I liked this for what it was, but our hero and heroine don't really start their relationship til the end of the book. WTF? C'mon Linda Howard! Come baI liked this for what it was, but our hero and heroine don't really start their relationship til the end of the book. WTF? C'mon Linda Howard! Come back to me!!...more
When plain Sarah Jerome catches the attention of the gorgeous and confident Rhy Baines, she doesn't think life could get any better. After a few datesWhen plain Sarah Jerome catches the attention of the gorgeous and confident Rhy Baines, she doesn't think life could get any better. After a few dates, Rhy proposes marriage and the previously lonely and needy Sarah latches on to the delights of married life. You know what they say, marry in haste, repent at lesiure. In this case, 7 years of leisure. Sarah was unable to deal with Rhy's potentially dangerous job as a foreign correspondent. For a year their marriage became moments of ecstasy followed by long periods of separation and fear. After having lost her family, Sarah is unable to cope and eventually drives Rhy away. He walks out on her with the parting shot, "when you think you're woman enough for me, give me a call."
He's arrogant, unyielding, uncompromising and a wee bit of a bastard. But Sarah could also be described as weak, emotional, needy, clingy, and a pushover. Determined to better herself and to become a woman worthy enough of someone like Rhy Baines she strives to better herself. She starts to take college classes and gets a job. With her first paycheck comes the awe of financial freedom and the realization that yes, little Sarah Jerome can stand on her own two feet. She slowly but surely creates a new, independent life for herself but in doing so, she realizes that she and Rhy weren't all that different after all. A chance encounter sets her onto the path of being a reporter and she soon starts to crave the thrill of chasing a hot story. 7 years pass and suddenly Rhydon Baines walks back into her life. Their reunion is explosive and Rhy lets her know that while he may have walked out on her 7 years ago, he has never forgotten her and he all but demands that they start up where they left off. The new and improved Sallie Jerome has no intentions of letting her estranged husband back into her life but unfortunately, as her new boss, Rhy has ways to hound her into submission. His power and connections cuts off the possibilities of divorce or changing jobs. He systematically strips her of her friends, her job, her sense of freedom and purpose and to top it all off, he even steals all her personal possessions. It's quite stalkerific. While he never physically abuses Sallie, though he does grab her roughly a few times, he does put her through the emotional wringer. When's she's been beaten down to as low as she can get, he's waiting to swoop in and tuck her away, so that when he comes homes from a hard day on the job, he has his little wife there to play with.
While Sallie is definitely adrift at that moment, she's never down for the count. She steadfastly refuses to be his little homemaker and instead gloms onto writing and soon loses herself in the thrill of writing a book of which Rhy is both supportive and helpful. He just refused to see her in a job where she might be physically harmed. It's all looking quite rosy when Rhy's past arm candy steps in and plays upon all of the old Sarah's fears and doubts and in a rush of tears, Sallie once again escapes the hold Rhy has over her. It's up to Sarah/Sallie to come to terms with herself and to finally become woman enough to fight for Rhydon Bains and it's up to Rhydon Bains to become man enough to open up his heart and let the woman he's always loved finally know it.
Alright. I'm going out on a limb here but I have to be honest. I really really liked this book. I did. It's totally unPC and at times Rhy's highhandedness made me want to punch him, but I have to say that I enjoyed his character. He certainly kept me on my toes. He was a little rough with Sallie/Sarah but despite everything, I still really, really liked this book.
The main reason is that despite his arrogance, his rude take charge attitude and his excessive high handedness, I knew that he absolutely, positively, one hundred percent adored her. I'm bypassing the years that they spent apart on the principle that Sarah was too young to understand him for what he was and on the principle that Rhy was also too young to understand what a treasure he had in Sarah. And I'm blaming them both for their refusal to meet each other half way. Normally I hate stories that have long separations but in this instance it was definitely for the best and I felt like there was actual growth. When Rhy walks back into the new and improved Sallie's life, the sparks start flying all over the place. This story, while not told in first person, was done entirely from Sallie's point of view. We never get any of Rhy's thoughts (until the end and it was a beautiful groveling scene) but in my eyes there was enough glimpses into the actual man behind the implacable mask that I was able to enjoy this story.
While I really enjoyed this story, I am not blind to it's faults. Rhy was too quick to ride roughshod over Sallie's life and Sallie was too quick to let him. It's the standard ol moment in Romanceland when the heroine is spitting mad and is about to let the hero have it with both barrels when all he has to do is gather her up in his arms and kiss the fury right out of her. *eyeroll* This book is chock full of moments like that. Plus, despite Sally's new confidence she's real quick to let the old fears and doubts creep back in and of course the current arm candy in Rhy's life is quick to take advantage of it.
When Sallie hit rock bottom and stopped fighting Rhy I felt for her. I really did. But I also know that once she had a good cry about it, she rallied back pretty quickly. She finds writing to be an excellent replacement for her exciting job as a foreign correspondent and Rhy is both supportive and helpful with her new life.
So while it does need to be said that this type of behavior should not be encouraged and should in fact be severely punished if ever your husband tries to tell you what to do, this is fiction, so I don't have to apologize. I'm going to say it loud and proud. I really liked this story. *blows raspberry* ...more
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,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 that 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.
At first, once I read the prologue, I had hoped that this book was going to be like the movie Red Eye, starring Cillian Murphy and Rachel McAdams, but only like one of those fanfiction stories I've shamelessly read where it ends in a HEA between Lisa and Jackson. But the more I read, this book reminded me more and more 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 compared to Mr. Perfect. The emphasis on the friendship between Syd and Jenner reminded me of the friendship between the four ladies, and the smartass comments Sam and Jaine were always tossing about were easily interchangeable with the smartass sparring of Cael Traylor and Jenner. Which for someone who really enjoys smartass 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 while 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 pussywhipped 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 a generous four stars. ...more