The Unsung Hero by Suzanne Brockmann
Suzanne Brockmann is a such a gifted writer. I’d enjoyed her other Troubleshooter books and decided to go back and read the book that started off the series. There are essentially three romances happening at the same time, interwoven to come together for the climatic ending.
Navy SEAL Tom Paoletti returns to the small town where he grew up to recover from an accident that left him in a coma for weeks. He’s still battling dizziness, and when he thinks he sees a terrorist known as the Merchant, he isn’t sure if he is going crazy and seeing things or if he needs to stop a terrorist attack. While recovering at home, he finds an old flame, Kelly Ashton, who is now a divorced pediatrician who is at home to take care of her dying father, Charles. In high school when they flirted, she was underage and thus off limits to him. He resisted back then but broke her heart when he took off for the Navy—she didn’t understand that it was her age that kept him from making a move. Now that they’re adults, they keep things strictly sexual—she doesn’t want him to break her heart again, and, if he can’t heal in the thirty days the Navy has given him, he’ll be unemployed. Plus, if he is a little crazy, that doesn’t exactly make him prime boyfriend material. Brockmann creates sex scenes that are actually sexy and not sleazy—no easy feat.
The other romance story line that I loved was between eighteen-year-old Mallory and a geeky college kid who draws comic books. Mallory had a rough childhood that gives her a tough attitude. Combined with her supersized bust, people assume things about her. David initially wanted to use her as a model for his superhero comic book, but over time, they get over their prejudices and fall for one another.
The other romance happened during WWII, when Charles and Joe Paoletti fought together and fell in love with the same woman. Charles and Joe are still friends, although they fight constantly. That story line was less interesting to me than the ones that unfolded over the course of the novel.
This book had less of the suspense than what I remembered from the other Troubleshooter books and much more romance. I missed the heavy suspense element, but this is still a fun book, and I definitely recommend the series. I’m looking forward to going through the books again, this time in order.