Friday, September 14, 2012

PREY by Linda Howard

Publisher: Ballantine
Date published: September 2011
ISBN: 978-0345506917
Paranormal Romance
Obtained via publisher
Reviewed by T.Barringer

Have you ever heard the phrase, “Sometimes you get the bear, sometimes the bear gets you?” While reading Linda Howard’s PREY, that phrase kept coming to mind again and again.

Angie Powell has inherited her wilderness guide business from her father who died two years ago. Though Angie is a knowledgeable guide, her business is going down the drain and Angie blames handsome Dare Callahan for it all. Dare is ex-military and his guide business has been booming ever since he opened, drawing business away from Angie. Even his name seems to annoy her. Who names their son Dare anyway? Before throwing in the towel on her business, Angie decides to take one last trip into the wild with a client and his guest who are hunting for bear. But the trip turns deadly when Angie witnesses a murder. Before the killer has Angie in his sights, a killer bear barrels onto the scene and the real hunt begins.

The first thing this reader has to comment on with this book is the book cover. It is a beautiful scene of a scantily clad woman sprawled out on what appears to be a beach. The only thing this cover has in common with the book is the woman. There is no beach in this book. It takes place in the winter, with a woman trying to stay alive while being chased by a killer and an even deadlier bear. Still, it is a nice cover. It just doesn’t have anything at all to do with the book.

Now, moving onto the story itself. Linda Howard’s PREY is a fast paced romantic adventure filled with the beauty of the wilderness. The female lead character, Angie, seemed a bit out of place in this story. Her business is failing and she doesn’t realize the obvious, hunter’s are going to be more comfortable with the ex-military Dare guiding them then they are with a woman, no matter how skilled she may be. The man is just simply going to be stronger and more useful in the wild. Instead of looking for ways to market her business smarter, she decides to take the easy way out and sell. The male lead, Dare, is strong, competent, resilient, easy on the eyes and is interested in Angie to the point of thinking of a way to purchase her business while keeping Angie in her home and employed. He is the perfect hero.

For this reader, the best character in this book, though, was the bear. Ms. Howard even takes a few pages to describe what the bear was thinking throughout this story. You can almost hear the impending doom background music every time the bear shows up. That’s right, “Sometimes you get the bear, sometimes the bear gets you”.

The romance that builds between Angie and Dare develops as Dare attempts to save Angie’s life after she witnesses a murder, a bear attack and injury while fleeing through the wild in the freezing winter. And while the romance was nice, it was the race down the mountain with the killer and the killer bear on their heels that made PREY so much fun to read. It comes as no surprise that the killer is doomed, but the chase is interesting and keeps the story racing to its somewhat obvious conclusion. Still, this reader enjoyed PREY. Linda Howard is just that good a storyteller.

Linda Howard’s PREY is an adrenaline rush of a romantic adventure that will warm even the coldest heart. This may not be the most shocking book ever written, but PREY does entertain and is worth the read.


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