All Through the Night: A Troubleshooter Christmas - Suzanne Brockmann
This book gave me what I've wanted for so long: an adult M/M with no sex. It wasn't about all the sex these men have or want to have. It was about how much they love each other and the importance of getting to cement that love and commitment through marriage. Now, of course, my evil, cynical brain can't help but wonder if the lack of sex was because Ballantine only gave Brockmann so much latitude with this book. Big Six publishers aren't really known for their support of LGBT romance. I truly hope this was an authorial choice on Brockmann's part and not an "Ew, yucky, gay sex!" edict from the publisher because I did love the fabulous balance of their relationship in this book. To really feel that they loved each other and not just having sex with each other. They gave me so many heart flutters and smiles. Happy sigh.With one or two exceptions I loved all the characters in this book. The dialogue, especially between Robin an Jules, was fun and funny. The friends that surrounded them were great, often sweet, with fantastic camaraderie and such abundant love and support for each other. Jules and Sam's nicknames for each other killed me. I loved it. What's terribly embarrassing is that it took me 209 pages to realize why Sam gave Robin the nickname he did. Epic facepalm. Although it took Robin longer, which was hilarious.There was a lot of plot in this book even though it manages to be shorter than the other books in the series. There's a crisis in Afghanistan, an asshole journalist, an interfering ex-boyfriend, a stalker with a gun, homophobic father, a security risk friend, a burgeoning "love" between the asshole journalist and personal assistant, and more! Technically, it was too much. But I (mostly) really enjoyed reading everything so I didn't have too much of a problem with it.Where I did have a big problem was all the POV jumping. This was supposed to be Robin and Jules's story but we spent so much time in other characters' heads. I was particularly annoyed with how much we were in Will Schroeder's POV, the jackass journalist. (God, I hate journalists. Every time.) I didn't mind Dolphina (or any of the other characters) as much, but overall, I just wanted to be back with Robin or Jules. There were some scenes where they would leave and I wanted to follow them and read what they were saying to each other rather than stay with whoever we were following at the time. There were other scenes where Robin or Jules was there the entire time yet we weren't in either POV. Why? I wanted to know what they were thinking or feeling. Are the other books in the series like this, or was it just them?I'll see, because I'm going to read the series from the beginning. While this isn't really a standalone book, I didn't feel too lost reading it, just that I was missing out on other great stories/characters and the whole big picture. So I'll have a better handle on my feelings the second time I come to this book. This is the first Suzanne Brockmann I've read so I don't have the background to know whether or not things I've questioned are really an issue. Still, I love that Brockmann dedicated a book in her series to a non-standard couple. I'm having very big issues with romance authors creating minority characters as a superficial show of diversity and then bending over backward to create standard characters to continue the series. So everything else aside, she gets major points for not playing it that way (clearly this isn't the only book where she does this. That makes me happy). Even with my slight cynicism and all the head hopping, I really liked this book. I enjoyed reading it a great deal and highly recommend it to everyone, especially M/M readers.