Desert Isle Keeper
Suzanne Brockmann is a versatile category romance writer. Most readers know her by her Tall, Dark and Dangerous miniseries featuring the most macho group of Navy SEALS you will ever meet, the guys from Alpha Squad.
The first book in the series is Prince Joe. I picked up this book because my son is named Joe and the cover was striking, now I’m eagerly awaiting each new book in the series. Joe Catalanatto (called Joe Cat) is the leader of the aforementioned squad of Navy SEALS. During the Gulf War, they had to get Prince Tedric of Ustanzia out of Bagdhad. During the rescue, one of the members of the squad was badly injured because of Prince Tedric’s stupidity. The SEALS also found out that Prince Tedric and Joe look enough alike to be twins.
As the book starts, Prince Tedric is touring the United States, doing the PR bit on behalf of his country which is swimming in oil and needs American aid to develop the industry. His entourage has discovered that a terrorist leader named Diosdado is gunning for Prince Tedric. The Intelligence Department knows about Joe’s resemblance to the Prince and they unceremoniously snatch him away from a fishing trip and tell him he has to impersonate the Prince and draw the terrorist’s fire.
Enter the Prince’s media consultant Veronica St. John (pronounced Sinjin). Veronica is prim and proper and speaks with an impeccable rich upper-class quasi British accent (even though she is an American). She is appalled when she sees Joe. He looks almost exactly like the prince, but he smells like bait, his voice is pure Bronx and his whole bearing just screams lower class.
Joe is not too keen on this assignment, but orders are orders. Veronica is in charge of helping Joe learn to act like Tedric and they embark on a hate/hate relationship. Joe does everything possible to get under Veronica’s skin. He calls her Ronnie, doesn’t pay any attention to what she tries to tell him, and seemingly takes delight in acting flippant. On her part, Veronica is frustrated by Joe’s seeming unconcern and treats him like some illiterate oaf. They have a big fight and clear the air. Joe came from a horrible home life, he never knew his father and his trampy mother had no time for him. Joe is ferociously intelligent, and just as ferociously thin-skinned when he thinks anyone is trying to patronize him.
Of course Joe and Veronica fall in love (this is a romance after all), but they must contend with terrorist attacks and Veronica has to come to terms with Joe’s work and its dangers before the happily ever after ending.
Prince Joe is one of my favorite categories. I love romances with action, adventure and yes, even explosions and gunfire (I like guy-type things O.K.) Joe is just as wonderful a specimen of rugged manly man as you are likely to encounter, plus Ms Brockmann introduces us to the rest of Joe’s SEAL squad and leaves us wanting to know more about them. There are two more books in the series, Forever Blue and Frisco’s Kid and there will be more to come.
The only thing that bothered me about this book, is that people address the prince as Your Majesty, Your Highness and Your Excellency with no rhyme nor reason. If he is the crown prince of a country, he should properly be addressed as, Your Royal Highness. Of course, seeing that Prince Tedric is a real silly-ass, he really doesn’t deserve the title, but let us be polite.