Book Review: Linda Howard-Open Season

Image credit: tieury / 123RF Stock Photo

Linda Howard is one of my favorite authors of all time. I love a great romantic suspense story. This year, I’m going to review my top six favorites Linda Howard novels, starting with OPEN SEASON.

The main character, Daisy, wakes up on her birthday and decides her life is boring and it’s up to her to make the changes. She starts with a makeover. I love makeover stories. Not only does she change her looks, but also her habits, and attracts the attention of the new-in-town chief of police. That’s the romance, and it’s a great one.

The suspense comes in when ditzy Daisy, the town librarian, witnesses a murder. She doesn’t realize what she’s seen. There are plenty of twists and layers to the suspense plot, including crooked politicians, date rape drugs, international sex trafficking, and spousal abuse.

One of the things Howard does so well is show us the inner workings of her character’s minds. Daisy may come off as scatterbrained, but her once the reader follows how her thought process works, everything makes sense. Naive doesn’t mean stupid.

Howard also has a great sense of humor that doesn’t always show up in her books, but there are a couple of laugh-out-loud moments in OPEN SEASON.

I highly recommend this book.

 

MJ’s Musing: Book Bingo-Aye! Scotland!

I think the Book Bingo square I filled in first was AYE! SCOTLAND! I do love me a good Scottish historical romance. Julie Garwood, IMHO, is the best (The BrideThe Wedding), but I’ve already read those (dozens of times), so I couldn’t cheat and use them again. My friend and critique partner Gayle Callen has written Scottish historical romances, which I also love. Again: been there, can’t repeat for bingo.

There was one I hadn’t read on my Kindle. I could kill two birds with one stone: clear a title off my reader and fill in a square. The McKinnon’s Bride was just the title.

It wasn’t a bad book, but having read the best the subgenre has to offer leaves me particular in my expectations. Because I have read scores of Scottish historicals, I am jaded. I am thrilled when I find something fresh. I did not find anything new in this story.

MJ’s Musings: SEP-Ain’t She Sweet

Of all the Susan Elizabeth Phillips books I owe, Ain’t She Sweet is my least favorite. I don’t think the lack of Chicago Stars has anything to do with my feelings. My top three favorite SEP books are not in the Chicago Stars series (Kiss an Angel, First Lady, What I Did for Love). Granted, I’ve read the book only twice: once when I bought it and a second time when a friend said she enjoyed reading it.

When I lend my SEP library to co-workers, I do not say which ones are my favorites and which ones I don’t like.  Everyone’s taste is different. But every person to whom I’ve lent Ain’t She Sweet didn’t like it.

I think part of my issue is I didn’t laugh when I read it. Maybe small town high school angst bites too close to home.

This concludes my opinions of SEP novels. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading them.

MJ’s Manuscript: Excerpt: BESIEGED BY THE MOON

“Just so you know, I’m allergic to strawberries.”
She must have been reading his mind, because he’d been frantically trying to think of a way to make the traditional mating offering of berries.
“I’ve never heard of a werewolf with food allergies.” He was an EMT. The only thing lycans were allergic to was alcohol, and even then the reaction wasn’t an allergy in the sapien sense. The homo lupus couldn’t consume a lot of things sapiens considered normal. Chocolate. Grapes in any form. Artificial sweeteners were deadly. You’d never find a millennial werewolf because avocado toast was poison. But none of these were allergies.
He had a mate. He needed to focus on what was important instead of being distracted by the trivial.
He needed to take Phoebe to Ethan’s house, where he’d better be able to treat her wound and access Selena’s stock herbal remedies. There was even a bed where he could do the deed.
He couldn’t think of a single reason not to mark Phoebe right away. Berries. Right. Not strawberries.
He jammed the key into the ignition and twisted. “Anything else I should know?”

BESIEGED BY THE MOON

Tentatively scheduled for February 2020

MJ’s Musings: Book Bingo-Single Word Title: BEACHCOMBER

One of the Book Bingo Squares this year was “Single Word Title.” I chose a Karen Robards romantic suspense I had not read before: BEACHCOMBER.

To be honest, I thought parts of this book were silly. Let’s see. There was a female attorney on the run from the mob and her ex-fiance (who turned out to be a mobster), an FBI agent posing as a beach bum, a serial killer, and a cranky stray cat. My favorite character was the cat.

I usually love Robards’ romantic suspense books–I own several–so I was surprised when this one didn’t do it for me.

Two stars.