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Defender (Berkley Sensation) Mass Market Paperback – April 7, 2009

4.2 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews
Book 1 of 5 in the Dark Ops Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"One of the hottest rising stars around!" -- Lori Foster

About the Author

RITA Award winner Catherine Mann lives in Florida with her military flyboy husband and their four children. Visit her website at www.catherinemann.com.
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Product Details

  • Series: Berkley Sensation
  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; 1 Original edition (April 7, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425228029
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425228029
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #366,396 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Despite the crazy cheesy looking dude with shades on the cover, this book rocked my military suspense lovin' world.

When I first read the excerpt I giggled. The nicknames seemed silly. Pulling a USO entertainer out of the water and falling for her? I dunno. We meet Jimmy 'hotwire' who is in the middle of searching for his friend/team member when he is distracted by orders to help keep the USO entertainers safe. One of those, is classical musician prodigy Chloe.

They suffer several attacks, Jimmy and his team continue the quest for the missing man, and of course Jimmy and Chloe feel growing attraction. The plot takes many twists and turns and I was impressed with how the author satisfied me while leaving the door open for me to enjoy the next book in this series.

The heroine is one of the best heroines I've read in a long time. She has some physical limitations (medical issues) but that does NOT make her weak, simpering, cowering behind her big tough military man, or lame. NO! This heroine kicks villain A$$ and doesn't apologize for living her life the way she wants. She doesn't cower in the corner and take orders - and I respected her and this talented writer all the more.

The ending is very satisfying, and I was so thrilled to see something that doesn't wrap it all up and spell out 'happily ever after' that insults the characters intelligence. Instead the author gives us a pleasing and happy end to the adventure without buckling to 'insta-marriage' and so many other plot clichés enjoyed by romance authors especially in suspense.

well played!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Jimmy "Hotwire" Gage used to be a fighter pilot who made some terrible experience when his plane crash landed in a war zone. These days he's a member of a covert test pilot squadron whose present mission is to find one of the members of the squadron who has gone missing. However, Chuck Tanaka isn't the first service member to have gone missing and the army is determined to find out who is behind these actions. On the way to the region where Tanaka was last seen the pilots are forced to participate in a rescue mission for USO performers whose boat was sabotaged. Jimmy saves Chloe Nelson, one of the performers and can't get her anymore out of his mind.

Agent Mike Nunez is in charge of finding Chuck Tanaka. During his mission he meets Anya Surac who is somehow involved in the disappearance of the service personnel. But how much involved is she?

This book started off really enthralling. The descriptions after Jimmy's crash landing were absolutely great! The romance between Jimmy and Chloe was interesting, especially after gaining more insight and background information on both main characters. However, their love story remained shallow and didn't offer anything beyond the typical developments of this genre.

Jimmy and Chloe's story had definitely the potential for something interesting. However, there were so many sub-characters involved that there was simply no space to take their story to a more interesting level. At several points I had the impression that this book served as introduction for books to follow. What a pity!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Defender by Catherine Mann, is the first book in her Dark Ops series. In it, the reader gets a "birds-eye" view into the intimate world of "specialised" pilots in the military, the dangers they face, their inner demons and what it takes for the right heroine to become their partner, emphasis on partner, and give them the balance they need to survive it all. I love this series, so far. In Defender, we meet Jimmy "Hotwire" Gage. Most of these guys get a call sign, and the way he got his is not one I would like to ever encounter. Chloe Nelson was the perfect foil for Gage. She wasn't too weak, and she didn't just roll over and let some man tell her what to do, even if she sometimes needed to listen. I love the fact that she didn't whine and moan about every little thing, considering the internal conflicts she was dealing with. She faced whatever came her way, and over time began to understand Gage and why he does what he does. Each character grew as the pages turned. I was rooting for them all, and I wondered why the antagonists did what they did. Mann did a great job of weaving their back stories into the story as well, which made it easier to understand why they were "bad". Despite understanding them, I still "hated" them..

When the book opens, Mann hits us right between the eyes. As former military, that scene brought me to my knees. She is one of the few writers out there that does military right in her stories. It could be because she has great resources...lol! The detail in which she described each action in it, created a tangible tapestry of the kind of hell Gage went through. The emotions that scene evoked let me know that I was in for a roller coaster ride. Mann then followed it up with another high impact scene. It was very hard to put the book down. Let me just state now...
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
In Afghanistan, with his mentor and partner Major Nathan "Socrates" Breuer unconscious and his C-12 nose diving with smoke coming from the tail, Captain Jimmy Gage knows he must land the plane safely and pray for help to arrive fast. He succeeds in getting them to the ground, but his prayer is answered by insurgents who execute Breuer on the spot and take Jimmy prisoner. Tortured by the enemy, his only regret is he left his fallen comrade behind; vowing never again.

Three years later, Jimmy, who escaped from the enemy, is escorting a boat filled with USO performers when the vessel explodes. Jimmy rescues several survivors including beautiful Chloe Nelson. She had joined the troupe to pay homage to the late soldier who donated a kidney that saved her life. As their respective hearts hotwire love, the pair finds themselves struggling to survive while on a dangerous mission.

This exciting first Darks Ops military thriller hooks the audience from the opening suspense laden scene and never loosens the tension until the end. The key to this taut story line is the lead couple whose attraction can light up the country, but keep their romantic inclinations in check as survival and mission come first. Fans who relish an exciting military thriller with a romantic subplot will want to fly with Jimmy and Chloe.

Harriet Klausner
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