Thursday, May 23, 2013

Book Review: Harvard's Education by Suzanne Brockmann

Harvard's Education Cover Wonderful romance, terrific action-adventure

Harvard's Education (Tall, Dark & Dangerous, Book 5) by Suzanne Brockmann

Reading Level: Adult Contemporary Romance
Release Date: October 1998
Publisher: Silhouette Intimate Moments
Pages: 249 pages
Source: Library
Reviewed By: Kate McMurry

FInCOM agent P.J. Richards is a small woman, but extremely fit, strong, intelligent, and with shooting abilities that are off the chart. She demands no special consideration as she and several other FInCOM agents team up for eight weeks with the legendary U.S. Navy SEALs for a joint exercise. P.J. is on a roll with her career, and she has no intention of being thrown off course by romance, but Senior Chief "Harvard" Becker puts every man she's ever known in the shade. He's huge, gorgeous, and as smart as she is, but he doesn't think that she, as a woman, should be on this mission. Not that he holds much respect either for the male "Finks," as the SEALs so insultingly call them, because they're careless, lazy, and out of shape. Only P.J. stands as a contradiction to the SEALs' belief that any real joint mission with FInCOM agents would be a disaster because it would drastically slow down the SEALs.

Brockmann does a wonderful job of portraying two appealing African-American characters, from opposite sides of the proverbial tracks. Harvard is the child of a privileged upbringing as the son of a college professor, and P.J. hales from a difficult upbringing in the inner city. In reaction to her mother's promiscuity, though P.J. is in her mid-20s, she is still a virgin, and the most unusual virgin heroine in a short-contemporary romance I've ever read. P.J. is anything but naive or innocent. She simply respects her body and her future and knows exactly what she wants--and does not want--from life.

The passion between these two attractive protagonists is immense, and the action in the final act of the story is riveting. P.J. and Harvard make a fantastic team, and the rescue they take on together would be captivating on the big screen.

I originally read this book when it was released 15 years ago in 1998. This book was just as exciting to read the second time around as the first, and given the world we live in today, the themes are quite timely. I read a Kindle edition which is well formatted and edited.

It's not essential to read the 11 books in Brockmann's Tall, Dark and Dangerous series in order, but it greatly adds to one's enjoyment to do so. Each book sets up the book to follow it, introducing more intimately the SEAL who will be the hero of the next book. This is the order in which this series was first released:

  1. Prince Joe, originally published June 1996
  2. Forever Blue, originally published October 1996
  3. Frisco's Kid, originally published January 1997
  4. Everyday, Average Jones, originally published August 1998
  5. Harvard's Education, originally published October 1998
  6. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, originally published December 1998
  7. The Admiral's Bride, originally published November 1999
  8. Identity: Unknown, originally published January 2000
  9. Get Lucky , originally published March 2000
  10. Taylor's Temptation, originally published July 2001
  11. Night Watch, originally published September 2003

I rate this book as follows:

Heroine: 5

Hero: 5

Romance Plot: 5

Action-Adventure Plot: 5

Writing: 5

Overall: 5

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