As you may have figured from the title of this article, I'm very excited to say, the new Linda Howard is here. She is one of the handful of authors I rush to the bookstore to buy in hardcover, so I could hardly wait to read it, though I did make myself finish the book I was reading when this one arrived. But this one caused me to have to sit up over the weekend into the wee hours of the morning to finish it, and it was worth it.
Kiss Me While I Sleep (Ballantine) is the story of Lily Mansfield, a now-rogue CIA agent. Her vengeful killing of the man who murdered her friends has made her a hunted woman--not only by the man's crime family, but by her former employer as well. But her plan for vengeance isn't yet complete, so she just needs to stay alive long enough now to discover why her friends were murdered. Agent Lucas Swain is on the case, with orders to bring Lily in, one way or the other. But his orders do not include getting involved in her quest. Not many writers can take an assasin and make them into a hero or heroine, but now Linda Howard has done it twice, and done it exceedingly well. Lily has vulnerabilities all of us can identify with, and, if you're a fan of Ms. Howard's sexy heroes, Swain won't disappoint. I'm borrowing four and a half of Cupid's five arrows for this one. I can hardly wait until her next one comes.
Also this week, I have Carla Cassidy's Promise Him Anything (Onyx). Juliette Monroe is just beginning to think her life might get back to normal when her crazed, abusive ex-husband takes their son's daycare at gunpoint. Detective Nick Corelli's specialty is hostage situations, but the only thing that gets this madman out is Juliette. But when her ex is carted off to jail, he promises to get her for breaking her promises. Something about Juliette and her quiet son Billy makes Nick want to help, especially when her ex gets out of jail much sooner than expected. I really enjoyed the secondary characters here, and there's much to admire in Juliette, but I couldn't quite love it. I wasn't convinced in the romance end of things here. For a woman so abused and fearful for her life, I had a hard time buying that in the midst of it she could be interested in another man, and even if she could, that it could be something lasting. This one gets only three arrows. It was enjoyable, but not a keeper for me.
Until next time, happy reading!