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Hot Target


Hot Target

Suzanne Brockmann probably has done more than any other single
author to popularize and define the "romantic suspense" genre. So
it's noteworthy that her new novel HOT TARGET somewhat stretches
the limits of the genre, in at least a couple of ways. She takes a
number of risks here, with varying success.

HOT TARGET revolves around the filming of the biography of Jack
Shelton, a World War II hero who also happens to be openly and
unabashedly homosexual. Jane Mercedes Chadwick, the producer of the
film, is the target of threats from an activist group that has been
linked to at least one killing. The movie company that is fronting
the finances for the film project takes the threats seriously
enough that it retains Troubleshooters Incorporated, a private
security firm founded by ex-Navy SEAL Tom Paoletti, to oversee

The job happens to coincide with a vacation by legendary Navy SEAL
Cosmo Richter. Chadwick is electrifying and loose, while Richter is
button-down and all right angles. Chadwick does not take the
threats to her life seriously, while Richter, consistent with his
assigned duties, cannot take the threats seriously enough. As might
be expected, the two are repelled from, then attracted to, each
other --- an attraction that ultimately results in danger to both
of them.

The focus of HOT TARGET is definitely on the "romantic" side of the
"romantic suspense" equation. There is nary an explosion or karate
fight until well into the second half of the novel, so that the
main suspense seems to be whether or not Chadwick's clothing will
continue to defy gravity while she is in Richter's presence. More
significantly, however, HOT TARGET deals quite honestly with gay
male relationships. Some readers --- those who have gay male
friends, associates and/or family members --- nonetheless are going
to find this off-putting. Brockmann is taking quite the chance
here, aiming at a broader audience while risking those who she
previously courted.

Reasonable minds can certainly differ as to whether this book
properly belongs in the romantic suspense category, or whether
Brockmann has too much of one element and too little of another.
The fact remains, however, that HOT TARGET is extremely
well-written. Brockmann's physical and emotional descriptions of
Chadwick certainly will get the heterosexual male juices flowing.
Although there is simply not a lot happening on the
action/adventure front, Brockmann has enough intricate relationship
complications going to fill three books. While HOT TARGET may not
be for everyone, everyone will surely be talking about it.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on January 22, 2011

Hot Target
by Suzanne Brockmann

  • Publication Date: December 28, 2004
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books
  • ISBN-10: 0345467930
  • ISBN-13: 9780345467935