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Suzanne Brockmann
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sept. 30 2009 Troubleshooters Series (Book 8)
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 has 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, 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 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. Though the FBI is on the scene, nervous Holly-wood associates call in Troubleshooters, and now Chadwick has an army of round-the-clock body-guards 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, and now he's also 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. And yet she hasn't counted on the bond she'll form with the quiet, capable Cosmo Richter. Even as the noose of deadly terror around them draws tighter, their feelings bring them closer. And when all hell erupts, desire and desperate choices will collide on a killing ground that may trap them both in the crossfire.

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From 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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Jane Mercedes Chadwick has worked hard to cultivate her image, and having a bodyguard around would prove that her reputation as Hollywood's "Party Girl Producer" is more fiction than fact. But after she begins receiving death threats from a group of neo-Nazis who object to her latest project, Jane's studio ignores her protests and hires Troubleshooters, Inc. Babysitting a hot movie producer should have been an easy assignment. Then U.S. Navy SEAL Cosmo Richter meets Jane, and not only does he have to convince the sharp-tongued and sharp-witted Jane that she really is in danger but Cosmo has to convince himself that becoming romantically involved with a client really isn't a good idea. Several characters from previous books in Brockmann's Troubleshooters, Inc., series have roles to play in her latest riveting tale of danger and desire, including FBI agent Jules Cassidy, whose old romance with actor Adam Wyndham and whose present, somewhat confusing relationship with Jane's younger brother provide even more romantic complications for the plot. Brockmann's latest is funny, sexy, suspenseful, and superb. John Charles
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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4.0 out of 5 stars Jules steals many scenes. Jan. 5 2005
By Detra Fitch TOP 500 REVIEWER
Navy SEAL Chief Cosmo Richter is dedicated to his job. He hates being out of the action for even a brief time. Needless-to-say, he does not take a vacation unless forced to do so. When circumstances force him to take a month of leave time, he offers his services to Troubleshooters Incorporated. ("T.I." was founded by a former SEAL and carries out covert missions dealing with terrorism.) T.I. sends Cosmo to protect Jane Mercedes Chadwick.
Jane is a movie producer. Her current film is set in World War II and portrays the homosexuality of a real-life hero. Of course, extremist groups are sending her angry emails, phone calls, and more. Jane ignores them all. But when the death threats begin, some Hollywood associates call in T.I.
FBI agent Jules Cassidy is already on the scene. Jane becomes surrounded by body guards ... and she is NOT happy about it. Jules is gay. He is having trouble with an ex-lover, Adam, (who happens to be in Jane's movie) and has a growing attraction to Robin (Jane's brother who is not yet "out of the closet" and drinks too much).
**** The main characters are supposed to be stubborn Jane and testosterone filled Cosmo. However, Jules steals the show often. The author succeeds in giving each character their own personality. I was very impressed with them all. Yet I could not bring myself to actually believe that someone as level headed as Jules could be so attracted to Robin, who is constantly drinking, making out with every woman he can in an attempt to convince himself that he is "straight", and constantly vomiting and having a hang over.
As for Jane and Tarzan ... uh, Cosmo, they give the reader some very entertaining clashes at first. It is followed by some very hot bed scenes. All-in-all, this story is a winner. It is like having two books in one. ****
Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another winner in a great series! Jan. 24 2006
By bobby5
Format:Mass Market Paperback
WOW! If you've been keeping up with Brockmann's Troubleshooter series, this one is no exception to the rule. In fact, I would have to say this is one of my favourites. Jane and Cosmo are fantastic, but I have to agree with the review above; Jules steals the show. I was absolutely intrigued by the unique story of Jules' struggle with his own romantic life. Many seasoned authors would have shied away from a gay romantic sub-plot, but Suzanne didn't, and she carried it off spectacularly. I can't wait to hear more about Jules and Robin in the next book, BREAKING POINT.
The ONLY reason why I gave this book four stars, is because I was rather disappointed with the not-so-steamy love scenes between Jane and Cosmo. I will, however, extend kudos for the levels of emotion and romance between the two.
On to the next one!
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not one of her best! Nov. 4 2008
By T. Ford
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Suzanne Brockmann is such a great author, that I sometimes think my expectations are too high when it comes to her novels. I generally love Brockmann's book, but Hot Target was a bit of a disappointment. I found the character of Cosmo somewhat underdeveloped and, well, boring. Jane had her moments, but I couldn't really buy into her as Cosmo's HEA. She came across as self-centered and, at times, shrill, neurotic and, well, TSTL. In some parts, the book read like some mad-cap caper of the Keystone Kops teamed up with the cast from the Young and the Restless. I did like seeing more of Jules and seeing his character become more developed. I'm looking forward to his HEA. I loved the interaction between him and Robin.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable story! March 24 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was an enjoyable story. I liked the relationship that developed between Cosmo and Jane. The relationship between Adam and Robin was weird. Both of them want Jules who is far too good for either of them and yet they sleep with each other knowing the painful effect it would have on him. They were definitely not my favourite characters in the story. Overall, it was a good story!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.9 out of 5 stars  133 reviews
31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Usual Brockmann Page-Turner! Dec 31 2004
By L. McCreadie - Published on
There has yet to be a Brockmann book that I haven't loved. And this one is no exception - it contains her usual realistic dialogue, fully formed three-dimensional characters, and the perfect balance of a-plot and romance without tipping into the "too technical" abyss that could happen in such stories.

I did love the relationship between Jane and Cosmo. But...I have to say that I was slightly disappointed when Cosmo turned out to be not quite the "dangerous man with a mysterious past" character he had appeared to be in previous stories, but actually a very open-minded, generous-hearted and very understanding man. Don't get me wrong - I think these traits are absolutely necessary in a good hero. I just almost felt that Cosmo was too good to be true. There was no digging beneath the layers of toughness and mystery to find the tender jewel beneath his exterior - he pretty much laid it all on the table up front. And in the end, all of the dark mystery surrounding him was actually based on a bunch of gossip that had just gotten blown out of proportion. The truth of the story was very moving, and it made me fall in love with Cosmo. But I felt the "menace" of his character in past stories was missing in this one.

As for the heroine, Jane, at first I really didn't like her. What she did - using her bodyguards so expoitively to promote her own agenda - was really low. But she did redeem herself once she fully understood how what she had done affected those around her. And I was very touched by her reaction to the tragic events that occurred to others trying to protect her. It seemed to be a very realistic response.

I also loved that Brockmann has brought Jules Cassidy to the forefront as a leading character. I wanted to weep for him as he found himself on the verge of a wonderful relationship only to be thwarted by the hangups of his would-be-partner. Jules is such a wonderful man, and I want nothing more than for him to fall in love and settle down, since this is what he seems to want for himself. I'm hoping that perhaps, in a future novel, he'll meet Robin Chadwick again and Robin will be ready for him.

Which leads me to Robin Chadwick. Now this is a character I do hope Brockmann shows us more of. I felt so sorry for him - it was so obvious to me who and what he is, but that he feels he can't be that person is tragic. I prayed through the whole book that his feelings for Jules would be enough to allow him that freedom, and despite my sadness that things didn't work out the way I'd hoped, his actions seem very, very realistic given his history and his desires for the future.

My problems with this book - the reasons I didn't give it five stars - have been mentioned by others. Several characters where given voice when I didn't really see a need for it. For example, Lawrence Decker made a POV appearance on several occasions, but I'm not really sure why it was necessary. His story wasn't advanced in any way, nor was he integral to the two main romances at hand. Too, Max Baghat showed up in one scene only to fade right back into the woodwork. Sometimes I feel like Brockmann thinks she needs to remind us of her entire cast of characters so we'll remember them when they show up as the primary characters of future stories. A sort of name-dropping habit that really isn't necessary.

Also, I didn't much like the portrayal of the Adam character. He confused me. I wasn't sure if I was supposed to hate him or like him. Often he appeared to be a first class sleaze bag who used people shamelessly, only to do something mildly heroic. Instead of viewing these contrasting actions as making him three-dimensional, they seemed more out-of-character. I never understood what Jules had ever seen in the guy, so Jules heartbreak was hard for me to understand. Rather than throw the "lover from the past" into Jules' story, I would have loved more development of his relationship with Robin and how Robin's total denial of his homosexuality caused heartache.

Neither did I much like Patty, Jane's assistant. She was so incredibly naive, and Robin's treatment of her was horrid. I just felt sorry for her, but only in a pathetic way rather than in a sympathetic way.

These complaints aside, I did find myself unable to put the book down. Once again Brockmann has written a story that pulled me so completely into her world that I felt I was hanging out with old friends. And now, sadly, I'm back to waiting the long months until the next Brockmann release...
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3 1/2 stars from a Brockmann Fan Jan. 7 2005
By E. Schwarz - Published on
The first Suzanne Brockmann book I read was "Out of Control", and after that I bought or borrowed nearly every book she's ever written. Reluctantly, then, I give Hot Target three and a half stars, but not for the reasons many other reviews have given.

This is a story of a Hollywood director who is threatened by a fringe hate group because of the content of the movie she's filming. But the bad guys are never really fully described, and the threat never feels personal. (This is in stark contrast to another of her best books, "Over the Edge", where, with Gina's story, you feel the very real threat throughout the whole book.)

There is tension in this book, but it's mainly "please don't do anything dumb" tension as the main characters seem to make stupid decision after stupid decision, whether in their actions or their love decisions.

All of this being said, Suzanne Brockmann still writes a gripping story that I had a hard time putting down. I just hope she focuses more on action, on SEALs, and on her plot development in her next book.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling characters that will keep you hooked Aug. 25 2005
By Tracy Vest - Published on
After receiving death threats for her screenplay depicting a decorated gay war hero and his lover, Jane is forced by the studio to have around-the-clock protection from Troubleshooters, Inc., a firm comprised of security experts, Navy SEALS, FBI agents, and the like. At first she's against it, but a burgeoning attraction to by-the-book Cosmo Richter soon has her singing a different tune - especially when someone takes a shot at her. Sharing the spotlight is Jules Cassidy, a charismatic FBI agent (usually banished to the background), who hasn't been in a relationship since his lover, aspiring actor Adam stepped out on him one time too many. Further complicating Jules' life is a growing attraction to Jane's brother, alcoholic heartthrob actor Robin Chadwick. Robin is so deep in the closet that he doesn't understand his feelings toward the captivating Jules, which just sends him further into the bottle.

Make no doubt about it; the book starts out as romance between Jane and Cosmo. But soon the more compelling triangle of Jules-Adam-Robin heats up the story, giving it heart and soul, particularly when Adam is cast as Robin's lover in the movie, much to Jules' chagrin. Brockmann portrays the triangle with such sensitivity and compassion, that the reader is swept away with her character development and their own imagination to the point that you really care about the characters, flaws and all, regardless of their sexual orientation. When it comes to fast-paced SEAL action, no romantic suspense writer surpasses Brockmann.
23 of 30 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing.......Again Jan. 11 2005
By Lexy Cat - Published on
Ms. Brockmann's last two books don't begin to compare with her earlier works. This was supposed to be Cosmo's book, but the lack of character development and the fluff plot revolving around Cosmo and Jane Chadwick made the book easy to put down. Cosmo, always mysterious in prior books, is just too perfect to be believable and Jane falls back on the old cliche of using her sex appeal to obtain success.

Jules, a favorite character of mine, steals the book, but I fail to believe an intelligent, experienced FBI agent would put up with the behavior of either of his potential love interests, Adam or Robin.

Sad to say, Ms. Brockmann is no longer an automatic buy for me. I'll be happy to wait for the local library to stock her books.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A slight departure from usual stories but very good Jan. 17 2007
By brimmels - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
While "Flashpoint" was a very good book, it felt a little heavy due to the situation, especially Sophia's part of the story. So I was slightly hesitant about starting "Hot Target" since I wasn't sure I was in the mood.

I was very pleasantly surprised. "Hot Target" is not a "light" book by any definition but the complete switch from a war-torn, savage country in "Flashpoint" to Hollywood for "Hot Target" made for a welcome change of pace while still maintaining Brockmann's usual combination of suspense, mystery and great pacing.

Brockmann did her usual deft job in pairing up the seemingly different Jane, a Hollywood movie producer who knows how to work the media, and Cosmo, the Navy SEAL who intimidates his tough-as-nails teammates, in a gradual, believable way.

But my favorite part was long-time supporting character Jules Cassidy and his problems with his old lover Adam returning (has Adam really changed?) and an attraction to Robin, Jane's actor brother who is so deep in denial about his sexuality that he's hurting other people, like Jane's naive intern, Patty. Gay characters in romance novels are usually relegated to being the supportive best friend or relative and heaven forbid they touch or kiss someone unless it's a joke, misunderstanding or show of support. Huge kudos to Brockmann for handling gay romantic entanglements with sensitivity and great reality. When Jules refused to be Robin's "experiment" or let Robin get away with the old "I was drunk" excuse, I was simultaneously proud of Jules and very sad that he can't seem to catch a break romantically.

I also loved the real Jack Shelton and the scene between him and his long-time partner, especially since it confirmed to Jules that he shouldn't settle for less than his heart's desire.

Technically I would give this book 4 1/2 stars but Amazon won't allow that. It's better than 4 stars but I don't think it's up to the level of her next book, "Breaking Point," which is definitely a 5 star book.

That said, the Sam & Alyssa short story bonus at the end of the book should get 5 stars all by itself. Brockmann did a wonderful role reversal on the typical "my spouse is half a world away in danger and all I can do is wait" situation. It was also far too timely and poignent with the current situation with our soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was also nice to see Meg, Joan and Savannah again, albeit briefly. I also loved Sam's phone call at the end to John.
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