The Defiant Hero (Troubleshooters Series #2)by Suzanne Brockmann, Carrington MacDuffie (Read by)
"The United States refuses to
In The Unsung Hero, award-winning author Suzanne Brockmann dazzled readers with her remarkable cast of tough and tender U.S. Navy SEALs. Now her daring men in uniform return for THE DEFIANT HEROa thrilling novel of steadfast courage, intimate passions, and the profound risks that are taken in the name of love. . . .
"The United States refuses to negotiate with terrorists." Meg Moore remembered the warning from her job as a translator in a European embassy. Those same words will spell out a death sentence for her daughter and grandmother who have been kidnapped by a lethal group called the Extremists. Meg will do anything to meet their unspeakable demands; anythingeven killto save her child.
When Navy SEAL Lieutenant, junior grade, John Nilsson is summoned to Washington, D.C., by the FBI to help negotiate a hostage situation, the last person he expects to see holding a foreign ambassador at gunpoint is Meg. He hasn't seen her in years, but he's never forgotten how it feels to hold her in his arms. John could lose his career if he helps her escape. She will lose her life if he doesn't. . . .
Read an Excerpt
Copyright 2001 by Suzanne Brockmann
Meg didn't understand at first.
The man was smiling, and his pleasant expression and
tone of voice didn't match his words. "We've taken your
She was in the parking garage beneath her condo, hauling
a box of files from the back of her car, when he approached
her. She wasn't even a hundred feet away from Ramon, the
building's security guard.
The smiling man must've seen the confusion in her eyes, be-cause
he said it again. In a Kazbekistani dialect. "We have your
daughter, and if you don't follow our orders, we'll kill her."
And this time, Meg understood. Amy. She dropped the box.
"Everything okay over there, Ms. Moore?" Ramon was
down off his stool, starting toward them. There'd recently
been a rape in another parking garage in this part of Washington,
"Tell him yes," the smiling man murmured, opening
his baseball jacket, giving her a flash of a very deadly
Oh, God. "Where is she?"
"If I don't make a phone call to my associates within the
next hour, she's dead," he told her as he bent down to pick up
the box. "My associates are Kazbekistani Extremists."
Terrorists. But not just regular terrorists. The Extremists
were religious zealots, capable of terrible violence and cruelty,
all in the name of their god. And they had Amy.
"Everything's fine," Meg called to the guard, her voice shaking
"We're old college friends." The man turned his friendly
smile on Ramon. "I thought I recognizedMeggie. I didn't
mean to appear before her like the ghost of Christmas past,
though, and scare her half to death."
Ramon's hand was on the gun holstered at his waist. He
smiled politely, but his dark brown gaze was on Meg. "Ms.
She'd prepared for situations like this, back when she was
working at the American embassy in Kazbekistan, an Eastern
European country also know as K-stan or "the Pit" to
the Americans who served time there. During her stay, she
was reminded regularly that the United States didn't negotiate
with terrorists. The best solution was preventive--stay
safe, stay secure, stay away from dangerous persons and
It was a little late for that now--although who would have
thought a K-stani terrorist would show up here in Washing-ton,
all these years later?
Meg knew what she should do in this situation. She
should enlist Ramon's help while this man held her box of
files, while his hands were full and he couldn't easily reach
for his gun. She should be a strong American and refuse to
negotiate with terrorists. She should seek help from the FBI.
Who, no matter how good they were, wouldn't be able to
find her ten-year-old daughter within the next sixty minutes.
After which time Amy would be killed.
Meg forced a smile. American be damned. She was playing
this one out as Amy's very frightened mother. "It's all
right, Ramon," she lied. "We're . . . old friends."
"How about I carry this upstairs for you?" The man continued
the charade. His English was remarkably good--he
had only the faintest of accents. "We could talk about old
times over a cup of coffee."
"Great." She smiled again at Ramon, who watched them
all the way over to the elevators.
"Where is she?" Meg hissed from behind her frozen
smile. "Where's Amy? And what about my grandmother?"
Amy had planned to take her great-grandmother, Eve, to the
Smithsonian while Meg picked up these files she'd been
hired to translate. Meg hadn't been sure exactly who was the
baby-sitter--the ten-year-old or the seventy-five-year-old.
"The old lady's your grandmother." He nodded as he
pressed the elevator's call button. "I thought she was too old
to be your mother. We've got her, too."
Meg felt a rush of relief. At least Eve was with Amy. At
least Amy wasn't alone and terrified and . . . "I don't under-stand.
I'm not rich, and--"
"We don't want your money." The elevator doors opened
and he stood back, politely letting her on first--the perfect
terrorist gentleman. "We want you to do us a little favor."
"You frequently do business at the Kazbekistani embassy
across town, right?"
Oh, mighty God. The doors slid closed, but she kept her
smile in place. Ramon would be watching through the security
"I only work as a consultant, a translator. It's never, I
never . . ."
He pushed the button for twelve. Somehow this man she'd
never seen before knew she and Amy lived on the twelfth
Meg took a deep breath and tried again. "Look, I'm not
allowed into any areas inside the embassy that contain confidential
"We don't want you to spy for us. We already have an agent
in place inside the embassy for that purpose." He laughed and
it wasn't purely for the cameras. This man was enjoying him-self,
amused by her fear.
A fear that morphed hotly into anger as she turned her
back to the security camera. "Then what do you want, damn
it? How do I even know you've got Amy and Eve?"
The elevator doors opened at the twelfth floor. He stepped
back, again to let her go first. "If you like, we'll send you the
old lady's head in a box--"
"No!" Oh, God.
He laughed again. "Then I guess you've just got to trust
me, don't you, Meggie?"
Meg's hands were shaking so badly, she couldn't get her
key into the lock.
He shifted the box to one arm and a hip as he gently took
her key ring from her, opened the door, and pushed her in-side,
following her into her living room. "I'm afraid I can't
be as trusting," he continued, setting her box next to the
couch. "After we discuss strategy and negotiate terms, I'm
going to drive with you over to the embassy. I know it's after
five, but there's a function tonight. Nothing formal. You can
wear jeans. In fact, I want you to wear jeans. With those
boots you have. What are they called? Cowboy boots. Or
should it be cowgirl boots?"
"Negotiate terms?" Meg didn't give a damn what she
wore. "What terms?"
"Well, it's actually a pretty simple negotiation with only
one or two minor points. But the bottom line is that if you
want to see your daughter and grandmother again, you'll do
what we tell you to do. If you don't . . ."
"Good." He crossed to the windows, pulled the curtains.
"Once you're in the embassy, our inside agent will keep an
eye on you. If you make any attempt to get help or to contact
the authorities at any time, we will kill your daughter. Have
absolutely no doubt about that."
His smile was gone.
Meg nodded. She didn't doubt him. After living and
working in Kazbekistan for years, she knew quite well what
the Extremists were capable of.
"What do you want me to do?"
Meet the Author
After childhood plans to become the captain of a starship didn’t pan out, Suzanne Brockmann took her fascination with military history, her respect for the men and women who serve, her reverence for diversity, and her love of storytelling and explored brave new worlds as a New York Times bestselling romance author. Over the past twenty years, she has written more than fifty novels, including her award-winning Troubleshooters series about Navy SEAL heroes and the women—and sometimes men—who win their hearts. In addition to writing books, Suzanne Brockmann has co-produced a feature-length movie, the award-winning romantic comedy The Perfect Wedding, which she co-wrote with her husband, Ed Gaffney, and their son, Jason. She has also co-written a YA novel, set in the world of her paranormal Fighting Destiny series, with her daughter, Melanie. Find Suzanne Brockmann on Facebook, follow her on Twitter, and visit her website to find out more about upcoming releases and appearances.
- Boston, MA
- Date of Birth:
- Attended Boston University
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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The hostage incident inside the Kazbekistan Embassy started with an extremist group kidnapping widow Meg Moore¿s seventy-five years old grandma Eve and her ten-year-old daughter Amy outside the Smithsonian. The terrorists demand Meg, who has access to the embassy, kill a rival leader, Osman Razein of the Islamic Guard of Kazbekistan if she wants to see her beloved family members alive. Knowing the seriousness of the terrorist threat, Meg captures her target and several other hostages before holing up in a bathroom. Her only demand is that Navy SEAL John Nilsson negotiates with her. Meg knows John from an incident he successfully performed when she worked in the American embassy in Kazbekistan. John is stunned when he learns about the situation inside the DC embassy because Meg is the woman he loves and he will assist her in any way possible. THE DEFIANT HERO is a fast-paced action adventure novel with a touch of romance that works because the reader will realize the dilemma facing the heroine feels real. The characters make her Hobson Choice feel genuine as everyone plays their part to near perfection, which in turn provides the audience with a powerful story line. Suzanne Brockmann will garner new suspense thriller fans even as her current audience will remain faithful with this action-packed drama. Harriet Klausner
What I love about this series is that is a combo romance (the sex scenes will get you as hot and bothered as the characters) and thriller (terrorists, kidnapping, etc) with touches of historical reference (WWII). Another surprising aspect to this series is that the protagonists are military men.... and the author reminds you that their tough exteriors are filled with soft, emotional tendencies. It combines all my favorite escapist tendencies when reading. I am up to book 4 in the series!
I love most Suzanne Brockmann novels, but this one was just ok. The main storyline between Meg and Nils was frustrating at best. I tried to sympathize with Meg, but she was just too stubborn to be believable. However, the character of Nils was sweet, endearing, funny and sexy.
It was the sub-plot of Sam and Alyssa that really held my interest. Since I didn't start this series at the beginning, I was already familiar with them as a couple, but it was good to see how it all began for them. Even the memory recall by Grandma Eve of her romance back in the 1940's was more enjoyable for me than listening to Meg whine and continually resist the assistance that Nils was offering.
If you are a "Troubleshooters" fan, I don't think you should miss this story. But if this is your first attempt at this series, I'd say pick some of the other books to start with and then come back to this one. The wonderful thing about this series is that you don't have to start with the first book to understand what is going on and to become thoroughly hooked. It really is one of my favorite series!
I've read all of the Team 16 books and can't wait for the next one! But, this is my least favorite. I just could not get into Meg + Nils. Nils is a SEAL and he can't get a gun away from Meg after spending 3 days in a car with her - come on! The flash back WWII was my favorite of the 'sub plots' that she's done, though.
Again, this is a great series and will reread this often.
I absolutely LOVED this book. The story between Nils and Meg was fantastic. For those reviewers who claimed it was unbelievable that Nils couldn't get the handgun away from Meg, one of the major points of the story was that he could have taken control at any time, but he wanted her to give it up VOLUNTARILY. Meg makes this realization herself in the book. For those of you who haven't read it, don't miss this book!
The smaller story of Eve and Ralph was the best part. Main story was boring.
Eh....this book didn't do it for me. There were too many storylines and too many characters to keep it interesting. I didn't even get too interested in the main characters, John and Meg, because so many other things were going on. I felt this story should've stated it was about Sam and Alyssa to begin with. It was mainly about those two and had John and Meg's story barely in the background. I did enjoy Eve's story of her and Ralph. It was a beautiful love story. Their love conquered everything that was thrown at them. I wish Suzanne (the author) would've eliminated the story with Sam/Alyssa and focused on the main characters. I also didn't enjoy the flip flopping back and forth. It was Meg, Sam/Alyssa, John, Kidnappers, Eve/Ralph, Eve/Meg, repeat in as many forms as possible. I'm a huge fan of this author but this book just fell too flat for me.
When some terrorists, that have taken her daughter and grandmother hostages, approach Meg Moore she doesn't think twice and agrees to go to the Kazabeck embassy and abduct the ambassador. She has no demands except to talk with Lt. John Nilsson, a navy SEAL that she met a long time ago. When John gets the call to go into a hostage situation and learns that it is Meg the abductor, all he can do is help her even if he loses his career. And all because he never had forgotten her or the kiss they shared in the past. I didn't like this one. I like John character, even if he was/is a liar I still get why he did it but Meg, even after all the things she been through, she keeps on lying and lying. This love affair for me does not stick (sorry Suzanne), it seems rushed and a little forced, as if Meg was doing John a favor. On the other hand, I loved Sam, Alyssa, Eve, and Ralph. For me, in this book, the subplots worked better. Overall, it was good to read and yeah, I will read it again but only because of Sam.
I'm addicted to the Troubleshooters books - there, I've said it. I started with the Jules related books: Hot target, Force of Nature, All Through the Night and Beginnings & Ends, and then decided to start from the beginning. I read The Unsung Hero and The Defiant Hero in 2 days. I really enjoy the way Suzanne Brockmann weaves her way through 2 or 3 storylines, and they all come together in the end. In this particular story, I loved the story of Eve and Ralph. I absolutely love Sam, and had already read about he and Alyssa in the other books I'd read, so I was surprised at how nasty she was to Sam! Honestly, I understand working in a "man's world" and having resentment for that, but geez - she was over the top nasty to him, even after all the compassion he showed her. I'm looking forward to seeing how their story progresses in a later book. As for the main story, Meg and John Nilsson - I loved Nil! What a great guy he is, and certainly not for lack of Meg trying to push him away over and over and over again. I understand a mother willing to do anything to protect her child, I have 3 children of my own, but she seemed to be all over the place. And honestly, for most of the book, I didn't like her very much. In the end, I wanted them to have their happy ending because that's what John wanted so much, and I wanted Amy to be able to experience having John in her life. It was exciting and kept me reading - I didn't want to put it down! Another great one! On to "Over the Edge"....
Some of the reviews I read were negative. I liked this book and completly understood Meg's reluctance to trust Nils. Her daughter's life was at stake. I don't blame her at all. This is the third troubleshooters I've read. It wasn't as good as Tom's or Stan's stories, but it still was good. Am looking forward to the rest of the series, especially Sam and Alyssa's story.
4stars --Barely I’ve read a few books in this long running series but had somehow managed to miss this one. The adventure, tension and storyline were all there. The boys were in fine form. As much as I liked book one of the series (The Unsung Hero), later books were written more in this style which I’ve decided is the true Troubleshooters style. The drama that is Alyssa & Starrett was ongoing and fun; meeting Jules for the first time was a treat. I even enjoyed the second storyline running thru Eve. As much as there is good about this episode, there is a humungous elephant in the middle. It was the so-called heroine, Meg. I intensely dislike TSTL heroines and she must be the queen of that particular brand and she sucked the joy out of the book for me and gave me a thought I never have. I didn’t think she was good enough for him and I didn’t want them to have a HEA. I’m definitely continuing this series secure in the knowledge that I don’t have to read Meg as a lead again.
Terrorists holding hostages meet up against SEAL Team 16. Plenty of action, adventure and romance permeate the story. I would recommend the story for adults and for book clubs. I have read all of the Troubleshooters series (17 books to date) and enjoyed them all. I also enjoyed Brockmann's "Tall Dark & ..." series.