6 Rated Books Book Reviews

Book Review: The Unsung Hero

Title: The Unsung Hero

Author: Suzanne Brockman

Review number: 52

Genre: Romance / Contemporary

Stand Alone/ Series: Series, Troubleshooters book 1

Summary: After a near-fatal head injury, U.S. Navy SEAL Lieutenant Tom Paoletti catches a terrifying glimpse of an international terrorist in his New England hometown. When he calls for help, the Navy dismisses the danger as injury-induced imaginings. In a desperate last-ditch effort to prevent disaster, Tom creates his own makeshift counterterrorist team, assembling his most loyal officers, two elderly veterans of the Second World War, a couple of misfit teenagers, and Dr. Kelly Ashton — the sweet “girl next door” who has grown into a remarkable woman. Once known as the town’s infamous bad boy, Tom has always longed for Kelly. Now he has one final chance for happiness, one last chance to win her heart, and one desperate chance to save the day….

Why did I read the book: It is this month’s book for Shannon’s Book Club.


Tom Paoletti is a Navy Seal lieutenant who is recovering from a near fatal explosion from a mission gone bad. He was in a coma for a few weeks and is under scrutiny by his superiors to determine if there are any long term consequences from his injury. At the moment he is suffering from headache and dizziness and an outburst of violence against his Official superior has put him under dire straights, his whole unit is on the limbo waiting for the outcome of a psychological evaluation to take place after his one–month off.

He is on his way to his New England hometown to spend some time with his great-uncle Joe when he sees at the airport, a man whom everyone thinks dead: the international terrorist known as The Merchant. Should he add paranoia to his list of problems? Or is the Merchant really well and alive and preparing a new terrorist attack?

Kelly Ashton is Tom’s childhood next door neighbour – her father Charles is his uncle Joe’s employer cum best friend, a friendship that goes all the way back to Second World War. Kelly and Tom had a crush on each other when teenagers but because she was a few years younger than Tom he never allowed himself to make a move, except for a few kisses– even if back then he was the town’s bad boy. They haven’t seen each other in years and were never able to forget their heated yet short-lived encounter and as now Kelly is back into town to care for her father, who is dying of cancer, they may get a second chance. But only if they can get pass their old misconceptions about the other – Kelly starts off wanting to have a passing sexual fling with the bad boy whilst Tom was halfway in love with the good girl next door whom he had put on a pedestal– both needing to find out who the other truly is.

There are quite a few storylines happening at the same, with the story being told from different points of view: there is the Tom and Kelly relationship; Tom’s pursuit of the terrorist; Joe and Charles friendship with flashbacks to their time in France during second world war II and to top it up there is even Tom’s niece Mallory storyline, which takes up a lot of pages with her relationship with David, a geek she meets at the beginning of the book.

I was impressed at how Suzanne Brockman was able to keep up with so many sub-plots but was at the same time, disappointed. Because even though most of the secondary storylines were interesting and well done, I though they detracted our attention from the main couple. Both Kelly and Tom were great, interesting characters and I saw what I thought was great potential to their storyline, with their very real fears of falling in love with someone who wouldn’t be there in times of need, with Tom’s fears for his career and Kelly’s dealings with her shortcomings with her father. But too little was spent on them. I truly thought that the pages and pages of Joe and Charles’ flashbacks could have been put to better use to further deal with Tom and Kelly or even the terrorist plot, which was intriguing – at least the little we see. The climax of this particular storyline was full of action and griping although if I may say so, the way it ended, with some heroics by one of the characters, was way too Hollywood-like for me.

Overall, not as good as I was expecting it to be. But having said that, one of the very same secondary plots I am whining about was what redeemed the book for me, in the end. The youngsters David and Mallory falling in love with each other, was sweet, sexy and very gratifying. They were everything I wanted for the main couple’s story.

Notable quotes/Parts: I truly loved the plot with Mallory and David. He was so sweet – the “ugly” geek with the hottest girl in town. The way they fell in love and dealt with their feelings was so mature and a lesson to the elder couple Tom and Kelly. I particularly like their first sex scene: at one point I found myself much more interested in them than in the main couple.

Additional Thoughts: Come over to discuss the book at Shannon’s What Women Read blog. It is the book club!

Verdict: it could have been good but for me, it fell flat. But I know that I am on a minority here.

Rating: 6, good but not the best thing since sliced bread.

Reading next: The Templar’s Seduction by Mary Reed McCall

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  • Mollie
    May 23, 2008 at 4:21 am

    LOVE this series. Didn’t love the first one but there are just some seriously yummy heroes in this series. I think my favorite so far is Into The Storm.

  • Shannon
    May 23, 2008 at 6:02 am

    As much as I love the series, rereading the first book made me realize why I often forget about Tom. I still love him and like the book, don’t get me wrong, but you are correct in saying there is almost too much happening. I think Ms. Brockmann realizes this after a few more books, and the WWII storylines disappear. Then again, without their story, Charles’ actions at the end of the book would not have been as poinant. The one thing that makes me sad is that I don’t think we ever head about David and Mallory again.

    This book is not a 10/A+ for me, but it is still better (IMHO) than many I have read. 🙂

  • Sarai
    May 23, 2008 at 9:46 am

    Alright I have to admit it is sitting in the library waiting for me to pick up… Crapper

  • li
    May 23, 2008 at 10:35 am

    This series is dangerous – Suzanne Brockamnn writes these h/h relationships that stretch across six or more books and you just want their HEA, dammit!

    I’d actually forgotten about the WWII storylines in the earlier books – although the plot-hopping drove me mad, I actually really liked them.

    She’s an autobuy for me.

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