Publisher: Ballantine Books

Some Kind of Hero by Suzanne Brockmann

Some Kind of Hero by Suzanne BrockmannSome Kind of Hero by Suzanne Brockmann
Series: Troubleshooters #17
Published by Ballantine Books on July 11th 2017
Pages: 368
Buy on Amazon

Navy men don’t come tougher than Lieutenant Peter Greene. Every day he whips hotshot SEAL wannabes into elite fighters. So why can’t he handle one fifteen-year-old girl? His ex’s death left him a single dad overnight, and very unprepared. Though he can’t relate to an angsty teen, he can at least keep Maddie safe—until the day she disappears. Though Pete’s lacking in fatherly intuition, his instinct for detecting danger is razor sharp. Maddie’s in trouble. Now he needs the Troubleshooters team at his back, along with an unconventional ally.

Romance writer Shayla Whitman never expected to be drawn into a real-world thriller—or to meet a hero who makes her pulse pound. Action on the page is one thing. Actually living it is another story. Shay’s not as bold as her heroines, but she’s a mother. She sees the panic in her new neighbor’s usually fearless blue eyes—and knows there’s no greater terror for a parent than having a child at risk. It’s an ordeal Shay won’t let Pete face alone. She’s no highly trained operative, but she’s smart, resourceful, and knows what makes teenagers tick.

Still, working alongside Pete has its own perils—like letting the heat between them rise out of control. Intimate emotions could mean dangerous, even deadly, consequences for their mission. No matter what, they must be on top of their game, and playing for keeps . . . or else Pete’s daughter may be gone for good.

Where do I even begin with Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooters series? There’s so much diversity in the pairings, so much differing action (you never quite know what you’re going to get) with just so many things going on… to the extent where some of her books have had the power to bore me limp, while others have brought me to my knees with a swoon-worthy type fairytale ending.

With ’Some Kind of Hero’, I was left disappointingly unmoved and a more than a tad bit incredulous. But what’s clear however, is that it isn’t quite a standalone.

The initial meeting between Peter Green and Shayla is an out-of-nowhere jump into a car on the street to search for a missing teenager. And during the search, Peter finds himself telling his life story to Shayla while the latter finds herself using her skills as a writer to figure out just what Peter’s teenager could have gotten herself into. Their (coincidental) joint-effort simply eschews Brockmann’s very slow burn between characters that spans books and the quickness with which Peter and Shayla jumped into bed took out any sense of anticipation that I’ve come to expect. Instant-love or lust aside, the shenanigans with the teenagers just felt like an elaborate plot to bring 2 very opposing characters—whose lives otherwise wouldn’t ever intersect—together and it was difficult to buy into this forced connection when it simply felt more like bad parenting going out of control over a teenager who might or might not have done unsavoury things.

In many ways, this story left me in a bind, which on a whole, pretty much describes my entire Brockmann reading experience. There were parts that I couldn’t stop turning the pages, just as there were parts that had me skimming, despite the some amusing meta-details of what is means to be a romance author, fictional voices in head and scatterbrained-moments notwithstanding. On the other hand, Brockmann’s heroes never quite do what you think they do and here, there’s hardly enough SEAl action involved that could make me think of Peter as a SEAL instructor or his friend Izzy as a fellow brother-in-arms when the way they speak or act just lacked that intensity and the ‘je ne sais quoi’ that have pretty much defined the RS ‘alpha’ hero.

Maybe it’s because I’ve not read the entire series that ‘Some Kind of Hero’ made little sense to me overall, but this read (judging from the books that made my favourites list at least) unfortunately fell short by a long way.


Tailored for Trouble by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff

Tailored for Trouble by Mimi Jean PamfiloffTailored for Trouble by Mimi Jean Pamfiloff
Series: Happy Pants, #1
Published by Ballantine Books on August 9th 2016
Pages: 368
Buy on Amazon

Taylor Reed is no stranger to selfish, uncaring CEOs. She was fired by one, which is why she has created her own executive training program—helping heartless bosses become more human. So Taylor shocks even herself when she agrees to coach Bennett Wade, the cutthroat exec who got her unceremoniously canned. She’d love to slam the door in his annoying but very handsome face, but the customers aren’t exactly lining up at her door. Plus, this extreme makeover will give Taylor the golden opportunity to prove that her program works like a charm.
Bennett Wade is many things—arrogant, smug, brusque—but trusting isn’t one of them. Women just seem to be after his billions. So when he hires Taylor Reed, he has no desire to change. Bennett is trying to win over the feminist owner of a company he desperately wants to buy, but something about the fiery Taylor thaws the ice around his heart, making Bennett feel things he never quite planned on. And if there’s one thing Bennett can’t stand, it’s when things don’t go according to plan.
They are a match tailor-made for trouble.

‘Tailored for Trouble’ starts out as delicious antagonism which I thoroughly enjoyed. Hilarious even, because I really loved the no-holding-back arguments that both Bennett and Taylor immediately got into. The tension between them is ugly and almost repulsive, without too much of a sexual undercurrent that makes you rub your hands in glee when they finally fall into each other’s arms by the end of the book. Yet what followed pretty much stumped me: a crazy traipse around the globe, filled with weirdness rather than building tension and so much pretence/evasion on both sides that I found myself as jet-lagged, exhausted and frustrated as the characters who seemed to be operating on a level beyond rational logic.

By the time I was halfway through, I didn’t have any clearer perspective of how that was going to happen, apart from a bewildering kiss when neither of them seemed to like each other much still, carried along as I was by Taylor’s voice that flitted from time to time towards hysterical.

I never felt though, as if I had a grasp on these characters at all, which is the primary reason for my lukewarm rating. Bennett’s behaviour particularly confusing and exasperating and near bi-polar: flirty yet domineering, crude yet supposedly protective, just to begin with. But he’s also blunt and an arse for a lot of the book, dragging Taylor around for business that no one really is quite clear about, and we’re only given hints given of Bennett’s ‘true self’ by his rather insane mother who never quite says directly. I also found myself wondering why Taylor pretty much let herself be taken along for the crazy ride – apart from the bouts of lust that she feels each time she glimpses what Bennet is like under the clothes – when there didn’t seem to be head nor tail of anything I could make sense of. The sudden realisation that she’d fallen in love with Bennett after 4-5 days made it too much of an instant-love case, rendered more unbelievable because I was never really convinced by Bennett’s (as tortured by his past as he may be) sudden personality switch in the last 2 chapters of the book.

Yet ‘Tailored for Trouble’ isn’t a bad read however; not really, not when it does have the elements of a rom-com that isn’t meant to be taken seriously and is good for a fun, laid-back afternoon.