Series: Reluctant Heroes #1
Genres: Action, Adventure, Romance, Suspense
Suzanne Brockmann’s seamless blend of heroic military action and intense passion inspired USA Today to call her “a superstar of romantic suspense”—and for years her award-winning Troubleshooters books have been must-reads for fans of sizzling stories of action and adventure. Now the New York Times bestselling author shoots to thrill again with Do or Die, an electrifying new novel that is certain to win Brockmann new readers and delight devotees.
Navy SEAL Ian Dunn went rogue in a big way when he turned his talents to a lawless life of jewel heists and con jobs. Or so the world has been led to believe. In reality, the former Special Ops warrior is still fighting for good, leading a small band of freelance covert operatives who take care of high-stakes business in highly unofficial ways. That makes Ian the hands-down choice when the U.S. government must breach a heavily guarded embassy and rescue a pair of children kidnapped by their own father, a sinister foreign national willing to turn his kids into casualties. Shockingly, Ian passes on the mission for reasons he will not—or cannot—reveal.
But saying no is not an option. Especially not for Phoebe Kruger, Ian’s beautiful and unexpectedly brash new attorney. Determined to see the abducted children set free, Phoebe not only gets Ian on board but insists on riding shotgun on his Mission: Impossible–style operation, whether he likes it or not.
Though Phoebe has a valuable knack for getting out of tight spots, there’s no denying the intensely intimate feelings growing between Ian and Phoebe as the team gears up for combat. But these are feelings they both must fight to control as they face an array of cold-blooded adversaries, including a vindictive mob boss who’s got Ian at the top of his hit list and a wealthy psychopath who loves murder as much as he loves money. As they dodge death squads and play lethal games of deception, Ian and Phoebe will do whatever it takes to save the innocent and vanquish the guilty—or die trying.
A great action adventure with enough romance to make your heart race.
Suzanne Brockmann is a go-to author for me if I want diverse characters, entertaining storytelling, and thrilling adventure. I’ve loved her books since I was in high school and after a few years without, I love her still. Like all her other books, Do or Die took me on a wild adventure from the very beginning and didn’t let up until the very last page. Even then, I was left wondering what’s next. I loved this new world so much that I didn’t want to let it go.
Do or Die begins in the visitation room of a Florida prison. Ian Dunn is a former Navy SEAL who’s a year into his sentence, and he’s sitting across from two lawyers – whom he’s never met – and they’re promising him his freedom if he does something for them: rescue kidnapped kids that are being held prisoner in a place the US government can’t touch. He’s the perfect criminal for the job. Unfortunately, Ian has secrets and reasons only he knows for why he must stay in prison, but even after he issues a flat-out ‘no’ he finds himself outside the prison fence, in a car with a newbie lawyer he can’t help be attracted to, and involved in a rescue mission he wants nothing to do with.
This book took no time at all to dive into the action. From the beginning these characters are thrown into one pulse-pounding situation after another, and as the adrenaline flows, the excitement builds, and the sexual tension boils. Ian is what you’d expect from an Alpha male, former military man, jumping out of burning buildings type of romantic hero. I liked him a lot, but it was the other characters that really drew me in. The heroine, Pheobe, was as smart and engaging as all of Brockmann’s heroines (although she made me want to pull my hair out a few times!), and the supporting characters added layers to the main story and intrigued me as much as the protagonists did.
If you’ve read Brockmann before, then you know that she likes to meld storylines together, and if you haven’t, then be warned that her books are not for those who like slow building, quiet reads. Blink and you’ll miss a lot; this story is an explosion of puzzle pieces, and readers must be totally engaged to get the full effect. Trust me though, it’s not hard to stay engaged. After the initial character introductions things happen fast and hard.
This is listed as a romantic suspense, and although there is a romantic storyline (actually, multiple romantic storylines) threaded throughout, the action is the focal point. It’s what makes the romance good. I love how Brockmann throws her characters into impossible situations, so that we see them for who they are right away. And her characters are the shit. She writes them smart, she writes them diverse, and she writes them human. I was worried that I wouldn’t connect with this new batch of characters since I loved her other series so much, and after years and years of back story, I felt like they were one big family. This is the first book of her new series, and although it’s all still building, I loved Do or Die as it’s own entity.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story and I recommend it to those who like some exhilarating action thrown into their heart melting romance.
Performance: 4.5 stars
I really loved listening to this audio production. This book had a lot of characters and I think that Patrick Lawlor and Melanie Ewbank did a great job bringing every character to life. Ewbank did an awesome job with the male voices (a pet peeve of mine), and each put on a great show during every scene, whether it was one filled with thrilling action, a heartbreaking revelation, or a sweetly romantic scene.