Series: Raintree

Retro Review: Raintree: Inferno by Linda Howard

Posted May 24, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 6 Comments

Retro Review: Raintree: Inferno by Linda HowardReviewer: Holly
Raintree: Inferno by Linda Howard
Series: Raintree #1
Also in this series: Raintree: Sanctuary
Published by Silhouette
Publication Date: May 1st 2007
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Fantasy
Pages: 288
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

Two hundred years after the Raintree clan defeated and abandoned them on a small Caribbean Island, the Ansara wizards are rising again to take on their bitterest foes. Despite their extraordinary powers and supernatural origin, the Raintree have largely blended into the modern world. They are bankers, cops, husbands, wives and lovers in the society of humankind.

But now, from Nevada to North Carolina, the rejoined battle will measure the endurance of their people. It will test their loyalties and relationships. And it will force upon them all new lives they could barely have imagined before.

******As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.

I think about this series every now and again. I may have to go back and re-read it at some point. Just to see if my opinion of it still stands. 

This review was originally published May 14, 2007

I’ve been hearing a lot about this book the last few weeks, most of it not so good. Jane at Dear Author and Rosie both reviewed it and neither had very good things to say about it. I’ve been a LH fangirl for years now, but her last few releases, with the exception of her Blair Mallory books have left a lot to be desired, so I wasn’t too keen on reading this before I read the bad reviews. After? Yeah, so wasn’t going to touch it.

But then last week I read Tara Marie’s review and changed my mind. You see, there are some things I find I can’t stomach in a novel, and brain rape is one of them. From what Rosie and Jane said, I was under the impression there was quite a bit of that in this novel. But Tara Marie shed a bit more light on the subject and I decided to see for myself how bad it truly was.

Side Note: Spoilers below. I don’t think I can say what I truly felt about this book without them. :End Side Note

Lorna Clay has been spending a good amount of time in Dante Raintree’s casino. Normally that wouldn’t be cause for concern – quite the opposite in fact – but she never loses. Never. She’s not winning massive amounts of money at one time, but she’s walking away with enough to make Dante and his main casino dude a bit skeptical. They can’t seem to spot how she’s cheating via video, but they’re sure she is. So they drag her upstairs to “question” her and both she and Dante seem to have a rather…electric connection to one another.

Now, Dante is a Raintree, which is a psychic type of people that have been around for hundreds of years. They have a feud going on with the Ansara clan that’s lasted for centuries, and as soon as Dante figures out that Lorna has psychic abilities, he starts to wonder if she’s Ansara.

To quote Lorna about the Raintree/Ansara situation:

“You’re the weirdo equivalent of the Hatfields and the McCoys?”

She’s not. Lorna doesn’t even realize she has powers. She just thinks she’s really lucky. While in Dante’s office, a fire breaks loose in the main part of the casino, 19 floors below them. As one of Dante’s powers is the ability to control fire, he immediately heads down to help fight it, dragging Lorna along with him.

Now, this is where Jane and Rosie seemed to start having major issues with the book. I’m just going to tell you what happened. This is still relatively early in the book (the 2nd or 3rd chapter, I think) so you probably won’t be hurting yourselves if you read this part, but beware, major spoilers below:

Dante goes down to the main part of the casino to fight the fire and he can’t. He isn’t sure why – if it’s because his powers have been depleted trying to help the guests get out, or if it’s the fire itself – but he can’t get it under control. At this point, he and Lorna are pretty much surrounded by the fire. There’s no way for them to get out alive. He’s placed a protective “bubble” around them, but it’s starting to crack and he knows they don’t have much time left. Plus, the hotel that’s attached to the casino is at full capacity and he’s afraid of how many lives will be lost if the fire spreads that far.

He knows if he had another Raintree there to connect minds with he’d be able to pool their power and contain the inferno, but there’s no one but him and Lorna. That’s when he realizes – duh – she has powers and he could use them to boost his own. That’s when he “brain rapes” her by pushing himself into her mind and combining her powers with his.

I honestly don’t see what the big deal is. When weighing a situation like that, your death along with possibly hundreds of others, or forcing yourself into the mind of another for the greater good, well…I just can’t say I blame the guy. No, it wasn’t pleasant for Lorna and yes it was a gross invasion of her privacy, but he didn’t do it to find out if she was Ansara, or to purposely cause her pain. He did it to save her life. And his. And possibly hundreds of others. No big deal.

What comes next is a bit harder to swallow. He uses a mind “compulsion” to keep her from running once the fire is under control and they’re out of the building. Basically, if he tells her “Don’t move” she’s literally stuck in one spot. Because he’s not convinced of her innocence – in either the gambling or the fire – he binds her to him and forces her to remain against her will. At one point he even orders her to silence.

I had a hard time with this. Perhaps it’s because I’m a fairly independent woman and I would hate to have all control of myself taken away. Or perhaps that has nothing to do with being independent or a woman, but simply a human being. In any case, the next chapter or so was hard for me to get through. The way Dante pretty much forced her home with him and then checked her out to see if she was Ansara left a bad taste in my mouth.

But I persisted and you know…I ended up really liking the book. Really liking it. I can’t say it’s LH’s best work, but it more closely resembled the classic LH I fell in love with than anything else she’s produced in recent years.

Lorna was a fabulous heroine. She suffered numerous shocks in a short period of time, but rather than bowing under them, she kept her chin up and her sense of humor. She was sassy and sarcastic, and though I thought she forgave Dante a little too soon for his mind control of her, her reasons for doing so made a lot of sense.

As for Dante, he was a typical Howard Alpha and I thought he was great for what he was. For those of you who enjoyed some of her earlier category type books and works like Dream Man, you should enjoy him.

The ending was a major cliffhanger, but the relationship aspect of the story was all wrapped up. Since this is the first of a trilogy, I wasn’t too upset with the ending. I am annoyed that I have to wait for the next 2 installments, but otherwise? I highly enjoyed it. Well, once I got over being pissed at Dante, that is.

I’m giving this a 3.5 out of 5.

I’m not sure how I feel about the whole 3 author trilogy, though. Having never read the other 2 authors, I can’t say for sure how excited I am to read them. On the other hand, I am anxious to see what happens next, so I’m sure I’ll purchase them.

The series is as follows:

Raintree: Inferno by Linda Howard
Raintree: Haunted by Linda Winstead Jones (to be released June 1, 2007)
Raintree: Sanctuary by Beverly Barton (to be released July 1, 2007)

This book is available from Silhouette Nocturne. You can purchase it here.

three-half-stars


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Review: Raintree: Sanctuary by Beverly Barton

Posted July 7, 2007 by Holly in Reviews | 9 Comments

Review: Raintree: Sanctuary by Beverly BartonReviewer: Holly
Raintree: Sanctuary by Beverly Barton
Series: Raintree #3
Also in this series: Raintree: Inferno
Published by Silhouette
Publication Date: July 1st 2007
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Fantasy
Pages: 288
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars

War with their archrival, the evil Ansara clan, is unavoidable. For Mercy Raintree, a war means she must assume her position as guardian of the Sanctuary—the sacred Raintree home place deep in the Smoky Mountains. But doing so threatens to disclose her most prized secret—one Mercy has kept to herself for six years.

As the solstice looms and the battle heats up, Dranir Judah Ansara gathers his forces, intending to wipe every Raintree from the face of the land. Including Mercy, whom he's claimed as his to kill. Then he comes face-to-face with her—and with her daughter, Eve. Will Mercy's closely guarded secret change not only the outcome of the battle—but also Judah's own bitter heart?

This is the third and final chapter of the three author Raintree Trilogy and my first ever read by Beverly Barton. I’d say she did a fairly credible job of wrapping the series up.

I tried writing a summary of this book, but it just came out jumbled and confused sounding, so I’m going to take the lazy way out and link Casee’s review of it instead. Go check out her summary and then come back and read my thoughts. 🙂 (Thanks Casee!)

Alright, here we go:

The action was good. I really enjoyed the final battle between the Ansara and the Raintree, and learning more about the Ansara, whom were were led to believe were evil from the previous two books, was enlightening.

I thought the characters were interesting, but I found some of their actions to be highly annoying. Judah has vowed to kill Mercy. Even after he finds out they have a daughter together, he still plans to kill her when the time is right. He especially wants her dead so he can take his daughter home with him. While I understood his reasons – and Mercy’s for wanting to kill him – I think Barton took it a bit too far. I would say at least once a page (when we were reading from Judah’s POV) it was mentioned he was going to kill her.

It was the same for Mercy. She loved him, she hated him. She wanted him, she vowed to kill him. As a mother, I can understand her need to protect her daughter, no matter what the cost. But she waffled back and forth so much I wanted to scream!

I also had a major issue with a certain scene in the book. I think I’m going to go ahead and spoil it, so beware.

Spoilers Ahead

View Spoiler »

Eve was an interesting character. She acted extremely grown up for a six year old, which I know bothered Casee. But since my own child is extremely bright (I’m not just saying that, I swear) I didn’t think Eve’s behavior was odd. Especially since she was very powerful and seemed to have talents no other Raintree or Ansara possessed. As the story progressed and we found out more about her and what her role would be with both clans, I found myself on the fence about her, however. We’re told she was born to save her Father’s people, which seemed like a rather large responsibility for a child to have to carry. I don’t think Mercy or Judah spent enough time worrying about the toll it would take on Eve. As a mother that would have been my first concern, but it wasn’t ever mentioned. I found that rather frustrating.

I was also highly annoyed with Lorna and Hope, the heroines from the previous two novels. Towards the end of this book, Lorna decides to chase after Dante (who left her rather abruptly at the end of Inferno). I can understand this to a point. Lorna was rather powerful herself, even if she hadn’t learned to harness or control her powers yet. And the way Dante left would leave me, if I were in Lorna’s position, ready to chase after him as well.

Anyway, she takes Dante’s address book and calls Gideon (the hero from the second novel, which I never reviewed). Only he isn’t home and a woman answers for him. Lorna has no knowledge of who this woman is, but without asking any questions tells her “I’m coming to get you. We have to help our men. I’ll be there in 6 hours.” Hope says, “Ok, I’ll be waiting” and that was that.

This bothers me on several levels. One, Lorna knew secrecy was a major thing for the Raintree in general and Dante and Gideon in particular. A strange woman answers the phone and you go, “Hey. Wanna go save my man with me?” I don’t think so. But whatever, that’s not even the part that bothered me the most. What really irked me was that Gideon begged Hope to stay home, because he needed all his energy focused on the coming battle and didn’t want to have to worry about her. She’s completely mortal with no powers at all, so it made perfect sense. But in true TSTL fashion, she rushed after him, certain she could “save” him. WTF? Who does that?!?! Ugh. Then, naturally, she almost gets him killed, because she rushes right into the middle of a battle. See, shit like that pisses me off.

Deep breath Moving on now…

Despite my issues with it (and now that I’ve typed this out I see they were numerous) I still enjoyed it. My moments of annoyance were brief (with the exception of that part I spoiled..I’m still salty over that) and I was able to get past them. I think Barton wrapped the trilogy up nicely and really tied up all the loose ends left by LH and LWJ.

I would recommend the trilogy, but don’t go into it thinking this is going to be AMAZING, because IMO, it wasn’t. But it was good.

3 out of 5

The series is at follows:

Raintree: Inferno by Linda Howard
Raintree: Haunted by Linda Winstead Jones
Raintree: Sanctuary by Beverly Barton

three-stars


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