BTVS AND ATS FANS! HEADS UP!
Let me tell you about the best book series that you probably aren't reading.
The Troubleshooters Series by Suzanne Brockmann.
Now I know what you might be thinking. Romance? Kelly, ew. Trust me, gentle reader, I was once like you. I thought all romance was of the bodice ripping adventure between noble girl and stable boy variety. But then I discovered that a lot of fiction, good fiction, written by women was just being shelved and sold under romance for no other reason than they were female friendly and written by women. The same plots of "romance" books could be found in the likes of Tom Clancy or James Ellroy but because there are female heroines who have amazing satisfying sex in just a small portion of the plot, it's tossed into romance. (See also Sandra Brown who gets put in romance though she needs to be in mystery!)
This isn't a place to rant though. This is the place for me to tell you why I fell in love with these books. I could go on and on (and I will if asked) but I give you three reasons. First, I love military intrigue books and this series has it in spades. Books 1-6 deal with Navy SEAL Team Sixteen and their adventures both on American soil and around the world. Books 7-16 follow the members who have left the team to form their own organization that deals with the problems the government doesn't want to or cannot take on as well as dealing with civilian clients. There is a lot of commentary on geopolitical situations but it is all very very subtle.
Second, the books represent a range of people as MAIN characters. You have people who are older, people of varying ethnicities, body types, sexualities. You have those with disabilities and mental illness. Yet each of these people are fully formed characters with flaws, desires, and drives. They are all capable in what they do and none of them fall into stereotypes. (Brockmann has a gay son and one of the books deals solely with an FBI agent, who just happens to be gay.)
Third, Brockmann is such a huge fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel that not only did she once win an auction for a private dinner with Joss Whedon but she puts all kinds of BTVS/ATS references into her texts. There are characters who bear a striking resemblance to Buffy, Xander, Willow, Angel, and Cordelia. (And all the women get their chance to kick some serious ass in Brockmann's books. There are no helpless heroines here!)
Uploaded are the first sixteen books of the series in PDF format. However, if you like them, I suggest going out and buying them. I know it was the best decision I ever made. (And a huge thanks to samsom who told me to get over my fear of romance and read them. They have made my life so much better!)
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