Breaking the Rules (Troubleshooters Series #16)

( 236 )

Overview

When Eden Gillman needed someone most, Navy SEAL Izzy Zanella was always there for her—offering a place to stay and a shoulder to cry on. And when she got pregnant with another man’s child, he offered his hand in marriage. Their life together seemed meant to be, until Eden’s miscarriage left them devastated and estranged. Yet in order to save Eden’s teenage brother, Ben, from his abusive stepfather, Eden once again reaches out to Izzy for help. He doesn’t hesitate to reach back, and there’s no denying the passion...

See more details below
Paperback (Mass Market Paperback)
$7.99
BN.com price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (93) from $1.99   
  • New (11) from $3.18   
  • Used (82) from $1.99   
Breaking the Rules (Troubleshooters Series #16)

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$7.99
BN.com price

Overview

When Eden Gillman needed someone most, Navy SEAL Izzy Zanella was always there for her—offering a place to stay and a shoulder to cry on. And when she got pregnant with another man’s child, he offered his hand in marriage. Their life together seemed meant to be, until Eden’s miscarriage left them devastated and estranged. Yet in order to save Eden’s teenage brother, Ben, from his abusive stepfather, Eden once again reaches out to Izzy for help. He doesn’t hesitate to reach back, and there’s no denying the passion that still crackles between them. Together they wage a courtroom battle and win custody. But when Ben attracts some dangerous enemies, Izzy and Eden must pull together like never before and strike back, swift and hard, to protect their own—and everything they hold most precious.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Sometime in the not too distant past, the once torrid romance between Eden Gillman and her Navy SEAL husband Izzy Zanella took a drastic cooling turn. Both seem permanently wedded to mutual disdain, but then something happens that changes the chemistry: Eden discovers that her younger brother Ben is the victim of abuse by his stepfather. To rescue him from the tyrant's custody, she knows that she must reconstruct her tattered relationship with the man that she had most cherished. What she doesn't yet realize is the full saving strength of that lovers' reunion.

From the Publisher

“At long last Izzy Zanella gets his due. . . . Fast paced and filled with emotional landmines, [Suzanne] Brockmann gives her readers a great story full of old friends and new adventures.”—RT Book Reviews
 
“Powerful . . . Brockmann masterfully weaves . . . a narrative that reaffirms the importance of family.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Publishers Weekly
In the powerful 16th Troubleshooter title, Brockman (Infamous) masterfully weaves the stories of the four Gillman siblings into a single narrative that reaffirms the importance of family. Ben, the youngest, asks Danny and Eden to come to Las Vegas and rescue him from their stepfather. Ben befriends Neesha, a teen running away from years of imprisonment in a brothel, as Eden struggles to prove she's not as messed up as Danny thinks she is. Eden is also dodging her estranged husband, Izzy, who served in the Navy with Danny; he and Danny's fabulous girlfriend, Jennilyn, are rare voices of sanity as the Gillmans try to forget the past and learn to get along while saving Ben and Neesha from their pursuers. The slowly rekindled attraction between Izzy and Eden is steamy, and Jennilyn is a rock for Danny, giving romance fans two delightful relationships for the price of one. (Apr.)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345521231
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/31/2012
  • Series: Troubleshooters Series , #16
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 560
  • Sales rank: 279,914
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.80 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Suzanne Brockmann
Since her explosion onto the publishing scene more than ten years ago, Suzanne Brockmann has written more than forty books, and is now widely recognized as one of the leading voices in romantic suspense. Her work has earned her repeated appearances on the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists, as well as numerous awards, including Romance Writers of America’s #1 Favorite Book of the Year - three years running in 2000, 2001, and 2002 - two RITA awards, and many Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Awards. Suzanne Brockmann lives west of Boston with her husband, author Ed Gaffney.

Biography

Although Suzanne Brockmann can't remember a time when she wasn't scribbling something (one of her earliest masterpieces was an action-packed radio play called "Mice on Mars"), she didn't begin to write seriously until she was married with young children. She spent several years trying to break into the super-competitive field of screenwriting before deciding to try her hand at genre fiction; and, it was only after months of intensive research that she finally homed in on Romance. In June of 1992, she sat down to write her first book. By year's end, she had completed ten manuscripts, and in August of 1993, she sold her first book, the contemporary romance Future Perfect.

Brockmann's first novels were stand-alones. But as her career progressed, she noticed that romance mini-series, with their opportunities for character development and intersecting story lines, had become extremely popular. Seeking to increase her readership, she decided to write a mini-series of her own. She found her "hook" in a magazine article on Navy SEALs and, in 1996, she released Prince Joe, the first novel in her Tall, Dark and Dangerous series. The alpha males of Brockmann's fictional SEAL Team 10 proved to be the perfect romantic heroes, and the series was an immediate hit with readers. Four years later, she launched a second series of military/romantic thrillers centered on the friendships, romances, and working relationships among a team of Navy SEALS and members of an elite security agency called Troubleshooters, Inc. Starting with The Unsung Hero in 2000, the Troubleshooters books have catapulted the author to the top of the charts.

Brockmann is known in the industry as a risk-taker, having written stories around such sensitive topics as interracial romance and homosexuality, In 2004, she garnered attention for her eighth Troubleshooters novel, Hot Target, which involved one of her most popular recurring characters, openly gay FBI agent Jules Cassidy, in a romantic subplot. Brockman, who dedicated the book to her gay son Jason, was not sure how readers would respond. To her surprise, the reaction from gay and straight alike proved positive. She stated on her website: "I love the fact that the world I've created in my books -- a diverse American world filled with the same variety of people who live in my urban American neighborhood -- has been so enthusiastically embraced by readers."

Brockmann's distinctive literary blend has come in for its fair share of praise. Writing in the Chicago Tribune, veteran Booklist reviewer John Charles stated: "Brockmann strikes the perfect balance between white-knuckle suspense and richly emotional romance." And USA Today has called her "[t]he reigning queen of militaray suspense." As further proof of her mainstream appeal, she remains one of a handful of Romance novelists to have made the leap from mass market paperback to hardcover.

Good To Know

In an interview with the online magazine All About Romance, Brockmann says: "I started reading when I was three (my first 'real' book was Beverly Cleary's Here Comes the Bus -- I remember this because no one believed that I was really reading it and I got really upset when my older sister took it back to the school library before I'd finished it!)."

A serious history buff from her youth, Brockmann has read widely on WWII and has been known to incorporate stories from that era into the books of her Troubleshooters series.

Brockmann loves music. She attended Boston University as a film major with a minor in creative writing but dropped out to perform with a rock and roll band. She also sang with and served as music director for a Boston-based a cappella group called "Serious Fun" and produced its first and only CD in 1998.

Brockman is married to novelist Ed Gaffney.

The mother of an openly gay son , Brockmann is a proud member of PFLAG (Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians & Gays).

In her writing, Brockmann employs a device she calls Deep Point of View. She explains it in an interview with the online writers' journal Writers Write: "In my books, I use subjective point of view, but I'm not satisfied with merely showing the reader what that camera sees from its perch atop a character's head. I bring the camera down, inside of that character's head, so we see the world through that character's eyes. We hear things through his ears. We smell what he smells, feel what he feels, think what he think. With deep POV, I write using words that that character would use. I tell the story with that character's voice."

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Afghanistan

Thursday, 16 April 2009

It happened so fast.

The IED-a car bomb, had to be-went off in the middle of the busy neighborhood.

One minute Izzy Zanella was letting Mark Jenkins use him as a sounding board for the pros and cons of putting in an offer on a house before he and his wife, Lindsey, sold their condo-which was ridiculous, because Izzy had never owned property in his thirty years of life and wasn't likely to change from being a renter anytime soon. But that was probably why Jenk was bouncing his thoughts off Izzy-because said thoughts would, absolutely, bounce.

Of course, their Navy SEAL teammate and resident pain in the ass Danny- Danny-bo-banny Gillman had never owned property either, but he had an Opinion with a capital O on the subject-and that O stood for boring. Dan had spent most of the morning dourly warning Jenkie to not even think about buying anything in this craphell market-not until they had a buyer for the condo locked in.

Jenk, however, was in love-and not just with his adorable yet kick-ass wife. He was in love with his entire life, including Lindsey's whoopsie-daisy pregnancy. It had just happened, or rather, they'd just found out about it. And even though they had nearly eight full months before Baby Day, Jenk really, really wanted to buy what was, without a doubt, his idea of the perfect house, particularly since it sat three perfect houses down from the equally perfect home of SEAL Team Sixteen's former CO, Tommy Paoletti, whom Markie-Mark still loved nearly as much as Lindsey and their fabulous life.

And Izzy had to admit that living down the street from Tommy, who had a more-the-merrier policy to his almost-weekly cookouts, would be pretty flipping great.

Jenkins didn't want to hear any more of Gillman's doom and gloom, which was why he was walking next to Izzy and saying, "If it turns out we can't sell the condo, we can always go to Plan B-"

Which was when the world went boom.

Izzy went from nodding his agreement to soul-kissing the street and inhaling rancid water from a puddle that was part yak piss, part toxic sludge.

He rolled over to do a quick head count of his teammates and encountered Dan Gillman, who was doing the exact same thing, his hand on Izzy's leg-the better to shake him with.

"Zanella, Christ, are you all right?" Gillman asked, far more urgently than Izzy would have expected, considering that Izzy's main reason for finding Dan such a royal pain in the ass was the fact that Dan thought Izzy was the world's biggest load. And he'd come to his opinion about that long before Izzy had gone and married Danny's little sister, Eden, which had, inarguably, made things even more awkward.

In the best of times, they were frenemies. In the worst, they gave in to their animosity, at which point one of their fists usually ended up in the other's face.

And it was usually Danny's fist and Izzy's face. Although they'd definitely vice versa'd it a time or two in the recent past.

Izzy had to spit out the yak piss before he could do more than nod, but then he remembered that it wasn't too long ago that Dan had had the unnerving experience of witnessing a Marine who'd been standing a few scant inches away from him get hit by shrapnel from a similar explosion.

The kid had bled out in a matter of minutes, despite Dan's frantic attempts at first aid.

"I'm fine," Izzy reassured him. Their SEAL teammates-Jenkins, Tony V., and Lopez-were all fine, too, thank God.

In fact, Lopez was so fine, he was already running toward the smoke and flames. Izzy scrambled to his feet and followed, with Jenk, Tony, and Gillman hot on his heels.

They'd been a mere four blocks away from the former marketplace that was the bomb's ground zero, and as they approached, the chaos increased.

More than one bus was on its side. Other cars were flipped upside down, one of them burning.

Civilians were everywhere. Crying. Bleeding. Some of them were running away, some not doing much of anything but lying, dazed, where they'd fallen, slapped down by the blast's giant invisible hand.

The United States Marines, God bless 'em, were already on the scene, a female officer coolly and efficiently taking command of the rescue effort-getting the injured people out of the vehicles, evacuating the surrounding buildings, putting out the fires.

Izzy's ears were still ringing, but he saw what Lopez was doing with the hot Marine lieutenant's blessing. He was creating a first-aid station for the injured, right there on the sidewalk.

Sirens were wailing in the distance, emergency vehicles coming from every direction. But the streets were filled not just with people but with rubble and smoke, and holy shit, the front of an entire row of buildings, including his favorite shawarma stand, had been blown to hell. And the crater from the bomb had made the street here beyond the marketplace impassable every way but from the north.

Help was coming, but it wasn't going to arrive soon enough.

But Lopez was a hospital corpsman-the Navy equivalent of an Army medic- and he was focused on saving the lives that he could. Normally soft- spoken, he was using his outdoor voice to inform any other medical personnel on the scene about his makeshift triage area.

It was then, as Izzy was pointing out Lopez to an ancient woman who was half carrying her bloody and dazed nearly-elderly-himself son, that he noticed Mark Jenkins was looking a little pale. The height- challenged SEAL was holding his right wrist tight against his side, as if he'd jammed it bad when he'd forcefully come into close personal contact with the street.

"Y'okay?" Izzy stepped closer to ask, exactly as Dan, too, came over and inquired, "Jenkins, are you hurt?"

Jenk shook his head in a mix of both yes and no. "Help me find a piece of wood for a splint."

"Shit," Izzy said as he helped Danny sift through the rubble of what used to be that restaurant. "Is it broken?"

The owner had survived, thank God, but he was sitting now among the debris, stunned. "Hang on, Mr. Wahidi," Izzy called to the man. "I'll be right over to help you."

Everything was either too big or too splintered or too full of nasty- ass nails.

"A brace," Jenkins corrected himself as he bent to pick up a piece of what had once been a sign for tea. "I meant a brace. Son of a bitch."

His wrist was definitely broken.

He turned another more greenish shade of pale, his golly-gee freckles standing out on his nose, because he'd jarred his arm trying to measure it against that piece of wood.

"Maybe you should sit down, bro," Gillman suggested, which was stupid. No way was Jenkins going to sit down and surrender to a relatively mild injury when there were so many more severely wounded people to assist.

Of course, maybe Dan only meant it, like, Maybe you should sit down for a sec, bro, because it is going to hurt like a screaming bitch when we belt your arm to that splint.

But any mention of giving in to the pain would have pissed Izzy off royally were he in Jenk's tiny boots, so he took charge. "He's fine where he is," he told Dan, told Jenkins, too, because the man looked like he needed encouragement, and adding to Dan, "Don't bother with your belt."

Izzy found his spare bungee cords in his vest pocket and pulled out a couple. Those little suckers were useful, even when the SEALs weren't up in the mountains. They would work better than a belt to keep Jenk's broken arm supported by that piece of wood.

The wood, however, left much to be desired. So Izzy tossed Dan the cords, reaching down and untying his own bootlaces, even as he told Jenk, "I say go for it. Buy the house of your dreams."

As he'd expected, Danny objected, which was good. Jenk needed a little distraction. "And hold two mortgages if the condo doesn't sell?" Dan said.

"Sure, why not?" Izzy quickly stripped off his sock. It was a little soggy and extremely aromatic, but it would do the trick.

Dan was sputtering. "Because . . . it's insane?" But he saw what Izzy was doing and held out his hand for the sock and covered the piece of wood's ragged end with it, even as Izzy jammed his bare foot back into his boot.

"No, it's not," Izzy told Jenkins as he took the sock-covered wood from Dan and tested it against his own hand. Not great, but much better. Uncovered, that slice of raw wood would've scraped the shit out of Jenkie's palm. His sock gave it at least a little bit of padding and protection. "Because if you don't sell it, you can rent it. That's a great Plan B, my brother. You know, my lease is up in a month. I could be your tenant."

Jenk and Lindsey's condo was much nicer than his current place-which stupidly still reeked of memories of Izzy's too-short marriage to Eden. Although how that could be, Izzy didn't understand. He'd been married to her for . . . what? A week? Damn, he'd only made love to her once-but it had been in his bed, in his bedroom, in his stupid, stupid apartment, on their wedding night.

It had been an event of momentous importance that Izzy still dreamed about-both feverishly at night and in unguarded moments during the daytime, when his thoughts wandered off to a fantasyland where wishes came true.

Not only was Eden uncommonly beautiful with her big brown eyes and lustrously dark hair, her flawless smooth skin, heart-shaped face, that sensual mouth that was quick to smile. But she also got Izzy's jokes. She spoke his language. She was funny and smart and courageous, and yes, a little bit crazy. Reckless. Unafraid to dance to a different drummer.

All that, plus a body that didn't quit . . . ?

Back when they'd first met, Izzy'd fallen in lust with her at first sight, and solidly in love within the first five minutes they'd talked. But she didn't stay in San Diego for long. She left almost immediately, to visit her Army sergeant father in Germany.

But then, six months later, when Eden had resurfaced back in the States, she'd been six months pregnant and in dire need of a knight in shining armor. So Izzy'd married her, even though there was no way on earth that baby she'd been carrying could have possibly been his.

But he didn't care. He just wanted to be her hero.

And to get into her pants. Which he'd done after marrying her.

But then she'd miscarried, lost the baby, and run back to Germany. And spent the past ten months refusing to see him.

Even though he'd gone all the way to Europe to try to see her, more times than he could count.

"Jenkins has a two-bedroom," Dan pointed out. "What are you going to do, get a roommate?"

"Ooh, Dan," Izzy said. "Great idea. We could finally live together." He held the splint out so that Jenkins could put his wrist against it. This was the part that was going to hurt, but Jenk nodded for them to do it, just get it over with. He closed his eyes.

But it was Danny who made the choking, gagging sounds as they got Jenk as patched up as he was going to be-at least until he returned to the base and saw a doctor.

But Izzy couldn't resist pushing it, even though the last thing he wanted was Danny freaking Gillman for a roommate. "Seriously, Dan, if we split the rent it would be pretty cheap. You're not going to keep bunking in the enlisted quarters, are you, now that you and Jenn are tight? What are you going to do when she comes to San Diego to visit? It's time you moved into big-boy housing."

"Go fuck yourself," Dan said, genuinely pissed. Apparently Izzy had trod on a hot button. Interesting. Was it the mention of Jennilyn visiting or just the mention of Jennilyn?

"I've found that I'm a little shy," Izzy said, "for such blatantly public displays of self-affection. Besides, I like to be wined and dined before I have my way with myself. I'm an old-fashioned kind of guy."

"Old-fashioned," Dan scoffed. "Is that the excuse you use to convince yourself that you're not a shithead? I'm old-fashioned, because back in the eighteen hundreds men regularly took children as their brides . . ."

She wasn't a child, Izzy stopped himself from saying, because he was not going to talk about Eden anymore. Not with anyone-and especially not her asshole brother. That part of his life was over and done. In fact, as soon as he got back to San Diego, he was going to ask the senior chief for some help in finding a divorce lawyer.

But Dan was into tit-for-tatting, and since Izzy had stumbled onto one of his hot buttons, dude now felt compelled to jump with both feet onto Izzy's.

In the past, Izzy would have risen to the bait and their conversation would've gone a little like this:

Dan: At the end of the day, you're the one who was banging a seventeen- year-old.

Izzy: She was eighteen. And I didn't bang her.

Dan: Oh, excuse me. You made beautiful, tender love to her. That's right, I always forget. It was the four hundred and seventeen guys that came before you that she banged.

Izzy: Don't you say that shit about her-

Dan: She used you, man. She uses everyone. Why don't you just face the truth and move on?

Izzy: (throwing a punch) Why don't you go fuck yourself . . . ?

"Y'okay?" Izzy asked Jenk instead as the other SEAL experimented with the splint, cautiously moving his arm. Dan was watching closely, too.

And this time when Jenk nodded, it was a solid yes.

At that, both Izzy and Dan turned in a unison that couldn't have been more precise had it been choreographed, and they went in separate directions-Dan toward Lopez, and Izzy toward Tony V.

It was clear that they didn't need a debate or a discussion to agree they'd already spent far too freaking much time together today.

Although the good news was that neither of them was walking away with a bloody nose.

Of course, there was still a lot of daylight left.

New York City

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Jennilyn LeMay was having a day.

It had started when she got to work and realized that she'd gotten the mother of all runs in her pantyhose, and that she didn't have a spare pair in her desk drawer.

She'd only had time for the quickest trip to the drugstore on the next block over, but that proved ineffective. Unbelievably, they were completely out of queen-size in every color and every conceivable brand, as if the place had been descended upon by a drove of bargain- hunting opera singers. Best Jenn could find, way in the back behind the tube socks, was a pair of thick white tights that were labeled both queen-size and petite-clearly designed for two-hundred-pound height-challenged nurses, rather than giantesses like Jenn who weren't quite six feet tall if they both lied and slouched.

No doubt about it, as far as her hopes went for-quite literally- covering her ass, the fat lady was singing.

From the Hardcover edition.

Read More Show Less

First Chapter

Breaking the Rules

A Novel
By Suzanne Brockmann

Ballantine Books

Copyright © 2011 Suzanne Brockmann
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780345521224

Chapter One

Afghanistan

Thursday, 16 April 2009

It happened so fast.

The IED-a car bomb, had to be-went off in the middle of the busy neighborhood.

One minute Izzy Zanella was letting Mark Jenkins use him as a sounding board for the pros and cons of putting in an offer on a house before he and his wife, Lindsey, sold their condo-which was ridiculous, because Izzy had never owned property in his thirty years of life and wasn't likely to change from being a renter anytime soon. But that was probably why Jenk was bouncing his thoughts off Izzy-because said thoughts would, absolutely, bounce.

Of course, their Navy SEAL teammate and resident pain in the ass Danny- Danny-bo-banny Gillman had never owned property either, but he had an Opinion with a capital O on the subject-and that O stood for boring. Dan had spent most of the morning dourly warning Jenkie to not even think about buying anything in this craphell market-not until they had a buyer for the condo locked in.

Jenk, however, was in love-and not just with his adorable yet kick-ass wife. He was in love with his entire life, including Lindsey's whoopsie-daisy pregnancy. It had just happened, or rather, they'd just found out about it. And even though they had nearly eight full months before Baby Day, Jenk really, really wanted to buy what was, without a doubt, his idea of the perfect house, particularly since it sat three perfect houses down from the equally perfect home of SEAL Team Sixteen's former CO, Tommy Paoletti, whom Markie-Mark still loved nearly as much as Lindsey and their fabulous life.

And Izzy had to admit that living down the street from Tommy, who had a more-the-merrier policy to his almost-weekly cookouts, would be pretty flipping great.

Jenkins didn't want to hear any more of Gillman's doom and gloom, which was why he was walking next to Izzy and saying, "If it turns out we can't sell the condo, we can always go to Plan B-"

Which was when the world went boom.

Izzy went from nodding his agreement to soul-kissing the street and inhaling rancid water from a puddle that was part yak piss, part toxic sludge.

He rolled over to do a quick head count of his teammates and encountered Dan Gillman, who was doing the exact same thing, his hand on Izzy's leg-the better to shake him with.

"Zanella, Christ, are you all right?" Gillman asked, far more urgently than Izzy would have expected, considering that Izzy's main reason for finding Dan such a royal pain in the ass was the fact that Dan thought Izzy was the world's biggest load. And he'd come to his opinion about that long before Izzy had gone and married Danny's little sister, Eden, which had, inarguably, made things even more awkward.

In the best of times, they were frenemies. In the worst, they gave in to their animosity, at which point one of their fists usually ended up in the other's face.

And it was usually Danny's fist and Izzy's face. Although they'd definitely vice versa'd it a time or two in the recent past.

Izzy had to spit out the yak piss before he could do more than nod, but then he remembered that it wasn't too long ago that Dan had had the unnerving experience of witnessing a Marine who'd been standing a few scant inches away from him get hit by shrapnel from a similar explosion.

The kid had bled out in a matter of minutes, despite Dan's frantic attempts at first aid.

"I'm fine," Izzy reassured him. Their SEAL teammates-Jenkins, Tony V., and Lopez-were all fine, too, thank God.

In fact, Lopez was so fine, he was already running toward the smoke and flames. Izzy scrambled to his feet and followed, with Jenk, Tony, and Gillman hot on his heels.

They'd been a mere four blocks away from the former marketplace that was the bomb's ground zero, and as they approached, the chaos increased.

More than one bus was on its side. Other cars were flipped upside down, one of them burning.

Civilians were everywhere. Crying. Bleeding. Some of them were running away, some not doing much of anything but lying, dazed, where they'd fallen, slapped down by the blast's giant invisible hand.

The United States Marines, God bless 'em, were already on the scene, a female officer coolly and efficiently taking command of the rescue effort-getting the injured people out of the vehicles, evacuating the surrounding buildings, putting out the fires.

Izzy's ears were still ringing, but he saw what Lopez was doing with the hot Marine lieutenant's blessing. He was creating a first-aid station for the injured, right there on the sidewalk.

Sirens were wailing in the distance, emergency vehicles coming from every direction. But the streets were filled not just with people but with rubble and smoke, and holy shit, the front of an entire row of buildings, including his favorite shawarma stand, had been blown to hell. And the crater from the bomb had made the street here beyond the marketplace impassable every way but from the north.

Help was coming, but it wasn't going to arrive soon enough.

But Lopez was a hospital corpsman-the Navy equivalent of an Army medic- and he was focused on saving the lives that he could. Normally soft- spoken, he was using his outdoor voice to inform any other medical personnel on the scene about his makeshift triage area.

It was then, as Izzy was pointing out Lopez to an ancient woman who was half carrying her bloody and dazed nearly-elderly-himself son, that he noticed Mark Jenkins was looking a little pale. The height- challenged SEAL was holding his right wrist tight against his side, as if he'd jammed it bad when he'd forcefully come into close personal contact with the street.

"Y'okay?" Izzy stepped closer to ask, exactly as Dan, too, came over and inquired, "Jenkins, are you hurt?"

Jenk shook his head in a mix of both yes and no. "Help me find a piece of wood for a splint."

"Shit," Izzy said as he helped Danny sift through the rubble of what used to be that restaurant. "Is it broken?"

The owner had survived, thank God, but he was sitting now among the debris, stunned. "Hang on, Mr. Wahidi," Izzy called to the man. "I'll be right over to help you."

Everything was either too big or too splintered or too full of nasty- ass nails.

"A brace," Jenkins corrected himself as he bent to pick up a piece of what had once been a sign for tea. "I meant a brace. Son of a bitch."

His wrist was definitely broken.

He turned another more greenish shade of pale, his golly-gee freckles standing out on his nose, because he'd jarred his arm trying to measure it against that piece of wood.

"Maybe you should sit down, bro," Gillman suggested, which was stupid. No way was Jenkins going to sit down and surrender to a relatively mild injury when there were so many more severely wounded people to assist.

Of course, maybe Dan only meant it, like, Maybe you should sit down for a sec, bro, because it is going to hurt like a screaming bitch when we belt your arm to that splint.

But any mention of giving in to the pain would have pissed Izzy off royally were he in Jenk's tiny boots, so he took charge. "He's fine where he is," he told Dan, told Jenkins, too, because the man looked like he needed encouragement, and adding to Dan, "Don't bother with your belt."

Izzy found his spare bungee cords in his vest pocket and pulled out a couple. Those little suckers were useful, even when the SEALs weren't up in the mountains. They would work better than a belt to keep Jenk's broken arm supported by that piece of wood.

The wood, however, left much to be desired. So Izzy tossed Dan the cords, reaching down and untying his own bootlaces, even as he told Jenk, "I say go for it. Buy the house of your dreams."

As he'd expected, Danny objected, which was good. Jenk needed a little distraction. "And hold two mortgages if the condo doesn't sell?" Dan said.

"Sure, why not?" Izzy quickly stripped off his sock. It was a little soggy and extremely aromatic, but it would do the trick.

Dan was sputtering. "Because . . . it's insane?" But he saw what Izzy was doing and held out his hand for the sock and covered the piece of wood's ragged end with it, even as Izzy jammed his bare foot back into his boot.

"No, it's not," Izzy told Jenkins as he took the sock-covered wood from Dan and tested it against his own hand. Not great, but much better. Uncovered, that slice of raw wood would've scraped the shit out of Jenkie's palm. His sock gave it at least a little bit of padding and protection. "Because if you don't sell it, you can rent it. That's a great Plan B, my brother. You know, my lease is up in a month. I could be your tenant."

Jenk and Lindsey's condo was much nicer than his current place-which stupidly still reeked of memories of Izzy's too-short marriage to Eden. Although how that could be, Izzy didn't understand. He'd been married to her for . . . what? A week? Damn, he'd only made love to her once-but it had been in his bed, in his bedroom, in his stupid, stupid apartment, on their wedding night.

It had been an event of momentous importance that Izzy still dreamed about-both feverishly at night and in unguarded moments during the daytime, when his thoughts wandered off to a fantasyland where wishes came true.

Not only was Eden uncommonly beautiful with her big brown eyes and lustrously dark hair, her flawless smooth skin, heart-shaped face, that sensual mouth that was quick to smile. But she also got Izzy's jokes. She spoke his language. She was funny and smart and courageous, and yes, a little bit crazy. Reckless. Unafraid to dance to a different drummer.

All that, plus a body that didn't quit . . . ?

Back when they'd first met, Izzy'd fallen in lust with her at first sight, and solidly in love within the first five minutes they'd talked. But she didn't stay in San Diego for long. She left almost immediately, to visit her Army sergeant father in Germany.

But then, six months later, when Eden had resurfaced back in the States, she'd been six months pregnant and in dire need of a knight in shining armor. So Izzy'd married her, even though there was no way on earth that baby she'd been carrying could have possibly been his.

But he didn't care. He just wanted to be her hero.

And to get into her pants. Which he'd done after marrying her.

But then she'd miscarried, lost the baby, and run back to Germany. And spent the past ten months refusing to see him.

Even though he'd gone all the way to Europe to try to see her, more times than he could count.

"Jenkins has a two-bedroom," Dan pointed out. "What are you going to do, get a roommate?"

"Ooh, Dan," Izzy said. "Great idea. We could finally live together." He held the splint out so that Jenkins could put his wrist against it. This was the part that was going to hurt, but Jenk nodded for them to do it, just get it over with. He closed his eyes.

But it was Danny who made the choking, gagging sounds as they got Jenk as patched up as he was going to be-at least until he returned to the base and saw a doctor.

But Izzy couldn't resist pushing it, even though the last thing he wanted was Danny freaking Gillman for a roommate. "Seriously, Dan, if we split the rent it would be pretty cheap. You're not going to keep bunking in the enlisted quarters, are you, now that you and Jenn are tight? What are you going to do when she comes to San Diego to visit? It's time you moved into big-boy housing."

"Go fuck yourself," Dan said, genuinely pissed. Apparently Izzy had trod on a hot button. Interesting. Was it the mention of Jennilyn visiting or just the mention of Jennilyn?

"I've found that I'm a little shy," Izzy said, "for such blatantly public displays of self-affection. Besides, I like to be wined and dined before I have my way with myself. I'm an old-fashioned kind of guy."

"Old-fashioned," Dan scoffed. "Is that the excuse you use to convince yourself that you're not a shithead? I'm old-fashioned, because back in the eighteen hundreds men regularly took children as their brides . . ."

She wasn't a child, Izzy stopped himself from saying, because he was not going to talk about Eden anymore. Not with anyone-and especially not her asshole brother. That part of his life was over and done. In fact, as soon as he got back to San Diego, he was going to ask the senior chief for some help in finding a divorce lawyer.

But Dan was into tit-for-tatting, and since Izzy had stumbled onto one of his hot buttons, dude now felt compelled to jump with both feet onto Izzy's.

In the past, Izzy would have risen to the bait and their conversation would've gone a little like this:

Dan: At the end of the day, you're the one who was banging a seventeen- year-old.

Izzy: She was eighteen. And I didn't bang her.

Dan: Oh, excuse me. You made beautiful, tender love to her. That's right, I always forget. It was the four hundred and seventeen guys that came before you that she banged.

Izzy: Don't you say that shit about her-

Dan: She used you, man. She uses everyone. Why don't you just face the truth and move on?

Izzy: (throwing a punch) Why don't you go fuck yourself . . . ?

"Y'okay?" Izzy asked Jenk instead as the other SEAL experimented with the splint, cautiously moving his arm. Dan was watching closely, too.

And this time when Jenk nodded, it was a solid yes.

At that, both Izzy and Dan turned in a unison that couldn't have been more precise had it been choreographed, and they went in separate directions-Dan toward Lopez, and Izzy toward Tony V.

It was clear that they didn't need a debate or a discussion to agree they'd already spent far too freaking much time together today.

Although the good news was that neither of them was walking away with a bloody nose.

Of course, there was still a lot of daylight left.

New York City

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Jennilyn LeMay was having a day.

It had started when she got to work and realized that she'd gotten the mother of all runs in her pantyhose, and that she didn't have a spare pair in her desk drawer.

She'd only had time for the quickest trip to the drugstore on the next block over, but that proved ineffective. Unbelievably, they were completely out of queen-size in every color and every conceivable brand, as if the place had been descended upon by a drove of bargain- hunting opera singers. Best Jenn could find, way in the back behind the tube socks, was a pair of thick white tights that were labeled both queen-size and petite-clearly designed for two-hundred-pound height-challenged nurses, rather than giantesses like Jenn who weren't quite six feet tall if they both lied and slouched.

No doubt about it, as far as her hopes went for-quite literally- covering her ass, the fat lady was singing.

Continues...

Excerpted from Breaking the Rules by Suzanne Brockmann Copyright © 2011 by Suzanne Brockmann. Excerpted by permission of Ballantine Books, a division of Random House, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 236 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(127)

4 Star

(42)

3 Star

(34)

2 Star

(18)

1 Star

(15)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 243 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The latest Troubleshooters romantic suspense is a double dose of second chance at love inside of a family affair

    Navy SEALs Izzy Zanella and Danny Gilman have a long standing grudge. When the former met the latter's sister Eden, he fell in love. She became pregnant with someone else's child, but he stepped to the plate and married her. When she miscarried, she also gave up on a heartbroken Izzy. Danny blamed Izzy for his sibling's unhappiness

    Meanwhile Danny and Izzy work a mission in Afghanistan in which the former is wounded and the latter saves his life but almost dies doing so. After a hospital stint in Germany, they come home to learn Eden is trying to rescue her teenage younger brother Ben from their abusive stepfather Greg and his mother Ivette. They head to Vegas along with Danny's on again and off again girlfriend Jennilyn LeMay to help Eden. When Ben rescues Neesha from a child prostitution ring, Eden and Izzy protect her as the mobsters come for their merchandise, but snatch Ben instead.

    The latest Troubleshooters romantic suspense is a double dose of second chance at love inside of a family affair. The story line is action-packed in Nevada and Afghanistan, but it is the cast that makes this so much fun as the Gillman crew play first violin in a wonderful thriller.

    Harriet Klausner

    6 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 27, 2011

    So So, glad the series is taking a break

    The story was good, but seemed to keep going on and on, it kind of jumped all over the place and didn't seem to really flow. I had major issues with the characterization of Jenn. In the last book, she was described as plain but pretty and almost cute, tall but not overly overweight. In this book she is described as 'larger-than-large & amazon size'. Which is it? I had head that Mrs. Brockmann will be taking a break from writing the Troubleshooters series, and I think it is time to take a break. Troubleshooters only came in to play for about 20 pages of this book, how can it be classified a Troubleshooters book, with no Troubleshooters? Not only that but this book left more questions than answers, Lindsay loosing another baby, then is just okay with it?? On what planet? I hope if this series is restored, we can get back to the actual Troubleshooters.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 28, 2012

    Don't waste your time and money

    Ms Brockmann stopped writing for the entertainment of her fans a few years ago. Now it more like shes shoving her views down our throats. There was a time when I couldn't wait for her books

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2011

    Not much there for me.

    I was really sorry I bought this one.....too many thoughts/thinking that to me wasn't very intertaining at all. I skipped thru the first part of the book and just read for the plot....her first books are a lot better and at least I know what the people have been up to since the last book. Bummer.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 27, 2011

    also disappointed.

    waited months for this book. Into the Fire (#13 in this series) was the best of all of them. This was the end of the series and no mention of Deck at all!!!! Want my $12.99 back.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2011

    Very disappointed in this book!!!!!!!! Way too expensive for this book.

    This book was a disappointment to me. I had looked forward to reading and was very disengaged with the first two or three chapters.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2012

    Horrible!

    A book is extra special when the author manages to get the reader to despise all the main characters. I should have listened to the reviews. I kept reading so I could find out if those kids were rescued. Eventally I knowlonger cared. Don't know how it ended. Don't care.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 26, 2011

    The real deal.... again

    I didn't think after reading the preview on this book it would measure up to the previous books in the series. I was wrong. Once again Suzanne has delivered a terrific story with lots of action, family drama, romance and yes of course a happy ending. I curled up on Saturday with this book and just couldn't put it down. A great way to escape in a book to a world most of us have never experienced except throuhg the Troubleshooters eyes. I hope there will be more stories.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 7, 2011

    LOVE SB

    I absolutely love Suzanne Brockmann and have not ONCE been disappointed. Breaking the Rules once again shows what a fantastic author Sue is! I have everyone of her books and I suggest to anyone out there...READ THEM ALL!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 12, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Not that good

    I've read all Suzanne Brockmann's Troubleshooters books and I have to say this was not that good. The book could have been cut in half if the characters' whining had been kept to a reasonable level. The actual story was good, but the writing was long and drawn out. Izzy doesn't trust Eden who doesn't trust Izzy--back and forth, back and forth. I actually ended up skimming page after page just to get to the end of the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great

    I loved it. I felt like I had to wait forever for Izzy and Eden's story, and this was a great mix of them and Dan, and Jenni. I had a feeling this was gonna be the last in the series, but Suzanne did not disappoint. I love the action, and all the scenerios surrounding the romance. I loved the way Izzy and Eden got it together. Thank you for not letting me down. This series is one of my three collections. When I cant find a new good new book I just go back to these. Love you SB.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2011

    Loved It!!!!!

    I love this whole series and once again it did not disappoint me!! Could not put it down. Sam and Izzy are my favorites so once again found myself laughing out loud at Izzy's crazy personaity. The only thing disappointing is that the author is taking a break from the series!! Hope she reconsiders!!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Fast paced action right to the last minute!

    I couldn't wait for this book to come out as I have read all 16 books in the Troubleshooters series and all 11 of the Tall Dark and Dangerous Series which is being reissued by HQN. Both are series which feature Navy SEALs, and FBI agents. This latest book continues the story of Izzy Zanella and Eden Gillman, who married when she became pregnant by another man and separated when Eden miscarried. Add to the mix Eden's brother Danny, who is in Izzy's SEAL unit and isn't exactly his best bud. Danny has issues of his own with his quasi-girlfriend JenniLynn, a full figured aide to a NY politico. Danny & Izzy get injured during a mission and all four are brought together.



    Izzy and Eden have to start communicating with each other before they can decide whether to move on together or separately. Eden is working as a dancer, trying to raise money so she can provide a place for her 15 year old brother to live. Ben is haunted by bad experiences in New Orleans during Katrina, has diabetes, and is targeted by his stepfather because he is gay. Eden is frantic about keeping him safe and realizes she needs help from both Izzy and Danny. All four of the adults need to work together to help Ben and it isn't easy.



    There is a sublot involving child prostitution that adds a little more tension to the story. It is fast paced and you have to pay attention to keep up with the plot. Just like her earlier books in the series, the action is realistic and the characters are true to life. Although the hits keep on coming and it seems overwhelming at points, the plot never becomes overblown. It's a nailbiter right to the end. And I love that my favorite character,Jules the FBI man, gets a brief part of the action. In true Suzanne Brockmann fashion, there is humor interspersed that is needed at times in this thrilling story.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2011

    Not Bad

    I thought this was not bad. I enjoyed seeing Izzy again and he and Eden were great together. For those complaining about the price I would say stop complaining it is less than the price of the hardback. Overall I say it was fine just not amazing.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 23, 2011

    So disappointed

    I *love* the Troubleshooters series, and have been waiting forever to read Izzy's book, but this just feels so RUSHED. Supposedly this is the last book of the series and there was no epilogue to resolve everything.7

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2013

    I own and love everything SB writes and was looking forward to I

    I own and love everything SB writes and was looking forward to Izzys story. This was a huge disappointement that dragged on in a wishy washy fashion where you did not care if they ended up together. I especially could not get into an 18 yr old female lead. yikes. you know they will be divorced in 2 yrs!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2013

    My favorite

    I must admit, this is my very favorite of the whole series and the one I most frequently return to when I want to reread parts of the book-- My second favorite is when Sam finally wins the love of his life.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2012

    The entire series is great.

    The entire series is great.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 20, 2011

    Great Book

    I have read all of the troubleshooters books and love them. The characters are fantastic and I can't wait for the next one! Suzanne Brockmann is an awesome writer - can't put her books down once I've started reading.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    I love Suzanne Brockmann. I have read all of her Troubleshooters books. I would recommend them to any who like mystery. Wonderful and can't wait for each new one to come out. Keep them coming.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 243 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)