>> Thursday, July 28, 2011
Badly shaken after the loss of one of their own, the men and women of Troubleshooters Inc. go up against their most deadly opponents yet —- the clandestine organization called The Agency. Blackmail, extortion, murder: The Agency's black-ops sector will apparently stop at nothing to achieve their objective. But this time they've gone too far and hit too close to home.Boy, was this book controversial when it came out! Back then, even saying who the people involved in the main and secondary romances were was spoilerish. I guess all fans of the series will know by now, but if you're the one person who is both reading the series and knows nothing about this book, stop reading now (and you might as well stop reading now as well if you haven't read previous books in the series, as my review will not make any sense to you).
Led by former Navy SEAL Lawrence Decker, a team of investigators —- from FBI agent Jules Cassidy and former CIA operative Dave Malkoff, to Troubleshooters Sophia Ghaffari, Tess Bailey, and even receptionist Tracy Shapiro —- band together to uncover the truth, and bring the killers to justice.
But the stakes are raised even higher when Decker barely escapes an attempt on his life. It soon becomes clear that the hunters have become the hunted —- and the Troubleshooters are no longer just solving a crime -— they're fighting for survival.
Plot? Does it even matter? There's bad stuff going on, and our protagonists, a mix of Troubleshooters operatives, Navy SEALs, FBI, CIA, what have you, are on a mission to save the world from it. There, that's it. It was really cool and exciting and well done, but if you're anything like me (i.e. a romance reader at heart), what made you desperate to read the book was that it was where Sophia and Deck would get their HEAs.
The huge scandal was, however, that though they both did get a HEA, they didn't get it with each other. And a huge number of readers, who had been eagerly awaiting seeing them end up together, felt betrayed and raised a huge stink.
Not me, though. I absolutely loved it. I always thought there was no way Deck and Sophia's relationship could be a healthy one, with all that baggage they had. When Dave came into the picture I wished he could be the one to end up with Sophia, but like everyone else, I also assumed it would be Decker. I just sighed in disappointment. I was so happy when I realised Brockmann had done the unthinkable!
Unfortunately, the actual romance between Sophia and Dave in this book was quite meh. I mean, I loved Dave's amazement that Sophia actually wants to be with him (oh, the angst, when he thinks he's just a second choice and the joy, when he realises he's not!), but other than that, I couldn't manage to get too excited about it.
Fortunately, that was more than compensated by the amazing, wonderful romance between Deck and Tracy (yes, Tracy! Unbelievable). It's sweet and tender and scorching hot at the same time. I don't want to go into too many details, but I completely bought that Tracy was the only person who'd ever really *got* Decker. There's a scene where he says he feels safe with her, and that melted me into a gooey puddle. Ahhh!
MY GRADE: A B+.