Jane Stewart's Reviews > Take No Prisoners

Take No Prisoners by Cindy Gerard
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's review
Mar 10, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: romantic-suspense
Read in March, 2011

Enjoyable read but lacked emotional punch. A couple of plot logic issues, but still fun.

Sam is part of a U.S. Black Ops group after bad guy Nader in Honduras. Nader arranges for a car bomb to kill Sam’s sister back in the States. Sam retires from the group in grief and now works with his dad on a horse ranch.

Abbie is a blackjack dealer in Las Vegas and a part-time college student. Her younger brother Cory has been buying Honduran knick-knacks and shipping them to Abbie to store for him. He plans to start a business selling them. Somehow he got roped in to carrying drugs for Nader. Cory wants to quit, but Nader won’t let him. Cory’s friend Derek stole a necklace from Nader (who had stolen it from a museum). Derek manages to give it to Cory before he dies. Cory goes into hiding, knowing Nader will think he is guilty and kill him.

The Black Ops group discovers that Abbie may be linked to Nader through Cory. Sam starts dating Abbie for the purpose of getting information. They sleep together. Then she discovers his true purpose and is furious, hurt, and hates him. Next she receives an email showing that Nader has been torturing Cory. Nader tells Abbie to bring him the necklace in return for Cory’s life. Sam and Abbie go to Honduras with the Black Ops group.

I’m pleased. This did not use the overused devices of conflict caused by heroine stupidity and conflict between the couple based on vague communication and inaccurate assumptions. I could enjoy the story. However, I had issues with a couple of things in Spoilers below. This is typical Black Ops romantic suspense. I feel like I’ve read the story many times before. And that’s ok if that’s your mood, but it could have used some surprise and the unexpected. The characters and relationship development also were like others I’ve read before - ok, but nothing unusual or different. The sex scenes were fine.

I compliment the author on the conflicts between Sam and Abbie in the beginning. I enjoyed watching Sam dating her “undercover.” I also enjoyed the way she arranged things later to force Sam to help her. That was smart.

I loved M. Junkins’ comment in her Amazon review. “It wasn’t the best book I’ve read but it beats whats on TV.” Yes!

Story length: 363 pages. Swearing language: strong, including religious swear words. Sexual language: strong. Number of sex scenes: 5. Estimated number of sex scene pages: 37. Setting: current day Honduras, Nevada, and Virginia. Copyright: 2008. Genre: romantic suspense.

In this type of story I expect the Black Ops guy to kill Nader the first chance he gets – maybe a sniper shot. I don’t expect him to act like a good ole’ U.S. cop and read someone their rights or bring them in for trial. Nader was into drugs, arms, and supporting terrorist enemies of the U.S. So why was Sam reluctant to kill Nader when he had the chance? All of a sudden he is not going to kill him in cold blood. He later shoots when Nader pulls a gun making it self-defense. This didn’t feel right to me. I thought Black Ops were guys who did NOT follow the rules. Killing Sam’s sister confused the issue. If that’s all Nader did, then I might see reason for hesitation. But Sam’s objective had been to stop the guy, which meant kill him. I suppose it’s possible the U.S. government wanted Nader alive, but that should have been made clear in order to justify Sam’s hesitation. But if so, I didn’t see any evidence that would put him and keep him in a U.S. jail. Ok, I’m going way too far with this. On balance, this was muddled for me.

Another scene was a little off. Sam has a gun on Nader and could easily kill him. But instead they talk until a distraction happens and Nader is able to get away. Ok, a little campy James Bondishness going on here.
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