A terrorist plot to assassinate the president on U.S. soil transforms what could have been another humorous, larger-than-life Navy SEAL romance from Brockmann (Out of Control, etc.) into a sobering story that will strike a patriotic chord with readers. Brash, 30-something White House PR assistant Joan DaCosta and shy, super-polite 25-year-old Navy SEAL Mike Muldoon are an unlikely couple, but the two quickly connect when Joan is sent to scope out the naval base in Coronado, Calif., for a presidential visit. Though their attraction is immediate, Joan can't bring herself to get over their age difference and the fact that they live on opposite sides of the nation. Intertwined with their off-and-on romance are the recollections of Joan's grandparents (one a WWII veteran and the other a WWII widow); details of a terrorist plot to sneak machine guns onto the base; and a side story involving SEAL wife Mary Lou Starret's friendship with a man of Arab descent. As always, Brockmann's snappy dialogue infuses each encounter with wit and vigor, but what really stands out is her sympathetic portrayal of Mary Lou, arguably one of her least likable recurring characters. Although it will take readers a while to warm up to Mary Lou, as well as to Joan and Mike, who are less dynamic than the protagonists from Brockmann's earlier books, this is a worthy addition to the author's SEAL saga. (Dec.)
Forecast:Sales should be spectacular for this romance veteran. For the past two years, Brockmann's books have dominated RWA's Favorite Books of the Year list, and her previous title hit #20 on the extended
New York Times bestseller list. Though this isn't Brockmann's best effort, it will likely sell just as well.