After reading a disappointing cozy mystery last week, I decided that I needed a break from cozies. So, I googled “romantic suspense” for some new reading options. I ran across Burn (2009) by Linda Howard (and several novels by Allison Brennan that I have read and several by Beverly Barton that I have not yet).
Product Description: From the New York Times bestselling author of Death Angel, Linda Howard, comes her most electrifying work of romantic suspense yet – an unforgettable novel of mesmerizing action and powerful emotion. Expertly blending action-packed suspense with matters of the heart, Linda Howard once again pens an exhilarating tale that will keep her loyal readers guessing until the explosive, utterly unpredictable climax.
Apparently, the reviews of this book were not fantastic, but I have read several of her previous “suspense” novels, including Ice, and enjoyed them so I decided to take a chance. I would not say that this book was heart stopping or even difficult to put down, but it was a nice change of pace from what I have been reading (research, student essays, cozy mysteries).
In this book, newly rich (from the lottery, no less) Jenner has a hard time fitting in with the socialites, but she finds a friend in Sydney who despite her traditional “rich girl” upbringing suffers from confidence issues. The two book a cruise together for a charity event but find themselves kidnapped and held hostage (Sydney in a hotel and Jenner on the cruise itself) so that a group of people can spy on the ship’s owner. In this fairly improbable set of circumstances, romance enters the picture and Jenner and her captor Cael begin to fall in love.
I will admit to being very resistant to this story line because I always object to love stories that involve forced captivity, but I think Howard does a nice job of updating this trite story plot for a contemporary audience and making the love story easier to swallow.
It was not fabulous, but it kept me entertained.