All Through the Night

The Admiral's Bride

Bodyguard

Body Language

The Defiant Hero

Everyday, Average Jones

Force of Nature

Freedom's Price

Get Lucky

Gone Too Far

Harvard's Education

Heartthrob

Into the Night

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

Letters to Kelly

Love With the Proper Stranger

Night Watch

Out of Control

Over the Edge

The Stand-In Groom

Undercover Princess

The Unsung Hero

 
Breaking the Rules
by Suzanne Brockmann
(Ballantine, $26.99, PG-13) ISBN 978-0-345-52122-4
****
Fans of Suzanne Brockmann are well acquainted with Danny Gillman and Izzy Zanella, the Navy Seal heroes of this novel since they have been fighting throughout several books. Danny has a hopelessly dysfunctional family and has been sending money home to his mother and stepfather to support his younger brother Ben. Danny’s older sister is lost to the drug scene and he believes his sister Eden to be a liar and a hooker and is furious and disgusted with Izzy who married Eden in a prior story. Eden miscarried a child that was not Izzy's and fled to Germany to her father to recover. Izzy was heartbroken, has not seen her since, and is still nursing his grief at losing Eden as this story opens.

It is Afghanistan and a shopping area has been hit by a suicide bomber. Izzy and Danny rush to provide assistance. Danny is shot in the leg by a sniper, nicking the femoral artery, and is in grave danger of dying since medivac has not arrived. Izzy nearly dies while saving Danny with a field transfusion of his own blood.

They are evacuated to Germany and Danny's girlfriend Jenn quickly joins him. Izzy is finally able to access Eden's whereabouts through the process of the next of kin location for Danny. When recovered, he rushes back to Las Vegas for their first confrontation since the loss of the child.

Suzanne Brockmann is well known for her complex stories and in addition to the Gillman siblings’ issues there are a lot of other happenings. At the same time in Las Vegas a very young girl, Neesha, escapes from the slave trade and encounters Ben who has also escaped from his mother and his stepfather who has issues with his being gay. Ben meets Neesha in a shopping mall as he notices she is adroitly eating the leftovers that families leave in fast food chains. He takes her to Eden but she is scared and disappears. Neesha is being sought by the enforcers of the slave trade and she knows if caught she will be auctioned off and probably sent out of this country to her probable demise.

Jenn and Danny arrive in Las Vegas, for his recuperation where they together with Izzy and Eden become united in an effort to protect Ben. Eden and Danny try to work for a solution that enables Ben to live with either of them. Danny asks Jenn to marry him, but she is persuaded he is mistaking need for love and keeps putting him off.

Most of these characters have been very well defined in prior novels, so the inclusion of Ben, Neesha and the mother and stepfather merely broaden the very sound base the story is built upon. There is action aplenty between the slavers chasing Neesha and the mother trying to get Ben back to restore her income from Danny to keep readers quickly turning pages.

Complex as the story is, what makes it really work are the multi -dimensional principal characters and the issues that surround their confrontations.

--Thea Davis


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