactly hit it off with singer, Chloe Nelson, but she gets under his skin nonetheless, and they soon find themselves in the thick of an investigation into kidnapped service men.

The book begins well with Jimmy’s ordeal in Afghanistan and the high seas rescue, b
♡Karlyn P♡
pretty good action suspense romance. The dialog between hero and heroine didn't always feel real, and the action was over the top at times, but I guess that is typical of this genre.
I liked this one. Good story. Bad guys who were bad, but just this side of cheesy-bad. Nice romance too.

I'll likely continue with the series. Ms. Mann does well with her military. They are heroes for sure and she's done her homework, but they are still human. Love that they're not super-human. Also, these are Air Force guys, which is a nice change from SEALs.
Yes I'm crazy but I'm reading the Dark Ops series while also reading the Elite Force series.... Again I will reiterate, why in the hell did I wait so long to read these books???!! I'm definitely on a Catherine Mann book binge!!! And might I add, loving her books!
Too many POVs and different plotlines meant I never really got into the story. I did like her writing style though, slightly reminiscent of Brockmann’s SEAL books.
"Riveting action, relentless suspense, heroes to die for -- Catherine Mann delivers!" wrote one of my favorite authors, Suzanne Brockmann, about "Defender", the first book in CM's "Dark Ops" series. I must say, I agree with Ms. Brockmann 100%! What a freakin' thrill ride from the first page to the last!

Air Force test pilot Jimmy Gage and his team are sent on a reconnaissance mission to locate a missing airman who's being held captive somewhere in Istanbul. While on the way to rescue their comra
I love Special/Dark Ops. The technical jargon used is fun to learn and understand and you get a feel of what they do and what they are about. I happened on the third book by mistake so am now working back to first and then forward. I hope this was the first book. I love the team and the camaraderie and serious throughout. This is the second time that Catherine Mann has used a female for the villain and let me tell you, women may be worse than men. A hot and sexy read with a heck of a suspense mi ...more
I like suspense, romance, and military. But for some reason, I just couldn't get into this book. Kept switching around and leaving me lost. Too many characters and none of them as strong as what I have been reading lately. Catherine Mann is a great writer but in my opinion, this one was not one of her better books.
Rosie  Castle
Just too much at once. Three different stories at the same time don't give the opportunity to connect to either of them. I didn't feel the chemistry between the characters.
First time to read this author. The plot started off great but unfortunately, for the first half of the book there just wasn't any connection between the romance and the suspense stories. It just felt that they were two separate storylines. Also, I think the secondary storyline should have had its own novel rather than be tacked into this one. The end result was that not enough time given to either stories. The second half of the book seemed to pick up on tension and suspense but by then, i had ...more
Laura Beth
Having trouble getting this one started.
I got over the hump to start this one and did finish it, but unlike other reviewers this is not one of my favorites. It was ok. I am not sure exactly why the book did not work for me. I think it was the lack of time spent between the main characters Jimmy and Chole. Both characters are great and have a lot going for them, but then there is not just a lot of follow though. Too confusing on the action or maybe it was just my mood when I read the book. Not a
Feb 18, 2010 Jacqueline rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Suzanne Brockmann/romantic suspense fans
Very good military romantic suspense. Black ops test pilots were a believable extrapolation. Sometimes authors make stuff/black ops groups up in order to tell their stories and some of them work better than others. This one worked well. The action was believable. Bad guys were well drawn with clear motivations. I like both the hero and the heroine. He was a tortured soul without wallowing in it. She was a gutsy girl trying to live life to the fullest. The dialog was good. The romance was believa ...more
Jess Candela
It was pretty good, but I kept reading a few chapters at night before bed and never had any difficulty putting it down. And then I picked it up one night to discover I'd already finished it. Any book I can't remember having finished obviously isn't too memorable. I might read more by this author, but I'm not feeling super motivated.
I give this book a 3.5 rating. It was interesting and I liked Jimmy and Chloe. It's about this guy Jimmy (a.k.a. Hotwire) which is the air force version of the black ops on dangerous missions done in the name of USA security and protection of it's citizens and country. Lots of action and a touch of romance. If you enjoy reading a good book with lots of action and fast-paced than this book is for you.
Debra B
Wonderful story! And I love the hunk on the cover!
Beginning Chapter 7. Slow start so far... Keeps switching back and forth. Don't feel the "connection" between Jimmy and Chloe yet. Hopefully will come. Love Catherine Mann, but not her best so far. I finally got into the book in Chapter 19.

I have to say that I've read all of Catherine's Wingman Warriors series back-to-back. LOVED them all, plus her Desires, so this is an anomaly. It could just be me, not her book. :-)
The starting of this book is very fast! I loved it. ANd then things slow down but all in all it's a great action story. I liked the heroine a lot, because she suffered from a transplant and after this she takes everything living it fully.

ABout passion, well, CM is very modest and all the sex scenes are g-rated (or they seemed to be, I just finished reading some very hot stuff!!).

I'm already onto the next one!
Jimmy and Chloe (different female name) When a USO boat goes down in flames, pilot Jimmy Gage pulls a scantily clad Chloe Nelson out of sharkfilled waters. Chloe isn't looking for a jet-jock to be her bodyguard until she finds herself side by side with Gage on a dangerous mission. ...more
Very interesting tale taken from today's headlines but with AF pilot Uber-Alphas for heros. Now I understand more the people in the middle of war for their country, and why you should never leave your bags unattended anywhere . . .
I thought I would like this, and it was just too slow going or something. I dunno. Took me forever (2 days, that's forever for me) to finish it up. Just was meh. 2.5 stars really.
Scars on both sides, will they make it through? Hot airmen, clandestine operations, a really bad...person, and sparks that will singe your pages! A must read for romance lovers.

Awesome book! Action packed. Kept my interest. Loved the characters and the way they talked to each other. Will definitely be reading the rest of the series.
Jennifer McCoy, YA Sisterhood

My excitement fell short with this one. There were too many different POV's that it just got tiresome. I really didn't start enjoying it until the last 25%.
♥ Nell ♥
I like this one a lot. Loved the storyline, except about Jimmy backing off for a bit once Chloe revealed her past. Can't wait to read about the others.
Paula Robinson
Check out my blog post for the review. Here"s the link:
Perhaps a little to much military jargon at times, but a great heroine and a good hero with a solid plot.
So much better than the back of the book describes it! I love Catherine Mann and this one rocks!
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Win an ARC copy of Defender by Catherine Mann 1 14 Mar 07, 2009 12:28AM  
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USA Today bestselling author Catherine Mann writes contemporary romance for Berkley, Harlequin, and Sourcebooks, with her work reprinted in more than twenty countries. A RITA Award winner, she lives on the Florida coast where she and her military flyboy husband have brought up four children. An active volunteer with her local Humane Society, Catherine enjoys writing while foster puppies nap on her ...more
More about Catherine Mann...

Other Books in the Series

Dark Ops (5 books)
  • Hotshot (Dark Ops, #2)
  • Renegade (Dark Ops, #3)
  • Protector (Dark Ops, #4)
  • Guardian (Dark Ops, #5)

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