Friday, April 1, 2011

Breaking the Rules by Suzanne Brockmann

Title: Breaking the Rules
Author: Suzanne Brockmann
My Rating: B

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Series: Troubleshooters #16
Main Characters: Izzy & Eden Zanella, Dan Gillman & Jenni
Release Date: March 2011 (paperback)
ISBN 978-0345521224 or 
Links to Purchase:
Amazon- $14.77
Borders- $14.77
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Izzy Zanella wasn’t looking for another reason to butt heads with his Navy SEAL teammate, and nemesis, Danny Gillman. But then he met Danny’s beautiful younger sister, Eden. When she needed it most, he offered her a place to stay, a shoulder to cry on—and more. And when she got pregnant with another man’s child, he offered her marriage. But Eden’s devastating miscarriage shattered their life together—and made the intense bad blood between Izzy and Danny even worse.

Now Eden’s back, and she’s on a mission to rescue her teen brother, Ben, from their abusive stepfather. Even if she and Izzy can prove that their broken marriage is still in one piece, winning legal custody of Ben is a long shot. But they’re not alone: Danny and his girlfriend, Jenn, offer to help, and he and Izzy agree to bury the past and fight for Ben’s future.

As they plan their strategy, Izzy and Eden grapple with the raw passion that still crackles between them—while Danny and Jenn confront new depths in their own rocky relationship. But events take a terrifying turn after Ben befriends a girl fleeing a child prostitution ring. When the young runaway seeks refuge with Eden and Izzy, her pursuers kidnap Ben—and a deadly standoff begins. Now they must all pull together like never before and strike back, swift and hard, to protect their unconventional little family and everything they hold most precious.

My Review:
This is really a hard book for me to review. I read all of the Troubleshooters books 1-14 in December back-to-back. I fell in love without he guys and gals from Troubleshooters Inc and from SEAL team 16. When I started those books, I knew that S. Brockmann was planning this to be the final book that she was going to write about the teams for a long while and that she was planning to tie up all the loose ends with this one. As a result, I expected this to be a team book with appearances by a lot of the characters from the series.That is not the case- At. All.

With the exception of a few brief scenes at the beginning, this book really only includes our two core couples: Izzy & Eden and Dan & Jenni and teenager Ben. This book centers not he Gillman dysfunctional family dynamics and how this group of five becomes their own little family. Without the whole Troubleshooters world expectations, I would have enjoyed this book a lot. It was just not what I expected or wanted from this final book, but that problem is mine- not the author's.

This book is good, but it is really a different styled book. There is a little bit of suspense coming in the form of 2 1/2 different groups of bad-guys:
1. fanatic church group trying to kidnap Ben to force the "gay out of him"
2. a slavery prostitution ring trying to catch Neesha (friend of Ben's) who has been enslaved by them for 8 years before she escaped
1/2. Dan, Eden, & Ben's parents who are trying to take Ben back, but spend the whole book drunk/high so they really aren't much of a threat.

But with all that, the suspense really falls a bit flat. This book is really about the group of five learning how to live and love each other and redefine their own family dynamic after the disfunction that they have all grown up with.

Taken as a book about family, this book is really engaging. My favorite evolving relationship was between Dan & Izzy. These two guys have been at each other's throats for at least 1/2 the books in the series. It was awesome to see them reluctantly get past that and to start to respect each other. They do finally develop a working friendship- although their cutting remarks and snark remain throughout the entire book and continued to leave me giggling. I actually enjoyed all the repartee between all the characters.

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