Monday, May 05, 2008

Unsung Hero by Suzanne Brockmann

I have been looking forward to starting this series for a very long time.
The first time I listened to Brockmann was when I picked up Flashpoint and I realized I stepped into the middle of a fantastic series with characters already established. I loved listening to the books that followed until I stopped myself and decided to start from square one. Unfortunately not all the books are available in Audiobook so I collected the first five in paperback. Last month I found the first in the series in Audio format and jumped at the chance to pick it up from my library.

Tom Paoletti is commander of Seal Team 16 and has suffered a head injury that has him on forced medical leave for 30 days. He takes advantage of the time and goes 'home' to visit his great uncle Joe. Tom grew up with Joe in Baldwin Bridge, MA where he earned the reputation of being a bad boy/delinquent. His visit starts off on the wrong foot from the moment he gets off his plane since he catches a glimpse of, who he believes, is a world renowned terrorist. Between believing that his injury has lead him to some serious hallucinations and believing that the terrorist is real he heads out in pursuit but loses the suspect. Needless to say his superior is not too happy with him and attributes the sighting to his injuries. He doesn't believe so but puts it to the side and heads home, where things don't get any better when he runs smack into Kelly Ashton, the one girl that has always made him feel more than what he felt comfortable feeling.

Kelly has been commuting between her practice as a pediatrician in Boston and Baldwin's Bridge since her father was diagnosed with Terminal Cancer. Her father is Joe Paoletti's best friend and is one of the riches men in town. He has had a rough relationship with everyone in his life and Kelly hopes to give him an opportunity to make amends before he leaves them. When she encounters Tom she really has no idea what to say. He had walked out on her, breaking her heart after sharing 3 unforgettable kisses the night before he disappeared from her life, 16 years ago. She has gotten over him, or so she says, but wouldn't mind exploring the physical side of the attraction which is obviously still vibrant in both of them. She will take the sex but this time, her heart won't be offered.

The book does not have a dull moment although I will say that the World War II subplot where we learn about the rivalry between Joe and Charles Ashton (Kelly's father) didn't do it for me. A similar subplot is carried through many of books in this series and is great for those that like to explore that era. It really didn't take away from the enjoyment of the book since it made us get to know Joe and Charles and to understand the bond of a friendship that lasted 60 years.

There is still another storyline in the romance of Mallory Paolettti and David Sullivan. David is the geek comic book artist that sees Mallory (Tom's niece) for who she really is and not the sex kitten everyone makes her out to be, She is a bit reluctant to give David the time of day since he has dweeb written all over his face (I kept visualizing Mac boy - Justin Long) but after he proves he is made of sterner stuff, she understands that she is doing to him what everyone has always done to her, judge her by what she looks like.

Then the final subplot, the terrorist attack. When the final confrontation came about I found it to go fairly quick but it did not take away from the edge of your seat action. Everyone was involved! Even Charles and his walker! Great start to what I know is a fantastic series!

Grade: B+
Format: Audiobook


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