Publisher: William Morrow

Guest Review: The Woman Left Behind by Linda Howard

Posted March 5, 2018 by Tracy in Reviews | 5 Comments

Guest Review: The Woman Left Behind by Linda HowardReviewer: Tracy
The Woman Left Behind by Linda Howard
Published by William Morrow
Publication Date: March 6th 2018
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 400
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Levi Butcher is singularly devoted to his work. As team leader for the GO-Team, his unwavering focus is on the mission. Levi knows all too well that one minor distraction can hold deadly consequences. But with the soothing, sensual voice of "Babe," the team’s communication expert, constantly in his ear, keeping his concentration on the dangerous work at hand is becoming extremely difficult.

Jina Modell definitely doesn’t feel like a "Babe," especially when she’s working with the gruff, no-nonsense Levi. When the base where she’s stationed is attacked, Jina manages to escape but the rest of the team, working some distance away, is exfiltrated, thinking Jina died in the explosion—leaving her stranded. To survive, she’s got to figure out how to get back to safety before she’s discovered by the enemy.

Levi would never willingly leave a soldier behind, especially a brave woman whose sweet voice haunts his every thought. Once he discovers Jina is alive, the tenacious warrior will walk into fire to save this intriguing woman who has captured his heart.

Jina is a tech geek.  She loves her job working in communications in a climate-controlled environment.  She makes good money and likes what she does.  When she finds out she’s being reassigned to a GO-team she’s not thrilled, to say the least.  The first day she heads out to the training ground and instead of training with the other 9 re-assignees her GO-team takes over.  They figure that A) they need to make sure that she’s trained properly and B) she’s the only woman so it’s a special case.  Jina has both a younger and an older brother and was always in competition with them.  Quitting is not an option, but she doesn’t have to do it quietly.  She mouths off and cusses them constantly, much to the amusement of the team.

Ace is the team leader and he does not want some tech geek to get in the way of his team’s success.  From day one he’s not thrilled about Jina and he wants nothing more than for her to quit.  Not because he thinks a woman can’t hack it but because as long as Jina is on his team he can’t make a move on her and he desperately wants to make a move on her.

Jina does an amazing job and she’s soon out on missions with her team.  One mission to Syria, however, goes FUBAR and the team thinks her dead.  While Jina loves her tech she doesn’t love being in the desert by herself, trying to catch up to her team and is determined to make it out, no matter what it takes.

I’d love to say that I’ve read all of Howard’s books but that’s not true at all.  Of her many books this is only my 6th read of Howard’s.

This was a really good book, imho. I was completely intrigued by the premise after reading the blurb and once I started reading I didn’t want to put the book down.  The characters, the situations and little bit of romance were the thing that kept me going.

Jina is a character, let me tell you.  I absolutely loved her spirit.  I know that it was a competitive thing that kept her going and refusing to quit but I loved that she never gave up.  Her verbal lashings of the team were hilarious and perfect for the situation.  I understood her desire to be a part of the team and she did that by being herself.  She had a love/hate relationship with Ace.  He was constantly hot and cold with her and I wasn’t surprised she found it confusing.

Ace wasn’t a bad guy.  He had such mixed feelings about Jina being on the team.  He wanted her for himself so he wanted her to quit the team.  Despite that he was impressed by her determination to do her best and be her best.  When their mission goes FUBAR and she’s left behind I couldn’t blame him.  He did what any other team leader would have done.  In the end Jina recognized that and I was happy when she got past it all.

The book was a good one and I really liked it.  I’m not a die-hard Howard fan so I’m not comparing this to earlier works or writing.  It is what it is and I enjoyed it, I think you will too.

Rating: 4 out of 5


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Sunday Spotlight: The Woman Left Behind by Linda Howard

Posted March 4, 2018 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 5 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

Linda Howard is a long-time favorite author. The blurb for this one has me really excited.

Sunday Spotlight: The Woman Left Behind by Linda HowardThe Woman Left Behind by Linda Howard
Published by William Morrow
Publication Date: March 6th 2018
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 368
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Jina Modell works in Communications for a paramilitary organization, and she really likes it. She likes the money, she likes the coolness factor—and it was very cool, even for Washington, DC. She liked being able to kick terrorist butts without ever leaving the climate-controlled comfort of the control room.

But when Jina displays a really high aptitude for spatial awareness and action, she’s reassigned to work as an on-site drone operator in the field with one of the GO-teams, an elite paramilitary unit. The only problem is she isn’t particularly athletic, to put it mildly, and in order to be fit for the field, she has to learn how to run and swim for miles, jump out of a plane, shoot a gun...or else be out of a job.

Team leader Levi, call sign Ace, doesn’t have much confidence in Jina—who he dubbed Babe as soon as he heard her raspy, sexy voice—making it through the rigors of training. The last thing he needs is some tech geek holding them back from completing a dangerous, covert operation. In the following months, however, no one is more surprised than he when Babe, who hates to sweat, begins to thrive in her new environment, displaying a grit and courage that wins her the admiration of her hardened, battle-worn teammates. What’s even more surprising is that the usually very disciplined GO-team leader can’t stop thinking about kissing her smart, stubborn mouth…or the building chemistry and tension between them.

Meanwhile, a powerful Congresswoman is working behind the scenes to destroy the GO-teams, and a trap is set to ambush Levi’s squad in Syria. While the rest of the operatives set off on their mission, Jina remains at the base to control the surveillance drone, when the base is suddenly attacked with explosives. Thought dead by her comrades, Jina escapes to the desert where, brutally tested beyond measure, she has to figure out how to stay undetected by the enemy and make it to her crew in time before they’re exfiltrated out of the country.

But Levi never leaves a soldier behind, especially the brave woman he’s fallen for. He’s bringing back the woman they left behind, dead or alive.

Order the Book:



She was the most stubborn little shit he’d ever seen, Levi thought dispassionately as he silently watched her almost fall out of his truck, then limp over to her car. He had to fight for the dispassion, which irritated him to hell and back. Everything about this situation irritated him to hell and back.

If it worked, Mac’s idea was a damn good one—if it worked. Taking raw amateurs and training them to the point where they wouldn’t be a liability was a tall order but not an impossible one. Taking a raw amateur woman who obviously didn’t want to be there and bringing her up to snuff verged on the damn near impossible, so of course Mac had given her to him.

He and the guys had talked it over last night, decided then that if they were going to be saddled with her, they needed to be the ones overseeing her training and the sooner the better, and he’d cleared it with Mac. Then they’d watched her for a while, before approaching, to get an idea of what they were dealing with. Some guy had shoved her, causing her to lose ground in the run, but she’d caught up with him and tripped him. “Good,” Boom had grunted. “Saves me from kicking his ass at the end of the day.”

Levi grunted in return. He wouldn’t have kicked the guy’s ass, but he was glad she’d taken up for herself. The team couldn’t function if they had to deal with a crybaby. But Boom was married and had a couple of kids, the youngest a three-year-old little girl. As the father of a daughter he’d since gone bat-shit crazy, swearing he was going to lock her in a convent when she was six, and he’d geld any dick swinger who got anywhere near her.

“We can’t protect her,” Levi said evenly. “She has to pull her own weight, or this won’t work.”

“I know, damn it, but—”

“No buts. No taking up for her. We have to see what she’s made of.”

And they had. What she was made of was bullheaded stubbornness, mixed with cussedness and a total inability to keep her mouth shut. She’d glared at them, cursed all their villages, called down the ten plagues of Egypt on them—and tried her damnedest to do everything they’d told her to do. She’d gone splat more times than he could count, eaten dirt, plowed headfirst into a mud puddle, blistered her hands and probably her feet, and not once had she asked for help.

Several times today he’d had to stop himself from catching her when he saw she was going to fall, even if “catching her” would have meant grabbing her by the ponytail. Instead he’d let her splat, hoping she’d say, “I quit,” but she never had. She’d muttered, she’d cussed both under and over her breath, she’d called them sadists and told them numerous times how much she hated them all, but each and every time she’d gotten to her feet and kept at it.

How in hell was she still moving? She wasn’t anywhere near being in shape. But she’d set her jaw in an obstinate look he and his guys had quickly become familiar with and kept on plugging. Jelly had made a comment about maybe trying his luck with her, and Levi had had to shut him down fast.

“You don’t fuck with teammates,” he’d said flatly. “That’s the best way I know of to mess up the team. She’s off-limits to all of us. If you’re thinking about her that way, shut it down now.”

Too damn bad he had to include himself in that order. But he, more than any of the others, had to stick to that rule. Doing anything else would tear the team apart and considering their lives all depended on teamwork, he’d do what he had to do.

All the single guys had looked disappointed, except for Voodoo, who hadn’t warmed to her at all, but he was such a surly bastard he didn’t like himself most of the time so he didn’t count.

Levi felt surly about the situation himself, above and beyond having an amateur inserted into their tight-knit group. All of the GO-Teams were tight-knit; they had to be, to get the job done and survive. It was too damn bad she appealed to him, not so much in how she looked—though she was pretty enough, not flashy except for maybe her eyes, which were really blue but with a yellow ring around the pupil. She had boobs and a butt, but not much of them. She had a lot of dark brown hair, shiny like a little kid’s until she got coated in dust. What appealed to him most was that attitude and mouthiness, when common sense should have told her to button her lip. She hadn’t, and he liked that.

Didn’t matter. She was off-limits. He’d cut her no more slack than he did the others, and if she couldn’t do the job . . . well, then, that changed the rules of the game.

He knew where she’d left her car because the bus always picked up the newbies at the same place. He gave a quick grin at how she’d fallen for that bullshit about putting a GPS on her car; sooner or later she’d find out he’d lied, and the team would get a kick out of listening to her bitch at him. He had a thick skin; he could take it. In fact, he looked forward to it.

Giveaway Alert

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Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About the Author

Linda Howard


Linda Howard is the award-winning author of many New York Times bestsellers, including Up Close and Dangerous, Drop Dead Gorgeous, Cover of Night, Killing Time, To Die For, Kiss Me While I Sleep, Cry No More, and Dying to Please. She lives in Alabama with her husband and two golden retrievers.

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Review: The Boy is Back by Meg Cabot

Posted October 18, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Boy is Back by Meg CabotReviewer: Rowena
The Boy is Back by Meg Cabot
Series: Boys Series #4
Also in this series: The Boy Next Door (Boys #1), Boy Meets Girl (Boys #2)
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication Date: October 18th 2016
Pages: 400
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

From New York Times bestselling author Meg Cabot comes the sweetly humorous story of a man who has to face his past in order to find his future.

Sometimes to move forward, you have to go back…

One post. That’s all it took to destroy the care free, glamorous life of pro golfer Reed Stewart. One tiny post on the Internet.

Then again, it’s not like Reed’s been winning many tournaments lately, and his uncle isn’t the only one who says it’s because of the unfinished business he left behind back home in Bloomville, Indiana—namely Reed’s father, the Honorable Judge Richard P. Stewart, and the only girl Reed ever loved, Becky Flowers.

But Reed hasn’t spoken to either his father or Becky in over a decade.
Until that post on the Internet. Suddenly, Reed’s family has become a national laughingstock, his publicist won’t stop calling, his siblings are begging for help, and Reed realizes he has no other choice: He’s got to go home to face his past . . . the Judge and the girl he left behind.

Becky’s worked hard to build her successful senior relocation business, but she’s worked even harder to forget Reed Stewart ever existed—which hasn’t been easy, considering he’s their hometown’s golden boy, and all anyone ever talks about. It was fine while they were thousands of miles apart, but now he’s back in Bloomville. She has absolutely no intention of seeing him—until his family hires her to help save his parents.

Now Reed and Becky can’t avoid one another…or the memories of that one fateful night.

Can the quirky residents of Bloomville bring these two young people back together, or will Reed and Becky continue to allow their pasts to deny them the future they deserve?

This warm, thought-provoking book, told entirely in texts, emails, and journal entries, is as much about the enduring bond of families as it is about second chances at love, and will delight as much as it entertains.

Meg Cabot is back with another book for her Boys series. This series is unique because the entire story is told through text messages, IM’s, newspaper articles and that kind of stuff.

This story follows Becky Flowers and Reed Stewart as they find their ways back to each other after ten years of being apart. Becky and Reed were high school sweethearts who were madly in love with each other until prom night when they got drunk and drove Reed’s fathers golf cart into the pond and Reed skipped town, leaving Becky behind without a goodbye or a fare-thee-well. Becky was left heartbroken but it’s ten years later and she is so over all of that, and over him too…right?

Reed goes on to become a wealthy professional golfer and hasn’t stepped foot in his hometown of Bloomville in ten years. The only people that he keeps in contact with from Bloomville are his siblings and their spouses. He hasn’t seen or heard from Beckly Flowers since he left her behind on prom night and while he’s sorry about it, there’s not much he can do to fix things now. Reed blows back into town when his parents go off the deep end and he’s needed to help fix their lives. He wasn’t expecting to see Becky at all but when her business ends up being the perfect way to help his parents (she owns a senior moving company where they relocate seniors to nursing homes, etc…).

Becky isn’t one to turn away business so of course she signs on to help the senior Stewarts relocate, even if it means spending time with the son that broke her heart and never gave an explanation for why he left her behind. Reading along as these two reconnected and then reunited with one another was a lot of fun. Between the shenanigans between Reed and his siblings and then Becky and her Mom, sister and best friend, I laughed my way through this book. This book has Cabot’s signature humor and the romance really worked for me. I loved Reed, loved Becky and everyone else except Reed’s sister. I hated her. Ha!

This was a fun treat and was perfect for a light weekend read. I definitely recommend to fans of Meg Cabot’s adult books and fans of contemporary romances. Good stuff!

Grade: 4 out of 5


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Review: Bedmates by Nichole Chase

Posted October 5, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Bedmates by Nichole ChaseReviewer: Rowena
Bedmates by Nichole Chase
Series: American Royalty #1
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication Date: October 4th 2016
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

From the bestselling author of Suddenly Royal comes the first in a sparkling new series about America’s favorite royal—the First Daughter.

Everyone makes mistakes, especially in college. But when you’re the daughter of the President of the United States, any little slip up is a huge embarrassment. Maddie McGuire’s latest error in judgment lands her in police custody, giving the press a field day. Agreeing to do community service as penance and to restore her tattered reputation, Maddie never dreams incredibly good looking but extremely annoying vice president’s son, Jake Simmon, will be along for the ride.

Recently returning from Afghanistan with a life-altering injury, Jake is wrestling with his own demons. He doesn’t have the time or patience to deal with the likes of Maddie. They’re like oil and water and every time they’re together, it’s combustible. But there’s a thin line between love and hate, and it’s not long before their fiery arguments give way to infinitely sexier encounters.

When Jake receives devastating news about the last remaining member of his unit, the darkness he’s resisted for so long begins to overwhelm him. Scared to let anyone close, he pushes Maddie away. But she isn’t about to give up on Jake that easily. Maddie’s fallen for him, and she’ll do anything to keep him from the edge as they both discover that love is a battlefield and there are some fights you just can’t lose.

Bedmates is the first book in the American Royalty series by Nichole Chase and it’s also the first book by this author that I’ve read. I didn’t really know what to expect when going in and while I enjoyed the book as a whole, I didn’t absolutely love it.

Maddie McGuire is a do gooder, who just got thrown in jail because she broke into a testing facility to set some puppies free and if she was like her friend Phoebe, she would have gotten into some trouble and it would have blown over and her parents would have gotten over it but she’s not Phoebe. No. She’s the daughter of the President of the United States and shit like this won’t ever get swept under the rug. It’ll be splattered all over magazines and newspapers. The whole story will be blown out of proportion and Maddie will be painted like a horrible villain in those superhero movies. So Maddie’s Dad decides she needs to use her time wisely and helping the VP’s son with a good cause is a good place to start.

Jake Simmon has returned from the war in Afghanistan, injured and has taken up a cause that near and dear to his heart. He’s doing a Habitat for Humanity type of deal for military veterans who don’t have a place to call home after coming home to overwhelming medical bills and everything else. He’s doing his part to help his fellow brothers out and it’s a great thing to be a part of. Maddie McGuire is someone he’s never gotten along with and having to deal with her every day is something he has absolutely no time for but he’ll accept the help she’s offering because they need it. He can avoid her since the job site is big enough for the two of them right?


Jake and Maddie get a lot closer than either of them were expecting. They start off not liking each other but realize that they’re both different people now and they both like the change in the other. I really enjoyed their romance, the build up to getting together. I liked seeing them get to know each other all over again but when things got rough, they frustrated the heck out of me. Maddie and the stuff she refused to talk about with Jake regarding his own freaking Mom. Jake and the way that he handled the stuff that happened with Cyrus. I was even low key annoyed with Jake in the beginning when he hooked up with Ronnie because…eww. I got over it but I was disappointed.

Overall, the book was good. I enjoyed seeing both Jake and Maddie grow individually and then together but it wasn’t all smooth going for me. That could have been interesting but mostly they frustrated me. In the end, I was glad for both of them and I was intrigued about where this series is going to go. Will Jake’s sister get her story told next? I feel like Arizona and Bran are too young for their stories so it has to be the middle sister, right? I’m definitely interested in reading whoever comes next.

Grade: 3 out of 5

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Review: Troublemaker by Linda Howard

Posted August 16, 2016 by Holly in Reviews | 6 Comments

Review: Troublemaker by Linda HowardReviewer: Holly
Troublemaker by Linda Howard
Published by William Morrow
Publication Date: May 10th 2016
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 400
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

A thrilling, fast-paced novel of romantic suspense from sensational New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Linda Howard.
For Morgan Yancy, an operative and team leader in a paramilitary group, nothing comes before his job. But when he’s ambushed and almost killed, his supervisor is determined to find out who’s after the members of his elite squad—and why. Due to worries that this unknown enemy will strike again, Morgan is sent to a remote location and told to lay low and stay vigilant. But between a tempting housemate he’s determined to protect and a deadly threat waiting in the shadows, keeping under the radar is proving to be his most dangerous mission yet.
The part-time police chief of a small West Virginian mountain town, Isabeau “Bo” Maran finally has her life figured out. She’s got friends, a dog, and a little money in the bank. Then Morgan Yancy shows up on her doorstep. Bo doesn’t need a mysterious man in her life—especially a troublemaker as enticing and secretive as Morgan.
The harder they fight the intense heat between them, the closer Morgan and Bo become, even though she knows he’s hiding from something. But discovering the truth could cost Bo more than she’s willing to give. And when Morgan’s cover is blown, it might just cost her life.

Linda Howard was an auto-buy author for years, but I stopped picking her books up around the time Shadow Woman was released. While the technical aspects of her writing were the same, the spark was missing. I’m happy to report the spark has returned with this book.
I started Troublemaker with caution. The beginning was a bit slow, but by the halfway mark I was fully invested in the characters and romance.
Morgan Yancy is the leader of a paramilitary group that doesn’t spend a lot of time at home. He decides to enjoy his rare time home by relaxing and going fishing. He didn’t expect to get shot and nearly killed on his way home. Since he has no idea who is after him, or why, his boss decides to send Morgan to a place no one will look for him..the boss’s estranged, ex-step-sister’s house.
Bo Marin hasn’t heard from her former step-brother in years, and she’s just fine with that. When a birthday card from him shows up she’s suspicious, and those suspicions are founded when a wounded and half-dead man turns up, asking for sanctuary. Even though it goes against all her instincts, she can’t kick him out. Especially when her ex-brother offers her the one thing she can’t say no to..enough money to finally get her out of debt.
Morgan is surprised by Bo at every turn. She isn’t a chatty-Cathy. She doesn’t expect him to pay attention to her, nor does she court attention from anyone else. Aside from her questionable relationship with her dog, she actually might be the perfect woman. Well, aside from the fact that she’s totally closed off and hands him nothing but attitude…but he kind of likes that.  Bo has no intention of getting close to her unwanted house guest, but she can’t deny his intensity is compelling. And he’s pretty hot. When Morgan’s trouble follows him, Bo will have to decide if he’s worth fighting for.
I saw a lot of the Howard of old here. Quirky humor, scorching chemistry and just enough rivalry between the hero and heroine to keep things interesting. The dog, especially, provided a lot of humor. One thing Howard has always excelled at is adding just enough monotonous daily life details to make the story come to life. Example: washing dishes or cooking dinner…there isn’t enough focus on it to make the story boring, but the inclusion of these details adds a little life to the story.
The first 1/4 or so of the story felt slow to me, and I struggled to focus on what was happening. I also struggled with Bo’s position as Sheriff. A lot of emphasis was placed on the fact that it was an “administrative” position only.  While I understand that is an option for some departments, I’m surprised she wasn’t at the very least sent to the academy so she could fill in during an emergency. Especially in a small town. Her lack of training took away from her character a bit; made her seem less, somehow.  The suspense plot wasn’t very intriguing or mysterious. It was easy to figure out who the bad guys were, and the why behind their actions wasn’t enough to make that bit of the story interesting.
Still, I can’t deny I enjoyed the banter and every day living arrangements between Bo and Morgan. This was worth reading for their romance. While I wouldn’t recommend this as a romantic suspense, lots of chemistry, witty banter and a sweet slide into love make this a fun read.
3.5 out of 5

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