First, let me say I think Brockmann is one of the very best writers of romance out there. Her characters have depth, she understands motivation, and is a really good stylist, given the genre. I just discovered her about two months ago, and I've plowed through the entire Troubleshooters series in record time. Now I'm rereading my favorites. Loved Sam, liked Alyssa (she's less developed as a character, but I love the sharpshooting angle), loved Max and Gina, Stan and Teri, Tom and Kelly. Less thrilled with Joan, from Into the Night--I thought she was pretty unlikable as a character, and the romance with Muldoon wasn't really believable. Too much attitude, not enough heart, I thought. My favorite of all the stories, I think, is Hot Target, because I loved both Jane and Cosmo to pieces and I adore Jules. I think he's humane, smart, and as confused about things as most of us are. I can tell the author has a real soft spot for him, too--not surprising given that hr beloved son is gay. I have no problem with gay characters and romances--love comes in all shapes, sizes and seasons. What I was REALLY disappointed in in this book was the hetero romance. Neither Ric nor Annie seemed real or even interesting to me. Ric's a latin hunk, Annie has a wide caboose. That's all I remember about either of them. Frankly it seems that they are only there to provide hetero "cover" of Brockmann's real interest: Jules and Robin. I suspect the Jules-Robin story was the one she really wanted to tell, and Ric-Annie were just place-holders. They were nowhere near as developed as any of her other characters,and when you take away the SEAL/Troubleshooter context, there wasn't much to interest me about their story at all. BORING. I sincerely hope she banishes them to the hinterlands of the Troubleshooters world. I am much more interested in Sophia-Decker-Dave, or maybe Gilligan or Lopez...anything but these two!
That said, a few words about Jules and Robin and her handling of the gay love affair. I love them both as characters, and I'm looking forward to their nuptials (yeah, I really don't get why people are so wiggy about gay marriage. Committed relationships make for stable societies. Ergo, more of them are good. Get over it). My only objection: why do all the gay characters have to be so gorgeous? This is a real stereotype--surely there are gay men who are average-looking. I mean, there are. I know some. I guess she's trying to hold feminine interest by describing their perfect cheekbones and ripped abs, but really, come on. One of my favorite stories was about Stan and Teri--perfect woman and homely guy who's so much more inside. Can't she do that with gay characters as well? Well, that said, I can't wait to read more about the Troubleshooters and their world. Maybe Ric and Annie can spend the next few books in "an undisclosed location," though!