Desert Isle Keeper
A Retro Review
originally published on October 27, 2000
I recently completed my collection of Suzanne Brockmann’s Tall, Dark and Dangerous series and I’ve started reading them in order. Talk about a feast! There is such consistent quality in these books. It was a joy for me to meet and get to know Blue and Lucy, the quiet SEAL and the girl-next-door who are the hero and heroine of the second installment of the series.
U.S. Navy Seal Lt. Carter “Blue” McCoy has to attend one of those dreaded family functions most of us could do without. In Blue’s case, it means coming home to Hatboro Creek, SC to watch his high-school sweetheart, the glorious Jenny Lee Beaumont, marry his stepbrother. Meanwhile, rookie officer Lucy Tait finds herself in out of control situations: her six-month-old police officer badge merits her little respect from the lowlifes in town, and just seeing Blue again makes all her feelings from years ago resurface. You see, Lucy has had a huge crush on Blue since the day he saved her from the boys who were beating her and threatening to do worse to her, simply because she had made the boys’ team.
When Blue’s stepbrother is murdered, all the evidence incriminates Blue. It’s known the two never really got along, and it’s easy to imagine a man who supposedly never stopped loving his old flame and has the training to murder in cold blood is guilty. Lucy believes in Blue, but she is pretty much the only one who does. And it looks as though there are people around who want to make sure that Blue is found guilty of the murder. Can Lucy convince the rest of the police and the town of Blue’s innocence, when everyone thinks she’s protecting Blue because of her feelings for him?
Lucy Tait has gone from looking up at Blue McCoy as the golden boy who saved her (something he does again when he returns home) to realizing that her schoolgirl crush and awe for this man have turned into love. At the same time, she must constantly fight her insecurity when it comes to Jenny Lee, the woman she believes still holds Blue’s heart in her hands. Lucy realizes that no half-hearted effort on her part will gain her Blue’s attention, so she treats him (and the readers) to a delicious hot tub seduction scene which is one of the steamiest ones I’ve ever read. Although Lucy finds herself in danger during the course of the book, she is no TSTL heroine – she fights her own battles no matter what the odds may be. Despite her heartbreak over what she believes is Blue’s indifference to her, she remains his friend, and is determined to clear his name.
It was no secret to Blue that Lucy, the little “Yankee” freshman had a crush on him back in high school. What he doesn’t expect, however, is the fact that, when faced with a grown-up Lucy Tait, his feelings go way beyond the friendship he extended to her back then. Furthermore, it’s not simply a strong sexual attraction that lurks between them. Blue can talk to Lucy, he always could, even back in high school when he found her bruised and bloodied, and that hasn’t changed – she is still someone he can talk to about anything. Blue also has to trust Lucy, something that doesn’t come easy for him, other than trusting the other SEALS in Alpha Squad, Blue is not the trusting type. In the end it becomes clear to him that he must do everything he can to convince his “Yankee” that he loves her and only her.
Forever Blue follows the great kickoff to the series, Prince Joe. It has a totally different kind of hero and heroine – no glitz and royalty like that book, but Forever Blue loses none of the momentum of the series. It’s filled with unforgettable moments, like Blue completely forgetting he is underwater when Lucy is in his arms, the aforementioned hot tub scene, Blue saying “Hoo-yah!”, but more than anything, this is a great example of a friends-becoming-lovers story, and I can heartily recommend it.