I thought this was an okay book - not great but not awful either. I have to say that I love her early books but the hardbacks have been hit or miss for me. What I liked about this book: The hero and heroine, as well as the supporting "good guys" and friends were interesting and likeable enough. I also liked the moments of humor and the basic premise. What I didn't like: Too much info about what's going on in the head of the bad guy(s). That caused the book to jump around, as well as drag for me. The section at the beginning about her winning the lottery was interesting, but I think it should have been shorter. Finally, it took too long for the H/H to finally quit fighting the attraction and get together. Again, an okay book. I gave it three and half stars.
Jenner Redwine knew winning the Mega Millions lottery was going to change her life. But after her ex-boyfriend tries to sue her, her father robs her, and her best friend ditches her once the gravy train has been cut off, she's not entirely certain it was all for the best. Cutting her ties to her former life, Jenner tries her luck in Florida and enters the fringes of the Palm Beach elite, guided along by Sydney Hazlett. Seven years later, this former meat packing worker turned multimillionaire is about to set sail for her first cruise when her oh-so-helpful-stewardess calmly informs her that her friend will not be joining her as planned because her associates are holding her hostage, and if wants to see her friend again, she must do as they say. Stunned and terrified, Jenner realizes that the people holding both her and Sydney captive are ruthless and not to be trusted. She's frantically looking for a way out that will leave both her and Syd alive when she is swept up into the arms of the most masculine and menacing stranger she's ever met. She may be angry. She may be scared. But she will not be contracting the Stockholm Syndrome any time soon.
The more I read, the more this book reminded me of LH's Mr. Perfect. I would say that this book has the same amount of time spent on the romance and the suspense as Mr. Perfect. The emphasis on the friendship between Syd and Jenner reminded me of the friendship between the four ladies, and the smarta** comments Sam and Jaine were always tossing about were easily interchangeable with the smarta** sparring of Cael Traylor and Jenner. Which for someone who really enjoys smarta** characters, I thought this book was enjoyable. Until I realized that sparring aside, this book doesn't have a whole lot of substance to it. The plot itself was pretty weak. I don't believe for one second that a real black-ops team would chance their mission on what they believed were two spoiled rich girls (can you imagine the fate of the world being held in the hands of Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie???) and the villain's gleeful ruminations got darned boring after awhile. Since the only one left in the dark is Jenner, I didn't have a whole lot of sympathy for her when she continually begged to be let in on what was happening. Everything is laid out for us and so we end up playing the waiting game throughout most of the book. Waiting for the villain to make his move. Waiting for Cael & Associates to figure it out. Waiting for Cael and Jenner to realize they love each other and fall passionately into each other's arms. Blah, blah, blah.
Cael Traylor starts off very aggressive in the prologue. Since the book kicks off right in the middle of the book, I was really confused when I was bombarded with all the characters right off the bat. At first I didn't know if the guy was the villain or the hero. I assumed he was going to be a Simon-like character from LH's Death Angel, but he quickly turned into a "Yes, Dear" kind of guy. While I enjoyed reading about his attempts to keep Jenner in line, I kind of missed the scarily aggressive male from the beginning. Instead of Simon, Sam or Jackson Rippner, I ended up with a p*ssywhipped Ricky Ricardo.
The sex in this book was also quite a letdown. I know Linda Howard can set my panties afire but in this book all I got was a painfully dry Insert Tab A into Slot B scene and another that read like a fade to black scene. Neither sex scene lasted more than a page or two. Complete letdown.
Though it sounds like I didn't enjoy this book, I did. The action in the book picks up at the end and makes you feel like you've been tossed onto the set of Titanic, and I, weirdly enough, enjoyed the death scene of one of the 'good' characters. But it was the sparring matches between Jenner and Cael that carried this book to the end.
A bizarre start which took a while to figure out what the hell was going on. Then it switches to Jenner's pathetic life which is just as boring. There is some kind of conspiracy plot in place that gets Sydney (Jenner's best friend) kidnapped and Jenner held hostage on a cruise ship. Cael, the man holding Jenner, is a brute and really mean and unfriendly. Nothing is explained to Jenner so she fights his scheme all the way. Unbelievably she falls for Cael - gimme a break - just not believeable at all!
I usually love Linda Howards writing but this was horrible. There aren't even any likeable characters. Jenner eventually is a strong woman but for most of the book she is irritating. And Sydney is just too-stupid-to-live - all money and no brains. Just terrible.
This is the first book I have read by this author. It sounded interesting. I enjoyed the overall story. The author spent about the first 200 pages developing the characters and as a result the plot plodded along. The interactions between the two main characters were comical at times. The physical attraction between them was evident. I was surprised Jenner's choices later in the story. The author had spent so much time telling how she'd been screwed by everyone in her life before and shortly after winning the lottery, that I was surprised she would fall for her captor so quickly. You are told how she trusts noone and then here she is trusting this guy she's just met. The sex scenes were a little more detail than I thought was necessary. I'd rather that amount of detail be put into the plot. The last 50 pages were very action packed and it was interesting to discover how the whole situation would play out. Overall, I liked this book and would probably read more by this author.
Lottery winner Jenner Redwine didn't know what to do with all of the money she won. When her new friend, wealthy heiress Sydney Hazlett, talks her into going on a Charity Cruise on a luxury liner, she thought it sounded like fun. But when Jenner arrives she realizes Syn never made it to the ship because she was kidnapped. Now Jenner must do everything a menacing stranger tells her to do or Syd will be hurt.
Linda Howard is fast becoming one of my favorite authors. Her plots are original, her characters are interesting, and her stories move fast. This book is no exception. I loved the setting on a cruise ship. Even if Jenner gets away from Cael and his team, there is nowhere to go. The dialogue is great. Jenner and Cael are both well-drawn characters and make the romance believable. The supporting characters are fun too and make me wish this book was the first in a series instead of a standalone. My rating: 5 Stars.