This is the first novel in the Matt Rommel Adventure series, though each can be read independently of the other. The hero of the series is Matt Rommel: a retired Marine and former corrections officer who had hoped to put his turbulent past behind him, working as a volunteer at a local art museum. But when he meets potential love interest Carolyn and her young daughter, Aubrey, and when he realizes how much is wrong with her life, his instincts to protect kick in and he is back into another adventure, solving a mystery. As it becomes clearer that Carolyn’s life is in danger, Matt is pulled further into the role of protector and surrogate father and detective.
This book is an exciting and intriguing mystery, with a Marine Corps background that will appeal to fans of the military genre as well as veterans. But it is also a character study of Rommel himself and it is Rommel who is the heart and soul of this novel. Quirky, gruff, protective of those he loves and also of exposing his own feelings, he is a fascinating character who becomes more and more intriguing as the story unfolds. His past is somewhat mysterious, and there are allusions to an incident in combat that led to his retirement from the military. He appears to have a great deal of money, though its source is mysterious, yet he chooses to live in a single room and spend his evenings in a seedy bar. “Brand Loyalty” is filled with quirky characters who never quite reveal all about themselves, and Matt Rommel is chief among them. He is funny, wry, smart, and a character who can easily carry an entire book or, indeed, a series of books. Fans of mystery, action, thrillers and most of all fans of well-written, multi-faceted character studies will enjoy this book.
About the Author
F.M. Kahren is the author of two Matt Rommel Adventure novels, Brand Loyalty and Beyond the Law. A graduate of UC Berkeley with a degree in English, Dr. Kahren also has a masters and doctorate in business administration from the University of North Dakota and Golden Gate University respectively. He has published a number of technical articles for industry journals and is the author of Strategic Planning: The Practices of PCS Companies and the Academic Literature. In addition to serving as a Minuteman missile crew commander and missile operations staff officer, Dr. Kahren has worked extensively in the telecommunications and rail transportation industries. The latter experience allowed him to perform a number of studies in Latin America regarding privatized rail concessions for prospective concessionaires. As he sums it up: “I’ve had some interesting jobs, been fortunate in my friends and family, and managed to educate myself. I’ve traveled the miles and read the books. Now, I want to bring interesting stories to people and entertain them. The Matt Rommel adventures are just such stories. On the lighter side, he was awarded a “Dishonorable Mention” for Vile Puns in the 2007 Bulwer-Lytton contest, a venue in which the purple prose is deliberate. He lives with his family in Northern California.
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