Author: Suzanne Brockmann
Cover Artist: N/A
Publisher: Random House
Buy link: Amazon.com
Genre: Contemporary M/M, Action/Adventure
Length: Novel/240 print pages
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Review Summary: Fast paced, lots of action, danger, and a wedding. At times I thought that there were too many characters and side trips which overshadowed the main event, the romance between Jules and Robin.
It’s Christmastime in Boston, and this year the silver bells will be wedding bells as FBI agent Jules Cassidy ties the knot with the man of his dreams, Hollywood heartthrob Robin Chadwick.
The pair plan a quiet, intimate ceremony, to be witnessed by family and close friends from the FBI, SEAL Team Sixteen, and Troubleshooters, Incorporated, including Sam Starrett and Alyssa Locke. But the holiday season brings more to the happy couple than they expect.
A waterfall coming through their kitchen ceiling, a bat colony in the attic, old family tensions . . . even an international incident can’t dampen their spirits. But add to that a parade of unexpected guests, including a reporter looking for a scoop, an ex-lover hell-bent on causing trouble, and a dangerous stalker, and suddenly the wedding is poised to unravel in chaos.
But nothing will stop Jules and Robin from getting their happy ending, because along with a guest list featuring the most elite counter-terrorism force in the world, they have their own secret weapon–true love.
This is Suzanne Brockmann’s second gay romance that I have reviewed but she actually wrote this book in 2007. Because this is part of a series, if you haven’t read the other books you might be a tad confused by the number of characters, many of whom have major roles aside from the MCs, Robin and Jules. There are two romances in All Through The Night and one is het, but I’ll come to that later.
Robin, an actor, was the most complex character in the book. He met Jules years ago when he was involved with Adam, another actor, whose most recent romance I reviewed here in When Tony Met Adam. All Through the Night was written before WTMA and I guess I should have read them in order but the author provided enough of Robin’s and Jules’ backstory so that I wasn’t completely befuddled. Robin had been deeply in the closet all his life and was also a recovering alcoholic; every day was a struggle for him and his struggle was woven throughout the story. He and Jules were so in love that they both (unknown to each other) bought engagement rings a few months after they started dating. However, very soon Jules was on his way to Afghanistan and Robin was left behind wondering if he would ever see him again, a justifiable fear as it turns out because Jules and his team were involved in a firefight.
Jules, an FBI agent, is very important to the series and has appeared in almost all of the Troubleshooters books. Fans love his character because he’s the quintessential alpha hero who also cries and they hate Adam with a passion because he used to be Jules’ lover but they broke up because Adam couldn’t keep it in his pants.
Robin was very damaged early in life by an abusive mother and a father who knowingly abandoned him to his mother. He was also a klutz and a disaster waiting to happen, and his scrapes provided a lot of comic relief throughout the book. His career and Jules were the only good things in his life. I loved him because he was very open about his emotions and he was deeply in love with Jules who adored him but was exceedingly jealous and very insecure, (traits that he couldn’t seem to control and which were at odds with his FBI persona).
Adam the bed hopper has a major role in one of the sub plots involving a deranged stalker, but no one had any sympathy for him as they thought he was either lying or using the stalker to get back at his former lovers.
The plot involved many complicated issues other than getting to the church on time and I wondered how the author would wrap up the story satisfactorily. There were so many characters and so much history between SEAL Team 16 and the FBI that it was hard to keep them straight, but what was unbelievable were the number of children and pregnant women in this short novel — I counted at least four pregnant women. WOW!
The heterosexual romance in the book is between Dolphina, Robin’s assistant, and Will an investigative reporter but there’s no on-page sex between them. Of course this romance had its own trials and tribulations starting with a lack of trust, an issue that seems to be a theme in All Through the Night, but the end was left somewhat up in the air.
If you’re looking for hot action between the sheets you won’t find it here as there was no explicit sex between Jules and Robin (which to me was refreshing), although the story started only a few weeks before their wedding, but there was lots of kissing and implied sex that Brockmann does very well.
In summary: I thought that there was too much action packed into this short novel and not enough time spent with Jules and Robin. There was a firefight in Afghanistan that lasted a few days; an investigation by the President’s Intelligence into one of Robin’s friends who had raised concerns; Adam’s stalker who proved to be a real threat; all sorts of disasters that befell the house that Adam and Robin were renovating and hoped to have completed in time for the wedding; a romance between Dolphina and Will; Adam’s last ditch efforts to sabotage the wedding; and even more sub plots.
If you’re a Troubleshooters/SEALS/FBI fan you may not love this book because of its focus on Jules and Robin as a couple and what seems to be on the surface a somewhat corny Christmas story. If you’re not familiar with the series you will have to wade through many characters from previous adventures who have a lot of history, before you get to the main event for M/M readers – the romance and wedding. It seemed at times that everyone had a POV. This is not a criticism, just a comment. What saved this book for me was the writing which was vintage Brockmann but I wish she had either left out some of the side trips or made the book longer so that the story didn’t seem rushed. Despite my concerns I still recommend All Through The Night, but if you do get it you have to pay attention because of the number of characters who made cameo appearances and the many sub plots.
In the end Jules and Robin got their HEA but they had to work very hard for it as everything seemed to be against them getting to the church on time.