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Of all the books Brockmann has written post Troubleshooters series, this is my favorite so far. However, this new series is not on the same par as TS. At least not yet. And despite the fast paced storyline and a solid romance, it actually left me bored for nearly the first half of the book.
But don't get me wrong, it really does pick up. Do or Die is fast paced suspense story filled with rescues, rescues, more rescues, and finally... more rescues!! And the romance between Ian and Phoebe was most excellent, and the best part of the book.
DO OR DIE is a loose spin off of the Troubleshooters series, and shares the same fictional terrorist country of Kazbekistan. A few familiar names from the TS series are dropped, but none of them make an appearance. The good news is you don't need to read the TS series at all to follow this story. The bad news is if you wanted some reunion time with past TS characters you will be disappointed.
Ian is a former Navy SEAL seemingly living a shady lifestyle. Through much of the book I wondered if he was a Robin Hood type, or just a hood? (Honestly, I am not sure we ever get a clear answer!) Phoebe is his lawyer, who gets pulled into a fast paced drama and quickly finds herself under Ian's protection.
The motley crew of secondary characters include some of Ian's family members, a few shady past acquaintances, and a couple FBI agents. Tasked with rescuing a few kidnapped children, meanwhile trying to keep his brother safe from a mob family bent on killing him, the stakes get very high indeed.
I wish I could say I liked and cared for most of the secondary characters, but I can't. They bickered too much, and with some exceptions they were not genuinely nice or interesting people. Nor can I say that I wish any one of them would get their own book, because I don't. I have no idea who will be the H/h of the next in the series, but if it is any of the characters we have already met I may not be up for reading it.
Overall, this was a good romance suspense story. I think Brockmann is setting up this series with a new type of agency for her fans to follow, this time mixing it up with some shady characters who are not the decorated war hero types. The series has a promise of being gritty, which I hope it achieves. I enjoyed this book, but am on the fence if this could turn into a solid series where hordes of fans will want to follow.