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on March 25, 2011
Well first of all let me mention, if you haven't read at least the past 4 or so novels of the Troubleshooters series, this is not the place to start. You will be lost and constantly thinking "Glehk - who are these messed up people and why on Earth should I even care?" And "Why in the world does that big girl put up with that total butthead anyway? Run Jenni! Run!!!"

The first 75% or so of the novel is completely bogged down in various forms of Gillman family dysfunction and the ways it has totally messed up the Gillman siblings - Dan, Eden and Ben. There are readers who enjoy angsty books and chapter upon chapter spent analyzing the ways parents can damage their children, with fists and with words. They are probably going to rate this book much higher than I have. I really can't say I'm one of them and on more than one occasion I almost put this book down for good.

I'll be honest, when I read my Navy Seals I really don't want to spend hours reading about them sitting around with tears in their eyes and talking about their feelings and how they've been victimized by society. Why is Dan such a jerk? Why is Eden such a slut? (excuse me, exotic dancer) Why has young Ben painted his finger nails black and is now walking around like a Marilyn Manson impersonator? No. Not for me, at least not from this author, because frankly - Brockmann really doesn't do this type of plot all that well. The characters are too one dimensional and stereotypical. These books she puts out anymore - it's like they don't even have characters. They have ISSUES which pose as characters.

I want ACTION. I want hi-jacked planes, romps through a jungle to escape the bad guys. I want thwarted terrorist plots and a couple of explosions. In other words, I want Suzanne Brockmann the way she USED to write.

In the final chapters the author seems to remember that she's supposed to be writing Romantic Suspense, and the suspense part of the story finally kicked in with kidnappings, rescues, shoot-outs with the bad guys and those Navy Seals finally doing what they do best, making our hearts pound. It really was almost enough to salvage the book, but take my word for it when I say this is no Over the Edge (Troubleshooters, Book 3) with Terri and Stan.
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on May 1, 2011
If you don't want spoilers, don't read this review...

Okay, I have loved Suzanne Brockmann for years. Have bought all of her books in hard cover etc. So, like most of the other reviewers listed, I was looking forward to this book.

So what happened to this story???

My problems with this book are as follows:

1. As so many others have stated more eloquently than I can, there were wayyyyy too many issues in this book. Each issue deserved a novel of it's own to do it justice. I won't say any more than that, as it has been talked about in other reviews.

2. The whole Ben story line left me cold. The whole "pray away the gay" just got to me. I have been a Christian for years and while I am saddened to admit there are certainly many people, who profess to be Christians, who seem to have a real problem with homosexuality, there are also others who don't. I know of many more who care very much about homosexuals, who don't judge them, who sincerely want them to lead successful, loving, productive lives, who believe that God loves them as they are. I would like to have seen at least one such character included to balance out the storyline. (Intolerence comes in many forms, SB. I'm not sure you aren't spreading some intolerence of your own by these type of storylines.)

3. Also, as someone who has been a social worker for over 20 years, I was horrified to see how Child Protective Services was portrayed here! Lots of misinformation in this book about how Ben would have been treated if CPS had gotten involved. Did the author do any research into how social services would treat such a case? No agency I have ever worked for would have treated it the way she stated. I personally think SB owes an apology to hardworking social workers everywhere with this portrayal.

4. I am so very tired of being preached to by this author about gay rights. Enough of the soap box, already! She seemed to be preaching about EVERYTHING in this book. Ugh.

5. I also have a real issue with SB talking about how "big" Jenn is. Really? The average woman in America is a size 12-14. Jenn is not quite a size 16 and she's tall, so no doubt she carries that weight pretty well on a tall frame. I love the character of Jenn and she could be a size 22 and it wouldn't bother me. She's smart and funny and caring. Her size just doesn't come into it for me, but the author keeps referring to it which I didn't get at all.

6. every man in America wants to victimize Eden? Really??? She really can't find any work other than as an exotic dancer? Sorry. I just didn't buy it at all. And I, too, feel like she was just "too young" for Izzy.

There was so much I didn't buy about this book that it would take too long to list.

My deepest disappointment is that I didn't feel the author did justice to herself, her characters, or to her fans with this book. Storylines were short shrifted and I just didn't find it engaging or satisfying.

I wish you luck with your future endeavors, Suzanne. And I thank you for the enjoyment I've had in the past with your other books. I'm just sorry this one didn't work for me.
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on March 22, 2011
I love Suz Brockmann and her books. I appreciate that she is very pro-gay, more power to her. But she has yet again gotten on her soapbox & preached to us in this novel. I just want to enjoy her story w/o being fed a public service announcment the whole time. It's getting a bit tiresome.
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on March 23, 2011
I'll start with non spoiler generalities. Then I'll separate some spoilerish things below.

In general the book was well written with good pacing. The dialog was good as I've come to expect from SB. Both Izzy and Dan kept their male distinctive voices. This is of course not a stand alone novel and should not be read without having read at least the last 2 books before this one.

I feel a little bit let down after reading this book. Is it because I expected too much? I don't think so. Suzanne Brockmann can really rock my world with her writing and I continually reread novels in both of her SEAL series. The book is much more character driven than action driven. It is not nearly as suspenseful as others in this series. It's pretty much a book about people working things out. It's also quite a bit preachy about how gays are people too. (I expanded on that much more below if you want to read some spoilers.)

I think the biggest thing I had against it was that it lacked any "grand passion." There weren't any really big emotional moments in it.

Izzy has been my favorite character throughout the Troubleshooters series. I kind of think he deserved a better heroine than Eden. She was too young for him. Even though there was a bigger age difference between Max and Gina, (Breaking Point) it seemed to work better because Gina was much more adult. And there was passion there. Gina vehemently wanted/loved Max. Max was all angsty in love with Gina. Lots of passion. Maybe if Izzy and Eden's story had played out over several years instead of 8 months to allow her to grow up more I might have liked it better.

Danny was such a complex character throughout the series. I think he did deserve Jenni and she was great for him but he didn't really have room to shine here. I would have liked to see him have his own book.

SOME SPOILERS BELOW: I don't give away any action plot points just some thoughts on how relationships played out / were expressed. Still there's your warning.

Izzy spent most of the book not trusting Eden and thinking she was just using him so he just thought "fine I'll 'do' her until she leaves. I might as well get laid since I'm going to get hurt." I guess it lacked that 'never give up' component that I've seen in other SB heroes and I certainly expected from Izzy. So that Navy SEAL tenacity was just missing. Eden spends most of the book thinking that Izzy just wants her for sex.

We did get a much more in depth look at Eden's background and what made her the ways she was. So a few more years of growing and she would have been a much more interesting character. There's a much bigger difference between 19 and 30 than there is between say 25 and 36. When they did finally trust each other enough to accept the other loved them, the scenes were very short encompassing a few sentences, maybe 20 all told. They were pretty rushed also, mixed in the action scenes.

That's not a lot of emotional payoff for the reader who has stuck with this particular story for 4 years and 3 books. I think it's valid to expect a little more since in real life, when people figure out they love each other, there is usually a compulsion to go over the issue and past happenings with each other while applying the filter of the new understanding. There were also a few elements that were left dangling which pertained to their relationship during the time they were apart that seemed as if the author didn't know what to do with ideas she had set up in other books so basically glossed over them.

Danny and Jenni's story ended here also. I felt like they were given short shrift. Their thoughts and emotions were left up to the reader's imagination quite a bit. There were moments that I really enjoyed for example when Danny tells Eden that Jenni is training him to be human and kisses are his reward for doing that right things. Danny is still an ass but he does learn. Jenni is pretty much a cipher/straight man throughout the book. Here again, there was a lack of passion. I think we needed to see a bit more of the thought processes of the two of them. It was more implied than shown. Danny keeps proposing and Jenni keeps turning him down and you're pretty sure that Danny knows he loves her and you're also pretty sure that Jenni thinks he is only proposing because it's convenient. But I don't want to have to guess. This story line lacked the emotional punch it had in Hot Pursuit, the book where they met.

Danny and Izzy bury the hatchet. Parts were realistic and parts were a little too easy/magical.

There were two suspense plot lines here. Neither of which was particularly suspenseful. I know that SB can write better suspense. (Into the Storm) The bad guys were not developed well enough to make them truly scary. Just the fact that there were two suspense plot lines going diluted the story in my opinion.

Eden and Danny's little brother, Ben, was an interesting character but I think SB used him too much as a bully pulpit about how to treat gays rather than letting him shine as an individual. He seemed to have a lot of spunk and intelligence but he never really got to use it. I think he should have been shown using that intelligence rather than using most of his page time to spout the gay pride party line. I realize than part of the plot involved this anti gay camp and that's fine if that was the main thrust of the suspense but it really wasn't. It just seemed to be in there to 'teach' us neanderthals about gay people. The child slavery thing was more suspenseful and Ben could have used his ingenuity to help with his friend Neesha's dilemma. That's really were I expected the story to go and I think he could have been a strong element there. But instead, I was taught again about being sensitive to gays. In my opinion, there was too much emphasis on Ben being gay. I have three gay cousins and a transsexual cousin and worked for several years for a lesbian small business owner. Being gay/lesbian is not a major topic of their conversations on a daily basis. Their strengths and weaknesses are not based on their gayness. I liked Ben, I loved Jules, perfectly happy to read about them, but I'm not a gay basher and I'm a little bit tired of being preached to.

Maybe SB needs to write a Young Adult novel about Ben and just stick to heterosexual relationships in heterosexual romance novels. I think she could do a great job in a YA about Ben as long as the fact that he was gay wasn't the whole of the story, just as it isn't the whole of a person. If being gay was just a fact and the story was about Ben himself who seemed so real and resourceful when he was not spouting the gay party line.

Bottom line. I waited a long time for this book. I'm glad to finally have it. It wasn't as good as it could have been but it was certainly not a bad book. So definitely read it if you've read the others.
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on March 23, 2011
I think for the last book in the TS series I was expecting something on par with the earlier books-heroic heroes, suspenseful story lines, and a great love story. I found myself missing the original crew (Team Sixteen & TS, Inc.) and wishing there was an epilogue of sorts to give some closure. I love Izzy, but Danny and Eden are two of my least favorite characters of the series so that may be why I didn't love this book with the same enthusiasm as some of the others. I was hard pressed to see any redemption for either of them after their treatments of Jenn and Izzy. It was a good read, but mostly it just made me nostalgic for the much stronger books in the series that have less of an agenda (you know what I mean--I agree with her points but I feel like I'm reading propaganda half the time) and more of that rich, exciting story telling that I expect from Brockmann.
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on April 7, 2011
I waited and waited for Izzy's story; I even pre-ordered and got it on my Kindle the day it came out. I wouldn't have believed that Suz could disappoint me, but she did, and then some. The plot devices in this story are so amateurish, any 10th grader could have come up with them: Eden doesn't check that email address anymore, so Izzy's messages must've gone to spam; Izzy never received the letter Eden mailed to him; Eden's boss (inexplicably) didn't tell Izzy that Eden had left her job in Germany, etc. The list of star-crossed lover bologna goes on and on. If Suz wanted to be finished with the Troubleshooters series she should've left on a high note, rather than disappoint adoring fans like me with slop that re-defines her quality of work to this lesser standard. And the LECTURES on homophobia and safe sex?!? Oh my, she should've just rented a soapbox on the corner so I could've walked on by, which is exactly what I wish I'd done.
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on March 26, 2011
I have read every one of Suzanne Brockmann's Troubleshooters books, some of them in one sitting. But with each successive book, Brockmann's soapbox moments have gotten more and more intrusive. With Breaking the Rules, it's like a soapbox festival. No, a soapbox convention. Let's see, there's homophobia--to the max in this book--homeless vets, child prostitution and sex slaves, objectifying women... The list goes on and on. Okay, so obviously, Suzanne Brockmann's editors think this is acceptable. But on top of that, we have a book that is spent way too much in the characters' heads, while we wait for some action--please, let there be some action--to take place. All these years, all these books, we've enjoyed the fast-paced, tightly-written, action of the Troubleshooters. In this book, we spend more time reading about Izzy's feelings, about Eden's feelings, then some of Jenn's and Dan's feelings--I found myself skimming, which is a very bad sign. In the end, we finally get a taste of the aforementioned action, but it's too little, too late. What bothers me the most is that I feel underestimated. If we're reading a Brockmann book, there's a pretty good chance we sympathize with, agree with, and understand the issues she's so bent on pushing down our throats. I just ended up feeling bludgeoned with the darned soapbox, not enlightened.
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on March 24, 2011

First of all I love Suzanne Brockmann and I have all of her books from this series, but after waiting so long for this next installment of the series to come out and reading it, I was very disappointed. It lacked the passion that a romance should have, the characters didn't have has much growth as I was expecting them to have considering this is the last book for a while. I know a lot of people were/are against Izzy and Eden, but I really liked the idea of them when reading past books. However, in Breaking the Rules they just got to be so tiresome. Izzy really loved Eden that I believed, but he spent a lot of their time together saying that she should stop lying and just be honest with him when in fact he should have done the same and forgo all of the internal debate that he had with himself and just flat out said how he felt. Eden left because she couldn't deal, fine, but then she jumps in his lap the first chance she gets as what? A thank you? They skimmed over their issues that drove them apart to begin with and instead just said they loved each other and then everything was fine in the end, which was not believable. And Eden, I was very sad to find out that she did not have much character growth that you would expect after all that she has been through. She was still lying and manipulative. I would have liked to have seen her more grown up and have learned from the past instead of still using sex to get what she wanted instead of talking things out. I liked that we learned more about her past but then it became too much I thought with everyone wanting to sexually assault her. There was her friends boyfriend when she was 14 her sisters husband, Greg trying to touch her, Richie and the camera guy, the men that work at Burger King always touching her rear when she tried to work there, enough already. And speaking of her sisters husband, that seemed to come out of nowhere, I think if the author was going to have her be violated by another person than she should have just stuck with Greg, her sister's husband was barely mentioned in past books and in this one it was like he was used as a throw in predator to show that she is even more of a victim than she was before. The plot of the story was pretty much them constantly looking for Ben. I wish she did more with the human trafficking story line and less with people wanting to turn Ben straight. Eden and Dan's relationship was mended too fast. He was too mean to her for too long to believe the truth so fast when he didn't want to listen before. But I do like his character he grew the most out of everyone I thought and I really did believe that he loved Jenni. I wish the author dedicated a few pages to give us a glimpse of what things are like for them into the future especially since she isn't writing the next book in the series for a long time.

Over all I give the book 3.5 stars. It could've been really great but it just wasn't.
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on March 30, 2011
What was once an exciting and interesting series began a slow, downhill slide some time ago. Her books used to be full of action, intrigue, interesting characters and excellent plotlines. Now we get weak plots, so-so characters and much preaching from SB about her favorite cause. If this book is her final goodbye to the TS series maybe it is a merciful end. Very sad. I've gone back to re-reading the early TS books (I own them all!) just to convince myself that I wasn't wrong in remembering the wonderful writing and fabulous characters. I wasn't. If SB wants to continue to stand on her soapbox and bang the drum for gay rights and write about gay charaters I think she would be better off moving to that genre. Her heart doesn't seem to be in writing mainstream romance/action/thriller anymore and Breaking The Rules is a perfect example.
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on April 5, 2011
I'm glad that Brockmann finally completed Jenn's and Eden's stories..but couldn't the guys have a few more action scenes and the girls not be so wimpy? Also, I know that Brockmann's son is gay.. but does she have to have a gay storyline in EVERY book? Let's give it a rest, shall we? The book was O.K., but it does a need a little more action to make it the vintage Troubleshooters that we know she's capable of.
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