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Great Dane Dame
3.0 out of 5 starsMixed Bag
Reviewed in the United States on March 9, 2019
I am agreeing with a majority of comments of other reviewers, except one which I didn't happen to see, which is the simple implausibility of the story line. It would never work out that way. I know these are "get away books" but leave me some semblance of intelligence please. I did start her third book because I knew if I didn't read them in a row I would never keep the characters straight but this could be my last one. So here are my thoughts. If you are going to constantly have 3 story lines going in a story (and so far all 3 books do) make sure that there are sufficient breaks between them that even the Kindle can recognize it as a break and so you know you are now reading about different characters. If you are going to introduce so many characters then don't give 3 and 4 names to each, in addition to so many people. I don't remember h #1 annoying me, but I did not care for this female lead; the sacrifice myself for the rest of my loved ones was so tedious, either by staying married to a jerk for her daughter (which definitely teaches her to grow up to be self-respecting) or being killed (as if there was any way Eve and her granddaughter would have made it out alive if the h had let herself be killed.) This mea culpa went on way too long and got to the point where I was ready to volunteer to take her out and put us all out of our misery. Why can't writers find a happy medium between portraying women as logically intelligent but not total emotional morons, or emotionally well-balanced but just too stupid to live? SB likes to make her SEALS cry, I guess that is too make sure we understand that they are vulnerable, but it comes off as just that; hey I put this in here so you could see him cry. And my other difficulty is how often they make it so easy for the SEALS to accomplish their mission because the terrorists are so stupid--doesn't really say much about the SEALs does it? It allows people to come out unscathed but leaves a very flat feeling at the end of the book. With the exception of the story line breaks, her sentences are well-crafted and well-edited, there are times I am very drawn into the stories; no. 3 actually has good flashes of humor in it where I felt silly for laughing while sitting alone in a restaurant, but I doubt I can make it through 17 of them or whatever is the current number, if they all follow the exact same format. Also, if you don't desire reading about WWII, one third of books 2 and 3 have that story line. Many many people will enjoy these, I may end up getting into them more as I go along and get to give a 4 or 5 star review, but I was just looking for something more after reading her stand alone books.
I love. Love. LOVE. Suzanne Brockmann and the Troubleshooters series. However, John & Meg are probably my least favorite couple of the series. (Tying with Mike & Joan in Into The Night - likely because Meg & Joan share many of the same traits that annoy me.)
What I love about Brockmann is her ability to create dynamic characters, with flaws but with strength and the capacity to learn/grow as well. Meg was not intelligent (beyond conniving) nor was she emotionally/physically/mentally strong in any endearing way. She didn't grow as the book went on and she's only mentioned in passing once or twice as the series continues. John seems to somewhat mature, but only in the final moments of the book and in a way that isn't very convincing. His internal dialogue about pregnancy in the last 30 min of the book really highlighted his continued emotional/relational immaturity. I just couldn't connect with either one of them.
The Sam & Alyssa storyline as well as the flashbacks to Eve & Ralph and the fabulous narration save this for me. However, I have read/listened to all the other books in the series numerous times and I find myself constantly skipping this one. I recommend it, in that you need it as a foundation for the fantastic Sam & Alyssa arc that continues throughout the series (especially in Over the Edge, Into the Night, & Gone Too Far). While he only has a few lines, Jules is also introduced in this book and he will soon become an integral and beloved member of the Troubleshooters world.
Next up is Over the Edge which I adore for so many reasons!
I cannot say enough fabulous things about Patrick Lawlor and Melanie Ewbank. They are both stellar narrators - voices, accents, emotions, and giving each character their own unique sound. My only complaint is the same as the last book, in regards to pacing/speed. Lawlor speaks at a much quicker pace than Ewbank (I think they recognized this at some point because I don't find it to be as big a disparity in later books). I found myself having to adjust narration speed between narrators for it to be more cohesive.
Note: I originally read this. Then I found our library had the original audiobooks of the first 6 books (single narrators, various). THEN! Then the series was rerecorded in Dual Narration style with Patrick Lawlor & Melanie Ewbank. I'm in LOVE with these narrations. I own them all. And if it were possible to wear out digital copies of something, I'd have done it by now.
This was my second book by Suzanne Brockman. I very much enjoyed The Unsung Hero, although I was not totally enthralled by the heroine in that book.
This book, The Defiant Hero, is a big disappointment. The so-called heroine made stupid choices and stuck by them far too long. I really didn't like her and didn't understand the hero's attraction to her. The plot was so drawn out and boring, it put me to sleep several times. For me, the most interesting parts of the story were related to Eve's flashbacks. Also, as other reviewers have noted, there are too many different stories going on in one book, very much like a soap opera. The constantly shifting stories, points of view and time frame practically gave me whiplash.
I am not going to buy any more of Suzanne Brockman's books because I see a pattern in her female characters that I really don't like at all. Most of them come across as almost unstable or bipolar or something. Although I like the heroes better overall, instead of playing up their strengths (since she is, after all, writing about macho warriors), in the end they appear weaker than they started out. For me, a successful love story should make both parties stronger in the end.
4.0 out of 5 starsI like this one a lot but some things made it ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 9, 2016
I bought this after virtually reading the first installment non-stop. I like this one a lot but some things made it more difficult to read and it was less enjoyable. First, like the other book, it has a bit of going back and forth the timeline. In this book I found it more irritating than helpful The story of Eve was in no connection to the actual storyline and while a lovely side story, it didn't bring me anything. The going back for Meg and John helped developing the actual storyline but I found some paragraphs were done in a way that I had to ask myself in what storyline am I.
The side story between Alyssa and Sam - good but far too developed, it took time and focus away from the main story.
The main story: I really enjoyed it, Meg and John are complex characters, well written and their ups and downs believable. The ending was good, the author kept the suspense up to the end without making it boring or dragging it out.
I already bought book no. 3 and unless something drastic happens I will continue reading.
One thing I discovered, the book was written 2001, way before 9/11 and the conflict in Afghanistan and Iraq. I think if a 15 year old book can hold up against new releases the author must do something good. In a way I enjoyed reading pre-2001 storylines.