Monday, August 31, 2009

Re-Read: Open Season by Linda Howard

Before I start my review... did I tell you I got some good news last week?

First, last Wednesday, I won a bookshelf and a 25$ gift certificate - which was great! Thank you very much to Anna and Cindy!! LOL, I was sooo happy and hyped up that day... But the cherry on the sundae? I got an e-mail from my supervisor telling me he was coming back till September 6! Woohoo, this means an additional week of freedom :D Hehehe... Yes, life is good. Strangely enough, I got all these news on August 26... which made it my 1st year anniversary at the lab. Hmmm...

So yes, last week, let say I was extremely happy at the news... Then, it was as if being soo hyper on Wednesday had sapped all my energy for Thursday and Friday. Felt a little down and lethargic... Of course, that didn't stop from a mini book adventure on Friday afternoon :) I had to rush here and there in order to avoid the traffic jam on the way home, but it paid off :) My most exciting new release was Must Love Hellhounds among others as well as 126$ worth of manga ^_^; Perhaps I'll do a post later about it... Now, let's get down to business :)

For this month's re-read, I chose Open Season by Linda Howard... mainly because I've noticed that many have re-read this book for the challenge. A few years back, I glommed on Ms Howard and highly enjoyed most of her backlist. Now, I'm stuck waiting for new releases... although I'm a few books behind. Anyway, I do re-read Ms Howard from time to time, but usually it will be Shades of Twilight, Now I See You, After the Night... or even Sarah's Child. I can't remember the last time I read Open Season (probably when I bought it) and as a result, thought this would be a nice re-read...

Open Season by Linda Howard
published by Simon & Schuster in July 2001
For Daisy Minor, it's open season on men. The small-town librarian is tired of being a good girl, living with her widowed mother and spinster aunt. She wants to experience life and love, to have some fun, to meet a man. Before she starts her personal manhunt, she sets out to reinvent, or at least redecorate, herself. She seeks out a new look to match her new attitude, moves into her own place, and sets out in search of all the fun and adventure she's been missing. Soon she's dancing her nights away, flirting with men, and thoroughly enjoying her new free-spirited lifestyle. Then, late one night, she sees something that no one was supposed to see and finds herself in deadly danger. Suddenly, a killer declares it's Open Season on Daisy Minor, and Daisy's one hope, for life and love, is to find the perfect man to save her life -- and share it.
Genre: romantic suspense
Series: none

The Story: I think most people are familiar with the storyline, but let's give it another go :)

Daisy Minor wakes up on her 34th birthday and realizes how boring her life is. Without knowing, she has become the stereotypical small-town librarian: boring, mousy and spinster, with no prospect to change the situation. Daisy realizes that she wants a husband and children and to achieve her dream, she needs a major change in her life. With the help of family and friends, Daisy moves out and gets a make-over: clothes, make-up and hairstyle... She's all ready to hit the night scene and meet the man of her life, but everywhere she goes, everywhere she turns, she keeps bumping into Jack Russo, Chief of Police, who's definitively not her type and all wrong for her... or perhaps not.

Jack finds it extremely fun to quibble with the librarian. After witnessing her transformation, he knows she's in a market for a man - all the signs are there, and he's first to volunteer... and their relationship becomes even more intense when Daisy witnesses a murder... and some people wants to get rid of her.

My Opinion: I have to say, another reason why I like this Re-Read Challenge is that I get to review older books that I didn't... but I digress. Open Season is a classic Linda Howard in my opinion - the characters, relationship and suspense are all strong with top notch writing and there's always a few laughs. That condom scene? It's just priceless!! LOL, get me every single time. It definitively never gets old LMAO.

I really loved Jack in Open Season. He fits Ms Howard alpha male heroes, but who cares? LOL. A bit of a jerk, a lot determined, he's strong, confident and someone you can trust. He definitively goes after what he wants, but at the same time, there's a caring side to him... almost sweet :P As for Daisy, I liked her... but at the same time, I have to admit, she annoyed me a little. It was hard to believe she was 34 years old - she could really be naive sometimes which I guess is part of her charm... That was kind of okay, but what annoyed me was how quick she was to judge Jack and deduct points. I don't know, it just rubbed me the wrong way... Sigh. However, once Daisy and Jack got together, it was great. Also, I really liked how Daisy reacted when she realized she witnessed a murder. She was calm and collected, didn't panic and listened to Jack's order without arguing with him.

There was a great cast of secondary characters. I loved Daisy's family as well as Todd and Howard. They provided some laughs, but at the same time, it wasn't ridiculous or cliche. Each played their roles perfectly. I have to admit, I'd like for Todd to have his own book or story. I want to know what happens to him :) Even the villains were quite well fleshed without stealing the spotlight.

The story was great. I really enjoyed the relationship between Daisy and Jack. It was fun to see them quibbled and when Jack went after Daisy, mmm. I'd like to be sweep off my feet someday as well LOL. The suspense was good and believable and weaved in the storyline very well. It did take a while before the action picked up, but that was okay. I really enjoyed it, it was clever and there were a few interesting twists.

Overall, this is still a great read, very enjoyable. While reading it, I realized that it's been quite a while since I last read this one, more than I thought. It was great fun to re-visit a classic Linda Howard and I should do it more often :)

My Grade: A-. I never reviewed this book before and it's a been a long time since I first read it... I can't exactly remember what I thought at that time, but I don't think it could be very different from this time :)