Hello, and welcome back! Our heat wave seems never-ending, though the weather-guessers here say it'll only be in the upper eighties in a couple days. That just means I get to dive into the August books before the week is out, because I'm just about finished with the last of the July romances here on my desk.
This time out, I have the latest from Suzanne Brockmann, Into the Fire (Ballantine). Vinh Murphy has drifted in and out of Hannah Whitfield's life in a drunken stupor since the murder of his wife, and Hannah's best friend, several years ago, but his most recent visit shocks them both. Hannah's had a rough couple of years, too--an accident took her hearing and left her with a permanent limp, but now she realizes she needs to clean up her own act. When Murphy finally returns, it's with him suspected of killing the man responsible for his wife's death. But Murphy was still drinking to the point of blacking out, so he doesn't remember where he was at the time, and had no real way to find out. So he and Hannah decide to do some investigating of their own, to find out if Murph could actually have killed the leader of the cult. What they don't know yet is that Troubleshooters, Inc. is also on the case, as is the FBI, thanks to Hannah's visit to the Troubleshooters office after her last visit with Murphy. Fans of Brockmann's SEAL and Troubleshooters series will be thrilled to see old friends returning here, and en masse, coming to the aid of their former friend or co-worker. And what a tangled mess all of their relationships are: this one is in love with that one, who's in love with the other one, and these two are in love, but one is keeping secrets that will ultimately push them apart. It was rather like a bad soap opera this time around. As with her last two books, I wished for more focus on the main, theoretically, couple. And, as with her last two books, I didn't get it. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I really didn't like this book. I kept putting it down and picking up other books; I actually read two other books in the time it took me to fully read this one. That's not a good thing. If you're looking for plenty of action, this might be a great read for you, but if you're looking for a great romance between Hannah and Vinh, you may be as disappointed as I was. This one's earned only two of Cupid's five arrows.
Until next time, happy reading!