Tag: William Marrow

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

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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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: 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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Excerpt: The Idea of Him by Holly Peterson

Posted April 15, 2014 by Holly in Promotions | 0 Comments

Today we have an excerpt of The Idea of Him by Holly Peterson to share with you.

IdeaOfHimHave you ever wanted someone, something, so badly to be true that you’d overlook every shred of evidence to the contrary?

Enter Wade Crawford – the dazzling, urbane, hotshot magazine editor of Meter. With gorgeous hazel eyes, strong shoulders, a chiseled face, and long blondish hair, he was everything that Allie ever thought she wanted in a man and a husband. Until she realized he was anything but.

In the fabulous and intrigue-packed new novel from Holly Peterson, the New York Times bestselling author of THE MANNY, THE IDEA OF HIM (William Morrow | April 1, 2014 | Paperback Original | $14.99 | ISBN: 9780062283108) explores the dangers of falling for the idea of a person, and why facing reality is more liberating than we ever dreamed it could be. For anyone who’s let the fear of being alone keep them from seeing who someone really is, THE IDEA OF HIM is an inspiring, action-packed story of what happens when we embrace our own power and allow the truth to finally set us free.

Allie Crawford is a once-aspiring screenwriter turned successful public relations executive, mother of two young children, with a marriage that feels more like a hostessing gig than it does a relationship. At thirty four, she is at a crossroads. Then she meets a head-turning, traffic-stopping beauty at the bar of the famed New York City Tudor Room. When Allie finds her husband Wade locked in their laundry room with this same stunning blonde, a scandal ensues that flips her life on its head. And when the woman wants to befriend Allie, an old flame calls, and a new guy gets a little too close for comfort, Allie starts to think her marriage is more of a façade than something real. Maybe she’s fallen in love not with Wade—but with the idea of him.

This intriguing blonde is Jackie Malone, a business school student at Wharton who appears unannounced in Allie Crawford’s world with an uncomfortable degree of information about her personal and professional life. Showing up at all the same parties, lunches, and with a seemingly quite intimate relationship with Allie’s husband, Jackie is a feisty, gorgeous, leggy fashionista that just might have the key to Allie’s future. If she can only learn to trust her.

As Allie and Jackie search for truth, they uncover scandals, betrayals, and financial crimes worthy of front page headline news. Swiftly-paced and electrifying, THE IDEA OF HIM follows their fast-growing friendship and the intimate, sexy conversations they have as Allie takes command of her life and learns to live on new terms that are alternately exciting and terrifying.

Set in present-day Manhattan among the city’s established and up-and-coming power brokers, many of them struggling to regain their equilibrium in a post 2008 crash world, all working various angles—legal and not—in an effort to either get ahead or simply keep up. Smack in the middle of New York’s upwardly mobile meritocracy is the hard-working Allie, refusing to let her working-class past cloud her fabulous present. Her story offers a ringside seat at the lunch-time haunts featured in the pages of Vanity Fair, and is a ticket to the exclusive media cocktail parties posted on Guest of a Guest. But as Allie’s world starts closing in on her and she can no longer deny who her husband actually is, she must figure out how to do it all – without him.

THE IDEA OF HIM shows a woman determined to pick herself back up and reclaim her life, even as the fear of being alone threatens to lure her down the wrong path. As Allie struggles to care for her children, tend to her demanding boss, and navigate the high jinx in the psychological and financial game-playing happening all around her, we fall in love with her determination to root out the truth, and in doing so, finally put her own interests and needs front and center. Most of all, we see the power of female friendship as an unlikely ally – in the form of the mysteriously seductive Jackie Malone – helps Allie to finally see the truth about her husband.

Read an excerpt:


While he was coming to quick terms with the idea that he’d finally found an attractive woman who cared about his world of nonstop news and gossip, right away, I knew that I too certainly liked the idea of this Wade Crawford man before me. He fit a need. His enthusiasm for life and work would soften my losses: my father in a plane to the ravages of an untimely blizzard and James to a burning obsession to save every child on the other side of the world.

New York glimmered around us that night, the way it can when spontaneity falls perfectly into place. After dinner, Wade escorted me to two downtown parties filled with cigarette smoke and writers. Someday I hoped to be like his writer friends who wrote long magazine stories and books that they’d mined from their souls. It was clear from every angle that Wade’s non-stop joie-de-vivre was more than contagious. He was sheer fun, and full of the possibility of escape, of renewal even.

He dropped me at my stoop at dawn, kissing me tenderly on the lips and disappearing into the early morning glow. As I watched him bounce down the street, all I could think was that he had Daddy’s electricity and confidence. And that suited me just fine.


About the author:

Holly Peterson is the author of the New York Times and international best seller, The Manny. She was a Contributing Editor for Newsweek and editor-at-large for Tina Brown’s Talk magazine. She was also an Emmy Award–winning producer for ABC News for more than a decade, where she covered global politics. Her writing has been published in the New York Times, Newsweek, Talk, the Daily Beast, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and other publications.

Online: www.HollyPeterson.com


Twitter: @HollyPetersonNY

 The Idea of Him is available now from William Marrow. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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Review: Twisted by Andrea Kane

Posted March 23, 2008 by Casee in Reviews | 4 Comments

Review: Twisted by Andrea KaneReviewer: Casee
Twisted by Andrea Kane
Series: Burbank and Parker #1
Published by Harper Collins
Publication Date: March 17th 2009
Genres: Fiction
Pages: 464
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Who will be next?
Though former FBI Special Agent Sloane Burbank once survived a life-threatening injury in the line of duty, she now uses her specialized skills as an independent consultant. But when one of her closest childhood friends mysteriously disappears, Sloane takes the case—even though her ex-lover Derek Parker is the FBI agent in charge.

Special Agent Derek Parker has no time to spare for a dead-end case—especially since it would mean working with a woman he never expected to see again. But as more women disappear and others turn up brutally murdered, he and Sloane come to the sickening realization that these random crimes are linked to the same crazed killer, a fiend with a mind so psychotic, so twisted, that it will take everything Sloane has to capture him—even as she becomes his latest target.

Aloha from Kaua’i! This is one of several reviews I hope to have finished before I am forced to return to real life. (Ed Note – Can you believe Casee is on vacation in Hawaii and still posting? I’m thinking I wouldn’t be posting if I was in Hawaii..lucky girl! :End)

One year after a childhood friend disappeared, Sloane Burbank agrees to look into the case at the urging of her friend, Penny’s, mother. As a civilian investigator, Sloane isn’t forced to follow the rigid rules that the FBI have. The only thing she needs is to meet with the lead investigator of Penny’s case. To her dismay, the lead investigator is none other than her ex-lover, Derek Parker. She won’t let that stop her from bringing closure to Penny’s family, even if it does resurrect memories she’d rather keep buried.

 Derek has been trying to prevent a gang war in New York and the last thing he wants to do is turn his attention toward a case that is going nowhere. He’s blindsided when he finds out it’s Sloane who has essentially gotten him pulled off his volatile gang case and put back on a missing persons case. Not only has he not seen her for over a year, but their parting was far from sweet. When Sloane uncovers more and more about Penny’s disappearance, even Derek can’t ignore the fact that the FBI may have more on their hands than a random abduction.

It doesn’t take long for Derek and Sloane to start piecing facts together. The abduction of Penny was far from random. As a matter of fact, the more Sloane starts digging, the more disturbing it gets. Over 10 women have abducted over the past 18 months, all with some sort of connection to Sloane. Then Derek and Sloane learn that Sloane’s stalker seems to be the same serial killer that is causing a gang war to erupt between two powerful Asian gangs in NYC.

I’ve never read Andrea Kane’s historicals. I never really enjoy when a historical author goes contemp, but I have always enjoyed Andrea Kane’s novels. Her plots are always intriguing and you can tell she really does her research. TWISTED is no exception. Kane has brought a plot that the reader will find fascinating and a killer that (most people) would never suspect. I think that romantic suspense lovers will really enjoy this book.

4 out of 5.

This book will be released on March 25th. You can pre-order it here or here.


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