Title: Do or Die (Reluctant Heroes, #1)
Author: Suzanne Brockmann
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Release Date: February 4, 2014
Rating: 4 Stars
Source: ARC received from Publisher via NetGalley
Navy SEAL Ian Dunn went rogue in a big way when he turned his talents to a lawless life of jewel heists and con jobs. Or so the world has been led to believe. In reality, the former Special Ops warrior is still fighting for good, leading a small band of freelance covert operatives who take care of high-stakes business in highly unofficial ways. That makes Ian the hands-down choice when the U.S. government must breach a heavily guarded embassy and rescue a pair of children kidnapped by their own father, a sinister foreign national willing to turn his own kids into casualties. Shockingly, Ian passes on the mission . . . for reasons he will not–or cannot–reveal.
But saying no is not an option. Especially not to Phoebe Kruger, Ian’s bespectacled, beautiful, and unexpectedly brash new attorney. Determined to see the abducted children set free, she not only gets Ian on board but insists on riding shotgun on his Mission: Impossible-style operation, whether he likes it or not.
Though Phoebe has a valuable knack for getting out of tight spots, there’s no denying the intensely intimate feelings growing between Ian and Phoebe as the team gears up for combat. But these are feelings they both must fight to control as they face an array of cold-blooded adversaries, including a vindictive mob boss who’s got Ian at the top of his hit list and a wealthy psychopath who loves murder as much as money. As they dodge death squads and play lethal games of deception, Ian and Phoebe will do whatever it takes to save the innocent and vanquish the guilty.
Or die trying.
Do or Die is my first book by Suzanne Brockmann. So many people that know I like romantic suspense have recommended her books and I can see why. Do or Die is the first of her her new Reluctant Heroes series and it starts out with a wild ride. There is so much going on in Do or Die – multiple points of view (not just the main hero and heroine), a multifaceted rescue mission that continues to change and multiple love stories in this book.
The first thing I can say about Do or Die is that I love Suzanne’s writing. The plot was well planned out and delivered fantastically. Not only was the plot complicated, but she has such a such a way with words and descriptions. She takes her characters points of view and really adds in their personality to the words, so it is almost as if many people wrote the book. Because of that I really enjoyed that multiple points of view in this story. It wasn’t just the main hero or heroine, but I think almost every member of the rescue team was heard from at some point or another.
Do or Die is heavier on the suspense and lighter on the romance. The intimate moments are more vague and implied rather than descriptive. However, there is a lot of love going round in this book. It is more subtle since there is a huge rescue mission going on and the team is always on the run, but you get to see it all. Ian and Phoebe are the main hero and heroine in the book and I really enjoyed watching them spar off against one another. While many people backed down to Ian as the mission leader, Phoebe didn’t. Even though she is way out of her element as a lawyer, Phoebe doesn’t fawn all over Ian but tries to do what she thinks is right, regardless of what he thinks. It is her stubborn personality that Ian falls in love with. In addition to Ian and Phoebe’s love story we also got to read about Aaron and Sheldon’s love story. This was quite fascinating to me since I had not read anything like it before. Family love is so strong in this story as well.
Some of the little things I really enjoyed in Do or Die are the quirky things that kept popping up and the characters sense of humor in general. One of the characters named Martell has a car he considers a piece of crap and even when all other vehicles continue to get trashed for one reason or another his car makes it through everything.
The ending was really cool. Suzanne included an ending (or new beginning) for each of the characters on Ian’s team. I found some to be unexpected but others to be spot on with what I would want. The overall ending worked out great for the story and has caused me to remain interested in reading future books in this series. I feel as though I have really gotten to know all the characters and am not quite ready to let them go. If you like romantic suspense that will engage you from the beginning, and keep you on the edge or your seat, I recommend you give Do or Die a try.
Reviewed by: Amy R.