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Dying to Please

3.91  ·  Rating Details  ·  10,050 Ratings  ·  265 Reviews
Loyal. Beautiful. Professional. Impeccably organized. Potentially lethal. Sarah Stevens is a woman with many distinct qualities. First and foremost a butler par excellence, skilled at running large households smoothly and efficiently, she is also a trained bodyguard and expert marksman–indispensable to her elderly employer, a courtly gentleman whom Sarah has come to respec ...more
Paperback, 410 pages
Published August 8th 2007 by Ballantine (first published January 1st 2002)
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Mr. Perfect by Linda HowardHard Evidence by Pamela ClareUnlawful Contact by Pamela ClareAfter the Night by Linda HowardExtreme Exposure by Pamela Clare
Best Romantic Suspense
26th out of 1,460 books — 1,947 voters
Mr. Perfect by Linda HowardSomething About You by Julie JamesNaked in Death by J.D. RobbDream Man by Linda HowardA Lot like Love by Julie James
Best Police Romances
27th out of 190 books — 190 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Lisa Kay
Okay, I finished the book late this morning. I have a hard time rating it, because a three-star LH is much better than a three-star book written by someone else.

The hero, Tom Cahill, thinking the heroine, Sarah Stevens, (view spoiler)
Why hire someone to do the dirty work…

Sarah Stevens had been hired by the insistance of retired federal judge, Lowell Roberts. A kind man who’d received threats a few years back, the family, especially the daughter, didn’t want the judge living alone. Sarah is a female butler, hired to watch and guard him. Sarah takes care of everything, from the mundane daily living to the higher stuff like parties. She also guards him; drives him wherever he needs to go, watches his back. When two men break in
Aug 29, 2008 Eastofoz rated it really liked it
Recommended to Eastofoz by: Auntee
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
 Eden Creed
This book is so GOOD!!! It has easily become one of my favorite by Howard and I can't believe I missed it before.

The male and female leads have helluva chemistry and the countdown to the finale of the book is filled with excitement. I only wish that it would have been prolonged a little more to really get to savor the antagonist and get to know to speak. But all in all it was very enjoyable.
Jul 21, 2015 Jacqueline rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: romantic suspence readers
Very good book even on second reading. I was reading a hard copy of this and I kept wanting to press the bookmark button to reference lovely bits of romantic dialog that the hero said to the heroine but dang it, I wasn't reading on my Kindle. I couldn't bring myself to dog ear my book. Maybe I should buy some of those flag tapes. ;-)

I liked the strong competent heroine and the cop who seems at first to be humorless and cold but when he warms up, wow what a sweetie.

If you like well done romantic
Audio. Narrated by Susan Erickson. She's very good, but the story turned me off. Cahill really let me down. Some hero. Simply not enough trust, dialogue, or relationship development. I didn't laugh or even smile, either. Too much raunchy sex -- and it follows soon after the murder of loved ones. Repeated mention of blood and brain matter. Lest we forget?

But my biggest problem?? I could NOT believe Sarah slept with Cahill after his big betrayal, at the police station. What a crock! He needed to
Grade A-/B+

Narrated by Susan Ericksen

As a professional butler, Sarah Stevens is trained to manage large household down to the smallest details. She’s also skilled as a bodyguard, which comes in handy in her present position as butler to a retired Federal judge. When an obsessed admirer sets out to secure Sarah’s services by any means possible, Detective Thomas Cahill is brought in to lead the investigation. As the mystery deepens, Sarah finds herself drawn into the investigation. Complicating ma
Actually 3.5 stars.

Dying to Please was a great example of a solid, entertaining, and somewhat gritty romantic suspense novel. Although I had a bit of trouble with the villain (Linda Howard didn't quite sell me on his motivations, but more on that below), the actions, dialog, and thought patterns of the main characters felt real and believable. I was so grateful that Howard didn't break the tone of the rest of the novel by trying to "make it all better" in the epilogue (or venture into the realm
Girl butler and professional bodyguard, Sarah Stevens, meets speculating boy detective, Thomas Cahill, after a botched burglary in her employer's home.

Sarah and Cahill cross paths again when her employer, a retired judge, is found murdered in his home. An investigation commences. Sarah learns that someone is stalking her.

Eventually a romance unfolds and all sorts of naughty shenanigans take place. (Sarah is trained in martial arts and Cahill has no qualms about challenging her to a game of stri
Laura (Kyahgirl)
3.5/5; 4 stars; B+

I listened to this yesterday and, as I remembered from my first read several years ago, this is a solid romantic suspense. I thought that Susan Erikson did an excellent job narrating the story.

I liked the premise of a female butler/bodyguard and she was portrayed as competent and capable, without crossing into hard edged.

I remember reading this story and being dismayed at how easily Cahill lost faith in Sarah and this aspect of the story came across even stronger when listenin
My 5-Facts Review ('Cuz I'm lazy busy reading):

(3 stars)

Linda Howard's writing comes alive on the pages! The story and characters suck you in right at the beginning. This author's books should be a genre on their own. Sometimes I don't have a crawing for contemporary or paranormal book, but specifically for a Linda Howard book, and every time I do, my eyes better prepare for the lack of sleep until I finish the book. They are un-
Miss Kim
Jun 25, 2008 Miss Kim rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: romantic supense fans
I loved this book! I really enjoyed the realtionship between Cahill and Sarah. Sarah is a butler and bodyguard to an elderly judge. A series of murders makes Sarah look like the top suspect. Cahill is the dectetive brought in on the case.
Mar 01, 2014 Farah rated it it was ok
Shelves: books
It was too predictable to the point where it got really annoying. The book had zero surprises , like really not a single surprise NOT ONE !! The identity of the villain was too obvious and even the book didn't try to surprise us .. we were told who the villain was before he made his last few moves , even if we weren't told we would have known , talk about a guy appearing with the word villain written on his forehead in BOLD. The author didn't even try to surprise us or confuse us , we were tol ...more
Jan 09, 2012 Ian rated it liked it
There are things about this book I like a lot. I find the idea of the female protagonist being a butler / bodyguard quite intriguing, I really enjoyed the interplay between her and her employers. I didn't much like the antagonist, he was almost a caricature of what a villain should be. From the few Linda Howard books I've read, I've come to the conclusion that she doesn't write her villains very well. I was also a little disappointed in Sarah's love interest, Det. Cahill. He was very much a genr ...more
Karla Cabcam
Ya me hacia falta leer un libro así.
Another enjoyable story by Linda Howard, this time with a kick-ass heroine as well as hero.

Sarah has an unusual job and skill-set, working as a butler/bodyguard for a retired FBI judge. Things have been quiet at her post until a night of an attempted burglary which she stops without much effort and gains the attention of the press.

Her reluctant 15 minutes of fame bring her to the attention of a villain, while her involvement in the burglary led to her meeting detective Tom Cahill, a man whom she
Great book! Love LH's plots.. Great suspense, loved the interaction between hero and heroine: talk about direct (and that first sex scene in the bassement??? I needed a cold shower afterwards, lol)! But at least there weren't any misunderstandings:-)
Nov 25, 2008 Barbara rated it liked it
"Dying to Please" is a little slow on the take off, but towards the end it gets a lot better. I'm still waiting on one of Howard's books to blow me away, but for right now she keeps me entertained enough to keep coming back for more.
Oct 07, 2014 Anita rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romantic-supense
Dying to Please is another great romantic-suspense book by Linda Howard. There are few authors that can deliver as consistently good a product as her. When I pick up a Linda Howard book, I know I will be enthralled and entertained.

Sarah Stevens is a butler/bodyguard to elderly retired Judge Roberts. She gets to use her bodyguard training during a robbery at the Judge's house and is spotlighted on the local morning TV show - as a butler, not as a bodyguard. This set off a chain of events that is
Ms. Howard does a fine job of setting up her heroine as being strong, tough and capable. However, I found Sarah Stevens to be a little too quick to fall for the tough guy we are given as her love interest. He knows, she knows and we know that Det. Thompson Cahill shouldn’t be with this woman. He’s involved in her murder case; she’s still a suspect; he’s recovering from the wounds dealt to him by his ex-wife. But he goes after her anyway (mainly because his obligatory happy-go-lucky player best f ...more
Feb 13, 2015 Sana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
I was most certain that Dying to Please would be getting a 4 star rating but alas, it couldn't. That is not to say that I didn't enjoy it. Rather, something was amiss and I just couldn't bring myself to not be bothered about it. A female butler-slash-bodyguard is a way too intriguing story line for me to pass up on. Linda Howard has a peculiar way of making things heat up or cool down in a matter of minutes and that's what make her books such enjoyable reads.

What I didn't like about the book wa
Jane Stewart
Liked it, but it was not as much fun as her other books. I wasn't as invested in the characters as I would have liked.

I did not enjoy the two times that Sarah was the main murder suspect. I'm not a fan of stories about an innocent person being accused. It was still an ok read.

Sarah is butler and bodyguard for a judge. Bad guy wants to hire her, but she refuses to leave her job, so he kills her employer the judge. She still refuses to work for him and goes to work elsewhere, so he kil
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 29, 2009 Annabelle rated it did not like it
Please don’t read this book. It’s not even a good airplane read. Sarah is a butler for a sweet retired judge, and she reminds me of Nancy Drew without the sex scenes. Remember her, who did everything perfectly and would wash her hair and it would be immediately dry. Well, Sarah is a brown belt at karate, does target practice in her spare time, and is short but good looking and weekly pedicures and manicures. A sociopath attaches to her, and a local detective Cahill who has a very hard body helps ...more
Jul 28, 2010 Erika rated it did not like it
This is a story told from the perspective if a butler, and a female one no less. Intriguing, right? Well, I found that after the gripping opening to the story there wasn’t much to deliver. The story is very formulaic and predictable. Sometimes I like my stories to be predictable and familiar. There is comfort in knowing the good guys are good and the bad guys are bad. However, predictable dialogue is a story killer and I just couldn’t get over the cop jumping in the sack with someone involved in ...more
Sep 09, 2015 Julie rated it really liked it
Suspenseful story of female butler who attracts the attention of a psychopath that wants her as his own butler. So, he systematically begins to kill off her employers until he gets her all to himself. Over the course of the murders, she hooks up with Alabama detective Tom Cahill. Lot of sizzle between them and hard to put down in the 2nd half. On audio I loved it, but wasn't super crazy over the narrator's Southern accent for Cahill, really began to grate on me. Didn't help with his attitude tow ...more
Lea's Audiobooks Hensley
Although I read this one years ago in print, I'm marking this one as to-read since I have yet to listen to the audio.

I thoroughly enjoyed this one in audio. I still had the same problems with the basic storyline as I did years ago in print - too few pages with just Sarah and Cahill and too much time with the villain. Still, interesting romantic suspense and it filled my occasional need for a Linda Howard. The narration was pretty impressive and this is definitely a case where I
Sep 12, 2014 Kym rated it really liked it
Setting: Present day AL
Genre: Romantic suspense
Sarah Stevens is a butler/bodyguard working for a retired judge. She foils a robbery and one of the detectives who comes to the scene is Thompson Cahill. They are attracted to one another, but each has a reason to avoid interpersonal relationships, so they go their separate ways. They meet again when Cahill comes out to investigate the murder of the judge. Sarah is under suspicion, but her name is soon cleared, leaving Cahill free to date her. They
Sarah Stevens is a butler to a retired judge. She catches the public attention when she stops a couple of burglars. It is then she first meets Cahill. Later, the judge is murdered and Sarah becomes a suspect. Then she goes to work for another employer and they end up dead. Is Sarah a killer? Can Cahill prove her innocence?

While I don't consider this my favorite Linda Howard book, I did like it a lot. It had the elements I like in her books, action, suspense, romance, humor.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

Linda S. Howington is an American best-selling romance author writing under the pseudonym Linda Howard. After 21 years of penning stories for her own enjoyment, she submitted a novel for publication which was very successful. Her first work was published by Silhouette in 1982. She is a charter member of Romance
More about Linda Howard...

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“What good is having a friend who's a cop if he won't give me inside information?"
"So you can ask him to look at a piece of shit pistol after you've already bought it, and pronounce it a piece of shit.”
“Before you know it, you'll be smiling at her across the breakfast table."

"I don't smile," Cahill said, though he was having to fight his amusement.

"So you'll be scowling at her across the breakfast table. That isn't my point.”
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