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Harvard's Education
by Suzanne Brockmann
(Silh. Int. Mom. #884, $4.25, PG) ISBN 0-373-07884-6
****
Suzanne Brockmann continues to chronicle the lives of the Seals' Alpha Squad in the "Tall Dark and Dangerous" series. Fans have long awaited Harvard's story and I can happily report that it exceeds expectations.

Harvard's Education has a wide scope of appeal, treating category readers to an Afro-American romance between Harvard, an alpha male and P.J. Rogers, an overachieving female.

Harvard, nicknamed for his alma mater, is the Senior Chief of Alpha Squad. The squad is responsible for training a small anti-terrorist unit for FINCOM, a federal agency. Although this assignment is tantamount to a vacation for the Seals, they nonetheless approach it with disdain. The Seals feel that people without the full Seal training cannot be expected to acquire the expertise to deal with terrorists in just two months of training.

And to make matters worse, the FINCOM team was selected without a thought as to whether or not the members could work together as a team. The four trainees start the program with P.J. the only female.

If you saw the movie G.I. Jane, you have some appreciation for the prejudices P. J. faces as she fights the enmity of her teammates as well as the demands placed on her physical strength.

P.J. is clearly the most qualified of the group, a fact that truly annoys Harvard. He believes a woman's place is not on the front line in a combat situation. An honest man, he struggles to reconcile her role in the grand scheme of the war on terrorism with his desire to keep her safe because of his blossoming love for her.

If you are a strident feminist, a closet feminist, or one has managed to ignore the whole issue, you will still find something to love in this book. P.J., a wonderfully crafted character, has been fashioned by the background from hell. She is driven to prove herself time and again.

The many characters are all very well developed, and Harvard's Education moves briskly along with expert pacing. The growing sexual tension between Harvard and P. J. is sustained with an appealing and deft touch.

Although the Harvard's Education comes to a very predictable end, how can it matter…when it's so much fun getting there?

--Thea Davis


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