The Best Of..

After The Night

Linda Howard. The Queen of Romantic Suspense.

I’ve read many of Linda Howard’s books even the ones that featured Neanderthals. What’s her appeal to you? I like her because she can write good suspense. Her heroes tend to be more dominating than I care for but her books are usually pretty good. She does push envelope when she can and you can always expect something new and original with her books.

I know many are looking forward to her next romantic suspense, Cover of Night but I’ll be getting my copy from the library. I’ve been burned too many times to afford another hit to my pocketbook. The last good book by her for me was Cry No More and even that title was somewhat uneven. Howard is versatile. She can write a great beta hero (Now You See Her) but most of her heroes tend to be more alpha (Dream Man). Also, what I find jarring is her sense of humor. That’s actually pretty new and was featured in Mr. Perfect. I couldn’t finish that one. She continues to write with humor. Am I the only one that finds it somewhat jarring or do many embrace this aspect of her writing? May I just say that I hated Dream Man. The suspense would get an A from me but the romance: D.

What are some of your favorites? Which book would you recommend for those who’ve never read her? What’s her best title, hands down? Her worst?

Here are some of my favorite titles and for newbies, some titles have varied reader response so if your tastes are very different from mine, take this list with a grain of salt:

  • After the Night (1995)
  • Cry No More (2003)
  • McKenzie’s Mountain (1989)
  • Open Season (2001)
  • All the Queen’s Men (1999)
  • Son of the Morning (1997)
  • Kill and Tell (1998)
  • Now You See Her (1998)
  • White Lies (1988)

Rated DNF or F:

  • Killing Time (2005)
  • Kiss Me While I Sleep (2004)
  • Dream Man (1995)
  • Sarah’s Child (1985)
  • Dying to Please (2002)
  • Mr. Perfect (2000)
  • Shades of Twilight (1996)

Linda Howard will always be a writer I look forward to reading regardless of her previous efforts. I respect her for at least trying for something different. All I can hope for is that the story she writes next clicks for me and if it doesn’t, here’s hoping for next time.

[tags]Linda Howard, Best of Her Romantic Suspense Novels[/tags]

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About Keishon

Voracious reader of just about everything.
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38 Responses to The Best Of..

  1. CindyS says:

    Okay, let’s see if we can prove my theory that reader’s who love Son of the Morning & Kill and Tell do not like Dream Man or Shades of Twilight and vice versa.

    I loved Dream Man and couldn’t stand the romance in Son of Morning.

    Some of my favorites though are her category books – Duncan’s Bride is a keeper and I have picked up a few of her older books that have stood up very well. I’m not a Mackenzie girl so I haven’t read all of that series.

    Like you, I have been burned by her last few books and I will wait for what others say about her latest. Also, I’m not sure I want to read another book about her cheerleader heroine who isn’t really that but I can’t remember her name. Bah!

    CindyS

  2. Jane says:

    Hmm. Loved

    * After the Night (1995)
    * McKenzie’s Mountain (1989)
    * Open Season (2001)
    * Son of the Morning (1997)
    * Kill and Tell (1998)
    * Now You See Her (1998)
    * Dream Man (1995)
    * Shades of Twilight (1996).

    Last book of LKH’s I really liked? Open Season. Last book purchased? Cry No More. Everything has been a library book since and I didn’t even read her last one

  3. Keishon says:

    Oh, I couldn’t even finish her last two books and Shades of Twilight was a DNF and I know Dream Man is a huge favorite, it was a NYT bestseller for her. I couldn’t stand the hero. Books not listed are the ones I haven’t read – Duncan’s Bride, I have that one. Are her westerns any good? I have one of those, too.

  4. Cece says:

    I loved Dream Man, Mr. Perfect and Open Season and I actually loved her sense of humor *ducking*

    I tried to read one old historical but couldn’t finish it. The one about the body guard and the police detective? I didn’t finish it either, and it was more serious than her earlier work (IE Dream Man). I’m afraid she’s become a paperback buy for me. But wait, isn’t her next release a time travel or was that year? I’m behind I think 😦

  5. Tara Marie says:

    Okay, let’s see if we can prove my theory that reader’s who love Son of the Morning & Kill and Tell do not like Dream Man or Shades of Twilight and vice versa.

    Sorry Cindy, you’re completely wrong. I like/love all 4. But I’m a fangirl. I can honestly say I’ve liked everything, with the exception of Cry No More, that was work for me. I haven’t reread her really old Silhouettes in years, so those might not work, but her RS is pure gold. I’m expecting to pick up her newest one today. Waiting for the bookstore to call and say “It’s in come get it.” I haven’t loved her last few, but I have a really good feeling about this new one.

    I think nobody does the alpha better then LH. They’re in your face masculine, and that works for me.

  6. Kristie(J) says:

    Hmmm – my rankings
    After the Night
    To Die For
    Mr. Perfect
    Open Season
    are the top four. I don’t really get the appeal of the MacKenzie books. They’re alright but nothing special for me. And I don’t really find her sense of humour new. After the Night had some very funny moments – washroom scene anyone. What I do find unique about her books and this is especially true in Mr. Perfect, is what you find jarring – the ability to write a wildly funny scene followed by a tragic one. It takes a rare author to make this work but I think she does it very well.

  7. Jane says:

    OMG – DUNCAN’S BRIDE. One of my all time favorites. Maddie is seriously the best heroine second only to Jessica from Lord of Scoundrels. Maddie kicks ass and I mean, kick ass and does not take nothing from no one. Love her. Have an inappropriate fangirl crush on her (the character, not the author).

  8. Tara Marie says:

    …what you find jarring – the ability to write a wildly funny scene followed by a tragic one. It takes a rare author to make this work but I think she does it very well.

    A great point, and probably one of the reasons why her RS work so well.

  9. Bev (BB) says:

    You know, it’s always amazed me how little overlap there seems to be in the fan base of the three authors generally called the masters of romance, i.e. Krentz, Roberts & Howard. Me, I’ve never acquired a taste for Howard at all. Not in the same way that I don’t read Roberts though. I tried several Roberts books, including the first three Robb and finally just decided she wasn’t for me. Krentz on the other hand, I’m extremely comfortable with even if I don’t consider her a top personal favorite.

    With Howard, it’s more that I’ve never even been able to finish one. Or can’t find the right one to try. And you people aren’t helping me correct this oversite what with your overlapping lists of favorites and anti-favorites, you know. ;p

    So here’s a question, what’s her funniest non-romantic suspense? Okay, couple of questions, has she done any best friend romances?

  10. Keishon says:

    Honestly, I’ve never her work funny. LOL funny, is that what you all are saying about After the Night? Or just a grin? She’s not comparable to say Janet Evanovich for humor dominating most of her scenes. The overall tone of her books are mostly serious but with Mr. Perfect, I found her humor showming through more. I still have Mr. Perfect around here and I’ve always wanted to read it again but at the time that I did read it, it just didn’t work for me.

    Bev, I can understand not getting into the right book. I would recommend After the Night as a start. I’ve not read her whole backlist and can’t remember a best friends to lover’s theme in any of her romantic suspense. Do you generally read r/s novels?

  11. AAR Rachel says:

    I’m not sure WHY I’ve read as much Linda Howard as I have since generally she doesn’t work for me, but my favorites are Open Season and Duncan’s Bride. Those two I kept; they are B-level reads for me.

    Least favorites are: Sarah’s Child (hate this one — hate hate hate), Shades of Twilight (major sexual ick factor here), and After the Night. I also really disliked the ending of Dream Man. I know this one is a general favorite, but I think the hero completely betrayed the heroine in the final act and if I’d been in her place I’d never have spoken to him again. What a jerk – using her as bait in the one scenario she is most frightened of. Loser, loser, loser.

  12. Keishon says:

    Rachel re Dream Man, exactly. Open Season was OK, a C+. There were parts I liked, suspense was nonexistent after the prologue. So, it’s safe to say that you won’t be reviewing Cover of Night? 🙂

    I’ll wait till my library gives me a email to say come get it. Thanks, Rachel. Even though I feel that we have similar reading tastes, I did enjoy After the Night very much. The hero was a jerk and the storyline really didn’t leave any to think that they’d reach their happy ending but it worked for me, don’t ask me why.

  13. Bev (BB) says:

    I’m not a big romantic suspense fan at all. I can read it them and have actually enjoyed some books but for the most part I prefer mystery (whodunits, howdunits, etc.) over suspense. I guess it’s just the seemingly neverending roller coaster ride of suspense type plots that get old to me real fast. Give me a true mind puzzle to sink my teeth into any day and I’m happy as a lark. Which probably explains why I can enjoy Krentz, even at her weakest mystery-wise, and get impatient with Roberts & Howard. The few Roberts romances that I’ve actually enjoyed had fairly good mysteries in them even though they also played on the suspense angle.

    So, maybe I should’ve asked which of Howard’s books has the best honest-to-goodness mystery in it?

  14. Jennie says:

    I’m so glad I saw this because I’ve been wanting to read a Linda Howard. I’ve never read any of her books and everyone says she’s really hit or miss, so I wanted to pick a good one.

    But you’re all saying different things!! Why can’t you all agree on one, huh? 😉

    I might try After the Night. It seems to be on everyone’s OK list.

  15. Keishon says:

    Just got off from work, Bev and see no one has answered that question for you so I guess the answer is that she doesn’t have one that has a real mystery to it. The ones I’ve read certainly didn’t have a honest to goodness mystery in it. Alas, she may not be for you so disregard my rec as it’s a big favorite as you can see 🙂

    I could recommend some mystery authors for you like Karin Slaughter…

  16. CindyS says:

    Okay, for straight relationship books without suspense I would recommend Duncan’s Bride. It is a modern day mail order bride book and it’s smokin’. Not only that I enjoyed the banter and you get to see these people fall in love over time.

    I don’t think Howard has a romance with friends becoming lovers because most of her heroes are so alpha that they fall hard and fast. Screw friendship 😉

    Bev, if you try Duncan’s Bride let me know what you thought. I never liked Howard (I had read her historicals) but for some reason Duncan’s Bride blew me away and I have been buying her books hoping she’ll hit those notes again.

    CindyS

  17. Robin says:

    Howard is VERY hit or miss for me. My favorites: To Die For and Diamond Bay. Second are perhaps Now You See Her (Keishon — why do you think the hero is beta?) and Midnight Rainbow. I also liked both After the Night and Shades of Twilight because of the Southern Gothic factor, although After The Night worked much better for me as a Romance than SOT did. I haven’t read the MacKenzie books and am often afraid of Romances featuring Native American characters. HATED Dream Man for some of the reasons stated here, plus the IMO ridiculous way in which the heroine went from sexually traumatized victim to orgasmatron within a few chapters. I liked the first half of Mr. Perfect but felt the book was ruined by the second half. I often find Howard’s melding of suspense and romance to be awkward and generally don’t like the suspense aspect of Howard’s books; rarely do I find any point in it beyond an excuse to throw the hero and heroine together and it bugs me. IIRC, many of her villains’ names start with C (I also seem to remember the combination of C and J more than once, but I could be wrong there). I often want to slap her heroes silly, except for Kell Sabin who is my all-time favorite Howard hero.

  18. Keishon says:

    Robin, you don’t think the hero in Now You See Her is beta? I thought him a very nice hero, wasn’t dominating at all. I’ve always thought him beta, or nicer than her other heroes. I love Richard. One of my very favorite heroes by her.

    I did peek at Cover of Night at the bookstore but left it there. Other times I’d been tempted but not anymore.

  19. jaq says:

    Too tired lazy to list my LH favs, but like you,for some reason, I find the ‘blend’ of her humour with her rom/susp jarring. It hasn’t turned me off the way it’s turned you off (heck, I even finished the universally despised An Independent Wife. *g* ) but it never sounds/reads right to my ear.

  20. Robin says:

    I think Richard was less domineering than most of Howard’s other heroes, but I didn’t see him as beta, just alpha in the same mold as Kell Sabin or Grant from Midnight Rainbow. I don’t think Richard tried to dominate Sweeney all the time or out of insecurity. But when he felt she needed to be taken care of (i.e. after her visions or when she walks to his house) and when he is initially pursuiing her and wearing her down sexually, then, yeah, I think he definitely switched into alpha protector/pursuer mode. But I definitely liked him. My experience with Howard is that she tends to write a lot of alphas who are possessively insecure and IMO somewhat bullying with their women, but she slips a few in there who are merely confident and who enjoy prefer being in control (Kell, Grant, Richard, Wyatt from To Die For, and *maybe* Webb from Shades of Twilight). I like the second category of alpha heroes much better.

  21. Keishon says:

    Robin, I think you nailed it for me – the bullying by her men is what annoys the hell out of me. Did you enjoy To Die For? I haven’t read that one yet and I did buy it and I don’t know why. I love Howard but she is a huge hit or miss for me.

    Hola, Jaq! So you enjoyed an Independent Woman? Wow. What did you like about it? Did you enjoy it?
    Was it so bad that it was good? 😉 I’ve read a few of those…

  22. jaq says:

    Oh, the H was a complete asshole and the heroine a doormat. lol. But I finished the book…. unlike many peeps.

  23. LFL says:

    Hmm… interesting lists. No one’s is like mine, I think.

    1. “The Way Home,” a novella which appeared in the collections To Mother with Love and A Bouquet of Babies.
    2. Shades of Twilight (but only when I skip the villain sex scenes!)
    3. Diamond Bay
    4. Kiss Me While I Sleep
    5. Dream Man
    6. After the Night
    7. Midnight Rainbow
    8. Cry No More
    9. A Game of Chance
    10. Mr. Perfect

    I very much enjoyed all of the above, and others as well.

    Linda Howard books that didn’t work for me:

    1. MacKenzie’s Mountain
    2. To Die For
    3. Heartbreaker
    4. Now You See Her
    5. Son of the Morning

  24. Keishon says:

    LFL your list is completely opposite of mine. So, I guess your getting Cover of Night? I’m eagerly waiting for the reviews on this book, just to know if it’s worth reading from the library.

  25. LFL says:

    P.S. I want to add that since I don’t read e-books, it’s been great to see a topic I can say something about.

  26. LFL says:

    LOL, Keishon! I want to read Cover of Night but I don’t buy hardcovers new. I think I’ll be borrowing it from a friend who is planning to buy it.

  27. LFL says:

    Hey, we both enjoyed After the Night so it’s not completely opposite.

  28. Keishon says:

    But LFL, I am just shocked, SHOCKED that you enjoyed the sultry, southern Shades of Twilight but yeah, give or take one. And GASP, you didn’t care for McKenzie? Honestly, I didn’t read the rest and it’s been so long since I even reread McKenzie’s Mountain. Disclaimer, my list is based on memories. Ah, how sweet they were…

  29. Robin says:

    Did you enjoy To Die For? I haven’t read that one yet and I did buy it and I don’t know why. I love Howard but she is a huge hit or miss for me.

    TDF is my favorite Howard book. I also forget about that story LFL listed, The Way Home, which I would put on my favorites list, as well. I liked the heroine and felt Howard put a little more thought into the controlling nature of the hero, especially considering the short length of the work.

    I’m not sure whether you will like TDF, Keishon, as readers seem to be divided about it. It definitely relies on humor and on plenty of sparring between the hero and heroine, but the “suspense” aspect of the book is totally lame, so it didn’t seem incongruous to me, at all. What makes the book a winner for me is Blair’s narration; she is NOT a doormat heroine AT ALL. Many readers found her shallow and vain, but she has enough intelligence and awareness to make her self-centeredness charming to me. In a lot of contemporary Romance the sexual politics just make me tired, but because Blair and Wyatt both view their battle as an enjoyable game, I thoroughly enjoyed the sparring. The movie theater scene is genius, IMO. Overall, I found TDF a superior variation of Mr. Perfect.

  30. Keishon says:

    A superior variation on Mr. Perfect? I’ll have to read it now. Thanks Robin! Did you ever get to read Diana Norman? I think your the “right” Robin to ask, I might be wrong. ::anxious::

  31. LFL says:

    Well, I thought MacKenzie’s Mountain was kind of old fashioned. The hero was okay, I guess, but I’m not so into ranchers and I thought that a little too much was made of his being Native American. The heroine was a fairly boring old maid and I’m also not wild about rural settings, plus I figured out the villain early. I think the fact that this is one of Linda Howard’s earlier books shows. To be fair, I think that part of the problem was my high expectations People just raved and raved about this book. I preferred the other MacKenzie books.

    Shades of Twilight I loved mostly for the rich psychological conflicts. The initial setup, with the hero and heroine being (if memory serves) second cousins and her sleeping with him so that he’d come back home, was very interesting me, in a dark way. This is one book where the heroine’s being a virgin worked for me, because it was such a shock to the hero’s system. I thought that scene was really erotic, but more than that, very emotionally involving. I like romances that are on the disturbing side, and this one was, because of the heroine’s extreme vulnerability. Some readers didn’t care for Roanna, but she’s one of my favorite Howard heroines; maybe even *the* favorite.

    Re. To Die For, FWIW, Keishon, I thought it was completely different from Mr. Perfect. Mr. Perfect had a lot of humor, yes, but underneath it was a very dark book, because the heroine’s friends were being murdered. The suspense plot in To Die For was much less pronounced, and to me it was a lighter book. I wish I could say I liked it, but it was the only Linda Howard book I’ve ever struggled to finish.

    I didn’t dislike Wyatt, and I rather liked Blair, though by the end of the book I was getting tired of her game-playing, and constantly thinking that she wouldn’t tell Wyatt this or that because he didn’t need to know it. It was very cute in the beginning, but by the end, started seeming childish and manipulative. Nevertheless, I liked Blair as a character, and I didn’t think she was shallow or even vain.

    My problem with the book was mainly the way it went into so many trivial details about the color of this and the shape of that. Perhaps in third person it would have been fine but in first person it had a way of making the narrator sound inane. The most interesting parts of the book to me were the scenes when Blair’s life was in danger, so I would have liked more of that.

    I think you could count on one or two hands the times I chuckled, and I don’t think the book ever got a belly laugh out of me. The humor in Mr. Perfect or even in Midnight Rainbow was considerably funnier to me.

    Also, I prefer characters that are more conflicted. I think that every book needs conflict and suspense (I don’t mean murder type suspense, I mean a way of holding the reader in suspense about what will happen next, in terms of plot, or psychologically in terms of character and relationships, or both), and I didn’t think To Die For had much of that. I could see that these two would get together and be happy while occasionally annoying each other, but there was nothing major at stake for me to care about as a reader. I didn’t dislike the book or anything, I was just indifferent to it. I think it’s the only Linda Howard book I’ve ever been indifferent to.

  32. Robin says:

    Did you ever get to read Diana Norman? I think your the “right” Robin to ask, I might be wrong. ::anxious::

    Ha! Yes, I am the ‘right’ Robin (or maybe the left Robin), and it’s funny you should ask, Keishon, because I just pulled The Vizard Mask off my shelf last week and placed it in my TBR pile — I’ll let you know when I finish it, and what I thought of it.

    As for LFL’s comments re Mr. Perfect, I agree with her that Mr. Perfect was a much darker book, which is actually what I disliked about it. There was, IMO, a HUGE disconnect between the first and second halves of the book, and I HATED the second half. Too often I find the suspense aspect of Howard’s books almost gratuitous and awkward in the way it’s supposed to add some gravitas to the story, as if the book needs to be ‘serious’ to be taken seriously by readers. I liked the suspense angle in Now You See Her, the Southern gothics, and the Midnight Rainbow series (although I HATED HATED HATED Heartbreaker), but didn’t like it in Open Season, Mr. Perfect, or Dream Man.

    What prompted me to make the comparison with TDF was the fact that there were things that Howard duplicated (at least once virtually verbatim) with the couples and their developing relationship that made the books feel very similar to me, at least in terms of the romantic development.

    I actually think that what disappointed LFL about TDF — the lack of conflict — is one of the things I found to be a relief; both Blair and Wyatt are well-adjusted characters who come from healthy and loving families. I’m very much looking forward to the sequel, which I think comes out this fall (Drop Dead Gorgeous). Blair has two sisters, and I hope they get their own stories, as well.

  33. LFL says:

    I actually think that what disappointed LFL about TDF — the lack of conflict — is one of the things I found to be a relief; both Blair and Wyatt are well-adjusted characters who come from healthy and loving families.

    It’s not that I can’t enjoy well-adjusted characters who come from healthy backgrounds, but you know, with a healthy, well-adjusted characters it’s all the more important for them to have a lot of richness, many layers and nuances of characterization, unusual charm or brightness. And even then, I prefer for them to face some kind of significant obstacle. It doesn’t have to come from dysfunction; it can come from an external source.

    To give a couple of examples, I love Christy in Gaffney’s To Love and to Cherish, and he seems to me to be a pretty healthy person. Ditto Michael in Gaffney’s Wild at Heart. These characters aren’t messed up, but Gaffney makes them shine *and* she gives them some huge external conflicts to surmount.

    I didn’t feel that the characters in To Die For had either of these things going for them. Blair occasionally started to shine with her pluckiness, but then she’d start going on about her pink tank top or other minutiae, and I’d start zoning out. I didn’t feel like there were layers under there. Wyatt was even less developed. The main thing he had going for him was that by the end of the book I started to sympathize with him for facing a lifetime of Blair’s high maintenance tactics.

    Maybe what I’m saying is that for me to find a well-adjusted character as interesting as one who has issues to work out and growth to achieve, an author has to craft and detail those characters in exceptional way, make the characters truly special. I’m not saying that Blair and Wyatt lacked all spark. They had some, just not enough for me.

  34. Robin says:

    To give a couple of examples, I love Christy in Gaffney’s To Love and to Cherish, and he seems to me to be a pretty healthy person. Ditto Michael in Gaffney’s Wild at Heart. These characters aren’t messed up, but Gaffney makes them shine *and* she gives them some huge external conflicts to surmount.

    These are two of my favorites, as well, LFL, but I don’t even think of them in the same brain wave as I do the Howard. Gaffney is like Stags Leap Petite Syrah to me — rich, nuanced, layered, and a wonderful surprise with each swallow. Even her better adjusted characters undergo wrenching emotional trials (Christy and his crisis of faith and identity; Michael and his feelings of abandonment and the perils of his innocence). Howard at her best is like an ice cold Classic Coke to me — fizzy, sweet and salty, gulpable, and sassy on the tongue. I drink a lot more Classic Coke than SL PS, and I love ’em both, but they satisfy totally different cravings for me.

  35. LFL says:

    That’s true, they are very different. But it usually takes an author whose characterization is on that Gaffney level to make me interested in a well-adjusted character. I prefer characters who have some kind of internal journey to make, an emotional and psychological destination to reach. If a character doesn’t change or grow, doesn’t have that wealth of layers and nuances, and also has no emotional trial to get through, what is it about them that’s to hold my attention? I’m not speaking rhetorically, I’m genuinely curious about what makes that kind of character interesting for other readers.

    Re. Mr. Perfect (SPOILER WARNING), I think I enjoyed the contrast between the humor and the darkness more than you did. I’m unusual I think, in that I often find darker books which contain humor funnier than the light ones.

    But, I also didn’t find the book without flaws; it was more violent than I’m comfortable with, I guesed the villain’s identity early on and didn’t find that character believable, and I also didn’t like that it was the more sexually permissive of Jaine’s friends that were murdered. Whether it was intentional or not, it felt like Howard was punishing them for their “morals.” I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to bring myself to reread it (mainly on account of the violence), and with all these negatives, perhaps the book should not have made my list, even at the bottom spot. But I loved Jaine’s sense of humor, and I loved that she was faced with the loss of her friends. These two things made the book for me.

    Linda Howard has written several books that deal with death and grieving, and it’s one of the things I appreciate most about her writing.

  36. Robin says:

    If a character doesn’t change or grow, doesn’t have that wealth of layers and nuances, and also has no emotional trial to get through, what is it about them that’s to hold my attention? I’m not speaking rhetorically, I’m genuinely curious about what makes that kind of character interesting for other readers.

    I think there is a difference between a character who is written flatly and with no dimension and a character who remains happy and relatively untroubled through the course of a book. I also think it’s much more difficult to write interestingly about happy characters (how many do you really see in Romance?), because happiness can appear quite shallow.

    To me, anyway, Howard succeeded in writing a happy, untroubled character who engaged me over the course of a relatively fast-paced book, in part because I found her voice and persona refreshing among Romance heroines. I have very little in common with Blair personally, but I enjoyed her blunt assessments of her own worth, as well as the moments of cheerful self-aborbed awareness she has, like when she sneaks a peek at Wyatt’s drawers and is relieved that he’s not obsessive about sorting his undies because you can only have one vain person in a relationship! Or when she cops to her manipulations; I get so sick of women manipulating men and then claiming with false innocence that they weren’t intentionally manipulating (please! we’re women, we manipulate even when we ARE unaware of it).

    Mostly, though, I liked that the power struggles between her and Wyatt were all on the table, and that they both enjoyed the game. The convoluted sexual politics of so much contemporary Romance exhaust me, but that wasn’t the csae in TDF; instead, it was like watching a masters tournament in romance chess and I loved watching the advantage shift back and forth between Blair and Wyatt.

    Plus, and perhaps most importantly, I thought it was genius the way Howard had Blair hide her intelligence when it served her, because I think she used that dynamic in the book itself to great effect. On the surface Blair appeared completely shallow and self-centered, but to me, anyway, that appearance was completely deceiving.

    TDF was actually the first Howard book I read where I felt she was totally in control of her craft and her talent and that she was able to realize a relatively coherent novel.

  37. Keishon says:

    Your discussions have intrigued me and I plan to pull out TDF for the next TBR challenge (I think it qualifies).

    Robin, be sure to drop me a line to let me know if you enjoyed The Vizard Mask as you know that I loved it very much and I’m anxious to know what you think about it. Diana Norman does have a new book coming out very soon that is a sequel to two other books: A Catch of Consequence and Taking Liberties but each book can stand alone so far.

  38. Robin says:

    I will definitely let you know what I think of the Vizard Mask, Keishon. As for TDF, please post when you finish and give your review. I obviously liked the book more than LFL did, but many readers absolutely hated Blair — HATED her. Of course, contrary cuss that I am, vehement reader hatred of a heroine will sometimes make me pick up a Romance I otherwise would not notice!

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