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Wild Card (Elite Ops, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – August 26, 2008

204 customer reviews
Book 1 of 6 in the Elite Ops Series

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Editorial Reviews


“Leigh writes…tempting, enchanting romance[s] that readers are certain to devour.” ―Romance Reviews Today

“Leigh's pages explode with a hot mixture of erotic pleasures.” ―Romantic Times BOOKreviews

“an evocative, powerful novel of enduring strength, love and redemption.” ―A Romance Review on Wild Card

From the Back Cover


It was supposed to be simple. All Navy SEAL Nathan Malone had to do was rescue three young girls from a Colombia drug cartel, then allow himself to be captured just long enough to draw out a government spy. That was before his mission went disastrously wrong…and before his wife, Bella, was told that Nathan was never coming home.


Bella's mourned her husband's death for three long years. But she has no idea he's still alive. Forced to assume a new identity, the man Nathan was is now dead. If he can get back to his wife, can he keep the secret of who he really is…even as desire threatens to consume them? And as danger threatens to tear Bella from Nathan's arms once more?

"Leigh writes…tempting, enchanting romance[s] that readers are certain to devour."―Romance Reviews Today


Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Paperbacks; First Printing edition (August 26, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312945795
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312945794
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (204 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #127,093 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lora Leigh lives in the rolling hills of Kentucky, often found absorbing the ambience of this peaceful setting. She dreams in bright, vivid images of the characters intent on taking over her writing life, and fights a constant battle to put them on the hard drive of her computer before they can disappear as fast as they appeared.

Lora's family, and her writing life co-exist, if not in harmony, in relative peace with each other. Surrounded by a menagerie of pets, friends, and a teenage son who keeps her quick wit engaged, Lora's life is filled with joys, aided by her fans whose hearts remind her daily why she writes.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

58 of 64 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer A. Ray TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 26, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Nathan Malone lived a nightmare in prolonged captivity at the hands of a Colombian drug cartel. Pumped full of an experimental drug designed to stimulate the victim's libido to an uncontrollable level, he never broke his commitment to his beloved wife Bella, although the pain was torturous.

Once rescued, he knew he could never return to Bella, else he would put her in danger from the villains that nearly destroyed him once before. Her only chance is if they believe him dead.

And so Noah Blake was born. With a new face and a new name, he can operate under the radar as part of an Elite Ops unit to bring the cartel down.

Now danger threatens Bella regardless of Nathan's absence from her life. To save her, he must go undercover as Noah Blake, sticking close to her side even while trying to keep his emotional distance, knowing they can never be together again. Easier said than done...

Lora Leigh launches her brand new book series, ELITE OPS, with lead character Nathan Malone/Noah Blake, best known for his appearances in the TEMPTING SEALS stories she has published. ELITE OPS is the start of a new saga, but is very much connected to the SEALs books Leigh's fans know and love. They even share a mission similar to the Durango team from those previous books, but with a different team of special agents, all of whom have left their previous lives for an existence based on complete anonymity.

The men of ELITE OPS have lost everything - family, lovers, anything to do with their previous lives. All of them have assumed new names, and none of them form emotional attachments.

Yeah, right. *grin* This wouldn't be a Lora Leigh romance if they didn't have emotional attachments, now would it?
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63 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Tracy Vest VINE VOICE on September 29, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Readers familiar with Leigh's "tempting seals" series will remember the character of Nathan Malone, who remained true to his wife while enduring the most horrific conditions imaginable when held captive by a drug lord who had him so doped up on an aphrodisiac (think PCP mixed with Spanish Fly) that he opts to remain dead to his family rather than return half a man with sexual issues brought on by the many months of captivity and restraint.

It's been six years since Nathan "died" and he now works for a clandestine group knows as the Elite Ops, going by the name of Noah Blake. When a white supremacy militia group in his hometown has engaged in murderous "hunts" and now is targeting his former business as a place to launder their ill gotten gains (thus endangering his wife Sabella), he is reluctant at first to take the case. But in the end he does and comes face to face with the independent woman that his wife has become (or was she always like that and he just didn't see it?) He discovers that she has never really gotten over the loss of her husband, and has dated infrequently, while her home is still a shrine to Nathan. He suddenly finds that he is jealous of ... himself? Working undercover at his garage, he's in a position to investigate and protect. But just how deep is the organization in the small town that he loves? As much as Bella fights her attraction to yet another alpha man, she notices some similarities between her new lover and her husband.

Leigh had me hooked and hungering for a story about tortured SEAL Nathan. But unfortunately, this story just did not do the character of Nathan justice. When is too much sex too much? Well, in Leigh's case, it's when the sexual passages outnumber the rest of the plot to the point where they detract from the story.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Natalie S VINE VOICE on July 25, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Dead men stay dead. At least that is the motto of the six `dead' men of the Elite Ops. WILD CARD is the first book of this new series and features Nathan Malone, who readers first met in Lora Leigh's HIDDEN AGENDAS.

Nathan Malone died at the hands of the sadistic drug lord Diego Fuentes. It is in the files and it is public knowledge. The funeral was planned and held and his widow grieved. Six years later Noah Blake roars into Alpine, TX on the back of a Harley. Bearded, blue eyed, and alpha to the bone, Noah is on a mission - to find the murderous faction of a white supremacist group hunting illegal aliens, and to connect with one Sabella Malone. Not necessarily in that order.

Sabella Malone loved her husband Nathan with every single beat of her heart and every breath she ever breathed. When he died six years ago on a mission she thought she would die with him so great was the pain she felt. For years nothing mattered; but when her world didn't end, Sabella slowly learned to live again. Dating men but not allowing them close to her heart, Sabella is stunned at the heated attraction she instantly experiences with the new mechanic her brother in law hired behind her back - Noah Blake; blue-eyed Noah Blake.

Noah rides into town under the deep cover of his mission. His eyes are looking for the only woman he has ever loved and when he finds her under the engine of an automobile, he recognizes that Sabella has changed. What he doesn't realize is that the Bella he knew is not the Sabella of today. Intrigued and unable to contain his desire, Noah sets out to insinuate himself in Sabella's life - at least for a little while - because once the Elite Ops' mission is complete, Noah Blake will have to disappear.
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