Type: Romantic Suspense
My Copy: Sent
Black Ops, Inc. operative Joe Green is determined to bring to justice the man responsible for former team member Bryan Tompkins’s death. He’s convinced the ambush that killed Bryan was no coincidence, but a setup. Unsure of the consequences of the battle he’s about to start, Joe distances himself from both his Black Ops, Inc. team members and the woman he loves, Bryan’s sister, Stephanie Tompkins. But Stephanie knows there must be some reason Joe broke it off, and when she hears Joe’s charged with a murder in Sierra Leone, she wastes no time in breaking him out of prison. Then they must unravel the mystery behind the ambush, and bring resolution to a long-ago betrayal….
Joe knows that to truly keep Stephanie safe he has to break her heart. He has plans for revenge that don’t include a girlfriend and having him come back anything less then whole would tear her apart. Fifteen years ago his brother in arms was killed in the line of duty but Joe knows there is more to the story then what was officially said. His friend was murdered and now he finally has the chance to get his revenge and shed light on what actually happened that day. Until he is captured and beaten daily with no hope of ever seeing the light of day again.
Just seeing the picture of Joe being led into a foreign prison is enough to tear a hole in Stephanies heart. With Joe’s Black Ops team out of commission she has to go in alone and no one is going to stand in her way. Sure, she’s in way over her head but she will do what it takes to get him out. The plaint, soft Stephanie was who Joe left behind but this new Stephanie has no problem jail breaking a innocent man and laying everything on the line to do so. Alone with a band of military street kids, Stephanie is about to show “mean” Joe Green what exactly she is made of.
Last Man Standing in the seventh book in Gerard’s Black Ops Inc series and it certainly delivered in the action department! Almost from the first page there is something going on and the reader is instantly thrown in to the mind of Joe. It’s obvious from the start that he is deeply in love with Stephanie and has a ton of guilt over it. Out of a misplaced sense of duty he wants to protect her and in order to do that he has to break her heart. He has to cut ties with Stephanie in order to finally go back and get revenge on her brothers death from fifteen years ago. Just like most men though he caves and has one last night with her even though she can tell he is leaving. Stephanie comes across as a very loving and patient person in the beginning. Not someone I could see being involved in a high stress rescue and so I was worried about how she would act once Joe gets captured and she has to go rescue him on her own. Stephanie is nothing but resourceful the entire book. Upon seeing Joe in the prison her backbones seemed to instantly harden and she literally became like a different person. I was fascinated with the change in her entire demeanor.
Joe and Stephanie together was very steamy. Joe spends a lot of the book being weak and slightly incapacitated and he makes more qualms about hating it. Stephanie nurses him back to health though and the effect was so loving, so sweet, that I said “awwwww” a lot. Well and “oooooo” when Joe realizes that even though he has no strength to walk, little Joe wasn’t listening to those limitations. Heh. He reacted to just the smell of Stephanie, and let’s be honest, they are in a 3rd world country with hardly any running water. She couldn’t smell that good ALL the time.
I loved the addition of Suah, the local teenager who had been snatched off the street at a young age and military trained. Out on his own now after the fall of his leader in the last book, Suah joins the fight to save Joe from the prison and smuggle him out of the country. It was sad to see a boy at such a young age have the knowledge he had and knowing what he had endured. I loved how he tried to hide his like for Stephanie and Joe behind his hardened expression and that they could both see right through him.
The only downside to this book was the ending. I thought there was a lot of lead up to taking the head honcho down and then not much action associated with it. The villain has a heart condition and so I figured there would be some obstacles with the final scene between Joe and him but it just seemed over way to fast. I was a bit let down by that.
I loved the huge epilogue at the end of this one. There is information on every couple in the series and it’s nice to know what they are doing now. Even if I haven’t read all the books in this series, each character is talked about in each installment. Lots of babies crawling around everywhere. 🙂
Last Man Standing is an excellent edition to Gerards military series! Wonderfully written, engaging and action packed, this one will keep you reading! I fully recommend this series!
I give Last Man Standing by Cindy Gerard 4.5 stars!