558 pages! This book is 558 pages long and truthfully I was dreading choosing a book to review that was so long – especially the first one in a new series. Brockmann seems to have officially moved away from her famous (and fabulous) Troubleshooters series with this 1st book in a series titled Reluctant Heroes.
In Do or Die, Ian Dunn is a former Navy SEAL, currently serving 18 months in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. He’s visited by a lawyer one day who has shown up to spring him from prison if he’ll help rescue two kidnapped children from a guy Ian has a history with. This lawyer is sassy and quick-witted Phoebe Kruger. Enter a whole cast of other characters from Ian’s life and you have a plot that gets a bit messy and drawn out at times.
The best part of this book was the budding relationship and chemistry between Ian and Phoebe. Their dialogue is so fast and smart, it’s some of the best I’ve read in recent months. Their scenes together when they were going head to head with each other while battling wits kept me turning the pages. Ian could be outlandish and gruff, while Phoebe was smart, thoughtful, and never afraid to stand up to him. I feel Brockmann did a good job letting their attraction build with each other and I was happy she didn’t just throw them into bed together.
As I said, we’re introduced to several other characters that I’m sure will continue to weave their way through this series, but I didn’t really see any of them that stood out enough or seemed strong enough to carry their own book in the future. Also some of the backstory that was told about another couple left me eager to get back to Ian and Phoebe. And with such a strong hero and heroine some of the crazy plot twists just didn’t feel necessary. While I was happy she didn’t just throw them into bed together, I wished once they did end up in bed a little more time would have been spent there. The book takes place over about 1-2 weeks … I think? I started to lose track of time as the characters were moving around so much from one safe location to a next. 558 pages for a book that takes place in such a short frame of time? Less moving around or being on the run from stuff and side characters and more page time with just Ian and Phoebe talking would have left me more excited about this book and this new series.
Overall I absolutely loved the hero and heroine, it was a lot of the other stuff in the story that felt like unnecessary distractions.
As Ian popped the lock and opened the car door, he turned to Phoebe. “Can you do me a huge favor?”
She immediately stepped toward him, fully embracing their new mature relationship. “Of course.”
Ian looked pointedly over his own shoulder, and said, “Tell me the truth. Does this car make my glowing ass look fat?”