Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Unsung Hero

The Unsung Hero
(Book One of the Troubleshooters Series)
By Suzanne Brockmann
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Published: 2000
ISBN-13: 9780804119528
416 pages

First paragraph (Prologue): When both the Seahawk and its pilot took a direct hit, things went from bad to worse.

The only Suzanne Brockmann's book that I have read is Ladies’ Man and that was back in December 2007. I enjoyed it very much and I can say the same for The Unsung Hero, the first book of the Troubleshooters series. I love its good mix of intense adventure, love story, and flashbacks by the Second World War veterans.

Thirty-six-year-old Navy SEAL Lieutenant Tom Paoletti returns to his New England hometown on a medical leave after a near-fatal head injury, which could potentially end his military career. Back home, he meets again with his old-time love Kelly Preston, now a pediatrician, whom he left behind sixteen years ago. He has never stopped thinking about her and his feelings for her are still very strong. During this time, he spots someone in his hometown who looks like the international terrorist he had been tracking but was thought dead. His superiors would not listen to him thinking it is his injured head that is acting up, so he sets up his own team to tackle the problem.

Lots of things are going on in this novel as you will see further down this post, but the primary story is the romance between Tom and Kelly. They sizzle and I love everything that is going on between them. He now has a chance to win back her heart but Kelly is afraid that he will leave her again so she stays non-committed. Expect to read lots of steamy adult scenes with these two.

The secondary characters, David Sullivan and Mallory Paoletti (Tom is her uncle), are interesting. David is a geeky graphic novelist who sees Mallory as his Nightshade muse, and Mallory is a cigarette-smoking girl who works in an ice cream shop. Theirs is a story of two very unlikely individuals finding love together. I like their story more than that of Kelly and Tom.

Another storyline that catches my interest is the tight friendship between Charles Preston (Kelly’s father) and Joe Paoletti (Tom’s great-uncle). They have both known each other during the Second World War and had been through hell together. There are flashbacks of their past and it involves a woman they both loved and the tension that lingers even until the present days. I admit I grew somewhat impatient reading those flashbacks but they are really not bad. In fact, they touched me knowing that people can love so deeply and are willing to sacrifice themselves.

The novel is truly multi-layered. The lack of affection between Kelly and her terminally-ill father Charles also touched me. Kelly tries her best to care for him but he always seems hostile and cold toward her. Is that how he truly feels about his daughter, though?

The verdict? I loved it! I am going for the rest of the books in the Troubleshooters series and you can see all the books in the series here.

Note: The Unsung Hero is a joint-reading with Julia who introduced the series to me. Hey Julia, I’ve totally enjoyed the experience with you. I know you've read the series umpteenth times and I really appreciate that you'd still read it with me. For that, I thank you! I'd love to start the next book with you, so I'm waiting for your green light.

Related Post: Teaser Tuesdays