WARNING: Do not start this book unless you have sometime, because it's a book you could sit down and read in one sitting it's so good. This book captured my attention from Chapter 1- It's HARD for a book to do that, but Linda Howard does accomplishes this in her latest book, Death Angel. I couldn't get through the pages quick enough. It's definitely a different story, and one that's a great read. She's given so much detail about Drea, that you feel really connected to her, which, sometimes you never get this close to the heroine. Bewareâ"in this book, the H/H do not spend a huge amount of time together, and for some that's a problem, but I enjoyed the story so much, I didn't see it as a problem!
I read a few reviews of this book today and was very excited at first because I didn't know that Linda Howard had anything new out! After reading the reviews I was a bit hesitant to buy it (it's in HC). A few of the reviews were not very flattering, but she is on of my all time favorite authors (she is the ONLY book on my keeper shelf right now, no joke! "Mr. Perfect" in hardback!) and even though I had been a bit disappointed with the last few things she'd written I was looking forward to reading this. Luckily I found this book on the shelf at the library and snatched it up. I am GLAD I did. The heroine and hero are two of the most flawed main characters I have ever read about, but Linda Howard makes them work and make you want the HEA for them. You start out with no sympathy for Andie; she got herself into the situation she was in by only thinking of herself, no matter the act she put on and wasn't really surprised when she was treated like a commodity. This being "romantic" suspense of course the hero was a "good guy", just not your typical white knight. As he said in the book, he was what he was and he did what he did, no excuses. Both of them are redeemable and Linda managed to get them to their HEA after all. Wish there had been a little bit more of the hero's background, and I wish the climax had been expanded more, but all in all this was a good book and will go on my fav's list if not my keeper shelf.
Admittedly this was a strange sort of couple for something that would classify as romantic suspense. They were both generally unsympathetic at the start of the story, but I have to say, the romance and the characters grew on me. In many ways very touching in the style of some of Howard's best romances and left you to feel that these two people were more nearly whole together than apart.
Drea Rousseau is sick of being a drug lord's plaything. Sure, it's nice not having to do anything more than watch the home shopping network and look pretty, but the whole playing dumb thing gets old kind of fast. Drea's boyfriend, Rafael Salinas, is a drug dealer, a criminal, and an unrepentant sinner whose method of solving problems runs more toward hitmen than mediation. And for a while Drea was content to sit by his side and play the part of the gangster's moll. For two years she played her part flawlessly, biding her time until she could leave him with her jewelry and dignity intact. She knows that Rafael doesn't love her, but she thought he at least cared about her some. But when he trades her body for a hitman's services, she learns that she was wrong. And though the hours she spends in the arms of a cold-blooded killer shouldn't matter to a girl whose boyfriend sells drugs for a living, Drea expected more. And when she doesn't get it, she chooses revenge instead. Siphoning two million dollars from Rafael's accounts, Drea runs for her life. She plans to start all over again in middle America where Rafael can't find her. Only she doesn't expect that he'll send the one man after her who she can't escape--the hitman whose touch she craves even as she runs from it.
I've heard a lot of talk on romance boards over the past few years saying that Linda Howard has lost her touch and that her newer books aren't as good as the old ones. Well, with Death Angel, she's proving her critics wrong. This book was fantastic, and quite possibly my favorite of all her works (though After the Night is still pretty high on my list). The hitman (Simon, whose name I neglected to mention because you don't find it out until later in the story) is a quintessential Howard hero. He's all militaristic stealth and alpha male aggression combined with protective lover and guardian of the innocent. In other words, everything you could want in a hero. At times he seems remote, distant, and unsure of himself, and you don't know if this is the sort of hero you can root for. But when he goes after Drea it isn't with any malice and at the same time he's hunting her he's cheering her on for giving Salinas a taste of his own medicine. And Drea is of the nouveau class of Howard heroines. At one time they were dumb as doornails (think Mary in Mackenzie's Mountain), but now it's like Howard has realized it's okay for a girl to have both beauty and brains. And Drea has them both in spades. This is a girl who plays dumb for two years while she secretly stores account numbers and exchanges real diamonds for fake ones. Drea doesn't delude herself into thinking she has an infinite amount of time with Rafael. In fact, she knows the moment someone prettier and younger catches his eye that she'll be out the door. Which is why she has her contingency plan. In fact, the only reason she takes Rafael to the cleaners is that he proves to her that she means nothing to him, so she decides to take what she thinks she's worth. And I was cheering for her even as I hoped Simon wouldn't catch her.
And all of this is without even mentioning the chemistry between these two characters, which virtually sizzles off the pages. From the moment they touch, the temperature went up in my apartment, and it didn't go down at any point when the two of them were together. I can't remember the last time I've been so emotionally invested and intently engaged by a book--particularly romantic suspense. Linda Howard is the reigning queen of the genre and Death Angel is just another weapon in her arsenal that proves why she got the title.
Meet Andrea. She's a curvy, curly blonde who's a live-in toy and eye candy for a NYC mobster. She's not as dumb as she leads her "boyfriend" to believe since she's just biding her time and accepting what gifts and tokens he bestows on her.
Enter a tall, dark, well-built assassin. He's just done a job so well for the mobster, that he's offered a huge bonus. The assassin says no, he wants four hours alone in the apartment with Andrea instead. The mobster eventually says yes, tho he's not really happy about it, but Andrea is devastated. Although the four-hour romp becomes an eye-opener as to what she's been missing for the past couple of years, she becomes devastated that her "boyfriend" would treat her like a cheap slut. She doesn't get mad at the mobster--she gets even. And, do you recall that "heaven hath no fury like a woman scorned"? She's living proof!
This was a great story. I loved it because the plot was so unique, the romance was passionate, and there were a few twists and turns that you really couldn't predict what would happen next. Also, it's always fun to see a jackass get what he deserves!!
In Linda Howard's gifted hands, second chances, unexpected romance, and unrelenting action combine into a riveting new novel of suspense. In Death Angel, bad girls can wake up and trust their hearts, bad guys can fight for what's right . . . and dying just might be the only way to change one's life.
A striking beauty with a taste for diamonds and dangerous men, Drea Rousseau is more than content to be arm candy for Rafael Salinas, a notorious crime lord who deals with betrayal through quick and treacherous means: a bullet to the back of the head, a blade across the neck, an incendiary device beneath a car. Eager to break with Rafael, Drea makes a fateful decision and a desperate move, stealing a mountain of cash from the malicious killer. After all, an escape needs to be financed.
Though Drea runs, Salinas knows she can't hideâ"and he dispatches a cold-blooded assassin in hot pursuit, resulting in a tragic turn of events. Or does it?
Left for dead, Drea miraculously returns to the realm of the living a changed woman. She's no longer shallow and selfish, no longer steals or cheats or sells herself short. Both humbled and thrilled with this unexpected second chance, Drea embraces her new life. But in order to feel safe and soundâ"and stop nervously looking over her shoulderâ"she will need to take down those who marked her for death.
Joining forces with the FBI, supplying vital inside information that only she can provide, Drea finds herself working with the most dangerous man she's ever known. Yet the closer they get to danger, the more intense their feelings for each other become, and the more Drea realizes that the cost of her new life may be her life itselfâ"as well as her heart.
Interesting story. Drug dealer, his girl, Drea, and a hit man being watched by the FBI. Changes brought about in people's lives by a near-death experience. Can Drea run fast enough after stealing 2 million dollars?
A striking beauty w/ a taste for diamonds and dangerous men, Drea Rousseau decides it's time to ditch notorious drug lord Rafael Salinas, but not before stealing a mountain of his cash to finance her escape. Salinas dispatches a cold-blooded assassin in hot pursuit, resulting in a tragic turn of events. Or does it? Left for dead, Drea miraculously returns to the realm of the living a changed woman. Thrilled with this unexpected second chance, Drea joins forces w/ the FBI, working w/ the most dangerous man she has ever known in order to take down those who marked her for death. Yet the closer these two get to danger, the more intense their feelings for eachother become, and the more Drea realizes that the cost of her new life may be her life itself--as well as her heart.
Linda Howard has written another of her intriguing stories. Our heroine is nothing but arm candy for a gangster until she meets the Assassin and something clicks for both of them. The twists and turns after that will keep you wanting more.
I am not even sure what to say about this book. It is truly one of the STRANGEST books I've ever read. It starts out hot and heavy with excitement and intrigue. But then it fizzles out to NOTHING. But aside from that, the story line left me thinking the author is a total whacko! The heroine dies, goes to 'another' place (leads you to believe it's heaven), then gets sent back with a second chance to actually earn her place in 'heaven'. However, if the acts she performed after coming back earned her a spot in heaven, then I've been going about this life ALL wrong!
Bottom line, this is my second Linda Howard book and I'm still not getting the "oohs & ahhs" that everyone raves about with this author. Maybe another book by her will do it for me. Who knows!
By far one of her best books to date--I couldn't put it down and it was well worth the lost night of sleep. Once again Howard manages to make you root for two unconventional characters. Drawing you in from the very beginning, it keeps you hooked until the last page. It will definitely be a novel that will stay on my keeper shelf!
Linda Howard has quickly become one of my favorite authors. I have yet to find a book by her that I havent enjoyed. Linda really knows how to capture her readers attention and pull them into the stories. I especially love how you never know exactly what youre going to get when you pick a book by her her story lines are different, fresh and exciting every time. This one may not be for everyone, with a unique look at death, but I loved it! To me, it started off hot and steamy and just got better from there.
Linda Howard is âa superbly original storytellerâ (Iris Johansen) who knows that nothing goes better with lots of sand, a beach chair and an ice cold drink than a hot summer read! Death Angel is sexy, smoldering, non-stop action from start to finish. Gorgeous, diamond-loving Drea Rousseau takes the meaning of arm candy to a whole new level when she hooks up with Rafael Salinas, a notorious crime lord. Unfortunately for her, nothing goodâ"or in his case, badâ"lasts forever. Knowing Rafael has a wandering eye, Drea does what any streetwise woman with a taste for the finer things would do and rips him off before he loses interest, hightailing it out of town with a bundle of cash and Rafael's hit man hot on her stiletto-clad heels. But Drea can't outrun the monster, who leaves her for dead, never suspecting she'd not only survive, but return to life a changed woman, humbled by her unexpected second chance. Still, you don't double-cross Rafael Salinas without paying. In order to feel safe again, Drea joins forces with the FBI to help take him down, only to find herself working with a man more dangerous than the one she left; a man who might decide to save her lifeâ¦or just as easily forfeit it.
Linda Howard has written a novel that invites the reader to share in the journey of two people who find each other in the midst of lives that are significantly without redeeming or moral value...and then allows you to follow as they are brought to a crossroad that will test their love and ability to change those lives. This is not some goody goody tale of redemption...but more...an earthy look at real people who make real mistakes and err greatly on the side of wrong...and how they are given an opportunity to change themselves ...to give to each a completion of love and acceptance...to just be more than before...better. I loved the view suggested of the afterlife and ability to right wrongs and achieve spiritual freedom and forgiveness...Linda Howard presented this tale with the full force of her talent that her fans have long come to expect from one of her books.
Bravo to Ms Howard for a book that this reader will not forget anytime soon. I highly recommend Death Angel to those who love their books with "extra"....Ms Howard always delivers!!!
Mistress of Crime Lord Rafael Salinas, Drea Rousseau has worked her way up from poverty to the penthouse suite. She knows she only has a few years to be Salinas' arm candy before she is traded in for a newer model. That is why Drea is making the most of her life on top. But when a hired assassin asks Salinas for four hours along with her as payment for a job well done, Drea is shocked when Salinas hands her over. The time with the assassin changes her life. But when their time is over, Drea knows she has to get away from Salinas and make him pay for giving her away. A quick transfer of funds and a disguise has Drea on the run from Salinas. When the mobster finds she has taken over two million dollars of his money, he sends the assassin after her.
I didn't think I'd ever be rooting for a mistress and an assassin, but I was wrong. Linda Howard makes takes two slightly cold-blooded characters and shows you what they are made of. I liked Drea from the first couple of pages of the book. We see why she has decided to be Salinas' mistress and how she is devastated when he gives her away. Simon, the assassin, was a little harder to warm up to, but by the end of the book I wanted to see him win the girl. My rating: 4.5 Stars.
Death Angel doesnt quite fall into the genre of romantic suspense. At times it felt preachy and after the mid-point of the book little happens, but the first half is very good. It hooks the attention right off the bat and has you rooting for Drea even though she is shallow and self-absorbed. It is anticlimactic and the attempt at suspense falls flat because the bad guy is a two-dimensional character and we never really see how bad he can be, so theres no real fear for Dreas safety. Likewise, Simon is not as fleshed out as Howards previous enigmatic anti-heroes like John Medina. I, for one, would have liked to have learned more about him and kept hoping the book would take us into his head more.
All in all, it was a quick, entertaining read, but I know Linda Howard can do better.