The Admiral's Bride
So there are two Big Deals in this book. Item One: An age difference of 24 years. Item Two: Since the heroine is 29 years old, to some that might make the hero, the titular Admiral, 53, unsexy.
Well. Let me tell you this, honey. If men my age were like Admiral Jake, I sure as hell would be doing something else other than sitting here writing this review for your edification.
A terrorist group with Mormon tendencies hiding out in the Montana woods has stolen six cylinders of Triple X, a chemical compound that requires only water to turn it into the fastest and deadliest bioweapon imaginable. The Alpha Squad, led by one Admiral Jake Robinson, is sent undercover to infiltrate the terrorists, and the easiest way to do so is to send a sham married couple into the organization. Bringing her expertise to the Alpha Squad and posing as Jake Robinson’s wife is Dr. Zoe Lange, biochemical terrorism expert, superagent, and modern woman of the 21st century. Oh, and lifelong worshipper at the altar of Jake Robinson.
See, Jake isn’t just the hero of the book, or a Servant-of-his-Country hero. He’s a Hero. The kind who, say, back in the Vietnam War, made a hobby of rescuing American soldiers who’d been left behind as unfortunate, but inevitable, casualties. Zoe’s father was the four-hundred-and-twenty-seventh such soldier, and all her life she’s heard about Jake, read about Jake, dreamed about Jake, and idolized Jake. So when Zoe gets a chance to work with him, she’s bouncing on air.
I gotta say, Ms. Brockmann doesn’t exactly make it a chore for Zoe to fall in love with the “real” Jake, because he’s pretty close to the dream one. During their operation and sham marriage, Zoe comes to know Jake Robinson as he is then – still recovering from the death of his beloved wife Daisy; trying to convince his Alpha team to accept that he is as fit as them; shrugging off his public Hero image; and reconciling his potent attraction to Zoe with his feelings towards his deceased wife. In other words, Jake Robinson is Hot.
On the other hand, I do have trouble seeing how Jake’s attraction to Zoe turned into love, which is the main reason The Admiral’s Bride isn’t a DIK for me. Zoe is an attractive, smart, capable agent who is nice to boot – and that’s basically it. The imbalance between the depths of character didn’t quite lead to the warm fuzzy feeling at the end, which is one of my personal barometers for DIKs.
The other reason this book isn’t on my keeper shelf is that this is my first book in Ms. Brockmann’s Tall, Dark & Dangerous series (yes yes, hiding in a cave/under a rock blah blah blah). There are about eight guys or more, multiply by two for all of their nicknames, sprinkle the real names and nicknames interchangeably, and color me a wee bit confused.
But whatever! An underdeveloped Brockmann heroine is still more interesting than the loads of mass-produced heroines out there, and the hero is to die for. And damn me if I don’t want to scour the libraries for the other – what is it – ten books in the series. Oh, and maybe bump into a gorgeous, 53-year-old admiral en route?