Tag: Linda Howard

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.

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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: Contemporary, 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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Review: Troublemaker by Linda Howard

Posted May 9, 2016 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

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

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.

I was downright nervous to read this book. The last handful of books that Howard has written left much to be desired. As a matter of fact, the last book that I remember liking was Cry No More. That wasn’t exactly a romance to be honest, but it brought out the emotions that Linda Howard has so often brought out in her readers. It hasn’t been so in a long, long time.

I haven’t felt the Linda Howard emotion in years. Troublemaker definitely brought the emotion that I know she can bring and honestly, I felt a tear come to my eye while I was reading it. I don’t know if she’s back, back, but this book was a good start to remembering why we loved Linda Howard in the first place.

The book starts with Morgan Yancy. Getting back from a highly classified mission, he just wants to decompress. As a part of an elite paramilitary group, not a lot of people understand what his team does, nor do they want them too. Morgan is enjoying his time stateside when he gets shot. His boss takes no chances with his life and sends him to the stepsister that hates him, correctly assuming that no one will find him. In the meantime, while Morgan is recuperating, Axel has time to figure out who their mole is exactly while most people believe Morgan his died.

Police Chief Bo Moran lives in a small town and doesn’t want a stranger in her house, especially one that will stand out like sore thumb in town. She also doesn’t want to do any favors for her hated step-brother Axel. Then Morgan honest-to-God shows up on her doorstep and there is nothing she can do but nurse him back to health while her hated step-brother (and they really hate each other) finds out who wants to kill Morgan and why.

It takes Morgan and Bo sometime to warm up to each other, but eventually they have their routine. Both Bo and Morgan want him out of her house. Bo wants him gone because she’s starting to have feelings for the big lug and doesn’t want to go there. Morgan feels much the same way, but he wants to leave so he can find out who shot him and why. He also wants to keep Bo safe.

It turns out that it’s not as easy as it looks to leave the mountains of West Virginia, especially when the small town closes ranks around him. They consider him theirs now and they aren’t going to let anything happen to him. In the meantime, Axel decides to set a trap and not tell Morgan or Bo. He’s a real ass, as you can tell. Both Morgan and Bo lay into him. Bo for endangering Morgan’s life and Morgan for endangering Bo’s.

All in all, this was what you would expect from Linda Howard. There were some inconsistencies, which you will see or you won’t. I didn’t see them, but I wasn’t looking for them. I just had them pointed out to me. I hope that this book starts a comeback for Linda Howard because I’m such a fangirl.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars

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