Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Review: Burn by Linda Howard

I'm still sick, but getting much better. The fever is gone and now, all I have is a stuffy nose and sore throat. The stuffy nose is annoying me. I hate having a stuffy nose, cos well it's stuffy ^_^; The skin around gets irritated and you can't breathe normally. Ugh.

Of course, being sick hasn't stopped me from buying books LOL :) Went to the bookstore and got a couple of interesting ones... such as Drawn in Blood by Andrea Kane, Wicked All Day by Liz Carlyle, Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen, etc. But guess what showed up in-store today? Frostbitten by Kelley Armstrong. Now, I have to find a bookstore that'll put it in the shelves soon... or snoop around to look at carts and boxes. I'm hoping On the Edge by Ilona Andrews will show up soon too.

LOL, I'll let you know if there is any booking adventure :P

Burn by Linda Howard
published by Ballantine Books in July 2009

Money changes everything.

Money certainly changes Jenner Redwine's life when she wins a lottery jackpot. But it also costs her plenty: Her father rips her off and disappears, her fortune-hunting boyfriend soon becomes her ex, and friends-turned-freeloaders give her the cold shoulder when she stops paying for everything.

Flush with new money, Jenner can't imagine ever finding a place in the world of the wealthy. Seven years later, though, she's rubbing elbows with the rich, despite the fact she still feels like a party crasher. Luckily she finds an ally-and a guide to the rarefied realm of privilege-in shy, kind-hearted heiress Sydney Hazlett, who quickly becomes Jenner's confidante and surrogate sister.

When Sydney invites Jenner on a charity cruise aboard a luxury liner, Jenner reluctantly agrees. But while she's expecting-and dreading-two weeks of masquerade balls, art auctions, and preening glitterati, what she gets is more like a Hitchcock movie than a Love Boat episode. Taken hostage by a menacing stranger, Jenner must cooperate in a mysterious cloak-and-dagger scheme-or else. With nowhere to run, and with Sydney's life as well as her own at risk, Jenner is drawn into a game of dizzying intrigue and harrowing danger. But as her panic gives way to exhilaration, and fear of her captor turns to fascination, Jenner rediscovers feelings she hasn't had in years-and realizes she's found a life worth living. If she survives.
Genre: romantic suspense
Series: none

The Story: Jenner Redwine has never felt like she belongs. Then, the unexpected happens and the 23 years old meat packer wins the lottery... Sever years later, a socialite in Palm Spring, Jenner still doesn't feel like she belongs. She probably would leave and discover the world if it wasn't for her best friend, Sydney Hazlett.

Sydney and Jenner are scheduled to participate to a charity cruise and are given the stateroom next to the host, Frank Larkin. He is actually suspected of treason and has planned a meeting with the North Koreans during the cruise in order to exchange information. Cael Taylor is hired by the US government to do some surveillance and find out as much information he can. He and his team embark on the cruise, but they need Jenner's cooperation... which will not come easy.

My Opinion: So, I admit to be pleasantly surprised with Burn. The last new Howard I've read is Cover of Night which was really disappointing... I haven't read the last two releases, because... well I don't know, just didn't feel like it. Burn though intrigued me, especially the winning the lottery plot. Still, I was a little wary and that's why I borrowed the book at the library. Now, I'm thinking I'm going to buy the paperback when it'll be released... :)

So the blurb of the book was made to be quite intriguing... What attracted me to this book was the winning the lottery plot, but at the same time, I was quite worried about the H/H having a case of Stockholm Syndrome ^_^; It can pass in historical, but in contemporary romances, it's harder to make it work in my opinion ^_^; Okay, so what I was worried the most about was whether Cael was really a bad guy or a good guy in disguise... He turned out to be the latter, yay! The great thing is that was disclosed early in the book and readers weren't left to guess. I'm also very glad that the subject of Stolckholm Syndrome was addressed by the H/H.

What did I like about Burn? I quite enjoyed Jenner's character. She was strong, tough, level-head and prickly. On many levels, she reminded me of Sweeney of Now You See Her. She's also very clever and I liked the fact that she was able to figure out things. She was afraid, but didn't panic... she approached things calmly and once she was sure Sydney and her were safe, she started pushing the buttons LOL :) Cael was also an interesting character, but a little bit too unidimensional. He fit the profile of a military, alpha male, but I'd have liked to know a bit more about his background and past. I love their interactions, how both of them were attracted to each other and fighting it. Their dialogues were also very funny... I loved seeing Cael frustrated and annoyed, but still couldn't help liking Jenner :) There's something about a man being exasperated by a woman, but still loving her that I like... I guess I just find it cute LOL :)

I actually quite like the plot; I thought it was interesting and clever. Some parts could have been stronger, but overall it was good. There are some parts Ms Howard did good also not to please the reader... For example, I wished Cael would have told Jenner he was a good guy or has stopped handcuffing her earlier, trust her earlier... but that's my wish. Realistically, it wasn't in Cael's character and seriously, it would not be believable if such a man trust so easily. So that was well done by the author, although I still wished the part would have been shorter LOL :)

There's a lot of parts where I find myself wanting Ms Howard to expand: the secondary characters (there was a whole slew of them!), Cael's past, Jenner's past (for the part where Jenner wins the lottery to be longer, her arrival at Palm Spring), etc. It would have been nice and I think would have made the book a little more complete. Still, Burn was enjoyable, more than I expected. Looking forward to her next release now, though I'll still be a little cautious before getting it :)

My Grade: B.


  1. I enjoyed this too. It's not the classic Howard stuff but it's better than most of her more recent stuff. An enjoyable read for sure!

  2. I hope you are feeling better Nath.

    Great review. I think this is a book I may have to read... Thanks so much for sharing and take care.


  3. Good to hear you're feeling better. :)

    I've got this one on the TBR pile, it sounds good. Nice review nath.

  4. Have you started Drawn in Blood yet? I started the book a few days ago but things keep cropping up at work and home so I haven't even hit mid-way yet. Ugh, I hate not being able to finish a book in one sitting!

  5. I hope the sniffles leave you be! I'm still going to pass on Howard. I can't take the pain ;)


  6. Mollie - It's not a classic, but it's closer to her older books I think. Hard to tell though since I haven't read the few last books. it seems to me that Ms Howard is taking chances on settings and plots and it hasn't been working out so well... but yeah, at least this one was enjoyable :D

    Tara Marie - LOL :)

    Lea - It comes and it goes, Lea... and it really sucks.

    As for the book, I think you should give it a chance :) Perhaps not buy it, but read it :)

    Leslie - Can't wait to see what you think of it, Leslie :D

    Tabitha - LOL, it's always a blessing when you can read a book in one sitting or many long sittings... I haven't started Drawn in Blood yet. Perhaps soon. I haven't decided yet...

    Cindy - LOL, did you read her whole backlist?

  7. Oh no! That comes from not being online much lately - I didn't know you were/are sick. I hope you get well soon, nath!

    Congrats on your new books. I also like the picture of you snooping around to look at carts and boxes. Sounds familiar LOL

    Oh, btw, nice review. *g*

  8. I'm in the middle of reading this right now.

  9. AG - Thank you :D Getting better everyday :)

    Taja - I've been wondering where you've been... hanging at the library? LOL :)

    LOL, this time, didn't have to snoop around... Just 2 phone calls and there :)

    Seneca - Can't wait to see what you think of the book!! Happy reading!

  10. LOL! Yes, I actually took your advice and hang at the library more often. Thanks! :) But it also means I'm "on the road" roughly one hour each day. :( (which is why I don't do it every weekday)

    In addition, I'm just a bit "meh" about being online at the moment. But I think my "interest" is starting to come back again. :)

  11. Finished. It was fucking awesome.

    I wonder about Faith and Ryan. It felt as if there is a story behind their meeting and falling in love. Do you know if they have a book?

  12. Taja - LOL :) well at least, it's quiet, right? :) The road part sucks though :( Is your bf also hanging out with you :)

    Can't wait to see you a little bit more of you online :D

    Chantal - I'm so glad you enjoyed it!! It was pretty good indeed :D

    I've never seen Faith and Ryan, so unless they were in a novella which I doubted... but yes, I would like to read their story :D