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What are your favorite Linda Howard novels and why?
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Eliza



Joined: 21 Aug 2011
Posts: 1194

PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Katie (kat) wrote:
I really haven't liked anything she's written since Cry No More (which I love) but she use to be my favorite romance author.


Same for me, except I can't say I enjoyed Cry No More. I could appreciate how very well it was done, but it was way too dark and painful for my taste to be called enjoyable. I think I read maybe two, possibly three, of her next books after that, then stopped completely.

Can anyone tell me if all of her subsequent books are that dark and intense? I do understand that's a sub-genre many like, just not me, and I miss her talent. Thanks.
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SandyCo



Joined: 13 Jan 2009
Posts: 85

PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The ones I reread the most are:

Cry No More - I like the way Mila softens Diaz, and the way he took care of her towards the end almost broke my heart.

Open Season - I loved the way Daisy decided to change her life, and that she was oblivious to the chaos she created at the nightclub the first time she went. Her experiment with makeup was hilarious, and the "party pack" of condoms was amazing. I also like the way her character helped Jack become suspicious of the mayor and eventually solve the crime. Smile

Death Angel - I used to read this book every couple of months at the book store until it was finally released in paperback! I'm not sure why it grabs me so much; maybe it's because that first chapter forged a connection between Drea/Andie and Simon, and even when he was chasing her down and undecided whether or not to kill her, he was admiring her skill in trying to evade him, etc. He never even told her he loved her, but it's so obvious in everything he did for her.

Dream Man - Dane is the perfect hero, a little rough around the edges, but still insanely protective of Marlie. I love how angry Marlie got when she realized he had set her up with the reporter, and the point of view from the psychopath was just chilling.

Shades of Twilight - I know many people were icked out by the Wade and Roanna being cousins, but I was able to put it aside and just enjoy the story. Roanna was a quiet, introspective heroine, but I admired that she had made it through college, etc. and didn't let her grief destroy her.

After the Night - Gray and Faith's chemistry sizzled on the pages. I'm a sucker for stories in which a woman rises from the ashes of her past and makes something of herself., and she challenged Gray at every turn. Those two characters were extremely well matched.
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chris booklover



Joined: 12 Apr 2010
Posts: 321
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Linda Howard is my favorite romance novelist, and she has written more DIK's for me than any other author. I particularly admire her versatility. Her work includes contemporary romances (Duncan's Bride, After The Night), romantic suspense (Dream Man, Open Season), historical westerns (A Lady of the West, The Touch of Fire) and time travel novels (Son of the Morning, Killing Time).

My favorites include the Mackenzie series (especially Mackenzie's Mountain), the early rescue series - Midnight Rainbow, Diamond Bay and Heartbreaker - plus A Lady of the West, Shades of Twilight, Son of the Morning and .... I could go on, but I would be in danger of listing her entire backlist. Generally speaking I prefer her earlier novels (those written in the 1980's and 1990's) to the later ones.

I very much agree that Howard's heroes are one of her greatest strengths. They are probably the most realistically depicted men in the genre. As one reviewer said, they think and act like men, not like typical romance novel creations. It is true that Howard works with a relatively narrow range of archetypes (most of her heroes are in law enforcement, the military or intelligence) but even in her least successful novels like Ice or Killing Time she makes her heroes plausible and convincing characters.
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mirole



Joined: 06 Aug 2010
Posts: 278
Location: Toronto, Ontario

PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All this talk made me aching for a Linda Howard book.

So I am reading Mackenzie's Mountain for the first time and loving it. Yay!
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AndyR



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 112
Location: Central PA

PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One not mentioned yet--so I'm figuring not many like it--is Kiss Me While I Sleep. It's not my favorite (Mr. Perfect) but it stands fourth in my list of Howard books. The danger the H and h face and then the assumption the h makes at the end--poignant.
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kris



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 312
Location: Southwestern Ontario

PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Touch of Fire is one of my favourites. It's from the early 90's if I remember correctly. I don't usually like Westerns but Ms Howard's skill as a writer made me fall in love with this book.
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MEK



Joined: 09 Dec 2010
Posts: 281

PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Glad you are liking MacKenzie's Mountain, Mirole. There is certainly a reason this book makes it into the Top 100 here at AAR - "teacher finger" and all!

I notice more of Howard's books are out in eformat, but I don't see
Duncan's Bride Crying or Very sad . I'll just have to hang on to my aging paper copy.

I so like Linda Howard because she takes risks. Some don't work out so well (Prey - yikes!), but others make it into the Romance Hall of Fame! Even books I don't particularly like personally, I still appreciate and can see why others say they are a favorite.

When I got back into reading Romance, I started with LH.
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Eliza



Joined: 21 Aug 2011
Posts: 1194

PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Other than "Death Angel," I'm not seeing LH's last four books listed here as faves, unless I missed them, nor are the four books before it listed as often as her earlier and middle(?) books were. Is it fair to assume LH is still a good read but her favorites are from earlier in her career? Is she writing mostly paranormal now?
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ChrisReader



Joined: 05 Sep 2009
Posts: 741

PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess I am definitely in the minority but I enjoyed "Prey." It's not in my top books by any means but I thought it was a good read and reminded me of some of her older books.

I know a lot has been made about the point of view of the bear in the book but it was only one or two mentions and it was used to show where the bear was headed and what a killer it was. Otherwise how would the reader know the hero/heroine were in danger from it before it showed up? From some people's reviews you would think the whole book was from the bear's perspective! It's not and it didn't bother me at all.

It's another one of Howard's "survival" type books but I tend to enjoy those.
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lorif



Joined: 27 May 2011
Posts: 35
Location: Ontario

PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, nobody has mentioned Veil of Night yet, and I have to say that is one of my rereads now. Actually, there are a lot of Linda Howard books on my reread shelf that I go back to time and again, I think because the characters are great , and the stories are varied. In Veil I enjoyed the return to a strong southern family, and found it to be a great romantic-suspense read.
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 6635
Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm reading Heart Of Fire now by Howard, and really enjoying it. It reminds me of River Of Eden by Glenna Reynolds. Both feature a journey through The Amazon where the hero as guide is reluctant to bring the heroine into such dangerous territory. Typical Howard hero in this book and that's a very good thing. Smile
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Eliza



Joined: 21 Aug 2011
Posts: 1194

PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's another excuse for me to look at AAR's Top 100 polls again, only for Linda Howard this time, like I did for the Julie Garwood thread. Thanks again AAR.

2010
23. Mr Perfect
31. Mackenzie's Mountain
47. Dream Man
55. After the Night
80. Cry No More
82. Open Season
89.To Die For

2007
18. Mr. Perfect
22. Dream Man
26. Mackenzie's Mountain
29. Son of the Morning
38. Cry No More
44. To Die For
61. After the Night
92. Open Season

2004
19. Mackenzie's Mountain
20. Mr. Perfect
40. Dream Man
67. Son of the Morning
88. Kill and Tell
89. After the Night

2000
3. Mackenzie's Mountain
19. Dream Man
31. After the Night
48. Mackenzie's Pleasure
79. Mr. Perfect
87. Son of the Morning
90. Mackenzie's Mission

1998
5/tie Dream Man
22/tie After the Night
28/tie Mackenzie's Mountain
35/tie Shades of Twilight
46/tie Kill & Tell
56/tie Sarah's Child
83/tie Son of the Morning

Over time, Mackenzie's Mtn, Dream Man and After the Night have been the consistent winners, with Mr Perfect and Son of the Morning making all lists but one. I can't wait to see what the next poll shows, both for more recently pubbed books but also to see if Cry No More, Open Season and To Die move up.
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Maggie AAR
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Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 2491

PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't include it in my first list (I thought I did but I didn't) but Veil of Night is one of my favorite Howard's. The scene with the coffee at the McDonalds and then again with the coffee shop at the end is hilarious.

I have only a handful of books in both print and audio. This is one of them. It makes a great listen.

maggie b.
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jaime



Joined: 23 Sep 2011
Posts: 525

PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cora wrote:
maggie b. wrote:

I know I am the only person who thought this but I've reread Cover of Night several times and really enjoy it. The hero Cal is to die for and I liked the kids.


You're not the only one. I liked Cover of Night a whole lot, too. No idea why that one is so disliked.

Cry No More and Dream Man are two others I enjoyed very much.


I just read Cover of Night now because of it being mentioned in this thread and I liked it okay. It's an odd duck hybrid between a suspense story and a romance ( with like the most uncomfortable sex scene ever!) and a chilling revenge subplot thrown in. Basically a lot of people die because most of the bad guys are trigger-happy semi-morons, and are enabled and egged on and manipulated by one of their own who has a secret revenge agenda.
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robiform



Joined: 04 Apr 2007
Posts: 248
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Sat May 12, 2012 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I first started reading romance novels, one of the first books I read was Kill and Tell. I've read a lot of Linda Howard's other novels (not too much of her recent works, though), and while some of them have been DIK's for me, others were. . .well, let's just say that they were not my cup of tea! (At the top of that list I would put Shades of Twilight--incest is not my idea of a great story line!)

My Howard DIK's:

The aforementioned Kill and Tell--although Karen and Marc's relationship developed almost as fast as did the one between Romeo and Juliet Smile , they are both great, mature characters, and who couldn't love the setting (the French Quarter in New Orleans)! The follow-up book, All the Queen's Men, was not bad, but I just didn't like it as well.

Diamond Bay--I liked Midnight Rainbow almost as well, but this one was Kell Sabin's story, and it's classic Linda Howard alpha male! Plus, it's set in my home state of Florida, and her descriptions of the geography were spot-on correct!

Mackenzie's Pleasure--this is the third book in the Mackenzie series, and it's the one that I enjoyed the most. Again, the others in the series were good, but oh, that Zane!
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