There’s something about reading Troubleshooters that almost feels like coming home. I wish I could express how much this group of characters means to me. I think it’s the only romance series, 17 books and growing, that I continue to love with the same level of passion I felt in the beginning. Actually, I feel like I’m more passionate now! I enjoyed those early characters, but I really love Izzy and his crew so much, and that crew keeps growing!
I am going to get into Grunge and Shayla, the main plot of Some Kind of Hero, but first I really need to talk about my main squeeze Irving ‘Izzy’ Zanella. This time he was only the supporting character/bestie to Grunge’s lead role, and yet for me he still shot to the forefront. He has got to be one of the most selfless characters I’ve ever read, in any genre. He’s also one of the funniest. I don’t want to spoil anything, but there were multiple times I had to bite my lip to minimize my Izzy induced grin. I’m telling you, my love for him just continues to grow and I beg and plead, Ms Brockmann, please don’t let him fade him into the background! 😀
I also have to show some of my love to the entire group that is Boat Squad John! I have a feeling, those spidey senses are tingling, we’re going to get more and more about this group of guys and I cannot wait. When I was reading Ready to Roll I was all about wanting more Seagull, because he was so awesome! Upon finishing Some Kind of Hero, I am now doing a little shimmy at the idea of more Hans! I don’t know what’s next, but here’s hoping it’s one of those two BSJ members, with tons more Zanella.
Okay, now that I’ve gotten all my fangirling out of my system, let’s talk about the actual story’s plot and the main characters, Grunge and Shayla.
In Ready to Roll, when we were first introduced to Grunge I remember feeling like, while he was mysterious and interesting, he wasn’t the character that stuck with me. Finding out Some Kind of Hero was going to be about Grunge wasn’t a let down, but it wasn’t what I’d been hoping for either.
The thing is, I don’t care who the main characters are, I always want to read books in this world so I’ll never be truly disappointed. And actually, a story about Grunge was enjoyable. I’m sure there are going to be readers out there who really struggle with Grunge’s origin story. It isn’t pretty, and it isn’t admirable (not entirely), and I don’t fault them for it. However, I also found it really realistic in a sad way. To me, Grunge was a good man who thought he was doing the right thing, but he discovered he was very wrong. That made the beginning of his story, and then the end, so much better. He went on a emotional journey, and that’s why I enjoyed it.
And then of course there was Shayla, who I think is the strongest and best written female character in the Troubleshooters world. I adored her. She was a successful writer, but she was a mom first. She wore pressed khaki slacks, a blouse, and sensible shoes. She was pragmatic and honest. And sure, she was also a little insecure, but there was a valid reason for it. Plus, aren’t a lot of us insecure about things? That’s what made her feel human. Here’s what I think really made her stand out though; I feel like Suzanne Brockmann put a lot of herself into Shayla’s character. I remember reading her letter to the fans, announcing Some Kind of Hero. In her letter she talked about how she was trying to write, but it felt like a chore. She felt like she was forcing it… I’m trying to remember after the fact, but I think she said it’s why she said the publication date was pushed back, and why the plans for the novel changed. So, in that sense, I feel like Shayla’s writers block and dread were maybe an extension of what Brockmann was going through. Perhaps that’s what really made Shayla feel so honest. Whatever it was, her character was really outstanding.
Grunge and Shayla together were really cute. I love how they’re an interracial couple, and while I don’t usually like instalove somehow Suzanne Brockmann made it work for me. It was tender, romantic, and sweet. And hot, of course. I mean, the myth-busting a romance novel sex scene, so super steamy!
And finally, while I do think the ‘crime’ portion of the plot was pretty fantastical, I also really didn’t care. For me, Troubleshooters biggest draw isn’t the plot. It’s the characters. It’s the love story. The plot’s don’t suck, by any means, they’re just secondary. In this case, I was more invested in Grunge and Shayla, and even in his daughter Maddie’s perspective. We rarely get the daughter’s story, and I thought getting both sides of their history was a plus. There were times she frustrated me, there were times he frustrated me. But then, doesn’t that also sound about right?
I really want to say more, especially about Dingo, but I feel like if I do it takes me too close to the spoiler zone and I definitely don’t want to do that to anyone. I’ll just say I think Suzanne Brockmann was very graceful in the choices she made, and I appreciated that. I’m hoping in 4-5 years, we get another Maddie story. When she’s a woman.
Wow… 948 words so far. Thank goodness I’m ready for closure!
I really hope this means Suzanne Brockmann has decided to continue the Troubleshooters world. I know I’ll continue to read every single thing she puts out; novel or novella. I don’t think I’ll every be ready to let go of these Navy SEALS.
Thank you to Ballantine Books for providing a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.