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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Book Review: Over the Edge by Suzanne Brockmann (Troubleshooters #3)

Book cover of Over the Edge by Suzanne Brockmann (Troubleshooters series #3)
There aren’t too many romantic heroes named Stanley.  Guys named Stanley don’t usually get the girl.  If they show up in a romance at all, they’re fixing the heroine’s water heater.  Stan Wolchonok is a different story.  Despite his unfortunate name, he’s one of the best heroes in Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooters series. 

In Over the Edge, the third book in the series, Stan gets a starring role.  His Navy SEAL unit is sent to deal with a terrorist crisis in Kazbekistan (no, it’s not a real place) and reservist Teri Howe accompanies the mission.  For months, Stan has been spending way too much time thinking about Teri, a shy helicopter pilot with man issues.  The close quarters on the Kazbekistan mission give Stan and Teri a chance to know each other better. 

Stan is an unexpected hero.  He’s no-nonsense and commanding on the job, but he’s remarkably gentle and easy with Teri and her anxieties.  Teri, too, displays surprising depth – she’s often paralyzed by her fears, but once she’s flying her chopper, she’s unstoppable. 

Brockmann’s books are particularly good reads because they usually include a historical WWII subplot told through flashbacks. Over the Edge showcases the story of Helga Schuler, an elderly Danish Jew who relives her own WWII experiences as she witnesses the unfolding of the hostage situation. 

Brockmann has the highest respect for the men and women of the American military, and her heroes are truly heroic.  The Troubleshooters books are heavy on military jargon, and I honestly have no clue whether or not they’re plausible, but they’re realistic enough for me.  The books could be read in any order, though there are some recurring characters and romantic subplots that might be unfamiliar to readers of the later books. Breaking the Rules, the 16th book in the series, was published this week and I’ll be reviewing that one in the future. 

Side note: One of Suzanne Brockmann’s best recurring characters in the series is Jules Cassidy, a gay FBI agent.  Jules eventually gets his own love story, and the fact that Brockmann managed to include such a romance in mainstream fiction is both remarkable and wonderful.

Other books by Suzanne Brockmann: Breaking the Rules
Romance novel book reviews by Sarah the Brazen Bookworm

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