Tag: Team Sixteen

Author Spotlight Review: Over the Edge by Suzanne Brockmann

Posted April 13, 2010 by Casee in Features, Reviews | 11 Comments

Casee‘s review of Over the Edge (Troubleshooters, Book 3) by Suzanne Brockmann.

For Lieutenant Teri Howe, one of the best helicopter pilots in the naval reserves, nothing stands in the way of her passion for flying – until a past mistake surfaces, jeopardizing everything she’s worked for. Senior Chief Stan Wolchonok has made a career of tackling difficult challenges so it’s no surprise when he comes to Teri’s aid, knowing that his personal code of honor – and perhaps his heart – will be at risk. When a jet carrying an American senator’s daughter is hijacked, Stan’s unflinching determination and Teri’s steadfast courage are put to the ultimate test. The rescue mission will be daring and dangerous. Yet somewhere between peril and resolution, the line between friends and lovers begins to blur, pushing both their lives over the edge…

Over the Edge is that Suzanne Brockmann book for me. You know, the one that I have five used copies of and two new autographed copies? That’s seven of the same book. I’m not ashamed. I get to loan them out, even to the spine benders (you know who you are). I think I’ve met Suzanne Brockmann three times. I heard her speak once. She’s amazeballs. I heart her. I don’t heart her heroines though. More like I hate dislike her heroines.

I disgress. Over the Edge tells Teri Howe and Senior Chief Stanley Wolchonok’s story. If you start the series with book three (like I did) you will see right away that Stan kicks major ass. He goes into a bar and kicks ass all while having the flu. Considering that I’ve read this entire series, I should be well versed in the hierarchy of the Navy. I’m not. I know that enlisted is different than being an officer. That’s about all I know aside from the fact that Commander is a higher title than Lieutenant. What makes me mention this is that as Team Sixteen’s Senior Chief, Stan commands uber respect. He gets things done. Everyone listens to what he says even the men that [I would guess] outrank him. That’s why he’s able to kick ass while having the flu.

It’s no secret Stan is fugly. Or he thinks he is. That got a little old after awhile. Men. One day, Stan helped Lt. Teri Howe out of a potential violate situation when an officer came onto her sexually. Terri is enlisted which could cause all sorts of problems. Teri and Stan know each other, but not very well. Stan offers Teri his help and Teri accepts shortly thereafter.

So you have a fugly Senior Chief that kicks ass whilst having the flu and a young helo pilot that has formed a rather unhealthy attachment to him. For someone that is so kick ass, Stan is stoopid. He decides that he can help Teri by sending her OUTCONUS never imagining that his “help” would land her alongside Team Sixteen in Kazbekistan of all places. Stan is horrified but decides that it’s the perfect time to play matchmaker.

Teri has been attracted to Stan from the moment she saw him. What Stan sees as unattractive, Terri sees as quiet strength. Teri has her work cut out for her if she wants Stan to look at her as a woman and not a project. Just like he does for Team Sixteen, Stan does everything he can to “fix” what’s wrong with Teri. I have to admit, that got way old. Stan decided that Mike Muldoon (so perfect looking he should be gay) would be the perfect person to get Teri back in the saddle so to speak. Matching making during a hostage negotiation in Kasbekistan? Really? That beats the old “sex in an alley while running away from bad guys”. Like I said earlier, I’m not a big fan of SB’s heroines (read: They suck) but Teri was so-so. I didn’t really start liking her (I use that term loosely) until she stood up for herself and told Stan to get bent.

Over the Edge is also where the Sam and Alyssa saga continues and the Max and Gina saga begins. It was a turning point in the series for me. There was not another book in the Troubleshooter/Team Sixteen series that I loved as much as this one.

I made a note of this quote b/c it made me laugh out loud. It’s Alyssa’s thoughts when Jules is walking towards her. So Jules.

He, on the other hand, looked adorable with his perfect hair and his perfect face and his trim little body clad in impeccable army wear—a very clean T-shirt and neatly creased camouflage pants. He looked like GI Joe’s gay little brother.

4.5 out of 5.

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

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All Through the Night by Suzanne Brockmann

Posted November 6, 2007 by Casee in Reviews | 4 Comments

Book description:

It’s Christmastime in Boston, and this year the silver bells will be wedding bells as FBI agent Jules Cassidy ties the knot with the man of his dreams, Hollywood heartthrob Robin Chadwick.

The pair plan a quiet, intimate ceremony, to be witnessed by family and close friends from the FBI, SEAL Team Sixteen, and Troubleshooters, Incorporated, including Sam Starrett and Alyssa Locke. But the holiday season brings more to the happy couple than they expect.

A waterfall coming through their kitchen ceiling, a bat colony in the attic, old family tensions . . . even an international incident can’t dampen their spirits. But add to that a parade of unexpected guests, including a reporter looking for a scoop, an ex-lover hell-bent on causing trouble, and a dangerous stalker, and suddenly the wedding is poised to unravel in chaos.

But nothing will stop Jules and Robin from getting their happy ending, because along with a guest list featuring the most elite counterterrorism force in the world, they have their own secret weapon–true love.

Before I begin my review, I’m going to answer the question that everyone wants to know. Did Jules cry? The answer to that is a big.fat.YES. Dude. What is with Suz and these crying heroes? Men do not have to show their softer side by crying. Geez.

I have been a long time fan of Jules Cassidy. How can you not love Jules? I want a BFF like Jules. That said, I really wasn’t feeling him in this book. I felt like it was more Suz’s voice coming through the character of Jules. I know that Suz is a huge gay rights activist which I think it’s really admirable. Still, this book came across as preachy to me. Jules came across as a whiny crybaby. Not the Jules that I know and love.

So Robin and Jules are in lurve. They’re going to get married. I don’t know how I feel about that b/c I still don’t know how I feel about Robin. When I read Force of Nature, I was kind of hoping that Robin would die. Blasphemy? Maybe. But I was still withholding judgement just like Sam. Come on. The guy was so far in the closet that he didn’t even know he was in the closet. He was a raging alcoholic. He could only have sex when he was so drunk that he wouldn’t have to admit that he liked men more than women. Especially unforgivable is him hooking up with Jules’ ex, Adam. That’s just really, really, really effed up.

It’s not that I didn’t enjoy the book b/c I did. Revisiting Sam and Alyssa is always fun. I love reading about how their relationship has progressed over the last several books. Alyssa is pregnant, which is a huge deal considering how her sister died. Jones and Molly make an appearance, which I loved b/c I love those two. I enjoyed reading the secondary romance between Jules and Robin’s assistant, Dolphina Patel and Will Schroeder. I liked seeing that though Jules is almost perfect, he hasn’t quite made it to perfect. The guy has a major jealousy problem. He hated that about himself which was what made it “aww” instead of “ugh”.

Bottom line, there was too much shoved into one book. It was over the course of a month, but still…

There’s Will Schroeder who crashes a surprise engagement party and pretends to be an invited guest. While talking to Robin, he’s recording the conversation. A few days later, the story hits the National Voice (like the National Enquirer?) which takes everything Robin said out of context. The day after that, the recording shows up on TMZ.com. How did that happen? Will’s computer got hacked. Yup. Hacked. I don’t buy it. The guy is a reported. Pul-lease. Tell me he didn’t have firewalls or whatever crap you have to make sure your shit doesn’t get hacked. Oh and at the party, he falls in love at first sight with Dolphina who obviously wants nothing to do with him after the story hits the media.

Jules is sent to Afghanistan and almost dies w/ Max. All the Team Sixteen wives arrive, along with Gina who is as terrified for Max as Robin is for Jules. Gina tells Robin that Jules made her promise that everyone would be there to support Robin if anything like this ever happened. We also find out that Gina is pregnant. Max tells Jules when it becomes apparent that they won’t make it out alive. Alas, they do make it out. How? Will has a friend who is the only person in Afghanistan that has internet access and sends Jules and Max’s location to Will who alerts Yashi (an Agent on Jules’ team) who then send in the Marines. Huh.

Though Jules and Robin sent an invitation to their wedding to the President and First Lady, they fully expected to receive their regrets. After all, they don’t want their wedding to become a political statement. Of course they RSVP will their thanks and that they will attend. That means that the Secret Service has to run all the guests, one of whom comes back red flagged. Yup, the man red flagged is none other than Jones. Will, being the report that he is, snoops through Dolphina’s files and sees that this Jones person has been flagged. He then does research and deuces that Jones is really Grady Morant, presumed dead. He doesn’t want to out him, however. He only wants his corroboration to right a book about it. In between all that, we find out Molly is also pregnant.

Is there something in the water?

While all this is going on, both Robin and Jules are receiving almost daily calls from Adam. They both don’t tell the other b/c they don’t to upset each other, but they soon both find out he’s been calling both of them. Jules goes all alpha on Adam and tells him that Robin is marrying him and he needs to stay out of their lives. Adam tells him that he’s being stalked and needs help. See, there’s this guy who thinks he’s a robot or alien or something. When the stalker leaves Adam a welcome home gift inside his house, Adam takes the next flight to Boston, leading the killer right to Robin and Jules’ door. At first I thought this was a person that was against gay marriage and wanted to kill Jules and Robin for even presuming to think they can actually marry. But no, he thought Adam was a robot. Jules and Sam, along with Cosmo and the rest of Team Sixteen come and save the day.

Jules and Robin do eventually get married after all this. That’s after Robin leaves the church b/c he forgot a gift he wanted to give Jules. He gets locked in the bathroom (old house, door knobs come off) and seriously digs a hole in the wall to get out. Meanwhile at the church, Jules is trying to stay calm but when he hears everyone is searching local bars, he loses it a little. Eventually he finds Robin and all is well.

As a whole, I did enjoy this story. Suz put in an Author’s Note at the end of the book saying that Robin demanded his HEA before she was ready to give it to him, which is how she ended up writing All Through The Night. I just thank God she did b/c I did not want to see Jules and Robin dragged out over 10 more books.

4 out of 5.

Side note: Suz has donated all of her earnings (advance, royalties and subrights) from this book to MassEquality’s Educational Fund. MassEquality is a group dedicated to preserving equal marriage rights in Massachusetts.

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