Suzanne Brockmann’s All Through the Night is the sequel to Force of Nature, and a bit of a departure, for three reasons. First, it’s a wedding book, and almost all prior weddings in the series have taken place off stage. Second, the plot contains much less emphasis on suspense. And third, two men are getting married.
In other words, Jules and Robin have moved to Massachusetts for work reasons and, at the start of the book, decide to get married. The run-up to the wedding includes the home renovations from hell, a deceitful newspaper reporter, a nuisance-making ex, and a crazy stalker. The focus of the book is, however, squarely on Jules and Robin’s relationship: the stalker is part of less than half the book, and the secondary romance thread is underwritten to the point of being unconvincing. (For those who’ve read “Winterfair Gifts,” Lois McMaster Bujold’s wedding novella that I appear never to have booklogged, it’s basically the inverse of that.) Fortunately, there’s still plenty of development of Jules and Robin’s relationship to fill the book; though marked as a “holiday novella,” it’s a satisfying read at 300 pages (84,000 words).
Oddly, then, this may not be a bad book to start reading the series, as it’s shorter, more focused, and less dependent on backstory than many in the series. It would also give the new reader an idea whether they don’t mind Brockmann’s political commentary, which is on full display here. (She is donating all income from this book to Mass Equality.) I enjoyed it a lot, for all that the external plots are rather thin, and am happy to leave the series here for a while.