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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Review: Troublemaker by Linda Howard

I was all set to read this one back when I first got the review copy but dang it took me FOREVER to finish it because it just wasn’t what was promised.

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: May 10, 2016

For Morgan Yancy, an operative and team leader in a paramilitary group, nothing comes before his job. But when he’s ambushed and almost killed, his supervisor is determined to find out who’s after the members of his elite squad—and why. Due to worries that this unknown enemy will strike again, Morgan is sent to a remote location and told to lay low and stay vigilant. But between a tempting housemate he’s determined to protect and a deadly threat waiting in the shadows, keeping under the radar is proving to be his most dangerous mission yet.

The part-time police chief of a small West Virginian mountain town, Isabeau “Bo” Maran finally has her life figured out. She’s got friends, a dog, and a little money in the bank. Then Morgan Yancy shows up on her doorstep. Bo doesn’t need a mysterious man in her life—especially a troublemaker as enticing and secretive as Morgan.

The harder they fight the intense heat between them, the closer Morgan and Bo become, even though she knows he’s hiding from something. But discovering the truth could cost Bo more than she’s willing to give. And when Morgan’s cover is blown, it might just cost her life.

What’s it About? After Morgan Yancy is ambushed and almost killed he is sent to a remote location by his supervisor while an investigation is launched. Morgan has to keep his guard up though because the unknown assailant is still out there and to make matters more complicated, his housemate is police chief Isabeau “Bo” Maran. And she’s becoming a distraction.

Overall reaction to the story? I wasn’t thrilled with this experience. It was my first time reading Linda Howard. There were too many inconsistencies, and the entire book seemed like it was a day to day diary of Bo’s dog Tricks. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE dogs and under different circumstances this would have tickled me but the book is being marketed as a romantic suspense between two HUMANS so that’s what I expected. If Troublemaker had been marketed as a dog’s life with a dash of human romance then yeah I could see where it might work. But only after some thorough editing.

There was a big imbalance between the actual story and Tricks’ life. Every scene included Tricks and her antics which again under different circumstances would have been great. I get what Howard was trying to do, she was trying to pay tribute to all the special dogs that have come and gone in her life and I am 100% on board with that BUT I don’t think that was executed very well. Maybe a series surrounding a K-9 unit or even a series where different types of service dogs played a supporting character role would have worked better.

My second issue with Troublemaker was the snail’s pace of a romance between Morgan and Bo. The romance felt like more of an afterthought. There was an almost “Oh yeah and these guys fell in love, blah, blah, blah” feeling to it. There was so much potential for Morgan and Bo’s romance to be off the charts good but it fell so flat.

My final problem with this book was the lack of real action, suspense, and resolution. All three should enhance the story and hook a reader’s attention from beginning to end and that just didn’t happen here. It took me quite a long time to finish this book! There were too many space filler scenes that should have been cut in order to speed things up. I’m not saying a rush job should have been done but there was just too much time spent on the mundane happenings of everyday life and yes, on Tricks the dog. And this is coming from a dog person.

Click It or Skip It? Skip It. Not enough interesting material to make Troublemaker worth the trouble of reading. I’ve heard that this is not the standard for Linda Howard so I’m game to try another book of hers. Perhaps an earlier one.

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