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4.4 out of 5 stars
Risk No Secrets (Black Ops, Inc.)
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on May 18, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The extremely touching love story in RISK NO SECRETS keeps you emotionally involved while the dangerous scenarios make the heart pound. For the fifth Black Ops, Inc. book, there is one perilous adventure after another where the uncertain outcomes up the anxiety level to extra high. Cindy Gerard expertly creates a comradeship amongst the Black Ops team members which is realistically credible and leaves the reader believing every single moment must have surely taken place.

When a van slows down near the school run by Sophie Baylor, she quickly realizes her suspicions about its occupants are founded when the girl talking with her own daughter is kidnapped. Although kidnappings for ransom occur much too regularly in El Salvador, she believes her daughter was the intended victim as the family of the other girl is very poor. Receiving no real help from the local authorities, guilt about the wrong abduction has Sophie calling upon a man from her past, someone she has not seen in twelve years yet has never forgotten.

Although Wyatt Savage has tried to keep any thoughts concerning Sophie from surfacing, recollections about the only woman to ever intensely affect him could never be completely repressed. When the Black Ops, Inc. member receives a frantic phone call from her requesting his help in rescuing a kidnapped girl, he readily agrees though knows it will be an emotional nightmare for him. With aid from other members of his elite covert team, Wyatt and Sophie try to discover the location of the missing girl while keeping their undeclared feelings under control. However, there are various forces working to keep them from being successful, ones where the results could be fatal.

Cindy Gerard is a premier writer of gripping romantic suspense stories. The plots of all the Black Ops, Inc. books are chillingly feasible, as world problems come to life with much convincingness. Ms. Gerard conveys the heroic lives of every member of this patriotic group with dramatic realism, and I always feel prouder of the many actual soldiers who defend America because of this observable dedication which I know they also possess. In RISK NO SECRETS, numerous incidents are frequently depicted with a sense of edginess yet still brimming with strong-willed determination. Then there are scenes where emotions are so passionately expressed that they also overpower the reader with their palpability. There were certainly more than a few instances where I was totally caught up in a happening, regardless of whether it is perilous or just emotional, and actually felt my breath catching as I anticipated how everything would finally play out as tension escalated. Ms. Gerard repeatedly creates likable characters and none has been more endearing than Wyatt and Sophie. As the tumultuous romance between these two tries to grow, there are countless decisions to be made and each one tugged at my own feelings as the thoughts of this couple are heartbreakingly told to readers. Their internal conflicts are particularly moving at times, especially when their unspoken desires desperately wanted to override the responses they felt must be followed. With pent-up longing having built for many years, any intimate encounters are fueled with enough heat to start ten blazingly hot fires. Wyatt may have southern manners with a charming personality, but he is also a courageously fearless fighter and is devoted to those for whom he deeply cares. As for Sophie, she proves just how brave she can be on several occasions, thus making my connection with her genuine. The many secondary characters are superbly portrayed, and the Black Ops members involved in this mission only become more memorable with each new revelation. There are additional stories to be told, and I am exceedingly grateful for every enthralling future book. RISK NO SECRETS intrigues on each compelling page while the romantic love story profoundly captivates.

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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have read all of Cindy Gerard's books. I like them all, some more than others. This one is near the top. 5 stars not because it was perfect but because I really liked it and it made me happy to read it. It pushed all the right buttons for me. Clean well thought out plot. Not overly wordy, overly descriptive etc. Some angst, which I personally like, but it doesn't overwhelm the story. While they do think about their feelings, the characters are not wallowing in their thoughts.

The characters are well drawn. You totally understand and believe that Wyatt has loved Sophie for 12 years. He is an honorable man who let her go to marry his best friend without saying anything when she made that choice. Sophie is also well drawn and believable. You can totally see her as a young woman choosing the wild exciting guy over the more quiet guy even though she knows they both love her. You can see that she has wondered over the years whether she made the right choice. There were a couple of spots where I would have liked more discussion/revelation. For example when she tells him she loves him, she doesn't tell him that she had those thoughts. I would have liked to see his reaction to that. Also she doesn't explain even though he basically asks why she didn't call him in the 2 years since her divorce. She doesn't even answer that in her head. So we don't know if she thought he'd forgotten her or what.

The kidnapping portion was well done. Ms. Gerard takes the less obvious choice to have the kidnapped child be not her daughter but her daughter's friend. This choice allows their relationship to develop more naturally as I never do buy that a mother of a kidnapped child would have a hot and heavy affair with a spec ops guy while her child is missing. I did guess the bad guy even though there were a few red herrings. But that was okay since this wasn't about if you could figure out the bad guy but the focus was on the romance where I like it as long as the rest makes sense.

There is plenty of male interaction with the BOI guys which is nice. It is mostly told through Wyatt's POV which I prefer over the female POV. There was a nice bit of gun toting, door knocking down spec ops stuff. It was well writte. It is important in these sorts of books that I can believe the guys could actually do what I'm being told they are doing. There are only 2 guys left to get their own books. I am looking forward to them. I hope Ms. Gerard either introduces more BOI guys or starts another spin off series as she did with this one.

The book, like many of her others, takes place in South America which is an under utilized setting for these sorts of books so I like to see that as well.

Ms. Gerard, in my opinion, is one of the top three writers in this genre along with Suzanne Brockmann and Marliss Melton. If you like those ladies, you will love Cindy Gerard as well.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on May 22, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
THE BLACK OP'S SERIES IS GREAT FUN TO READ. WILL KEEP YOU INVOLVED TILL THE LAST MINUTE. NOT THE USUAL "HOP IN BED" ROMANCE BUT EVIL VILAINS THAT SCARE THE PANTS OFF OF YOU, DESCRIPTIONS OF CITIES IN THE WORLD THAT MADE ME SHUDDER, AND CHARACTERS AND PLOTS THE INVOLVE THE HEART. I ALMOST CRIED WHEN "LAST MAN STANDING" (HER LAST BOOK IN THE SERIES ENDED.)i HAD NEVER HEARD OF ALL THE KIDNAPPING OF YOUNG GIRLS AND WOMEN SHE WROTE ABOUT IN SOME OF HER BOOKS, BUT I AM NOW, THANKS TO HER BOOKS. NK
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have read 10 or so Cindy Gerard books in the last 6 months and I feel like I continuously write the same damn thing in each review.

There is a usual outline of how hunky the hero is - how strong the heroine is - how perfect they are together, throw in a few *sigh*'s and then wrap it all up in a little bow of "This book rocked!"

......this book is exactly the same.

I LOVED IT. Seriously, how many ways can I say that before it gets annoying?? I honestly can't help it, the books just rock from start to finish.

Pappa Bear Savage was DREAMY!! A huge hunk of a man that had a heart the size of a.....bear. These men are always high on morals, high on adrenaline, high on honour and high on treating women with the utmost respect and yumminess.

Whenever I am reading a Cindy Gerard book I am either shaking with anticipation or smiling from the emotion between the hero and heroine. And each book is different, new twists, new turns, new emotions, new conflicts. I am never - EVER bored and always left sated.

Honestly, if you are a fan of suspense you really need to read Cindy Gerard.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Sophie Baylor and Wyatt Savage haven't seen each other in twelve years. However, when Sophie's daughter is almost kidnapped and young Lola is taken instead, Wyatt is the first person Sophie calls. Wyatt doesn't hesitate to help the only woman he has ever loved, except being near her again is bound to stir old feelings. Wyatt isn't the only one who feels their attraction, but can they have a shot at a future together with what's happened between them in the past? Especially when Sophie's ex-husband and Wyatt's old friend, Hugh, rides in to help save he day?

From their tumultuous feelings for each other to the bullets flying around them, things are explosive from the moment Sophie and Wyatt are reunited. The tension in the air is thick between Wyatt and Sophie, but it's almost unbearable when Hugh arrives. Wyatt wears his heart on his sleeve when it comes to Sophie. Sophie is more guarded, though. Alongside the excitement and danger constantly flowing around Sophie and Wyatt is the secondary and much smaller romance between Nate and Juliana. It's a match made in romance readers' heaven. The poignancy of both of these relationships is achingly tender and passionately hot. Full of Suspense, deceit, and deep sensuality, the energy is high and the passion even higher in Risk No Secrets.

Nannette
Reviewed for Joyfully Reviewed
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon May 30, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
They shared a past full of danger and intrigue. Sophie was the only woman Wyatt ever loved but he let her go twelve years ago so she could marry his best friend and former Black Ops partner. When faced with danger and intrigue once again and Sophie being divorced and available, both are helpless against a renewed attraction. Cindy Gerard's RISK NO SECRETS is romantic suspense at its best.
When the best friend of Sophie Baylor's adopted daughter is kidnapped after being mistaken for her daughter, she doesn't hesitate to call Wyatt Savage of the Black Ops. Sophie's ex-husband is Wyatt's former partner and is not the same man who swept her off her feet; his only concern now is with how much money he can make. Wyatt can't refuse Sophie's request for help. Past feelings don't stay in the past, however, and it doesn't take long for Wyatt and Sophie to explore the relationship they should have had years before. Wyatt's fearlessly determined attention to detail is extremely comforting to Sophie, as is his tender affection.
Wyatt's attraction to Sophie has always been powerful, and seeing her desperation to return this kidnapped child to her mother, he is determined to make the rescue successful and calls in the Black Ops team. Sophie's insistence on being involved in the rescue has him apprehensive, but he respects and appreciates her dedication to her friend. He lost her once and losing her again simply isn't an option.
I predict that Cindy Gerard's readers will simply love this fifth book in her Black Ops series. Visits from characters of previous books are a welcome addition and a secondary romance is especially satisfying. RISK NO SECRETS is fast-moving from the very start and maintains momentum throughout to a climactic ending. The action and suspense are impeccably written and I give this book a strong recommendation.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was a good, entertaining story but I wouldn't say it was great. Wyatt made for a compelling and sexy lead male- as part of the efficient and intimidating Black-Op Team - he is perfect for the job when his old "friend" (and almost lover from 12 years before) Sophie calls him in desperation after her daughter's best friend has been kidnapped in South America. Sophie's own child was the target and she is guilt-ridden. Upon arrival, Wyatt and Sophie are involved in an exciting airport shoot-out before they make it home to get the break-down of the kidnapping.

Basically, that's when I lost some interest. As sexy and exciting as Wyatt was... Sophie was the complete opposite. I found her character to be boring. She had very little personality. I was also annoyed at her... for someone who was supposed to be so wholesome, I was a little turned off that she picked Wyatt's best buddy Hugh over Wyatt because he was... more dashing? NOT that she loved him more? Come on. Then to spend almost the next decade with the wrong man even though he was a jerk. Then, like Wyatt said, she didn't even call Wyatt after Hugh left... she called him when she needed a favor because her "dashing" hubby Hugh wouldn't come to her aid.

The first intimacy scene was just sad to me. It was like Wyatt's dream come true (finally after all these years!!!) and for her it was like comfort or something. I didn't feel the sparks or the connection between the two people. It was like she needed support from her old friend Wyatt... the friend she passed up because he wasn't exciting enough. I felt like he STILL wasn't good enough for her but he was there and she needed him. I felt embarrassed to read it. They were embarrassed too... after that part the characters wouldn't even look at each other and it was awkward.

I also found it hard to believe that these two sexy mega-men would fight over this woman anyway. They met her in an adult education Spanish class. She was their teacher. On the first day they saw her and both started to flirt and that was it. I didn't see WHY they liked her or felt compelled to date her, compete for her hand, and for gosh sakes, in Wyatt's case- to be still pining after her over a decade later? Come on! She was THAT beautiful or what? Because it wasn't about her personality or her intelligence because they had barely even spoken to her when this all happened. I wanted this story to be a memory of Wyatt's... and to read his REAL romance with someone else that was worth his time.

At the point that the Black-op team brought the teacher ON AN ASSIGNMENT IN THE JUNGLE with them I was rolling my eyes. Usually it's the girl who is TSTL but this time it was becoming Wyatt. Maybe being emasculated by the one-who-got-away was distracting him.

Gerard is a promising writer and I've enjoyed some of her other work- but that wasn't the best example of her writing.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I have read most of the "Black Ops" stories. I like those characters
and the situations that revolve aound them. I like the interaction
among the group, it seems like you know them.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on March 15, 2012
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I love this writer! She is so knowledgeable about special OPS and puts a romantic twist to it. I have read all of her books. Once you read one, you are hooked! After a couple of books you get to know the characters as she uses them in others.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on November 14, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As a huge fan of Romantic Suspense and having read more than I can even remember, I've come to a conclusion... NO ONE does it better than Cindy Gerard! Many may do it well, a few may do it as good but none - no none - can write it better. Whatever topic she attempts- in this case the gangs of San Salvadore - she writes with intelligence, she doesn't bog the reader down with info overload but deftly describes situations with just enough honesty to allow one to understand the horror without totally ravishing the senses. She keeps it real without becoming horrifically graphic. We are educated but not devastated. The romance aspect is also just as superbly written as the suspense each and every time, with that same fine touch that draws burning steam without graphic overkill.

In this installment, we find Wyatt "Papa Bear" Savage re-uniting with Sophie, the love of his life and woman who broke his heart when she married his best friend. Divorced now and desperately in need of Wyatt's help, Sophie must face and work through her mistakes all while hunting a kidnapper on a timeline. Sophie, for me, is the weak point in this story as she struggles to be a sympathetic heroine. Wyatt, throughout the "Black Ops" series has been arguably the most beloved and compassionate of the men, so watching him ache for a woman who consciously chose his best friend because he was "flashier", then waiting for her to decide he wasn't so bad after all is almost offensive. His character deserves so much better than being second choice. He should have someone who truly believes the sun rises and sets in him. We never get that from Sophie. Even so... and said again, the story grabs and never lets go until the reader is left gasping for breath and sighing with delight.
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