Tag: Linda Howard

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: 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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Sunday Spotlight: Heart of Fire by Linda Howard

Posted January 29, 2017 by Rowena in Features | 9 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

Rowena: This week’s Sunday Spotlight is on a book that is near and dear to our hearts. A book that Holly and I have spent plenty of hours in our early twenties fighting over. When I say fight, I mean we fought over the hero, Ben Lewis. We fought over him so much that he was deemed off limits and Heart of Fire was both of ours. Yeah, we were weird. Ha!

So if it’s any indication, we love the hell out of this book and out of the hero. Heart of Fire by Linda Howard is a book that I did not have any interest in reading until Holly forced me to read it. This book is all that and a bag of chips guys and we’re going to spend the entire time writing this post, showing you why.

Holly: I remember the first time I read this book. I was hooked from page one. On the edge of my seat waiting to see what would happen as Jillian and Ben trekked through the Amazon, with her fighting her attraction and him determined to win her over. Ben’s snark and Jillian’s wit made for some of the best banter I’ve ever read. I absolutely adore Ben. He’s brash and apologetically male. I honestly don’t know how much I would have loved him if it weren’t for Jillian. She absolutely makes the book for me. He almost crosses the line a couple times, but he never did because Jillian either put him in his place or was so unimpressed he was knocked down a peg or two. If you haven’t already, you need to read this book. Really. Do it. You won’t be sorry.

Heart of Fire by Linda Howard
Series: N/A
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: October 1, 1997
Publisher: Pocket Books

A fabulous lost Amazon city once inhabited by women warriors and containing a rare red diamond: it sounded like myth, but archeologist Jillian Sherwood believed it was real, and she was willing to put up with anything to find it — even Ben Lewis. Ruffian, knock-about, and number one river guide in Brazil, Ben was all man — over six feet of rock-hard muscles that rippled under his khakis, with lazy blue eyes that taunted her from his tanned face. Jillian watched him come to a fast boil when she refused to reveal their exact destination upriver in the uncharted rain forests — and resolved to stand her ground. Neither of them could foresee what the days ahead promised: an odyssey into the fiery heart of passion and betrayal, and a danger that would force them to cast their fates together, immersed in the eternal, unsolved mysteries of love….

Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || KOBO
 

Rowena: Holly mentions Ben’s snark and Jillian’s wit and she’s completely right. Their chemistry is off the charts and they’re a riot together. I loved the way that Jillian didn’t let Ben get away with anything and Ben tried to get away with everything.

Here are some snippets from the book that showcase why we love the book as much as we do.

“It’s not something I can control, damn it. Every man I know wakes up with a hard-on.”

“Maybe so, but they do not—repeat, do not—rub it on me.”

” ‘Every man I know’ wasn’t rubbing it on you! It was just me!”

“And it was just your hair that I pulled, wasn’t it?” she asked sweetly.

Ha! I love the way that these two go at it.

“I’m going to wash my clothes while I have the chance.”

“Good idea. You can wash mine while you’re at it.”

“You can wash your own.”

Wearing a pained expression, he placed his hand over his heart. “You’re an unnatural woman. Don’t you know you’re supposed to want to do things for your man?”

“I don’t remember ever claiming you as mine, so the issue doesn’t arise. But I can’t think of a reason why any woman would want a man who was too lazy to do his own laundry.”

Do you see how awesome Jillian is?

He said, “How long does this usually last?”

“What, my period, or your strange delusion that everything I do is planned specifically to keep you from making love as often as you seem to think you should? My period will last four or five days. I’ve seen no break in your delusion at all.”

He grinned. Ah, he loved it when she talked sweet to him.

“You make it sound as if I’ve been nagging you every step of the way,” she said.

“You have. Silently.”

She gave him a long, level look. “When I decide to nag, you can bet I won’t do it silently.”

He sighed. “No, I don’t guess you will.” Inwardly he felt cheerful at the prospect. With Jillian’s rapier tongue, it was bound to be entertaining.

She was one cool customer, so cool that he just might have met his match. The thought gave him a panicky feeling, because that meant his chances of having her were only fifty-fifty, and he wasn’t comfortable with that. Ninety-ten would be better, no, hell, why give her any chance at all? He wanted to be one hundred percent certain that she’d be his. Anything less was unacceptable.

This is Rowena and me with Ben. dreamy sigh

Giveaway: We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you read Heart of Fire before? If so, did you love it like we did? Let us know what some of your favorite books are in the comments below.

About the Author

Linda Howard

Linda Howard is an award-winning author whose novels include the recent New York Times bestsellers Shadow Woman, Up Close and Dangerous, and Drop Dead Gorgeous, as well as the Pocket Books releases Kill and Tell, Now You See Her, All the Queen’s Men, Mr. Perfect, and Open Season. She lives in Alabama with her husband and two golden retrievers.


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Bookish Thoughts: Series Obsession, Kristen Ashley and Print Reading

Posted January 12, 2017 by Holly in Discussions, Features | 13 Comments


I binge-read Ilona Andrews’ backlist in November. I took a break from F/UF/Sci-Fi for a couple years, so I’m pretty behind when it comes to some popular authors. My latest obsession is the Innkeeper Chronicles. I’m totally in love with Dina, Gertrude Hunt, Sean Evans and the entire world. Now that One Fell Sweep is out, I have no idea what to do with my life.

ComplicatedKristen Ashley is releasing a new BDSM erotic romance series with St. Martin’s. The Honey Series revolves around The Honey Club, a BDSM club and features her typical alpha-males. Book one, The Deep End, releases in March. Although I’m a huge Ashley fan and her books really work for me, I’m on the fence about this new series. Part of it is my aversion to BDSM novels, but a larger part is, I think, the idea of Ashley doing erotic BDSM. I’m jonseing for a new release from her, which is why this is on my mind. Do you plan to read it? She also has an audiobook exclusive releasing in May. Complicated will be available only in audio. I’m not a fan of audiobooks, but I’m kind of tempted by it.

Fire TouchedFire Touched is out in MMP this month. Both the Mercy Thompson and Alpha and Omega series are fabulous, but I don’t own them in print, because as with Ilona Andrews, I came late to the Briggs party. Even though I’ve been downsizing my print collection, I feel a compulsive desire to purchase Fire Touched – and the rest of the series – in print for my personal library. Since my J.D. Robb collection is gone, I have shelf space. But I already own them in digital and I doubt I’ll ever read them in print. I just want them because they look pretty.

 

 

In November I gave a book from Linda Howard’s backlist away in our Monthly Reads giveaway. The winner said she couldn’t choose and asked us to pick one for her. How are we supposed to do that? Do we go for a classic goodie like Duncan’s Bride, or a thriller like Heart of Fire? That’s like asking us to choose our favorite kid. Which book would you choose?

 


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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
Goodreads
three-half-stars

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
three-half-stars


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Review: Troublemaker by Linda Howard

Posted June 16, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Troublemaker by Linda HowardReviewer: Rowena
Troublemaker by Linda Howard
Published by William Morrow
Publication Date: May 10, 2016
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 400
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

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.

It’s been a while since I’ve been excited about reading a new Linda Howard but I’m glad that I read this one because it was reminiscent of Linda Howard of the old days. The old days where I couldn’t read her books fast enough and I loved everything she came out with. This was a great read with a romance that made me laugh, happy sigh and gasp. The main couple kept me entertained and all in all, I was completely satisfied.

Morgan Yancy works on an elite paramilitary squad and has just wrapped up a mission so he’s looking forward to decompressing and just relaxing for a little bit. When that turns upside down, Morgan finds himself injured and hiding out, off the grid, while he heals from his injuries. His boss sends him to his boss’s ex-stepsister’s house to heal and that ex-stepsister isn’t at all happy about it. That might have a lot to do with how much she hates Morgan’s boss.

Police Chief Bo Maran is not happy about having a guest recovering at her house. Especially a guest who seems dangerous and who could possibly bring that danger right to her town, a town she’d protect with her life. But that same guest is hot and she’s being paid a lot of money to keep him safe for the time being so…she’s got herself a live in guest for the foreseeable future.

It took a while for both Morgan and Bo to come around with each other and I really enjoyed this part of their romance. The getting to know each other, the taking care of each other because that’s what she’s being paid for and it’s second nature to him. Seeing them come together, to care for each other and then fall in love with each other, I thought Howard wrote that part of the story really well.

The mystery behind who was trying to kill Morgan and then what was happening in Bo’s town, those were easy to figure out and probably the weakest part of the story but all in all, the story was solid and I closed the book, happy with the story that I got. The characters were charming and Bo’s town was great too. I’m pretty confident that Linda Howard is back guys! I definitely recommend Troublemaker to fans of Linda Howard and fans of romantic suspense.

Grade: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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