While it's been so hot and icky outside, I've been reading, though I've been a bit disappointed with some of the August romances. This time out, I have Suzanne Brockmann's Hot Pursuit (Ballantine), the next installment in her SEALs/Troubleshooters series. A serial killer called the Dentist has managed to evade capture for years now, but he's got his sights set on Alyssa Locke now, and he'll go to any lengths to get her. Alyssa and her team have come to New York City to do a routine security trip, they think, to get a new assemblywoman safe from the crackpots who don't like her already. But on the very first day, things take a decidedly violent turn, and they're suddenly in the midst of a murder investigation, and the killer seems to stay just a few steps ahead of them. Her team this trip includes SEAL Dan Gillman and Izzy Zanella, who hate one another. But Dan and the assemblywoman's office manager hook up pretty quickly, though Dan only intends for it to be casual. And Izzy's still hung up on his runaway wife, Gillman's sister, but the gorgeous assemblywoman has designs on him. Throw in a belligerent cop who doesn't like the FBI (Jules Cassidy, anyone?) and other outsiders stepping into his territory, and a killer whose sights are firmly set on Alyssa, and you have some great action. Unfortunately, what you don't get here is great romance. When I first read that the story was focusing on Alyssa, I was a bit surprised. After all, Alyssa and Sam already got their romance. Sure, it's nice to see characters you enjoyed in other stories, but the issue I've been having with Ms. Brockmann's books the last couple years seems to have multiplied here: there are too many characters for the focus to be on the romance, and in this one, not even enough romance. If I had to classify this one, I'd call it a thriller, but it left me very, very disappointed. I'm shocked to see myself writing this, but this one isn't even going to go on my Brockmann shelf with the rest of the series. I just didn't like it very much. It's earned only two and a half of Cupid's five arrows. I might have to go and dig out BodyGuard now to reread.
Until next time, happy reading!