No Surrender (2009) by Shannon Stacey is apart of a series that is published by Samhain, LTD. The Devlin Group books are one of my favorite series because the stories are full of action with just the right amount of romance.
The Devlin Group represents a group of operatives who work locally as well as globally. They go after arms dealers, terrorists, child traffickers without much thought to the law. Just like the first two books, the story opens with the DG team in the middle of an op that has gone wrong.
DG operative, Carmen Olivera is trapped in the home of a Canadian billionaire who’s suspected of laundering money for a nasty group of terrorists. They’re looking for evidence that the Feds can’t get their hands on. John Gallagher aka “Gallagher” is the mission director who has to get her out of there unscathed. This is the Devlin Group’s speciality, coming up with spur of the moment plans for escaping out of impossible situations.
Carmen locates what looks to be a diary and then makes good her escape with the help of Gallagher on the end of her comm. The two escape only to have their plane crash in the middle of the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Alex Rossi, the head of the DG team, throws his money and his weight around to get the search and rescue team to locate his two missing operatives.
During this downtime, Carmen and Gallagher confront their feelings for each other. Each have been secretly interested in the other and being stranded gives them the opportunity to act on those feelings. Facing death prompts Gallagher to make the first move. This part of the story is akin to that of a cabin romance. The two engage in hot sex but their moments together are cut short when S&R finds them.
The target of their snooping in Canada, Jean Arceneau, has a daughter who’s being held hostage by a very hostile regime. He’s being blackmailed to cooperate and in doing so, he’s involved the DG group. Arceneau is willing to roll over on everybody if the DG team can get his daughter back. So the DG group makes plans to, reluctantly, after much debate, head into enemy territory, into Matunisia, into the compound of Le Roux.
The story then introduces Jack Donovan, a DG operative who pretends to be a German arms dealer for the extraction in Matunisia. Donovan has emotional baggage that stems from a climbing accident three years ago. Life brings him back full circle to confront the handicap of his past and offer him a chance at redemption. Maybe even offer him a chance at love.
That’s the main plot of the story. How did I like it? I liked it. I liked the idea more than the execution of it if that makes any sense at all. The story is chock full of action which I enjoyed. I tend to be a big fan of stories that feature agents who wear those mics and who seem to be in complete control under the most stressful circumstances. Always facing danger and walking away from it. That’s the Devlin Group.
Of course, I’m a cynic. I can’t help it. Sure, every agent in here is the best at what they do. Everyone in here is an expert. DG founder, Alex Rossi, makes more money than anybody on the planet Earth and he pays his agents very well. They are known worldwide. Everyone is loyal and treat each other like family. This is a tightnit group dedicated to the job, to each other and to their boss and not necessarily in that order.
The major conflict between Carmen and Gallagher has Carmen accusing Gallagher of trying to “bubble wrap her” to keep her out of harm’s way on their missions. A valid complaint and should be reason enough not to fall for a fellow agent but hey, what’s done is done. I loved Gallagher. This guy was someone you trusted with your life and his love for Carmen was solid. His love for her meant that he’d carry her ten miles if he had to to save her life. I love that that kind of devotion and it stuck out in this story.
It was all there on his face. In his eyes. Everything he felt for her. His desperate determination to get her out alive. His willingness to do whatever it took – even dying – to make that happen.
His fear for her.
“You promise me,” she said in a low voice, “that if I go, you will get out of here alive.”
“If I know you’re safe, I can do anything, babe. Nothing could keep me from getting back to you.”
Anyway, No Surrender was a good read. It’s not a perfect read but I was entertained enough to ignore whatever grievances I had with the plotting or the flow of the story. I agree with this reader in that, Suzanne Brockmann fans should give this author a try especially if they like a lot of action along with their romance. B.
This story stands alone quite well but if you’re interested in the first two books, they are 72 Hours and On the Edge. If I had to rank the stories in order of enjoyment it would be 72 Hours, No Surrender then On The Edge. I want more Devlin Group stories and I hope we get more.