New York: Ballantine Books, 2007.
“Force of Nature” is the 11th book in the Troubleshooter’s series by Suzanne Brockmann. I love reading Ms. Brockmann’s books because the characters she creates, even those appearing as supporting roles do not disappear after one book. Some you read about over a secession of books and you grow to love her characters and impatiently wait for the supporting characters to have their stories told.
Jules Cassidy is one of those characters for me. He has been in several books and played minor to significant roles in many of Suzanne Brockmann’s books. In the past I have picked up one of her books started reading it and saw Jules was in it and I would pull for him to meet his significant other. I had been disappointed for Jules over and over again. I hurt for him because he just couldn’t get together with the right guy for him.
Yes, I wrote ‘guy’ and it wasn’t a typo. Jules Cassidy is a gay FBI agent with a heart of gold who has more courage than any one body should be able to hold and is one tough dude. He is completely out of the closet and doesn’t put up with a lot of crap about it. He is one of my favorite characters and I’m excited to tell you that this book is finally telling Jules’ story. As I was reading this book, I planned on being mad if this was just another book where poor Jules gets his heart broken again.
I should tell you that in Ms. Brockmann’s books just because two characters come together in a book doesn’t mean in the next book they are still together. Sometimes in another book the couple is having troubles whether it is temporarily or permanently you have to read another book to find out unless that book is their story. It is a never ending saga. I really like reading about the couples who stay together and talk about their marriages and the families they have created. I’m usually disappointed for the characters if they are having troubles or have completely broken up.
Reading Susanne Brockmann’s books will cause you to crave more because you become a (nosy) friend who just has to know what happens next to your favorite couple(s). Then you become friends of their friends and you just have to know what’s going on in their lives and on and on it goes. This is how Jules slowly, but surely sneaked his way into my heart.
I have followed Jules as he has met and left different men and each time I hoped that that guy would be The One. I think I care too much for Jules, because in my heart of hearts, I know that there really isn’t anyone who is good enough for him. This book kept me guessing and kept thinking through most of the book “Jules, sweetie, I am pulling for you, really I am. Are you sure that this is The Guy for you?” ‘Cause he seems to be a mess.
I’m not going to tell you Jules’ answer; you will have to read it for yourself. I can’t tell you anymore than this because I don’t want to give away too much. I’m not even going to tell you the name of his love interest or whether the guy returns his interest.
I should tell you that another character, Ric Alvarado, who was first introduced in the book “Gone Too Far” has his story told along with Jules. No, they are not a couple; this book has two separate love stories going on which is awesome.
Let me tell you about Ric, he is a former policeman for Sarasota, Florida and now is working as a private detective in the same city. His new assistant, Annie Dugan, the sister of his childhood friend is pretty disgusted that she is an assistant, as in secretary; rather than assistant, as in getting out in the field helping with the detective work. Since Ric has no intentions of changing the job description she is planning on getting out of there, but Ric is working to find a way to keep her.
All of this gets complicated when somehow the two of them get mixed up with a local mobster, Gordon Burns and his son, Gordie Junior. Burns Sr. is under surveillance by the FBI and this is how the two stories intertwine. This is also where suddenly Ric is trying to get Annie to leave town and she won’t budge.
For me Jules’ story was better than Ric’s and Annie’s, but that could be that Jules has appeared in many books and I grew to love and respect him. Ric had one appearance in another book and this was Annie’s first appearance (as far as I know) and I don’t know them that well. I am sure that Suzanne Brockmann will have each of these characters appear in other books and I (and you) will grow to love them as we discover more about them. Jules Cassidy has appeared in so many books that I am disappointed when he isn’t part of the particular book I’m reading. I feel like that about several of her characters.
Bottom line: This is another awesome book by Suzanne Brockmann and I’m though writing this review so I’m off to get another book in the Troublemaker’s series.
If you are like me a huge fan of Jules there is a Friends of Jules facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/SuzBrockmannFOJ?sk=wall