Headed for Trouble
Ballantine / April 30, 2013 / $7.99 print, digital
• Tough-as-nails Troubleshooters operative Sam Starrett learns the agony of loving someone in danger—and the hell of waiting on the home front—as his wife, Alyssa, hurtles into a foreign hotspot that’s about to boil over.
• Navy SEAL Frank O’Leary’s ill-fated holiday reunion with his older brother takes a turn for the better—when a chance encounter on a rainy New Orleans street gives Frank a reason to be thankful after all.
• In a maze of tunnels deep beneath a military base in Germany, Jules Cassidy, Alyssa Locke, and their comrades in arms match wits with terrorists on a mission with explosive consequences.
Plus more never-before-released adventures featuring Jenk, Izzy, Gillman, Lopez, Kenny, Savannah, and other members of SEAL Team 16—along with Suzanne Brockmann’s exclusive interviews with her beloved characters.
Looking for the best kind of trouble? You’ve found it!
Headed for Trouble by Suzanne Brockmann was an unusual treat: a selection of short stories and other related material, all of it tied to Brockmann’s Troubleshooters novels (the book is numbered 16.5 in the series). Because most of the stories fit into series continuity, or are more meaningful with prior knowledge of the characters, the book seems mostly intended for existing fans. There’s a handy timeline to help readers, old and new, figure out where everything falls during the series, plus each story has the date at the beginning.
For those who are wondering, “A Seal and Three Babies,” the new story, features familiar characters Sam, Jules, Robin, and their families in a plot that mingles danger with the mundane, but would also be accessible to new readers. That one story alone is worth getting the book. What I most enjoyed, however, were the author notes. In fact, I wished there had been more of them!
The very first story, “When Frank Met Rosie,” features a minor character who was killed in Over the Edge (Book 3). Hints of his fate occur throughout his short romance, and were puzzling until I read Brockmann’s afterword. Though the story was lovely and meaningful, it was the author’s explanation of its origins that resonated with me most deeply. My reading of the rest of the book was influenced by this insight into the author’s thoughts. Brockmann writes:
At the time I was writing OTE, I purposely chose to kill off Frank for a number of reasons—the first being that someone needed to die. I wanted to make sure that my readers understood how dangerous K-stan was. It’s a fact that SEALs put their lives on the line all the time, as do all of our servicemen and -women. And it’s also a fact that people die serving our country. This was the third book in the series. It was, I felt, time for casualties. Okay, so I could’ve killed off anyone—it didn’t have to be Frank. But it did have to be one of SEAL Team Sixteen’s snipers. See, I wanted a reason for FBI agent (and former Navy sharpshooter extraordinaire) Alyssa Locke to actively take part in the takedown of the hijacked plane. As a point-of-view character, I wanted Alyssa to move from her role as observer to that of shooter.
…Frankly, I don't know what makes me more sad - thinking that each and every one of the brave men and women who have died serving this country had their own Rosie, who grieves for them, or thinking that they hadn't lived long enough to find their Rosie yet. So I sat down and wrote “When Frank Met Rosie” because, since we went to war in Afghanistan and Iraq, there have been many thousands more Franks and Rosies. As of July 2012, as I update this piece, the number of servicemen and women who have died in Afghanistan and Iraq is 6,527. That number may have grown by the time you read these words. 6,527 should not just be a number that makes us shake our head in remorse as we go about our daily lives. Those 6,527 are people who loved and were loved.
Because short stories in Romance tend to appear as promotional extras in the backs of full-length novels, or as electronic freebies intended to give a taste of the author’s style and characters, fans of an author who has written short fiction often have a difficult time searching it all out. This collection, therefore, is a nice addition to the completist’s bookshelf. In addition to stories and vignettes, there are two character interviews, perfect for those who enjoy metatext. And the glimpses into the author’s mind outside of her stories are icing on the cake.
Learn more about or pre-order a copy of Headed for Trouble by Suzanne Brockmann before its April 30 release:
Victoria Janssen is the author of three novels and numerous short stories. Her novel The Moonlight Mistress is set during World War I, and she has a terrifying love of research about that period. Follow her on Twitter: @victoriajanssen or find out more at victoriajanssen.com.