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Do or Die: Reluctant Heroes    by Suzanne Brockmann order for
Do or Die
by Suzanne Brockmann
Order:  USA  Can
Ballantine, 2014 (2014)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Do or Die, which opens a new Reluctant Heroes series for romantic suspense superstar Suzanne Brockmann keeps angst and action at adrenaline highs throughout. Its larger than life (in every way possible) hero, ex-Navy SEAL Ian Dunn is the ultimate alpha and the heroine, beautiful attorney Phoebe Kruger, is tough and smart, his perfect match.

This romantic suspense novel is filled with characters who've been leads in previous Brockmann series - though this was the first one I'd read, the back story references were clear. And, as always, sub-plots introduce couples we can expect to grab the spotlight in subsequent episodes - indeed, they were in some ways more intriguing than the rather perfect hero and heroine this time around.

Kazbekistan extremists are the bad guys again here, as they have been in previous episodes. The book begins with an action sequence 'Several years ago ...' in Istanbul, Turkey. In it, Dunn (posing as an international jewel thief) and his motley crew (including his brother Aaron, Aaron's partner Shel and the latter's sister Francine) recover Nazi loot (millions in antique jewelry) and a laptop with information on missing sarin nerve gas from the bad guys.

Fast forward to the present day story, which begins with Ian in prison (by his own choice). He has made a deal with Shel's mobster Dellarosa family to protect Aaron (who doesn't know where he is) and has his own plans to use his time behind bars to solve that problem once and for all. Enter his new attorney Phoebe Kruger, who has come to represent him as government lawyer Martell Griffin offers Ian a get out of jail free deal, on condition that he and his team rescue kidnapped kids from the Kazbekistan consulate in Miami.

Though this setup is a little awkward, it launches Ian and Phoebe (joined later by Ian's usual crew, along with Martell Griffin and FBI agents Deb Erlanger and Jules Cassidy) on a series of heartpounding, pulse raising adventures, with interludes of dalliance along the way, of course. Phoebe frequently finds herself in both hot and cold water and the client/attorney relationship steams up steadily as they evade some villains, con others, and end up saving the day.

Do or Die offers over the top action and romance throughout - just don't take it too seriously and it's great entertainment.

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