My review originally posted on Joyfully Reviewed: http://www.joyfullyreviewed.com/new-reviews/breaking-the-rules-by-suzanne-brockmann
The first time Navy SEAL Izzy Zanella saw Eden Gillman, he fell head over heels. And when she was pregnant by another man and in need of help, Izzy offered her marriage and anything else she could want. But when Eden suffered a miscarriage she took off, putting as much distance between herself and Izzy as possible.
Now Eden needs help again. Her teenage brother, Ben, is in danger. To get Ben away from their stepfather and safely in her custody, Eden needs Izzy to stand by her and prove that they can give Ben the ideal home. Eden would do anything to keep Ben safe and Izzy’s willing to play knight in shining armor once more. Only now, old wounds aren’t so easy for him to ignore. Izzy wants Eden as his wife, in every way, but he knows he can’t trust her. To make matters worse, Danny, Izzy’s teammate and Eden’s other brother, is along for the ride, as is his girlfriend, Jenn. Danny and Izzy have never gotten along, Eden’s relationship with Danny is tumultuous at best, and Danny’s relationship with Jenn is going anything but smoothly. Can the four of them put aside their problems long enough to gain custody of Ben?
They may not have the chance. Ben befriended a teenager who escaped from a child prostitution ring and the girl’s captors are on the hunt for her – and will kill anyone who might know where she is.
Love, danger, pain, second chances, hatred, intolerance, hope, intrigue…there’s a lot going on in Suzanne Brockmann’s sixteenth Troubleshooters tale. Breaking the Rules is a weighty story that doesn’t drag and I admire Ms. Brockmann for not backing down on a number of timely social issues.
As an action and suspense novel, Breaking the Rules works. Ms. Brockmann kept me on the edge of my seat, turning the pages as its protagonists faced danger head-on. If that sounds vague, it’s because I really don’t want to spoil the story for readers – half the fun is not knowing what will happen next. As a romance, Breaking the Rules had a few missteps for me. A lot of Eden and Izzy’s problems stemmed from a lack of trust and communication, which means they’re plagued by “big misunderstandings.” I understood this, yet I wanted to shake them at times and make them truly keep an open mind and listen to one another. On this point, I feel I should mention that I have never read a Troubleshooters story before. I’m aware that Eden and Izzy have a history, and though Ms. Brockmann provided enough information that I knew what happened between them in the past, having not “gone through it with them,” so to speak, I think I might have less patience for their problems than someone who has read the previous Troubleshooters books. The secondary romance between Danny and Jenn was far more appealing to me. Danny’s clearly gone over for Jenn, but it’s also apparent that he’s messed up in the past and she’s wary of believing that his claims of love are the real thing. This pair charmed the hell out of me and I easily became invested in their romance.
Breaking the Rules is the sixteenth Troubleshooters book, but Ms. Brockmann makes it easy for readers new to the series to follow along. However, in addition to the issue I mentioned above regarding Eden and Izzy’s romance, there are some bits of information regarding supporting characters that had no emotional impact for me because I have not read the entire series. This wasn’t a problem, but I feel that, overall, someone who has read and loved the first fifteen Troubleshooters books might like Breaking the Rules more than I did. I enjoyed Breaking the Rules and I like Ms. Brockmann’s writing style, but if you’re looking for that “knocked off your feet” reading experience, it’s probably best that you read the previous Troubleshooters books first.