But events take a terrifying turn after Ben befriends a girl fleeing a child prostitution ring. When the young runaway seeks refuge with Eden and Izzy, her pursuers kidnap Ben—and a deadly standoff begins. Now, they must all pull together like never before and strike back, swift and hard, to protect their unconventional little family and everything they hold most precious. You know when you see a Kate Spade handbag — it has a definite look.
I still love sweet, funny, adorable, goofy, and protective Izzy, and I came to care about Eden much more than I had before in this. Was I satisfied with their HEA? For the most part, yes, but it sure was a winding and mighty bumpy road to get there. View all 15 comments. Apr 28, Shelly rated it it was ok Shelves: romance.
I have loved 14 out of the previous 15 Troubleshooters novels, but this one, the one I've been waiting for every since Izzy was introduced in the series, is the absolute worst. Into the Fire was not that interesting to me, but at least it had a good plot and good characters, I just wasn't that into it. Breaking the Rules is just god-awful. I don't know whether to compare it to The Jerry Springer Show or a Lifetime movie or one of those ridiculous after school specials that were full of cheese. R I have loved 14 out of the previous 15 Troubleshooters novels, but this one, the one I've been waiting for every since Izzy was introduced in the series, is the absolute worst.
Really, if it wasn't for Izzy, I wouldn't have even gone past the first quarter of the book. Total nightmare. To start with, I get that Suzanne Brockmann is a proud gay rights advocate, especially on behalf of her son. I love Jules Cassidy, and adding him to the series was a stroke of genius. He's smart and funny and sexy and extremely competent at his job, excellent character all around. I didn't feel he was pushed on me, or that his gayness if that's even a PC term was all some sort of promotion of gay rights. He really worked as a great character.
Then we get his eventual husband, Robin. A little less believable, but still lovable, and still workable. We get it, it's important to her to show gay people are regular people too. But now we get Ben. Ben who has been introduced to us before, with no hint of being gay, and maybe because he was still too young, but now he's out and he's proud and everyone needs to accept that now, including his sorry excuse for parents, who will never be convinced, thus wanting to cause him harm and send him away to a 'cure-all' camp for gays. As if Ben's home wasn't bad enough, with drug and alcohol addicted parents, now Brockmann has to make them go from horrible parents to the devil themselves, because it wasn't enough with the prior abuse, she's adding more.
Speaking of the parents and how much abuse the Gilman kids had to endure from them, how is it even possible Danny had no idea what was going on in his own brother's house? When he went with Izzy to get Eden out, who had been locked into a bathroom until she decided to give her baby up for sale so her step-father could profit - how is no one thought, hey, this step-father isn't the best guy to be around a teenager.
Yes, the parents are bad, really really bad, but how can Danny, Eden or Ben be so great? Granted I don't think they are, but they are painted as kids who survived with no severe issues.
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So many issues left to be sorted out, I don't buy it being all straightened out at the end. Danny goes from calling Eden a whore throughout two whole books, to feeling sorry for her when he learns the truth? Why did he do nothing to help before if he thought she was headed down the wrong path? He thought she was a whore at 14, who else was gonna tell her not to do that stuff, certainly not their mother. He turned his back on the whole situation. And Eden, well, I think at least she survived as best she could.
I felt she grew up some during this, but she's still 19! She needed a lot more growing up before she deserved a book. In the modern age, I do NOT want to read about 19 year heroines and their struggle to find themselves and true love. If I did, I'd go back to Twilight. As for Ben, he seemed more mature than Eden, and at 15, boys have a little more on their minds than preaching about gay rights.
So Ben is described as having no friends, except Nisha, he's stuck in a hell-hole of a house with drugs and alcohol all around him, beaten by his step-father, no computer, no entertainment really, and all he's interested in is pushing it everyone's face that gay is okay? That does not sound like a typical 15 year old, especially not one that's been surrounded by abuse, abandoned by his brother, and even by Eden for a time.
And correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought I was reading romantic suspense, no? So we have the messed up family, gay rights, not one, but TWO romances, custody issues, drugs, alcohol, hurricane Katrina, Afghanistan, now we have to add the child sex slave industry? Because there wasn't enough going on before that? And maybe I'm a little snobby, or maybe it's simple minded, but there are certain things I don't want to read that are happening, implied or otherwise, in a romantic suspense book based on military personnel. A Nisha with a past, certainly, okay, throw her in if you must.
Reading in the present about the things Nisha does, present tense, right smack in the middle of the book even, not really sexy. For bus money. Yep, sign me up! I could go on and on, but obviously I didn't enjoy this book. The only thing that makes this book even the tiniest bit bearable is Izzy. That's it. And even then, I don't think this book did him justice. He deserved so much more, so very much more. If you like Izzy in the least, then maybe you tough it out and read this book.
If you don't like Izzy, or you don't want to see him involved in such crap, skip it, I'm begging you! View all 11 comments. In this book we get two romantic relationships in the making, both centered around a single plot, and no easy feat, that. But in my opinion Ms. Brockmann pulled it off with flying colors.
Both seem permanently wedded to mutual disdain, but then something happens that changes the chemistry: Eden discovers that her younger brother Ben is the victim of abuse by his stepfather. To rescue him from the tyrant's custody, she knows that she must reconstruct her tattered relationship with the man that she had most cherished. What she doesn't yet realize is the full saving strength of that lovers' reunion. Honestly, those Gillman siblings left me less than impressed at the end of the last book and in fact, I was pretty well miffed with them both.
Eden, even though she was young and immature, seemed very selfish to me, more-so than her age would have excused, and Dan… well Dan was just an ass and there was no excuse for him. There was no doubt in my mind that the best thing for Izzy and Jennilyn would have been to cut their losses, walk away, never look back, and forget they ever heard the Gillman name. There were many times when I really wanted to yell at them both and tell them that they were too needy, too insecure to be in any kind of relationship together, let alone a romantic one!
Fortunately by the end of the book I could see that they truly did love one another and keeping in mind that not all relationships are perfect, but if two people want to make it work, they can. I was so, so angry. Where was her pride?? Instead, she gave him the chance to prove himself and at the time I really, really thought she was pathetic.
Wow… very few books have touched a nerve with me the way this one scene, in this one book, did. Just thinking about it after all this time sends my blood pressure up a few notches!
Breaking the Rules
As I said, the only reason I wanted to read this book was to find out what happened with both couple's happily ever afters. The story itself - the underlying plot - was good, but there were definitely times when I wasn't interested in what was happening and skipped ahead to the relationships. I wasn't as impressed with the flow of the story as I have been with past books but still found that I couldn't put it down.
So despite the angst, the misunderstandings and the many Too Stupid To Live moments from some our characters, namely those Gillmans, I really enjoyed this book. But, I need to get something off my chest. Funny, sexy, intelligent… he had all the makings of a great character and I loved his role in the stories, especially his happily ever after which was so well deserved!
Brockmann is using her books as a soapbox from which she is lecturing her readers on tolerance and acceptance of those among us who are gay or lesbian. Yes, it sucks that there are still people out there who think they have the right to tell another human being who they can or cannot love. And yes, I understand that they are her books and that she can write them how she sees fit, but there reaches a point when, as a reader, I get tired of being preached to and this has become an ongoing theme in the last few books.
Brockmann specifically, would do better to reach out to people other than her devoted fans who have followed the series from the beginning and who have loved every minute of it. They both come from the hilarious mouth and mind of Izzy Zanella, and are a small sampling of the witty writing that I loved so much in this book. No doubt about it, the woman brought out the non-asshole-ish side of the fishboy.
I, um, really appreciate it, man. I love Ms. I'm giving Breaking the Rules 4 stars solely because of Izzy, who I unashamedly adore. There's just something about this incredible Navy SEAL who, despite his physical, mental and emotional strength has such a vulnerable heart.
I just want to bring him home and love him forever. View all 26 comments. At times, it borders on emotional overload, but this author one of the queens of multiple plots weaves it all into a spellbinding story that kept me turning the pages. Family dynamics plays a major role in Breaking The Rules. Most of the book centers around the extremely dysfunctional Gillman family and the problems that occur when Eden resolves to get her little brother Ben away from their abusive step-father.
The danger level escalates when Ben gets involved with Neesha, a young, homeless girl who managed to escape imprisonment by child sex traffickers. But the miscommunication between these two is a killer as their lack of trust in each other almost does them in. The same issue exists between Dan and Jenn. They love each other — problem is how do they make each other believe it? A Must Read! View 2 comments. Apr 08, Robin rated it it was amazing Shelves: romantic-suspense , Eden Gillman has moved to Las Vegas to try to get custody of her younger brother, Ben, from their violent step-father.
She has appealed for help to her older brother Dan who is currently in a hospital in Germany recovering from injuries suffered in Afghanistan. But when that fails, she turns to her estranged husband, Izzy Zanella. Even though Izzy hasn't seen Eden in a year, he hasn't been able to get her out of his mind. Izzy and Eden, along with Dan and his girlfriend Jenni, band together to h Eden Gillman has moved to Las Vegas to try to get custody of her younger brother, Ben, from their violent step-father. Izzy and Eden, along with Dan and his girlfriend Jenni, band together to help Ben when he gets mixed up with some nefarious criminals.
The 16th book in Brockmann's Troubleshooters series is a little different from the rest. This book was a little more about social issues and family dynamics than the usual terrorist plot. I was happy to see Izzy back with Eden, and Danny back with Jenni.
The romance portions of the book were split pretty evenly between the two pair. The suspense portion really doesn't kick into full gear until the last third of the book. It didn't matter. I enjoyed this story anyway. My rating: 4. Mar 27, Jennifer rated it it was ok Shelves: romance. I love Izzy's sense of humor but I found the whole lot of them to be emotionally immature throughout most of the book. I can accept that they all had reasons for emotional immaturity and Eden's only 19 , but that doesn't mean I have to want to read about it. I read contemporary romance because I like to read about adults, not because I want to remember what it was like to be in col I think this review will piss off some die hard Brockmann fans, but I didn't LURVE this book the way I'd hoped to.
I read contemporary romance because I like to read about adults, not because I want to remember what it was like to be in college with my roommate Helen overreacting to everything with either a crass comment or tears. It got old then and it's really old now. Also, while I share Brockmann's politics, there are times in the book where her politics got in the way of the story.
I felt like I was reading a speech rather than a novel and I read the books because they're novels, not looking for political rhetoric. Still, I was nearly late to work in desperation to finish this book. Brockmann's grabs you by the nose in all of her books and leads you around this world she's created. I may get irritated, but I still enjoy the ride. I probably won't rush out for the next one though. I'll go back and visit Senior Chief Wolchonok to remind myself what Brockmann's like when she's completely on her game. View all 3 comments. Aug 24, Leslie rated it it was ok Shelves: contemporary , library-book , rs.
Many fans of the popular Troubleshooters series have been waiting for Zanella's book and now it's finally here. But it turns out that Izzy isn't the only hero of Breaking the Rules. Danny "Fishboy" Gillman also features prominently along with his girlfriend Jennilyn May whom he met in the previous novel, Hot Pursuit. Izzy's heroine is the ever young and nubile Eden Gillman, making this a Gillman family reunion when you add in little brother Ben Gillman. Izzy helped me get through this book. It was so heaped in introspective character musings. I'm all for talking and thinking about your feeling but when I read romantic suspense I expect some action and suspense in with those feelings.
There was very little action until the last quarter of the book. What there was, was a lot of Danny acting immature. Jenn trying to get Danny to act more mature. Ben giving lectures on gay rights and sounding like a Junior Jules. Izzy trying to help Eden but keeping his distance while having sex with her, because it's only sex. And Eden taking after big bro Dan and acting immature. Nope, my hopes for a more mature Eden when it came to her relationship with Izzy were for naught. She had her moments but ultimately, I didn't feel like she had grown much since we last saw her in Dark of Night, which in Troubleshooter land, was nearly two years ago.
Izzy and Eden still believe that neither cares for the other except for the physical attraction still between them. Izzy would like for them to have a second chance but Eden wants none of that. What will it take for Eden to realize what a great guy she has in Izzy? Near death, that's what. Seriously, she wants his help but on her terms which is not how you treat someone who has been there for you and done some major helping out for you in the past.
As in marrying you so you could have medical care during your pregnancy. Yet, Eden does make some attempts at maturity but she then ventures back into immature, high school drama land when Izzy doesn't do what she wants, she runs off, knowing there are gunman out there, possibly looking for her.
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Dan and Jennilyn, what a cute couple. Except for Dan acting like an ass and Jenni coaching him on how not to blow his fuse when speaking and acting rational would go a lot farther. Aside from his good looks and the great chemistry, I'm still not sure what Jenni saw in Dan. She loves him desperately but why? I don't feel like it was ever fully answered. As a couple they too have their moments.
They can be down right romantic and you do get that while Dan's initial intentions towards Jenni started out as an extended one-night stand, he has come to truly love her. I do get why he loves her. She puts up with his crap! Diabetic, goth dressing teen who is also out of the closet. Why does Ben sound so much like Jules? He's 15 yet the way he talks, the words, phrases and lecturing remind me of Jules so much. I understand that Ben has had a less than idyllic childhood and has for the most part, raised himself with some help from Eden, but he's still a teenager.
Anyone who has read Brockmann before is familiar with her stand on gay rights. She makes it clear that she is pro-gay rights through her novels and her personal views. I have no problem with it, in fact, I've come to expect there to be mention of it. In Breaking the Rules I felt it was over the top. We not only got the gay rights agenda but child sex slave rings, religious zealots, abusive parents and alcoholics. I read for enjoyment, not to be lectured to and with far too many issues to focus on, it began to wear on me, leaving me less than pleased with this aspect of the book.
It sounds like I didn't care for the book at all. I had a number of issues with it but there is still that feeling of familiarity. Of knowing these characters and caring about them that keeps bringing me back, no matter how annoying I may find them at times. I do think Izzy was the constant in the story, showing that wicked sense of humor that not everyone gets or appreciates.
He is that hero that doesn't like to acknowledge his heroic deeds but continues to do them while making his smartass comments.
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While I would have preferred more action, I did like the final, big action rescue scenes with the whole gang getting into the fight. I think Breaking the Rules might have worked better for me had there either been less of Danny or Eden or maybe the actually Troubleshooters from Tommy's TS Inc making some time on the pages. Unfortunately, except for a brief appearance from Lindsey Fontaine Jenkins and some of the guys from Team 16, that didn't happen and the action was at a minimum up until nearly the end.
Sep 27, Quinn rated it really liked it Shelves: series , romantic-suspense. Izzy's book! Izzy has long been my number one man from Suzanne Brockmann's Troubleshooters series and with so many wonderful heroes in there to choose from, that's saying something! I suppose it was inevitable that his long-awaited story was not quite the awesomeness that I was hoping for, but Brockmann is such a wonderful writer that it's hard to feel too disappointed.
Whilst I didn't think Izzy was given quite the opportunity to shine in this angst-ridden story, and Dan continued Finally Whilst I didn't think Izzy was given quite the opportunity to shine in this angst-ridden story, and Dan continued to be a bit of a downer, the author writes such amazing characters and tight plots that you cannot fail to be entertained. No one writes a military hero quite the way that Brockmann does, and she really brings her men to life. I love that about her books. I don't think the child sex trade suspense element quite worked for me, and not because of the confronting nature of the topic, but because I always wanted those parts to hurry up so I could get back to the main characters.
I loved Izzy and Jen and was happiest when they were on the page.
Breaking The Rules by SUZANNE BROCKMANN - Penguin Books Australia
Lucky they are such great characters, because their respective partners Eden and Dan are not among my favourites. And yet, I still really enjoyed it! I'm so sad that Brockmann is taking a break from this series, and I hope she hears the whispers of these characters calling to her soon - there are still so many amazing stories to be told and I don't think I could ever get tired of these books.
This story was frustrating at time, but also nail biting at other times. Bottom line I couldn't put it down despite the many times I rolled my eyes. I'm happy to have read it, but I think SB is doing the right thing by ending this series on a high note. View all 9 comments. Dec 04, Krista I remember you, Min Critical rated it really liked it Shelves: adult , cont-romance , best-character-s , fave-rom-heroine , heroine-i-hate , yst , funny , heroine-i-wanna-slap , heroine-is-a-villain , own-ab.
Four stars because it's THIS series, but if it were another series Eden is an immature, stupid, impulsive child. I expected her to mature in this book. I expected her to beg for Izzy's forgiveness. Instead, Brockmann throws in a bunch of excuses that supposedly let her off the hook. Over and over he has to apologize to her!
She does completely stupid things and then he has to apologize to her for calling her on it. Any time she doesn't get her way, she runs away, often into danger. Izzy deserves better. All she has to do is cry which happens in pretty much every scene --AND, Brockmann constantly tells us that Eden is "stoic" and hides her emotions. This "woman" bursts into tears every five minutes and then runs away, slamming doors like a toddler.
He was fine at first, but then he started acting all self-righteous, bossing people around and telling them how to live their lives. One of my biggest pet-peeves is when a side character butts into the business of the two MCs, telling them how to act, and it's even worse when it's a freaking KID telling them! What right does he have??? The idiot! The cliches. In I find myself waiting for it to happen. Is it in some rule-book? Step 2. Step 3. Step 4.
Remember that heroine? You can't have a strong heroine unless she also has a vulnerable side, aka she tends to act like a year-old. Also, be certain that the heroine's tantrums lead to the hero begging for her forgiveness, even though he's done nothing wrong. Step 5.
This is important. You don't want your readers to like or relate to the characters. Step 6. Have him hold onto irrational anger and hatred for no reason. Also, he absolutely HAS to hate the other hero and heroine for no reason. Preferably, have him call the other heroine a whore or slut throughout the book. Step 7. Let the "other" heroine get her revenge on Hero 2. What you want to do is set it up so she thinks Hero 2 is physically abusive, and have her accuse him of this to his face for extra drama - be sure the whole situation is unrealistic. For example, set the scene up like this: Hero 2 is attempting to push his heroine out of his path, but then somehow he accidentally punches her in the face.
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