Wednesday, February 22, 2012

BREAKING THE RULES by Suzanne Brockmann

Publisher: Ballantine
Date published: January 31, 2012
ISBN 9780345521231
Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Reviewed by Gina
Obtained Via Publisher

In the midst of a mission in Afghanistan Navy SEAL Dan Gillman is wounded, almost fatally so. In a daring move his fellow teammate, Izzy Zanella, not only performs an in field blood transfusion but donates his own blood, almost dying himself in the process. Both men find themselves recovering in Germany where Izzy is trying to forget his wife who happens to be Dan’s sister. At the same time, the love of Dan’s life, Jenni, has come to Germany to be by his side no matter what the outcome of his injury. In the midst of a none too happy partial family reunion, starring Dan’s father, the teammates receive word that Dan’s little brother, Ben, is in his own kind of danger.

Teenage Ben is a diabetic and diabetic teens have their own special set of concerns. Every day can be fraught with events that can tip the teen’s blood sugar one way of the other. Adding to Ben’s personal equation is that he is gay. Ben is fine with his sexuality. He has unconditional love and support from his sister, Eden, who happens to also be Izzy’s wife. But Ben’s step-father has an issue with Ben—a big issue. So big that drunk and bigoted Greg arranges to have Ben kidnapped and brought to a facility that tries to “pray away the gay.” Inside Crossroads Ben desperately tries to tell them he needs insulin and quickly. Greg managed to omit that little fact and Ben’s life is in jeopardy. On top of that, men, nasty men, are trying to recapture a young girl named Neesha and return her to her life as a sex slave.

The tragedies and struggles of these six people, related by blood, marriage and friendship, come together in a daisy wheel of intrigue and suspense. If one thread unravels, all will be lost.

BREAKING THE RULES was my first Suzanne Brockman read. I have, I believe, all her books but one thing or another has kept me from reading them. What I liked about BREAKING THE RULES was that you do not have to read the earlier books in the series to enjoy it. Ms. Brockman does a marvelous job of weaving the threads of past stories and character histories into the current story.

I had a little issue with how Dan and Izzy related to each other mainly because I’ve read a few non-fictions on the SEALS and the sniping and battles between the two just didn’t mesh with what how those books portrayed the teams.

Jenni was immensely likeable and it was great that a larger woman is portrayed as beautiful and self-assured. What I didn’t appreciate were the constantly reminders of her size. Izzy and Eden had a great sex life—but we’re told, by them, that they really do have a deep and intense love for each other. I didn’t quite see that.

I felt bad for Neesha, angry at her situation. I would have liked to see her step up a bit more than she did sooner. Greg was the epitome of “dumb trailer trash” with his bigoted approach to life. He is no one I would want in my personal life—he’s nasty, close-minded and while I’d like to call him by a stronger word, jerk suffices. There were points where he seemed like a caricature, but the sad truth is there are people like him in the world.

After reading BREAKING THE RULES I know I need to go back to book 1 and delve completely into the series.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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