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Topic: Linda Howard - where do I start?

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Subject: Linda Howard - where do I start?
Date Posted: 7/17/2008 11:09 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Ok, I've been intrigued by recent excerpts of some of her books, and y'all already know that contemporaries & romantic suspense aren't really my thing, but I got a stack of her books at the UBS, and I need advice on where the best place to start with them is.  Or do I put these on hold and try something else altogether?  I need something that's going to make me want to read more of them; if she turns me off on the first one, I'm likely to dump the lot on my shelf and not give her another shot.  Not fair, I know, but that's how I roll:P 

So far I have:

Open Season
Kiss Me While I Sleep
After The Night
To Die For
Killing Time
Drop Dead Gorgeous




Date Posted: 7/17/2008 11:48 AM ET
Member Since: 10/16/2007
Posts: 1,180
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I am in the same boat as you so to speak in that I love historical romance and only recently started reading comtemps.  Contemps can get "outdated" quickly for me in the types of dress, technology for the time, etc that I can't seem to get into books unless they are just released.  I am finding authors I like tho such as Gibson, Crusie and Brockmann. 

I recently read Open Season by Howard and loved it.  I also read several of hers that were part of a series: Heartbreaker, Diamond Bay and White Lies.  There is alot of positive feedback for this series.  I thought they were just OK/Good but not keepers. 

I am very interested in the responses to your inquiry.  I have several of hers in my TBR pile as well.


Date Posted: 7/17/2008 11:50 AM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2006
Posts: 5,498
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I've read several of hers and I have to say I have not been disappointed.  I've got TO DIE FOR on my keeper shelf and I've got a couple of hers in my TBR pile.


Date Posted: 7/17/2008 12:02 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2008
Posts: 15,690
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I read After The Night recently and I really liked it Kim. The hero sometimes borders on jerk territory but I think given the problems of what he's going through, they made sense to me.

Although I have to say that it was kinda weird with people not having cell phones or internet, LOL!

Last Edited on: 7/17/08 12:02 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/17/2008 12:05 PM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2008
Posts: 2,553
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I kinda don't mind pre-cell phone or internet contemporaries. It makes for a better thriller. I recently read a Sandra Brown book about a plane crash in the wilderness and if they'd had cell phones there would have been no story to speak of! Well, I guess cell phones can break (mine seem to pretty easily anyway).

Date Posted: 7/17/2008 12:10 PM ET
Member Since: 6/17/2008
Posts: 626
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I don't read alot of contemporary or suspence romance books, I prefer historical pieces... but I do like Linda Howard.  Open Season was actually the first one of hers that I read and I really enjoyed it.

By the way, after reading some of the excerpts here, I had to go ahead and order a few more of hers!!


Date Posted: 7/17/2008 12:13 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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"I recently read a Sandra Brown book about a plane crash in the wilderness and if they'd had cell phones there would have been no story to speak of!" 

Lol  - talk about an instant plot-killer:P 

Date Posted: 7/17/2008 12:14 PM ET
Member Since: 7/25/2005
Posts: 25,162
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Drop Dead Gorgeous is the follow up to To Die For.  They're both funny but written in first person and I know that puts some people off.

Personally, I LOVED Open Season.  It's got some humour in it also.

After the Night, I had to read it twice. The first time I didn't "get" the connection between the H/H but it's a hot read.  I enjoyed it much more the second time around.

Kiss Me While I Sleep was just a bad book. 

I'll have to reread your post and see if I missed any. ETA:  Killing Time was also forgettable.


Oh, and White Lies, Heartbreaker, etc.  This was a very old series that didn't hold up very well in time.  Heartbreaker is and always was my favourite of them, though, and is still on my keeper shelf.  Most of my keepers by her are her older Harlequin types (especially the MacKenzies).


Last Edited on: 7/17/08 12:15 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/17/2008 12:16 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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Once I got over the inherent ickiness, I loved After the Night. It's definitely my favorite of hers--very hot and funny. I also liked Dream Man.

BTW, Howard has written some historicals, if you want to ease in that way. Angel Creek was very good. It's sort of a sequel to Lady of the West, but that one is really Old Skool so you might want to skip it. The Touch of Fire was pretty good too.

Date Posted: 7/17/2008 12:27 PM ET
Member Since: 7/25/2005
Posts: 25,162
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Dream Man is another that's on my keeper shelf!  Along with Now You See Her.

Date Posted: 7/17/2008 12:28 PM ET
Member Since: 8/12/2006
Posts: 1,012
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I have all of her books and liked most of them.  I really loved the Mackenzie series and the John Medina series. 

Mackenzie's Mountain is the first in the Mackenzie series.

Kill and Tell is the first in the John Medina series.

The Blair Mallory series is not my most favorite, but is different from her other books because it was written in first person.  It's pretty funny at times. 

For single titles, I remember being disappointed in Son of the Morning.

I loved Dream Man, Now you see her, Mr. Perfect, Open Season, Dying to Please, Cry No More, and Killing Time, but I like the romantic suspense genre.  Mr. Perfect is not necessarily believeable to me, but I enjoyed the relationship between the hero and heroine. 

I forgot about After the Night.  It is different and I wasn't sure I liked it at first, but it did grow on me.

Last Edited on: 7/17/08 12:30 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/17/2008 12:42 PM ET
Member Since: 11/29/2005
Posts: 953
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I'm just starting Open Season today. It came highly recommended from a friend at another site.  I was told there were many LOL moments and I love humor in my romance and suspense.

Date Posted: 7/17/2008 1:32 PM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2007
Posts: 391
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I loved After the night.  I read it and then posted it on my bookshelf.  After I let it go, I then decided it was a keeper.  So I reordered  it as a freebie in a book deal.  Also Cover of night is good.

Date Posted: 7/17/2008 8:35 PM ET
Member Since: 2/1/2008
Posts: 3,498
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Dream Man has to be one of my all time favorite Romance books of any genre.  I bought it when it first came out umpteen years ago and have been through several copies.  I also liked Open Season and Killing Time (a little out there, but interesting twist at the time)

I totally agree that Kiss Me While I Sleep was not worth time time to read.

Date Posted: 7/17/2008 9:19 PM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,603
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After the Night is one of my favorite books!  I also love her Mackenzie series:  Mackenzie's Mountain, Mackenzie's Mission, Mackenzie's Pleasure, A Game of Chance, and the other story is in a Christmas anthology.

Date Posted: 7/17/2008 9:25 PM ET
Member Since: 12/29/2007
Posts: 462
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I read Now You See Her when I first discovered her and really liked it. Love all the Mackenzie books as well as Sarah's Child and a small follow-up "Bluebird Winter" which features a young boy from the first book now grown up -- They were more romance versus some of her mysteries but I loved them all the same. I just picked up Open Season myself and I'm really looking forward to it. And can't believe I forgot - Mr. Perfect!!

Last Edited on: 7/19/08 12:55 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/17/2008 9:44 PM ET
Member Since: 5/3/2006
Posts: 6,436
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I saw Dream Man at the library sale, didn't pick it up because I had a library copy checked out, and have been kicking myself ever since.

Date Posted: 7/17/2008 10:35 PM ET
Member Since: 10/16/2007
Posts: 1,180
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I forgot about Mr. Perfect - great read.  I have Dream Man in my TBR pile - I am inspired to read it next.

Date Posted: 7/17/2008 11:18 PM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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Out of the ones you listed, Open Season was my favorite..it was a' light' suspense though the crime being committed is horrendous and starts off with that part being discussed which almost turned me off to the book...

To Die For was also a good read and Drop Dead Gorgeous is the sequel but I haven't read that one yet

After the Night - the hero is a total ass and I can't believe I made it through but he sorta redeemed himself with the table massage and thinking how young he was at the time the story started and how he felt could soewhat justify his actions but still...then to do the lousiana politics on the woman when she returns..I wanted to bitch slap him across the room! ah but the massage...I could forget a lot for one of those!

I love the mackenzie series..my alltime favorites. I also liked 'midnight rainbow' and got the other books - diamond bay, white lies, and heartbreaker..they're dated silhouettes but I still enjoyed the 2 I've read and waiting to read the other 2.

Kill and Tell was good and introduced John Medina . all teh queen's men is John's book and there's a 3rd one after it that Ihaven't read. Ilked All teh Queen's Men.

Mr. Perfect was god and funny in places but I had a problem a little teensy bit with all the violence happening to the non-starring characters..this one has been recommended a lot so I think perhaps I'm too sensitive...the overall story was definitely thriller IMO and I did enjoy it in spite of the psycho killer!

Date Posted: 7/17/2008 11:46 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Well, I got derailed by that Laura Lee Guhrke excerpt (curse you , Willa:P), but I think I'm going to put Open Season at the top of this stack and start with that one after I finish this Guhrke book I bought today.

Date Posted: 7/18/2008 12:01 AM ET
Member Since: 1/20/2007
Posts: 7,052
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Open Season was one of my favorites by her also- loved the interaction between H/h. And also Dream Man as many have said here. I don't usually like any kind of psychic storyline, but I thought Linda Howard did it just right.

Date Posted: 7/18/2008 9:34 AM ET
Member Since: 11/29/2005
Posts: 953
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I'm really enjoying Open Season. I stayed up and read until late last night even which I normally don't do as I get up at 5am. I'm not too perky this morning but  I'm still glad I got a lot of the book read. The interaction between the H and H is fun.

Rose.....I love your siggie! Those are great pics and something I would love to see around my house. I always tell my hubby how sexy he is when he is vacuuming. lol

Date Posted: 7/18/2008 10:59 AM ET
Member Since: 5/13/2006
Posts: 2,157
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Linda Howard is one of my all time favorite authors.  One of the first thing I did here was finish collecting all her books.

Date Posted: 7/18/2008 12:32 PM ET
Member Since: 1/21/2008
Posts: 53
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I've only read After the Night from your list. Overall, I liked it but I did want to slap the hero a couple times. I also liked Kill and Tell, All the Queen's Men, and Dream Man that have all been mentioned here.

However, my favorite Linda Howard book is Son of the Morning, which another poster said they didn't like. It is not like her other books I have read. It has time travel in it and the hero and heroine don't even meet until 2/3 through the book so the romance takes a back seat through part of the story. However, I enjoyed the story and liked the characters so for me it was a good read.

Date Posted: 7/19/2008 2:07 AM ET
Member Since: 9/15/2005
Posts: 319
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I've only read After the Night from your list too.  It was OK but not spectacular.  Also not scary or anything.

I loved Son of the Morning too -- my first and still favorite Linda Howard!  I couldn't put it down and read until 5 am!  But it's not your average romance in a lot of ways.  Lots of suspence and violence, which the heroine spends most of the book dealing with on her own. 

Last winter I read Cry No More and really enjoyed it.  I almost passed it along without reading it 'cos it didn't sound like my thing, but then I just started reading it anyway and I'm glad I did 'cos it hit the spot perfectly!  I've also read one where the heroine was a psychic that was pretty good, and I have Mr. Perfect in my TBRs.  This is making me want to read more of her stuff.  ;)  I don't read too much romantic suspence either, but hers tend to be just right.