Thursday, September 29, 2011

PREY by Linda Howard

Publisher: Ballantine
Date published: September 6, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-345-50691-7
Romantic Suspense
Reviewed by Gina
Obtained ARC from Publisher

Despite her best efforts to keep her business going and her life on an even keel, Angie Powell finds herself being forced to sell off her father’s legacy to her and look toward a new career. It’s not like she hasn’t been uprooted before, but this time it’s personal. If it weren’t for Dare Callahan, her life would be just fine. But in the past few years, since Dare’s return to their small town, her life has slowly slipped away. Never mind Dare has asked her out twice—she wants nothing to do with him. Before she can pack up and go, however, Angie has to lead one more hunting party up the mountain.

Chad Krugman is a man on a mission. After kowtowing to an impossible boss, he’s ready to even the score. To do so he entices his boss, Mitchell Davis, to join him on a hunting trip with Angie as their guide. Chad may be down trodden, but he’s got a plan. Despite not particularly caring for riding horseback or hunting, he embarks on his plan for a secure future.

When family friend Harlan hears about Angie’s latest clients, something doesn’t sit quite right with him so he asks Dare to follow Angie up the mountain and keep an eye on her. Grudgingly Dare agrees to go. Within a few hours of arriving at his camp he hears a gun shot from the direction of Angie’s camp. Despite a once in a century thunder and lightning storm, Dare heads out to find out what is going on at Angie’s camp. What he doesn’t expect is murder and a renegade man-eating bear. Can he get to Angie before death knocks on her door? And if he does, will Angie let him in?

PREY is Linda Howard’s latest novel and it is must read. Reminiscent of her earlier COVER OF NIGHT in the opening scenes, PREY is takes the reader to a new level of suspense. Like COVER OF NIGHT there are elements in the beginning that didn’t make much sense to me, like why Davis would go off on a hunting trip with a man he clearly didn’t like. It just didn’t mesh with his personality as it unfolded in the pages. But once the initial scenes, setting the stage for the trek up the mountain were past, the story was non-stop action and adventure. I had a hard time putting it down and wanted to just sit and read to the end.

Clearly Ms. Howard did her homework with this book. I had a bit of a time reading the scenes where the bear did what came natural to him—parts were a bit hard to read, but the story would not have had its impact without the detail of those scenes.

And then the love scenes. Linda Howard knows how to write a love scene you imagine over and over again. She entices her readers, brings them to the brink and then pulls back. Despite only being together for two days, the evolution of Dare and Angie’s relationship is natural and so filled with sexual tension you are on the edge of your seat rooting for them. Ms. Howard teases you with style and panache with Dare and Angie coming so close to consummating their relationship only to have them back off. You want them to do the deed but at the same time, the anticipation is so toe curling you want yet another dance around the consummation of their relationship.

PREY is a fabulous read you won’t want to miss.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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