Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Force of Nature

Title: Force of Nature
Author: Suzanne Brockmann
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Florida private investigator and ex-cop Ric Alvarado's life is spiraling out of control. His beautiful new Girl Friday, Annie Dugan, is far more interested in fieldwork than filing, and despite Ric's best efforts to ignore the attraction, sparks are flying between them. Then one of Ric's clients turns femme fatale and tries to gun down an innocent man. Thanks to quick thinking and even quicker reflexes, Ric comes to the rescue, only to learn he's done a very good deed for some very bad people. Suddenly Ric finds himself deep undercover with Annie, working for notorious crime boss Gordon Burns. One mistake from Ric's painfully inexperienced partner and they're both dead.

FBI Agent Jules Cassidy's life isn't in much better shape. For years the FBI has been trying to prove Gordon Burns's ties to terrorist activity. Now, thanks to Ric and Annie, Jules has found a way into the lion's den. But in the course of his investigation, he comes face to face with Robin Chadwick, the charismatic but self-destructive and closeted movie star for whom Jules feels a powerful attraction. Robin's in town promoting his latest film -- and Gordon Burns is a star-struck movie buff. With Robin and Jules's help, Ric and Annie are soon entrenched in Burns's organization, surrounded by killers who may already have executed an FBI infiltrator. Before long the couple realizes that many more lives than their own will be at stake if they make a false move. As the heat between them reaches dangerous levels, so do the risks they're willing to take -- in the line of duty, for the sake of loyalty, and in the name of
something that runs even deeper...

I have a crush. A big crush. It is true devotion. No matter what, I always stand by my love. Luckily, my love does not disappoint me. Oh no, I am consistently given only the best. Who is this crush? Suzanne Brockmann. Well, her writing and characters. Oh how I love them. No one does Alpha men like Brockmann. What is it about an Alpha man that is so compelling? Truly, given the following choice , what would you choose?

a) beautiful, sensitive, sexy, compassionate, gentle, sweet man

b) beautiful, strong, sexy, snarky, tough, badass, dangerous (with a hidden sensitive center and a bit of a jealous streak) man

If you answered A then you are either lying or have terrible taste in men! There is just something about an Alpha man that just makes my fallopian tubes twitch. Roawr!!! So when I saw Force of Nature on the shelf at my library I knew I was in for a treat. Brockmann has been feeding my love of the Alpha for years with her Troubleshooters/Navy SEAL series. This was book 11 of the series. Yes, that's right, the 11th story chock full of Alpha cock..iness. Mmmm.
Annie and Ric have known one another since she was 11 years old. She grew up with him hanging around, a friend of her brother's. Years of longing, misconceptions about one another's personal lives, and a boat load of smartass teasing. How could you not love this couple? Add to that the fact that we met Ric briefly a few books ago. A typical Brockmann move, introducing us to characters before they are featured.
Speaking of characters we have met before: Jules Cassidy. Oh my sweet Jules! How I adore thee! If you were really real we would be BFFs. Yeah yeah, I know Alyssa is your BFF, but I could take her. What? She is a sniper? She could eliminate me from 5 football fields away? Oh, but she would be more likely take me down in hand to hand combat? Um, could I bribe her with chocolate instead? I mean, there was that hawt scene many books ago that included her, Sam, and a bottle of chocolate sauce.... guh!
ehem. Back to Jules. He has been one of my favorites for years. We first met him 10 books ago. Yeah, Brockmann has been teasing us with him for years. Funny, sweet, strong, bad ass, funny, beautiful, and gay. The big gay FBI agent. He is fantastic. The poor guy has had his heart shredded and, finally, FINALLY, we get his story. Enter Robin Chadwick, action star, sister of Janey who's married to Cosmo (go read their book). Two years ago he was confused and so far in the closet he couldn't see the fabulously coordinated outfits hanging in front of him. Now he has come to term with his sexual orientation, but is still ensconced among his Armani suits. The yearning and love is so heartbreaking.

I loved this book. It has Alphas, hawt sex, longing, love, action, bad guys, crime, Sam Starrett, humor, Max Bhagat, a crazy little dog, a crazy ex-porn star... the list just keeps going. A week or so ago a discussion was brought up over on Dear Author regarding romance novels dealing with big issues. FON is packed full of them: homosexuality, prejudice, alcoholism, suicide, cancer. All are handled well, but the issues between Robin and Jules are dealt with in a sensitive and honest way. This is due in large part to the fact that Brockmann's son is gay. Having such an important inspiration in her life has helped her to bring real beauty to these two men. While I will probably not hunt out GLBT romances, I have loved reading about Jules' journey. Best yet? There is a novella that focuses on their wedding!!! I can't wait to pick it up!

Now, all of the being said, if you have not read the other books in the series DON'T YOU DARE read this book. Start from the beginning. Trust me on this. Tom and Kelly (the H&h in the first book) are the only ones you do not meet before they receive their own book. Oh, and they don't disappear after getting their HEA. You keep getting peeks into their lives. LOVE it! So yes, go check out these fabulous Alphas from SEAL team 16 and Troubleshooter. Trust me, if you like them strong, loyal and hot... these boys are for you.

Grade: A


Sarai said...

Wow what a glowing review I love how you admit your tubes twitch with Alphas (I can openly admit the same) love me some alphas. I haven't checked out this author yet. Might have to place her on the buy next trip list ;)

Shannon said...

sarai- I should probably have admitted that I love anything Suzanne Brockmann has written. I think my love has reached the point where I overlook some flaws. But hey! They are fun reads, and the past few books have left me wanting more. I actually could put them down and go to bed at normal hours. I got chores done. Force of Nature would not allow such things to happen. (I am so exhausted right now from staying up late to finish the book!)

Rowena said...

Oh goodness, seriously I love Suzanne Brockmann as well...I totally agree with you on her heroes, THE BEST! LOVE THEM!

Great review, I haven't yet read this book but I do plan on reading it soon...that's how much I love this author!

Jill D. said...

I am glad to hear that you liked this book so much. I haven't read it yet (I just finished Flashpoint, so I still have a ways to go). I have to say I was worried about the Jules angle. I am glad to see that it doesn't disappoint.

I agree with you, Brockmann is great. She is able to incorporate some tough subject matter into her romances. I think it only makes them stronger.