Review: Breaking the Rules by Suzanne Brockmann

Posted March 6, 2014 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Genres: Romantic Suspense

Breaking the Rules
Rowena’s review of Breaking the Rules (Troubleshooters #16) by Suzanne Brockmann.

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 step-father. 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 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 from 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.

This was my first read from my TBR jar. I can’t believe that I’ve had this book since the day that it came out and never got around to reading it until now. I started it once before and couldn’t get into it so I put it down, thinking that I’d try again in a week or so…I didn’t know that it’d be longer than two years before I picked it back up again.

I was also surprised that I really liked it. Man, I was trippin’ when I couldn’t get into it before because reading this book, took me back to how much I loved the other books in the Troubleshooters series.

So Izzy and Eden have been married for a while now but they don’t have a normal marriage. They got married because Eden was pregnant and Izzy offered support. He offered her his friendship and a shoulder to lean on so Eden took it. When she lost the baby, she didn’t take the news well because she turned Izzy’s world upside down but leaving him behind. Now she’s back in the states, trying to save her younger brother, Ben from their homophobic stepfather. Ben is being abused and Eden will do whatever it takes to get him out from under their stepdad’s thumb.

It’s not long before Eden realizes that she can’t do this alone. She needs help. She needs her brother Danny’s help but when he’s unable to get to her in time, she accepts Izzy’s help.

So much is going on in this book and I ate everything up. From Danny and Jenn’s dysfunctional relationship, to trying to save Ben and Ben’s new friend Neesha, not to mention Izzy and Eden’s reconnection, there was a lot to carry this story and I thought Brockmann handled it really well. She delivered on keeping things interesting and when I closed the book, I wasn’t in any way disappointed with the story.

Brockmann does what I thought was impossible. She made me like Danny Gillman. My opinion of him dropped considerably in the previous couple of books because of the way that he treated the women in his life. And of the shithead way he treated Izzy at every turn. He was Danny the Dick to me. I couldn’t stand his attitude but seeing him brought to his knees in this book went a long way in fixing my feelings for him. At the beginning of the book, all hope was lost of me ever liking him but I should have had more faith in Brockmann because she made him see the error of his ways and I was glad for it. Seeing him fix things with both Jennilyn and Eden made me happy.

I read reviews of this book a long time ago and there were a lot of people who were disappointed with Eden’s character. They didn’t connect with her as much as the other characters because she was cold and unfeeling but I didn’t see her that way at all. I saw a determined woman do whatever she had to do to take care of the people she loved. The lengths that she went through to help Ben and the people that were important to Ben, I dug it. I liked her. She made mistakes in her past and she owned up to them. She tried to fix them, to make amends and I ended up really admiring her. It wasn’t hard to see why Izzy was so in love with her. Seeing him come around with his heart, for her made me love Izzy all the more. And I loved the hell out of Izzy before this book. I was one of the people who wanted Izzy to end up with Maria but I’m not at mad that he ended up with Eden. I’m total Team Eden now.

This book was action packed and it was filled with all of the things that I love about the Troubleshooters series. I’m sad that this is the end of my Troubleshooters reading adventure but I’m looking forward to reading the new series. I just hope it’s as good as this book/series is.

Grade: 4.75 out of 5

This book is available from Ballantine Books.  You can purchase it here or here in e-format.

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2 responses to “Review: Breaking the Rules by Suzanne Brockmann

  1. Yes, yes, yes!!! 😀

    I too had this book in the TBR almost since it came out, and kept ignoring it because, after being disappointed with the lack of continuity in Dark of Night, mostly characterization-wise, I had also skewed reading Hot Pursuit, and I’m a fiend for reading series in order.

    Then I finally grabbed HT, and inhaled it, which obviously led to inhaling BTR immediately after.

    Eden’s character was widely criticized a couple of books earlier (Into The Fire, for those not too familiar with the series) because she was a teen who was, shall we say, a tad too free with her favors. Yeah, the slut shaming, it was loud. Then here she’s working as a stripper in order to make enough money to be able to support herself and Ben, and to eventually be able to get guardianship of her brother. And boy o boy, did she get blasted for this!

    How dare she think herself “morally” fit to be responsible for Ben!

    Seriously? Considering that, at best, she finished high school and has no formal training or marketable skills, what the hell was she supposed to do? She’s not prostituting herself–even though that’s effin’ legal in Nevada–she’s being paid for hands off titillation. And she’s being paid a helluva lot better than she would for flipping burgers or ringing sales at some corner market (or even some big chain). It’s not conceivable that she would be able to afford even a room, let alone an apartment, if she limited herself to “morally acceptable” jobs–particularly when that morality is all about women being asexual, demure, timid and innocent ninnies who MUST wait to be rescued, while letting life trample them to death.


    Beyond that, I can’t say that I fell for Danny as much as you did, but I enjoyed this book a lot. I loved being able to fall again for Ms Brockmann’s writing, to reconnect with these characters and this world.

    I hear from Kaetrin that the first installment in her off-shoot series (Reluctant Heroes, I believe?) is pretty good, and has just enough of the TB universe in it to make her happy. I will likely wait until the paperback version is out myself before trying it, but I do hope Kaetrin is right–I miss reading Brockmann’s books.

    • Oh man, do I hear you. I about nodded my head right off my shoulders, reading your comment.

      The whole slut shaming thing with Eden had a lot to do with why I didn’t pick this book up for so long. I fed into it, people were saying that they didn’t connect with her character and I let that sway my reading choices. Shame on me. Eden was such a likable character and I admired the hell out of her for everything she did in the name of love. Love for Ben. Love for Izzy. Hell, even love for that dickhead Danny. More power to her for doing what she thought she had to do to get Ben away from his punk ass step-father.

      I read the first book in the new series and it was good but I didn’t LOVE it the way that I love this series. I’ll still read the other books in the series though.

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