Prince Joe (Tall, Dark & Dangerous #1)

Prince Joe - Suzanne Brockmann

 Opening line: "All of the major network news cameras were rolling as Tedric Cortere, crown prince of Ustanzia, entered the airport."

 

Prince Joe is the 1st from Brockmann’s 11 book Tall Dark and Dangerous series, its Troubleshooters ‘light’ and except for a couple of issues its very, very good. And damn but that Brockman can write a delicious hero because Prince Joe, well I fell a little (lot) in love with him. This SEAL was just arrogant, combat hardened and rough enough around the edges to catch my interest and then wrecked me when I realized he was a nice guy too (some might say even a prince) He’s sensitive, has insecurities and is even able to shed a tear. Of course he‘s also a pilot, diver, munitions expert, explosives guru, sharpshooter, mechanic, team leader, able to speak 8 languages and looks damn fine in (and out) of his dress whites *sigh* Now just where can I find a guy like that?

 

 

I didn’t really know what to expect going into this series, I’d heard good things but because it was written in 96 I thought it might be kind of dated (it isn’t) I’m also not one for the category romances but I found myself swept away here by the touching, suspenseful and often humorous story. I also appreciated Brockmann using proper military lingo, explaining it as we went along so that I felt a real connection to the characters.

 

of course our couple fall in love within days of meeting and through some great dialogue Brockman somehow had me believing it too. The love scenes are ‘soft’ yet also very satisfying and accept for the standard miscommunication/break-up towards the end I almost forgot I was reading category romance. There’s also a ton of exciting action and suspense with an ending that is just brilliant. Leaving me excited to continue on with the rest of these tall, dark and dangerous boys from SEAL team ten’s alpha squad.

 

As much as I enjoyed this I should also mention that I had a couple of issues. For some weird reason Brockman likes to invent countries (Why does she do this?) here I had to train myself so that every time I read her fake country of Ustanzia it became Estonia in my mind just so that I didn’t go nuts trying to imagine a country and people that don’t exist. Her characters also don’t swear, which is fine except that Joe substitutes “Jesus, Mary and Joseph” and always says it twice within the same page or paragraph which just seemed weird.

 

We meet Joe Catalanotto on leave, he’s relaxed, miles from anywhere and enjoying a days fishing with members of his team. All that changes in an instant as a chopper approaches their boat, drops a ladder and a voice announces to the Lieutenant “that his shore leave is over” Within 24hours Joe finds himself in Washington DC surrounded by dignitaries, military brass and one beautiful red headed media consultant.

 

Following an assassination attempt on the crown Prince of Ustanzia (Estonia) Veronica St John has just been given the seemingly impossible task of turning this rugged and stubborn New Jersey accented sailor into a Prince for the remainder of his US tour. Now while Joe may be the prince’s doppelganger it’s still going to be up to ‘Ronnie’ to teach him royal protocol, correct accent, background and the unique mannerisms needed to pull this off. (Think Miss Congeniality)

  

The attraction between our couple is immediate however Joe frustrates Veronica because he doesn’t seem to be taking the ‘job’ seriously. As the two grow closer Veronica begins to see that Joe is much more than he appears, willing to take a bullet for a man he not only doesn’t know but doesn’t like. Before long the “L” word is floating around with Joe feeling that he wouldn’t be good enough for her because of his blue collar background while Veronica tries not to fall in love with a man who will be away from home risking his life on a daily basis and enjoying it. Of course then theres also the small issue of the terrorists and the bulls eye on Joes chest.