Suzanne Brockmann’s latest novel, Dark of Night, has gotten a lot of attention on the internet. I haven’t read much of it because I haven’t wanted spoilers, but I do understand it’s because of the pairing of the heroes and heroines. (And if that is too much of a spoiler, don’t read more! As I’ll be talking about who is with who.)
Anyway, the big thing is that Sophia is with Dave and Decker ends up with Tracy. This is apparent from the beginning of the book. I can understand how frustrating it is for readers who were expecting a Decker and Sophia match, as I have read books where I’ve felt the heroine should be with someone else, and the reading of such books ends up feeling like an uphill battle.
However, I was never terribly invested in Decker/Sophia. I did expect, after Flashpoint, that Sophia and Decker would have their own romantic arc. But what chemistry they might have had dissipated and I lost interest. It was taking too long and made less and less sense. So, yes, for this reader, Brockmann set me up to enjoy Sophia and Decker going their different ways.
In many ways, Dark of Night finishes what Flashpoint started. Nash and Tess are here getting their second HEA, and Decker gets his, and Sophia gets hers. All that said, this book wasn’t particularly successful for me, although I am a Brockmann fan.
Sometimes her action totally captivates me, the second half of Flashpoint comes to mind, or Gone Too Far. Love, love, love. This one, not so much, though I thought she wrote a killer prologue which made me do a double take until I understood what was going on.
I also found she had a little too much of her characters psychoanalyzing each other. It didn’t really work for me because, at least in my world, people don’t talk that way. I felt distanced from the story when it happened too much. Also it was a large cast of characters and while I enjoyed the cameos in some ways, as one of Brockmann’s huge strengths are her immensely appealing characters, personally I found it too much. Finally, while I bought Decker and Tracy’s romance, I didn’t find it meshed that well with the plot. The action was rolling and then, there’s sexual tension and/or sex, and it’s distracting, and then back to the action…I dunno, I felt a bit of whiplash when I wanted a more seamless read.
However, I enjoyed Sophia and Dave, and Jimmy and Tess. But Decker has been one of my favorite characters for a while and I wanted to love his story more. (He was my favorite part of Into the Fire where he made the book for me.)
Hmm, bit of a meandering reaction here. There are like a hundred threads with a zillion comments over at the AAR boards about Dark of Night. I don’t think I can face reading them though. Dear Author has had two reviews which I’m going to go read now: Sarah’s A- and Jane’s B-.
Other reviews: Very Occasional Book Reviews B/B- and RomanceNovels where she makes a very good point when asking why everyone in Brockmann’s fictional world believed Decker and Sophia were meant for each other. Oh, and The Good, The Bad and The Unread A-.
So, lots of strong reactions, which I frankly think says a lot about Suzanne Brockmann as a writer. I am curious to know whose story will be told next.