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Hot Target (Troubleshooters Series #8) [NOOK Book]

Overview

New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Brockmann knows exactly what makes hearts race and pulses pound: peril and passion. No one succeeds more brilliantly at blending these exhilarating elements in breathtaking novels of men and women forced to grapple with the deepest emotions and the highest risks. And there’s no better proof than her new novel of suspense: Hot Target aims to thrill on every level.

Like most men of action, Navy SEAL ...
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Hot Target (Troubleshooters Series #8)

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Overview

New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Brockmann knows exactly what makes hearts race and pulses pound: peril and passion. No one succeeds more brilliantly at blending these exhilarating elements in breathtaking novels of men and women forced to grapple with the deepest emotions and the highest risks. And there’s no better proof than her new novel of suspense: Hot Target aims to thrill on every level.

Like most men of action, Navy SEAL Chief Cosmo Richter never learned how to take a vacation. So when he finds himself facing a month’s leave, he offers his services to Troubleshooters Incorporated. Founded by a former SEAL, the private-sector security firm is a major player in the ongoing war against terrorism, known for carrying out covert missions too volatile for official U.S. military action. But the first case Richter takes on is anything but under the radar.

High-profile maverick movie producer Jane Mercedes Chadwick hasn’t quite completed her newest film, but she’s already courting controversy. The World War II epic frankly portrays the homosexuality of a real-life hero–and the storm of advance media buzz surrounding it has drawn the fury of extremist groups. But despite a relentless campaign of angry E-mails, phone calls, and smear tactics, Chadwick won’t be pressured into abandoning the project. Then the harassment turns to death threats.

While the FBI appears on the scene, nervous Hollywood associates call in Troubleshooters, and now Chadwick has an army of round-the-clock bodyguards, whether she likes it or not. And she definitely doesn’t. But her stubbornness doesn’t make FBI agent Jules Cassidy’s job any easier. The fiercely independent filmmaker presents yet another emotional obstacle that Cassidy doesn’t need–he’s already in the midst of a personal tug-of-war with his ex-lover, while fighting a growing attraction to Chadwick’s brother.

Determined to succeed–and survive–on her own terms, Chadwick will face off with enemies and allies alike. But she doesn’t count on the bond she forms with the quiet, capable Cosmo Richter. Yet even as their feelings bring them closer, the noose of deadly terror all around them draws tighter. And when all hell erupts, desire and desperate choices will collide on a killing ground that may trap them both in the crossfire.


From the Hardcover edition.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
New York Times–bestselling author Suzanne Brockmann delivers another high-adrenaline thriller packed with passion and danger -- this time set in Hollywood -- with Hot Target. Producer Jane Mercedes Chadwick has started to receive hate mail and death threats while filming a World War II epic with a hero who is gay. FBI agent Jules Cassidy, a popular character from Brockmann's Troubleshooter books, suspects a homophobic organization in Idaho, so Navy SEAL chief Cosmo Richter -- on an enforced one-month vacation -- agrees to protect Jane. It's oil-and-water from the start: Cosmo is too impassive for Jane, Jane is too Hollywood for him, and her natural bravado leads her to take unnecessary risks. Brockmann winds the plot tighter and tighter, as her characters fight off unwanted emotions and attractions. Cassidy has his own personal demons to fight with an ex-lover. By the time Jane shoots the reenactment of the invasion of Normandy, the battlefield could be more dangerous than anyone thinks possible. Ginger Curwen
Publishers Weekly
Known for her adrenaline-laced Navy SEAL romances, Brockmann displays a new, more political side in this brisk but bumpy romantic thriller, which advocates gay rights. Though the book follows the exploits of sexy, silent Cosmo Richter, the man of mystery from Brockmann's earlier romances (Gone Too Far, etc.), Cosmo must share the limelight with Jules Cassidy, a gay FBI agent and also a recurring character in Brockmann's books. Both Cosmo and Jules are charged with safeguarding hot Hollywood producer Jane Chadwick, who has come under fire (literally) for making a movie dealing with two gay war heroes. A few contrived plot twists find Cosmo and Jane initially butting heads, then coming together as friends and finally burning up the sheets as lovers. More compelling is Jules's struggle to stay away from his egocentric ex, an actor who conveniently lands a starring role in Jane's film, and from Jane's brother Robin, who's so deep in the closet that he has turned to drink. At times, Brockmann goes too far in pushing her agenda-even Cosmo is a card-carrying member of PFLAG who, thanks to his gay father, "can name every Barbara Streisand album ever made"-and readers won't need second sight to foresee the story's twists. Still, Brockmann's uncanny ability to give each character an authentic voice and dialogue to match will pull readers through this shaky installment. (Jan.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Navy SEAL Cosmo Richter has a reputation for being cold and heartless; Jane Mercedes Chadwick, a Hollywood producer, is better known for her appearances in the tabloids and for her first film than for her brilliance. She is producing a film on a war hero in World War II who happens to be gay and the father of the founder of the Freedom Network, a group of right-wing religious extremists. After receiving death threats, Jane gets extra security from her studio and draws the attention of the FBI. Cosmo works for the security company hired to protect Jane, and after initially clashing, they find they have more in common than they think. There are lots of twists and turns and red herrings here, and listeners will find themselves sitting on the edge of their seats as the book reaches its climax. Though the change in readers at unexpected times can sometimes be distracting, Patrick Lawlor and Melanie Ewbank do a fine job. Strongly recommended for public libraries.-Danna Bell-Russel, Library of Congress Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The megaselling author (Gone Too Far, 2003) sends tough-talking SEALS from her Troubleshooters series to southern California for fun in the sun. The story begins, however, with an obligatory pit stop in a terrorist-ridden Third World country so that hero Cosmo Richter can rescue three caged nuns and do a little patriotic swashbuckling. Then he takes a leave to moonlight for Troubleshooters Incorporated, which hires Cosmo to protect Jane Mercedes Chadwick. She's an independent producer who's received threatening e-mails from a right-wing, homophobic group that doesn't like her next movie about a homosexual WWII hero. Her movie star brother Robin, a compulsive womanizer, will play the hero-no one will think he's secretly gay. Enter gay FBI agent Jules Cassidy, also a continuing character from previous books, to help crack the case and explain hate crimes to Cosmo. (Brockmann, the proud mother of an openly gay son, misses no opportunity to wave the rainbow flag.) Looks like the brawny SEAL will have to protect Jane by (what else?) moving into her house and staying with her 24/7. Neo-alpha male Cosmo has a sensitive side: he confides in Jane, when not rippling his muscles and looking through the blinds for drive-by sharpshooters. Pretty soon the two are rolling around in bed. Then they lounge around the house some more, until Jane gets restless and heads for the Coast highway. The action heats up, sort of. Cosmo asks Jules for a list of all the people in the western US who own ancient white Pontiacs and dark Ford pickups with a "6" in the license number (see above: drive-by sharpshooters). Hey, Jules is on it-when not having heart-to-heart talks of his own with Robin Chadwick. The handsomeactor has a favor to ask, oh-so-casually: he's never kissed a man. Would Jules mind? Not at all. The kiss is intense. So is Robin gay? And will Cosmo save impetuous Jane?Not exactly nail-biting suspense, not quite a romance: crowded cast and competing plots don't help. Agent: Steve Axelrod/Axelrod Agency
From the Publisher
PRAISE FOR SUZANNE BROCKMANN

Gone Too Far
“Sizzling with military intrigue and sexual tension, with characters so vivid they leap right off the page, Gone Too Far is a bold, brassy read with a momentum that just doesn’t quit.”
–TESS GERRITSEN

Into the Night
“She skillfully builds suspense. . . . With its complicated, complex characters and a sexy romance seasoned with humor and danger, Brockmann’s [novel] is absolutely irresistible.”
Booklist (boxed and starred review)

Out of Control
“Brockmann consistently turns out first-rate novels that tug on the reader’s heartstrings, and her latest is no exception.”
–Publishers Weekly

Over the Edge
“A taut, edgy thriller.”
–LINDA HOWARD

From the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345480774
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 12/28/2004
  • Series: Troubleshooters Series , #8
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 38,791
  • File size: 527 KB

Meet the Author

Suzanne Brockmann
Since her explosion onto the publishing scene more than ten years ago, Suzanne Brockmann has written over 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 lives west of Boston with her husband and two children. Visit her website at www.suzannebrockmann.com.


From the Hardcover edition.

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."

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Cosmo’s mother was driving him crazy. Well, okay, to be fair, it wasn’t his mom, but rather her choice of music that had pushed him out of her condo, into his truck, and back down the 5, here to San Diego.

He parked in the lot next to the squat, ugly building that held the offices of Troubleshooters Incorporated. The sun was warm on the back of his neck as he crossed to the door. As usual, it was locked—apparently Tommy Paoletti had had no luck yet finding a receptionist for his personal security company. But he had installed a system that would allow him to let people in without having to run all the way out to the door twenty times a day.

A surveillance camera hung overhead, and Cosmo looked up at it, making sure Tommy would be able to see his face as he hit the bell.

The lock clicked open as a buzzer sounded, and he went inside.

“Grab some coffee—I’ll be right out,” Tom shouted from one of the back offices. “How’s your mom?”

“Much better, thanks,” Cosmo called back.

And she was. Right after the accident, when Cosmo had first gone to see her, she’d been in a lot of pain. Her face had been almost gray, and she’d looked old and frail lying in that hospital bed.

But she’d been home a few days now and was feeling far more her old self.

Which was great.

But, dear sweet Jesus, if he had to listen to the soundtrack from Jekyll & Hyde one more time, he was going to scream.

“You just haven’t had enough time to appreciate it,” his mother had told him. “A few more listens and—”

Oh, no. No, no, Mom. I’ve heard it quite enough, thanks.

Cosmo poured himself some coffee from the setup in the Troubleshooters waiting room.

He’d actually liked Urinetown. He could handle repeated listens of The Full Monty, too. And West Side Story, if done properly, could bring tears to his usually super-cynical dry eyes.

But most of his mother’s very favorite Broadway musicals were those which Uncle Riley had dubbed “screamers.” They were filled with hyper- emotional ballads with crescendos that swelled to triple forte, delivered by sopranos or tenors who, as Riley had insisted, deserved immediate arrest by the “too-too” police.

Uncle Riley had gotten away with it, but God help him if Cosmo ever said anything like that aloud.

Not just to his mother, who would give him her best injured look, then subject him to several hours of lectures on true music appreciation.

But God help him also if he talked about such things to the other men in SEAL Team Sixteen.

They would look at him as if he were, well . . .

Gay.

Which he wasn’t.

Not even close.

Not, of course, that there was anything wrong with it.

Shoot, with his mother, it would’ve been easier if he had been. He might’ve been born with some special genetic ability to actually enjoy Jekyll & Hyde. And Phantom and Les Mis and all the other screamers he’d gritted his teeth through, as he’d taken his mother to see them through the years.

Cos took his coffee and sank down into one of the new leather sofas in the Troubleshooters waiting room. Buttery soft and a light shade of honey brown, they replaced the former mismatched collection of overstuffed chairs—thrift shop rejects—that had cluttered the area in front of the receptionist’s desk.

Whoa, the walls had been repainted, too.

Magazine racks, potted plants, real lamps instead of overhead fluorescents . . .

Tom’s wife, Kelly, had been threatening to redecorate for months, insisting that the image Tom was trying for with his new company probably wasn’t “piss poor and tasteless to boot.”

But huge leather sofas—as nice as they were—weren’t exactly Kelly’s light and breezy New England beach house style.

Someone else had done this.

Someone besides Tom—who was a great leader but seriously fashion and design challenged.

“Are you here for the meeting?”

Cosmo looked up. The woman coming down the hall toward him was a stranger. She was wearing a pin-striped suit that had been tailored to accentuate her feminine shape. Petite, with blond hair cut short and delicate features in a launch-a-thousand-ships face, she had blue eyes that were coolly polite. Professional. Intelligent.

Ivy-league intelligent.

Her hands were ring-free. Both of them. Her fingernails were short, bitten down almost to the quick—a direct and intriguing contrast to the career-woman persona.

She took a few steps closer and tried again. “May I help you?”

“No, ma’am,” he finally answered her, then mentally kicked himself. Talk, asshole. She most certainly could help him. He would love for her to help him. And at least be polite. “Thanks. I’m waiting for Commander Paoletti.”

She finally smiled, and it transformed her from merely breathtakingly beautiful to full-power-defibrillator heart-stoppingly gorgeous. He wanted to drop to his knees and beg her to bear his children.

“You must be one of his SEALs,” she said.

“Yes, ma’am.” Stand up, fool. But, Christ, don’t spill the coffee . . . Too late. It splashed over the edge of the cup and onto his fingers. Gahhhhd, it was hot.

She pretended not to notice as he pretended that he hadn’t just been scalded. She even held out her hand to shake. “I’m Sophia Ghaffari.”

Sophia. It was a beautiful name, and by all rights violins should have started playing when she said it. She looked like a Sophia, she dressed like a Sophia, she even smelled like a Sophia.

He tried to wipe his fingers dry on his pants, but it was hopeless. “Cosmo Richter. Sorry, I’m . . .”

A freakin’ idiot.

He crossed to the coffee setup, where he found some napkins, thank the Lord.

But Sophia didn’t run out of the room screaming, “Save me from cretins!” as he wiped off his hand. “You must be here to help out with the Mercedes Chadwick job,” she said instead.

“I’m not sure,” he admitted. “Tommy said something about an easy op in L.A.”

“That’s the one.” Now that his hands were clean, she had crossed her arms. “She’s a movie producer—and I guess a screenwriter, too,” she told him. “She’s been getting death threats.”

His chance to touch Sophia, to shake her hand, had apparently passed. What a crying shame.

“Hey, Cos.” Tom Paoletti came out from the back, smiling his welcome. “Sorry to keep you waiting.”

“No problem, sir.”

“Before I forget, Kelly said to say she’s on for lunch tomorrow.”

“How is she?” Cosmo asked. Tommy’s wife, Kelly, was pregnant with their first child.

“Other than pissed that she can’t fly?” Tom asked. “She really wanted to go back to Massachusetts for a week on the beach before the baby was born, but her OB just grounded her. We had a four-hour discussion the other night on the definition of ‘highly recommend.’ ” He rolled his eyes. “The happy ending was that one of our clients owns a house right on the beach in Malibu, and he’s always telling me to use it. So we’re going tomorrow. Actually, you can do me a big favor and drive Kelly up there after lunch.” He looked at Sophia. “Soph, you better get moving, if you’re intending to catch that flight.”

“Yeah. It was nice meeting you,” Sophia told Cosmo, then turned back to Tom. “Tell Decker I’m sorry I missed him.”

“I’ll do that,” Tom told her. “He’s stuck in traffic. It’s bad—really, you better get going.”

As she hurried down the hall, he led Cosmo back toward his office. “We’ve had a change of plans,” he continued. “Originally Decker was going to meet us here, but the 15’s a parking lot. I’m going to meet him tonight, at the client’s. Any chance you can come along?”

“Sure.” Cosmo couldn’t help hesitating, turning to watch Sophia hustle out of her office and down the hall and out the door.

Tommy, of course, noticed. “Sophia’s handling our paranoia accounts. You know, people who are panicked by the changing terrorist-threat levels. They want to make sure they have the best security system possible. She sets up a team to try to get past their system, see just how good it really is against professionals. She does the face-to-face work, initial meetings, report presentations, that sort of thing. She’s very good at it.”

“Sounds like fun,” Cos said as casually as he could as he closed Tom’s office door behind them. “Right up my alley. The breaking-in part, I mean. She need any help?”

Tommy laughed as he gestured for Cosmo to take a seat. Someone had gotten him new furniture for his office, too. A real desk instead of that rickety table he’d been using. “Her current assignment is out of state. I thought you wanted to stay close to your mom in . . . Where is she? Laguna Beach?”

“Maybe I could commute.” There was actual artwork up on the walls. Watercolors. Scenes of a coastline that was definitely New England and quite probably Tom and Kelly’s hometown on Boston’s North Shore.

Tom lifted an eyebrow. “To Denver?”

If it had been Phoenix or Vegas, he would’ve tried it. But Denver . . .

Tom knew what he was thinking. “Nice try, Chief,” he said. “But she’s recently widowed—she’s not looking to get involved with anyone right now. And I really need you in L.A.—Hollywood, actually.”

“The movie producer who’s getting death threats,” Cosmo repeated what Sophia had told him. “Is Deck the team leader?” Decker was a former SEAL and a former Agency operative.

“Yep,” Tom told him.

Cos nodded. If he couldn’t work with Sophia, Decker would be his strong second choice. “Count me in.” He backpedaled. “If, you know, he wants me.”

Tom nodded. “I’ve already spoken to him. He wants you.”

Lawrence Decker was a spec ops legend. He’d left the SEAL Teams shortly after the terrorist bombing of Khobar Towers, a U.S. military complex in Saudi Arabia. According to the grapevine, Chief Decker had been frustrated by the red tape that, at the time, kept the SEALs from actively hunting down the terrorist organization that had killed so many American servicemen. He’d left the Teams and joined the clandestine and nearly nameless organization known as the Agency, where he’d gotten his wish—going deep into countries known for harboring terrorists. Now he was one of many former SEALs and Delta Force, Marine, CIA, FBI, and Agency operatives who were working for Tommy Paoletti’s civilian consultant group.

Yeah, Troubleshooters Incorporated’s personnel list read like a Who’s Who of the elite from the Special Operations world.

“You’ve got how many weeks of leave left?” Tommy asked Cos.

“Three weeks, two days, seventeen hours.”

His former SEAL CO smiled. “Well, at least you’re not counting the minutes.”

Cosmo glanced at his watch. And fourteen minutes.

“And you’re sure you don’t want to use this time as a vacation?” Tom asked.

“I’m quite sure, sir.” Like many SEALs in Team Sixteen, Cosmo wasn’t good at taking vacations. After just a few days, he got bored. Restless. “I just want to be able to check in on my mother once or twice a day, even just by phone.”

“You’re an only child, aren’t you?” Tom asked.

“Yeah. I’m it,” Cos said. “That’s why I took the full thirty days.” He’d taken the extra time off even though his mom was adamant that Cosmo not be the one to provide her personal care. She’d put it in bottom-line terms by saying no way was she going to allow her grown son to accompany her into the bathroom. “She’s doing really well, but I still want to be close by, you know? She seems to like both her day and night nurses—which is good, because with both wrists in a cast, she can’t do much of anything without help.”

“That must be frustrating for her,” Tom said.

Understatement of the year. “She has her coping strategies,” Cos told him. “She loves listening to music, so she’s been doing a lot of that. The Card’s also putting together a special computer keyboard for her, so she’ll be able to go back online.”

God bless WildCard Karmody, SEAL Team Sixteen’s computer wizard.

“So tell me about this Hollywood producer.” Cosmo got down to business. “Her name’s . . . Mercedes? Like the car?”

“J. Mercedes Chadwick,” Tom told him, then smiled at the look of disgust Cosmo shot in his direction.

“What’d she do,” Cos asked, “to piss people off enough to make them want to kill her?”

“I don’t need personal protection—a team of bodyguards? That’s absolutely ridiculous!” Jane Chadwick told Patty, her new college intern.

Patty didn’t seem convinced, so Jane turned to Robin, hoping for just a teensy bit of brotherly support.

But he wasn’t paying attention. He was giving Patty one of his “hey there” smiles. The girl, naturally, was dazzled. Of course, she was impossibly young and didn’t yet have the mileage that would enable her to see past Robin’s gorgeous face to the inner low-life womanizing scum within.

“Yo,” Jane said, clapping her hands sharply at her brother. Half brother. At times like this it helped to remind herself that they shared only a fraction of their genetic makeup. “Robin. Focus. Patty, go call the studio back and tell them no. Thank you, but no. I’m perfectly safe. Be firm.”

Unlike that of many young movie-loving girls who made the pilgrimage to Hollywood, Patty’s freckle-faced cuteness wasn’t an act. She actually wore kneesocks and meant it. Jane didn’t know her very well yet, but unfortunately being firm didn’t seem to be high on her skill list.

But at least she was out of Jane’s office, closing the door behind her, releasing Robin from her captivating spell.

“If you touch her,” Jane told him, “I will kill you and I will make it hurt.”

“What?” Robin said. Mr. Innocent. He made that sound that was half laugh, half indignation. “Come on. I was just smiling at her.”

One thing was certain: Her too-handsome half brother was a brilliant actor. If they could get this movie made, and—most important—if they could get it distributed and seen, he was going to be a star.

“Besides,” he added, “you of all people shouldn’t be making idle death threats.”

That was supposed to be funny. Jane didn’t crack a smile.

“That wasn’t a threat,” she said. “It was a promise. Let me put this in terms you’ll understand, Sleazoid. If you sleep with her, she’ll think she’s your girlfriend. And when she finds out that she was merely your Friday night distraction, she’ll be badly hurt. Now. Maybe you don’t give a rat’s ass about Patty’s feelings, but I do. And I also know what you do care about, so listen close. If you break her heart, she will quit. And if she quits, you will take her place and become my personal assistant, and you won’t have a single minute to yourself from that moment until we are done making American Hero. Which means in Sleazoid-speak that it will be two months before you have sex again. Two. Months.”

Her little brother laughed. “Relax, Janey. I’m not going to sleep with her.”

Jane just looked at him. She liked Patty. A lot. The girl was smart, she was sweet, she was way overqualified for this glorified gofer position. The lack of backbone could be worked on—besides, Jane had plenty of that to go around.

Best of all, though, despite being paid only a stipend, Patty liked Jane. It was a win-win situation.

As long as Robin kept his own little win zipped up tight inside his pants and out of the equation.

Problem was, Patty had a serious crush on Robin. Which meant it was going to have to fall to him to keep his distance.

God help them all.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Interviews & Essays

A Letter from Suzanne Brockmann

Hey, gang!

Several years ago I introduced readers to a new character in my Troubleshooters series about U.S. Navy SEAL Team Sixteen -- an FBI agent named Jules Cassidy, who just happened to be gay. Much to my delight, readers really connected with him.

Nearly every email I receive about these books mentions Jules. And whenever I go out on tour, one of the first questions asked is always: "Will Jules get a subplot of his own?"

So I decided, in Hot Target, to do just that. Jules is, after all, a person just like every other person on this planet, searching for a connection, struggling with issues of love and intimacy.

But, like all of my books, his journey in Hot Target is just one of many subplots. The main story in this book is the relationship between Navy SEAL chief Cosmo Richter -- another popular, recurring character in this series -- and Hollywood movie producer Jane Mercedes Chadwick. On the surface, Jane and tough-as-nails Cosmo are polar opposites. But both have intricate facades in place, hiding their true selves from public scrutiny.

Jane's latest project -- a World War II epic that frankly portrays the homosexuality of a real-life hero -- has drawn the fury of extremist groups. When harassment turns into death threats, the FBI becomes involved, and agent-in-charge Jules Cassidy heads for L.A., where he comes face-to-face with an old flame.

I gotta tell you, I love the fact that an openly, flamboyantly gay man is one of my most popular characters. I also love that the world I've created in my books -- a diverse world filled with the same vast variety of people who live in my urban American neighborhood -- has been so enthusiastically embraced by readers.

I hope you enjoy Cosmo and Jane's story, as well as this bigger glimpse into Jules Cassidy's life!

Suzanne Brockmann

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 94 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2005

    Sorry but no cigar...

    Very disappointing considering the other well-written and exciting books in this series. I was very intrigued with glimpses of Cosmo Richter in the past novels but felt really let down as to how his character developed in this one. The heroine was too mouthy, unbelievably dumb (not heroic or brave) and came across as sleazy in some parts. Lastly, if I had known that half the book was about Jules' lovelife, I wouldn't have bought the book. Jules was a fun character but his lovelife should have been a separate book for those interested in reading about it. I ended up skipping over the parts related to this portion.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2014

    Dont bother with this book

    This book is really bad. Even the trouble shooters are shallow and trivial. The "guest" characters are impossible to care about. The story line is shallow, trivial and boring. While I wouldn't list Ms Brockman among the great american authors, her previous troubleshooter novels have been acceptable adventure stories and the romance almost realistic. Hot target just isn't. Go ahead and try some of the earlier books in this series, but skip this one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2014

    must read

    All of the troubleshooter books are excellent reading. Filled with action and romance. I'm hooked!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2014

    I love a good action, suspense romance novel, however, this one

    I love a good action, suspense romance novel, however, this one takes it too far with the gay characters, and the over the top use of the homophobic statements against everyone who doesn't agree with the authors position.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2013

    I have been reading these in order and can hardly wait to buy th

    I have been reading these in order and can hardly wait to buy the next two BUT I have to say this one was a total disappointment.
    I flew over the first 5 chapters just so I could get to what I thought was the heart of the book wow what a dissapointment.
    I hope the remaining books in this series are better.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2012

    One of the Best in the Series!

    I flew through all 17 books of the troubleshooter series in a month. That's how spectacular they are. But Cosmo Ritcher, Jules Cassidy, and Robin Chadwick are some of my very favorite characters and all 3 were in this book. I couldn't put it down. I love everything Brockmann does.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2012

    good book, try it you will like it.

    enjoyed most all, especially travel description.

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  • Posted November 29, 2011

    Cosmo, Jane, Jules and Robin...oh my!

    Get this on Audiobook, too!!! Patrick and Melanie ROCK at telling this story...and other SB's Troubleshooters stories. [well, most of them] Talk about entertaining! <3

    Next to "Force of Nature" and "Gone Too Far", this is one of my favorites. The ever quiet Cosmo and the outspoken Jane colide...and voila...a masterpiece is created! And who wouldn't love the tension between Jules and Robin that's starting. The "attraction" tension that is. But stubborn Robin! I enjoy all of SB's characters, and look forward to many, many, many more [fingers crossed] yummy TS, SEAL and CIA retired stories!!! <3

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 18, 2011

    Intense and action packed

    This is one of my favorites in the Troubleshooters series. Cosmo and Jane are good characters on their own, but together they sizzle. Cosmo retains his intensity throughout the book (some of the other characters in the series are unrecognizable once love hits them). The side plots are intriguing and don't detract from the main love theme. And I loved the short story about Sam and Alyssa that followed Hot Target.

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  • Posted September 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Another "Plus" for the Troubleshooters

    Whew! This book brought me back. Flashpoint - the previous book in the series - left me kind of disappointed but Hot Target was SO GOOD! The chemistry between Cosmo and Jane was Hot; the plot was right on Target. So, I guess the title was perfect..................

    Brockmann used to be (or may still be, I don't know) a screenwriter and I really got a feel for that personal experience in this book. (In case you didn't read the summary, Jane is a movie producer.).................

    I love the Troubleshooter characters and how they interact with each other. (I'm a Brockmann fan and I doubly appreciated her use of Victor Strauss from Heart Throb.) I loved Jules' storyline and I look forward to him being a major character in future books. (And yeah, I dare anyone to read Brockmann's dedication in the beginning of the book and not get misty-eyed.).................

    I've typed it before and I'm glad to get to do it again: Great Book; Great Series!

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  • Posted April 8, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Possibly my favorite book of all time

    Suzanne Brockmann never dissapoints, but this book and the others in this story arc are especially good. Brockmann's engaging writing style sucked me in on the first page; I couldn't put it down. The plot is well balanced between the adventure and romance with just the right amount of thrills thrown in. Jane and Cosmo are a great pair. I also recommend Jules and Robin's books: Force of Nature and All Through the Night. If you're impatient like me or just picking up the series at Hot Target then skip book 9 (breaking point) as it finishes up an earlier plot arc, and go straight to book 11 (force of nature). Book 10 is pretty much independent.

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  • Posted April 14, 2009

    Definiate read.

    Gripping. Romantic. Exciting.
    Will definately reread entire series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2008

    Loved it but Kind of Confusing

    I loved this book it was an impluse buy (ladies you know what I mean!) and she was a new author for me. It has a real good plot however I felt that she threw too many characters at me at once. It took me half the book to figure out who was who and why they were essential to the book. Overall though I couldn't put it down!! I love the 'who done it' books and Suzanne did not let me down! And neither did the steamy love scenes :-p

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2007

    one of the best

    So far I have read the whole Troubleshooters Series. This was one of my favorites. All of them are great. Can't wait for All Through The Night!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2006

    Cosmo Deserved Better

    Although this was an okay read, I feel Cosmo was short-changed. Too many characters and slow-action plot lines muddied up this story. The heroine just didn't match up to a woman fitting for this Super Seal. I like the format of books like Prince Joe where the main character carries the plot and the day.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2006

    Cosmo is soooo the man!

    If you have read previous Brockmann books, you have heard all about Cosmo Richter, a man of few words, who is whispered to be the deadliest of Seal Operators in Seal Team Sixteen. In this book we get to see a different side of Cosmo (his relationship with his mom was too cute!), especially when he comes in contact with Jane Mercedes Chadwick, a movie producer with a party girl image. I won't spoil the rest of the story for you. To find out more, you'll have to go and buy the book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2006

    'A Thrillingly Hot Read'

    At a time when Hollywood romance has become overused, even cliché, Suzanne Brockmann's 'Hot Target' stands on its own. J. Mercedes Chadwick is an up-and-coming movie producer, and her brother is the star of her controversial movie portraying a homosexual hero. When Mercedes, informally known as Jane, receives e-mailed death threats, she is assigned bodyguards through the elite Troubleshooters Incorporated, featuring the dangerous Cosmo Richter. Danger, passion, lust, and true love drive a cast of strong, yet realistic characters through the paces of deeply moving experiences. This story is about more than a producer falling for her bodyguard. It is about self-discovery, trust and betrayal, and the nature of hate. Brockmann has created a stunning look into both Hollywood and the gay community, which will entertain and educate the reader. Fair warning: This novel is not for the faint of heart or resolutely close-minded. Aside from the traditional love story, there are homosexual themes, strong language, and some violence. The overuse of profanity is why this book receives four, rather than five, stars, as the 'f-word' appears every few paragraphs. If these issues do not put the reader off, then it is a good read. C.W.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2006

    Tracy, Avid Reader

    I randomly chose this book, and I glad that I did! It was amazing, fast-paced and edgy, with a great plot and even greater characters. Cosmo was perfection. Within two weeks of reading this book, I have bought all of SEAL Team Sixteen. A definite winner.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2006

    Sad to see the bigotry

    This was a good story. A little predictable in the mystery at the end, if only because the twist came more than 100 pages before the end of the book. As for the 'homosexual agenda' stuff I don't believe it's fair to characterize an author's realistic portrayal of people as an agenda. I'm a straight woman, and have noticed that there are a lot of gay sidekicks in mysteries, but that most authors are scared to discuss those characters' personal lives. To finally read a story where the gay characters are treated like actual human beings with desires and flaws and everything is really exciting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2005

    Hot Target (Troubleshooters Series #8)

    The book was a dull read compared to Brockmann's other novels which I have loved. This one had too many story lines (jumped around too much), had unlikable characters, and spent a great deal of time preaching the authors view on homosexuality.

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