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In my review for Book 1 (which I gave 5 stars) I said I'm not a lover of the Special Ops/Miliatary type books because the tend to be over the top and unrealistic. But I loved the author's Book 1 story being mostly believable as a major part of why I liked it. The same was true for the next ones.
This book, while a decent romance, was really not believable. It's a fantasy and overly sweet and sappy. I think overall, this book is less the BDI of the previous books and more like some mix of a Christmas Romcom meets Mr. & Mrs. Smith meets NCIS and is written as a Hallmark movie.
Tasha is not a woman that chose to become an operative when she was grown up. She's an operative who as a child that was put in prison conditions and subjected to horrible things and then forced into becoming Calypso. She was so traumatized she even tried suicide. She is full of rage, too. Someone like that doesn't just turn into Suzy Homemaker. Although I am glad she sort of did.
In this book, Ian opens up to Tasha and explains why he has his focus on BDI's messing with The Syndicate. It is nice he sees Tasha and not Calypso. But of course he has trouble sharing his feelings with her. Like so many men in these books, he uses sex as communication. This leaves Tasha feeling like it's not HER he wants or that he even loves her. And instead of her communicating, she starts planning on how to run away. *smh*
Tasha also resents not being able to go on ops while pregnant. I'm sorry, but I've had multiple kids, and I did anything to protect them during pregnancy. That included not doing certain things to ensure I wouldn't get hurt badly enough to injure the baby. That feeling was the strongest with the first baby. So that attitude of hers put me off, especially after Ian explained his reasoning over and over.
And the entire Lissette thing was predictable and honestly a bit overdone as was the final fight/rescue. I can see why maybe Tasha was fooled by Lisette, but all of BDI? No one really even stopped to look more into her than the initial background check while she is living in the home with Ian and the rest? Anyway, it all ends happily and the only thing not thrown in was everyone singing Kumbaya or something.
The book was a good enough feel good romance, it's just not what I expected for Ian/Tasha and not what I liked about the others--suspenseful and believable. I hope the next book is like the others were and this fantasy type story was only for this book because I really didn't love this one like the previous ones.
I fell for Ian Black in the H.O.T. SEAL series! He was so irreverent,and seemed to be out for #1, but I knew there was so much more to him. Then, when the Black's Bandit's series started, I couldn't wait to find out his secrets. Nor could I wait to see the elusive woman who captured his attention. And did Natasha take him on a wild ride! Personally, I don't think he would have been interested if she hadn't. I love their story. They are perfect together and the journey they went through to get their HEA was everything. So much suspense, intrigue, passion...I couldn't get enough. 5+ stars!!
We Hostile Operations Team/Black's Bandits fans have been waiting years to meet the woman bold enough to capture the heart of mystery man himself, Ian Black. And Lynn Raye Harris delivers a memorable heroine in the much younger, international assassin Natasha Oliver. These two are made for each other. Many fans have been rooting for them all along.
Natasha has made a vow to kill all of those she feels responsible for the 2 years she spent in the Russian prison. And Ian is the last on the list. There's just one problem. She's attracted to him. After a passionate night spent in his bed, Natasha isn't sure she can carry through with it. And Ian gets more than 1 surprise when Natasha shows up to warn him that there are new threats against him from the evil crime syndicate she works for. (Enslaved to, more like.) Natasha is sure she can't kill Ian - for more than just her attraction for him. Being with Natasha makes Ian think of home, family. Things he never imagined. But its not an easy road to HEA. I particularly appreciate that while there is a thirteen year gap between Ian & Natasha, age is not made an issue in this romance. Ian & Natasha are two broken warriors with similar tragic pasts who heal each other through their love.
If you've followed the four previous Black's Bandits stories, you know about the assassin Calypso who's been a thorn in Ian's side. (Like Ian has been the guy the HOT teams led by General Mendez love to hate.) Far from being a cold-blooded killer, Natasha emerges as a surprisingly sympathetic character in Lynn's skilled hands. And we finally get Ian's backstory And get a glimpse of what has been driving him all these years. (Better get the tissues with that reveal.) And we learn his real eye color!
Ian Black has grown through all his appearance from a terrorist to a valued valued comrade but he is always his snarky, irreverent self. (I loved Mendez's moment of payback for all of Ian's snide remarks over the years.) Natasha is perfect for him, tough, smart, and sexy - if a bit prickly. You will laugh, worry, and cheer.
You don't have to have read any of the previous Hostile Operations or Blacks Bandits stories. Lynn does a good job of catching up to date. But her Hostile Operation Teams series is consistently terrific and I highly recommend them. If you want to at least read more about Ian Black & are unfamiliar with the HOT world however, I'd recommend HOT Rebel, HOT Ice, HOT & BOTHERED, HOT Valor, HOT SEAL Target, & Black List for key Ian Black moments.
Ian’s story is finally here! It is so much better than the build-up. I didn’t just read this story, I DEVOURED it! It’s that good! The most disappointing part of this entire story is that it ends too soon. Talk about a book hang over!
I absolutely love Ian’s back story which comes out bit by bit so we understand his reasoning and motivation to do and be who he is. Ian is a very complex man, but also has a heart of gold underneath the intense, arrogant exterior. You feel sad for the young boy he was and proud of the man he has become, despite the enemies he has made. He has come a long way in his journey and fought his entire way up the ladder to his present state. I enjoy Ian’s mental transformation while he figures his head out and eventually, what his heart is telling him about Natasha. For such an intelligent and ruthless man, it took him a good long while and a vicious threat for him to finally see the light.
I love how Ian is a man of action, who gets things done. He always goes into a mission with a Plan A and B, but sometimes a Plan C (winging it) is needed if things go sideways. He has a team he trusts and takes care of his own. He’s not afraid to call in favors to make things happen the way he needs them to.
I was entranced with Calypso’s transformation into a scared, hesitant, young woman. The author did this character proud when she created the back story and present situation for Calypso/Natasha. We have learned throughout the previous stories to hate her. She is an evil assassin. This new Calypso has turned into a vulnerable Natasha who has many secrets and loves hard.
Ian’s obsession with Natasha is compounded and constant. Her obsession with Ian is confused. She needs him dead. This dynamic between the two keeps the reader devouring the pages. Their dancing around each other is as old as time with a intricate and interesting twist.
This story is intense, exciting and suspenseful throughout and lures the reader along, demanding patience to learn the outcome of Natasha’s betrayal. It leaves you craving more and needing the next fix! I love it!
We finally get Ian's and Natasha's story. I have been waiting for this!!! And Lynn Raye Harris fantastically delivers a phenomenally written book about them. Like their mythological code names, Odysseus (Ian) and Calypso (Tasha), they circle each other bound for each to win. In the past books, Ian Black was cold, calculated and portrayed as corrupt. Calypso presented herself in past Black's Bandit books as a ruthless mercenary and an adversary to Odysseus. The magnetism between them was relentless and yet they both had a job to do, as distasteful as it was. Then the unthinkable happens and Tasha is forced to engage her opponent. At first there is little trust amongst them, then protectiveness and possessiveness prevail. Tasha has a lot to lose - her brother who understandably hates her for past deeds; her adopted child whom she has protected with all of her might; and the man she has come to love who gave her a gift that no one has. When Ian becomes fierce in safeguarding his newly found family, nothing will stop him from utterly destroying those in his path to protect what is his. This story has every emotion that makes a romance interesting and complete: Intrigue, Mystery, Battle, Fear, Strength, Love, Protection and, above all, 2 hearts that become 1 in the end. This was a remarkable story! Highly recommend.
OMG! Another FANTASTIC story by Lynn! We finally get to know Ian's story. It is both intense and heartwrenching. Natasha is every bit as dangerous as Ian and when they finally get together, they are explosive! It was so heartbreaking to find out the nanny was the enemy. Daria is so adorable and pretty much had Ian and all of his guys wrapped around her little finger. Ian has proven in all of the books he has been in to be quite the dangerous man when he needs to be, especially if the people he cares about are in danger. Once the bad guys are taken care of, Ian and Natasha finally confessed their love for each other and started their happily ever after! It would have been nice to meet the new baby but hopefully we will get to meet that baby in the next book. FANTASTIC job Lynn! I would highly recommend this book!
The transformation Ian Black and Calypso in this story were huge and believable. I truly had my doubts that I would be able to get on Team Ian/Natasha especially after she tries to kill him. But it worked. Everyone is redeemable.
Natasha gets her HEA with Ian and embarks on a life with her man, newfound friends and family and her redemption is just awesome. This is an incredible power couple! All of Ian’s Bandits help take down an evil empire and it’s so great seeing the group together.
"No one can help - and I will never be free." "You keep saying that, but you have choices Natasha. Choose to accept my help and I'll move mountains for you."
Well, I thought I loved Ian Black before. Now? I REALLY love him!! This is by far my favorite book of the Black's Bandits series!! Every girl needs to have an Ian in her life - he's dark and mysterious, ridiculously sexy, and will protect those he loves with his very life if needed. While he's usually the one in control, he would do just about anything to make his woman happy.
And Natasha? I always loved her. Sure, she was ruthless - most assassins are, right? But I knew there was so much more to her and I loved reading about her vulnerable side - the side that needs love just like the rest of us.
If there was ever a pair perfectly suited for one another, it's Ian and Natasha.
Loved, loved loved, their story!! If you haven't read the series, don't wait!!
HOT Heroes for Hire: Mercenaries. Black's Bandits book 5. Amazing read. This book is smart and beautifully written. Ian Black meets his match in Calypso. He's the top alpha with a kickass team. She's a badass alpha that takes no ish from anybody. They want and need each other. She has a child to protect and he needs her in his life. The evil group is out for blood and will not let that happen. But they have no idea that Ian Black with Calypso by his side is an unstoppable team. This book is sexy, hopeful, gut wrenching fast paced with plenty of twists and turns. Love, love, love Ian Black and every moment of this book.