Monday, December 6, 2010

Re-Read Challenge Review: The Unsung Hero

The Unsung Hero
Suzanne Brockmann
Romantic Suspense

Troubleshooters/Book 1

Ivy Books/June 2000

From Fantastic Fiction website ~

After a near-fatal head injury, navy SEAL lieutenant Tom Paoletti catches a terrifying glimpse of an international terrorist in his New England hometown. When he calls for help, the navy dismisses the danger as injury-induced imaginings. In a desperate, last-ditch effort to prevent disaster, Tom creates his own makeshift counter-terrorist team, assembling his most loyal officers, two elderly war veterans, a couple of misfit teenagers, and Dr. Kelly Ashton-the sweet "girl next door" who has grown into a remarkable woman. The town's infamous bad boy, Tom has always longed for Kelly. Now he has one final chance for happiness, one last chance to win her heart, and one desperate chance to save the day . . .

Sorry this is so very late! The first book in Brockmann's well known Troubleshooter series did not impress me when I first read it and that hasn't really changed with the re-read. I think it was because of all the reader love that I continued with the series. I do remember not being thrilled with the secondary World War II story. I think that has more to do with not wanting to read about heroes and heroines who are now old and either dead or dying. I would like to read romances set in WWII but not through flashbacks.

Tom Paoleti is on medical leave due to being in a coma and is now trying to recover from his head injury and get back to his men on Team 16. Tom decides to pay a visit to his Uncle Joe and in the airport spots a man who looks like a well known, supposed dead, terrorist. Which is crazy, at least that's what Tom thinks at first. Then he sees the guy again, which I thought was kind of funny. Here's Tom in this little town and he keeps seeing an international terrorist. And, his superiors don't believe him when he reports what he has seen. Add to that the dizziness and headaches, and Tom's not sure what to believe. Kelly tries to help Tom figure out what's wrong with him and her concern brings them closer together.

In another part of town, Mallory, Tom's niece, meets a geeky guy named David who is heavily into graphic novels. Both in writing and drawing. He wants Mallory to pose for him and be his inspiration for his next novel. I guess they were a cute couple but they really didn't add anything to the story. It was like a separate young adult story had been stuck into a romantic suspense novel.

The World War II storyline was interesting but took away from the romance of Tom and Kelly. If it had been in a separate novel, then it might have worked. Plus, I'm not a fan of the flashbacks and that's how much of it was told.

Tom and Kelly - sigh. They had the hots for each other in high school but nothing really came of it except for a few kisses. Much of the time they were together this time around it felt very "high school-ish" with idiotic misunderstandings and both of them doing too much worrying about what the other might think instead of actually talking about what they are thinking and feeling. Then there's the hurt feelings and misunderstanding and the insecurities that could have been worked out had they acted more like adults and simply talked things out. I found them irritating for much of the book. I can say that I like them better as the series has progressed. Maybe because they're married now and getting regular sex? LOL

Overall, this book was merely okay. There was too much going on - romance, WWII, teens, and terrorist, that the book felt pulled in too many directions. Spending a little time on the romance, then jumping to teens, then over to grumpy old men, then another terrorist sighting. It was as if Brockmann was trying to give everyone equal time and ended up shortchanging the main reason I wanted to read it, for the romance.

I am glad I continued with the series. It still has some flaws, gets a little too preachy at times which I've come to expect from Brockmann, but I've enjoy getting to know the characters and even have a few favorites.

Rating: C


  1. I've tried a few Brockman books and none of them have particularly tickled my fancy, this one included.

    I agree about the secondary storyline - I would have preferred that Brockman either commit to the past or present plot, but not combine both.

  2. Oh, the secondary storylines in those early team 16 books. I lovelovelove the WW2 stories!!! I so wish she still did those. *sigh*

    This was one of my least favorite in the series, but I still enjoyed it.

  3. Danielle ~ The first two in this series were simply ok for me. After that they did get better and I've read them all. They are hardcover so library reads for me.

    Lori ~ I like WWII stories but not mixed with contemps.

  4. One of the few books in this series that I've read... It's kind of incredible how the series just expanded, I don't think it was planned when she started it out... My favorite part of this book was Tom's niece and her romance LOL.