TARGETED – Katie Reus
A Deadly Ops Novel , Book 1
Signet Eclipse
ISBN-13:  978-0-451-41921-7
October 2013
Romantic Suspense

South Beach, Florida -  Present Day

Five years ago, Sam Kelly was a Marine Corp sniper, one of the best.  Upon coming back to camp after a mission one day, he was called to the tent of Lieutenant General Wesley Burkhart, head of the National Security Agency.  He wanted to recruit Sam for Black ops, and normally Sam wouldn't consider it, but he's seen so much death, he agrees to the job.

Now Sam Kelly is no more; a change of name to Jack Stone and extensive facial surgery make him unrecognizable.  Several days after ending a job concerning human smuggling, Wesley wants him to start another mission right away in Florida, and right in the thick of it is Sophie Moreno, his love before he joined the Marines at nineteen.  Her boss, Ronald Weller, is the owner of South Beach Medical Supply that sends medical supplies all over the world to needy countries.  The company they use to fly the supplies is Keane Flight, which they fear has become close to the Vargas cartel, a group smuggling guns, drugs, and now even biological weapons.  Jack knows meeting Sophie again will make it hard to keep his mind on the job, but Wesley insists it's the only way to get over her.

Sophie Moreno knows something is going on with her boss; things aren't adding up in her paperwork, and when she sneaks into Keane Flight's hangar and finds guns in the boxes on a plane and not medicine, she takes a picture of them.  She's sure Ronald will want to know about it, but the next day he avoids her at all costs, until he introduces her to Jack Stone, a supposed partner in Keane Flight, and she feels all sorts of things about him, like she's known him before.  When Jack and Sophie go to lunch and Sophie is shot at, Jack's cover story is compromised as he tries to hide her and find out what she knows and why the cartel is after her.

Katie Reus is a new author to me, and TARGETED has all the excitement and action packed situations sure to have you sitting on the edge of your seat.  Told from Sophie and Jack's points of view, and some of a traitor in the NSA, their lives are in danger, and the traitor is merely looking to get a big enough score to drop out and support himself on some island somewhere.  Unfortunately, Ms. Reus makes Sam/Jack a sissy when Sophie gets mad at him, like he's not a professional in what he does, and Sophie thinks the situation isn't as dire as it is and wants to follow Sam around like a puppy dog, getting in his way.

There are many secondary characters that contribute to the story.  Ronald Weller is forced to choose between his kidnapped daughter and Sophie's friend Hannah. Also a question mark is Sam's friend Levi, who appears to have gone rogue and Vargas and his group who are behind the kidnapping of Ronald's teenage daughter. Last but not least is the mole in the NSA.

TARGETED started out having me say “I love this book” with great excitement.  But the relationship between Sophie and Jack seemed out of sync.  My pet peeve is a person not trained in the military or undercover work who forces the professional to do what she wants when she pouts.  As a former Marine sniper and operative for over five years in undercover work, Jack folds every time Sophie gets mad and wants to stick her nose into dangerous situations.  Other than that, Katie Reus has started an interesting series, and I believe that maybe Levi will have his story at some time in the future.

Carolyn Crisher