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aliciathomasicon1.jpgUp Close and DangerousAlicia Thomas’s review of Up Close and Dangerous by Linda Howard
Romantic Suspense published 17 Jul 07 by Ballantine

Warning, bad blurb ahead:

A mysterious plane crash . . . a dangerous trek through the Idaho wilderness . . . a smoldering attraction . . . and a deadly game of cat and mouse. In her latest tour de force of romantic suspense, New York Times bestselling author Linda Howard blends these elements into a gripping story that will keep readers breathless – and leave them begging for more. For in Linda Howard’s world, trust can be a weapon, a kiss can be a threat, and intimacy can be deadly.

Bailey Wingate’s scheming adult stepchildren are surprised when their father’s will leaves Bailey in control of their fortune, and war ensues. A year later, while flying from Seattle to Denver in a small plane, Bailey nearly dies herself when the engine sputters – and then fails.

Cam Justice, her sexy Texan pilot, manages to crash-land the aircraft. Stranded in the wilderness, and struggling to douse her feelings for the ruggedly handsome man by her side, Bailey begins to wonder whether this was a mere accident. Sure enough, upon her return to civilization Bailey’s suspicions mount: Who tampered with their plane? Who’s trying to reunite Bailey and her husband in the afterlife? Trusting her life – and heart – to Cam, Bailey must outwit a killer who will stop at nothing to finish the job.

Sexy, suspenseful, and lightning fast, Up Close and Dangerous showcases a beloved author at her dazzling best.

Read an excerpt.

This blurb is misleading to the point it makes me mad. I saw Amazon reviews where people were disappointed with the book because they were expecting what the blurb promised. Have you ever taken a drink of tea when you were expecting soda? It totally ruins the taste of the tea.

First, the “deadly cat and mouse game” doesn’t exist. The main adversary they face, for the vast majority of the book, is meeting their physical needs. It is mainly a survival situation plot. Why make it sound like they are being chased?

Second, it says, “Sure enough, upon her return to civilization Bailey’s suspicions mount…”. This makes no sense. The story is about over when they get back. To start the book expecting a lot to happen when they get back almost guarantees a feeling that the ending is too abrupt. “Trusting her life – and heart – to Cam, Bailey must outwit a killer who will stop at nothing to finish the job.”…?! I wonder if the person who wrote this even read the book. This just isn’t there.

Happily, I didn’t read the blurb until after I read the book. That’s a habit of mine with my auto-read authors. Cam is a great hero. He’s smart enough to admit his limitations but he’s also in control and does all he can in the situation. Bailey is strong enough to push herself but she doesn’t bluster about how tough she is. She just does what she has to do.

This book isn’t thrilling or exciting, at least after the plane crash. I’d call it a comfort read. It’s never boring and the characters are appealing. At times I’d giggle out loud. I closed the book with a smile, believing they’d have a happy marriage.

Grade: B