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.Genre: romantic suspense
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.
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.