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Crescent Blues Book ViewsImage: four moon gifBallantine (Paperback), ISBN 0804119538
Suzanne Brockmann creates the creme brulee of action adventure romantic fiction in her latest delicacy, The Defiant Hero. The Defiant Hero continues the saga of U.S. Seal Team Sixteen, which she began in The Unsung Hero.

Book: suzanne Brockmann, The Defiant HeroFamiliar faces such as Tom Paoletti return as the gorgeous hunks of Seal Team Sixteen gather round to save the day. In The Defiant Hero we meet Lieutenant Junior Grade John 'Nils' Nilsson who steps into the spotlight for this adventure and welcome Meg Moore. Meg makes her entrance on page one, when a smiling man tells her: "We've taken your daughter hostage."

Not only did terrorists kidnap Meg's 10-year-old daughter Amy, they took Meg's grandmother, Eve Grayson, who happened to be kid-sitting in the wrong place at the wrong time. Meg needs backup and knows just the man to help, but the terrorists threaten to kill the hostages if she makes contact with anyone.

Meg's solutions to these challenges prove original and risky. She shoulders the responsibility for her loved ones' lives and doesn't throw up her hands and faint in the arms of a military warrior who rushes in to save the day. (That's not to say Nils doesn't qualify as willing and able.) But Brockmann women don't faint, no matter what their age, which leads us to Eve.

Book: Suzanne Brockmann, The Unsung Hero

At age 75, this Gray Panther protects her cub with whatever skills or wiles she finds effective. While awaiting death and seeking an avenue of escape, Eve weaves stories about her own adventures during World War II. She not only entertains her great-granddaughter, but stumbles on a way to captivate their captor with her words.

Brockmann's world, reminiscent of a super hero comic book, features only beautiful good guys and ugly bad guys. Muscles bulge, the good guys (and gals) take risks, sustain minor injuries, suck it up and win the day. Her plot lines display a hint of predictability, but then she throws in an unexpected twist, and off she runs with readers breathless to find out what happens next. The middle sags a bit when Brockmann strings the tension and suspense out just a tad too long. But ultimately, in true Brockmann style, she weaves together current conflicts and historic story threads until they converge at the end in a touching, highly satisfying and humor-tinged conclusion.

Suzanne Brockmann knows how to combine all the right elements into a read that, better than CalgonŽ, takes you away into a world of adventure, fantasy and romance.

Dawn Goldsmith

Dawn Goldsmith's multi-part feature on Women's History Month can be read in the current issue of Myria Magazine for Moms.

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