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Book CoverHolly‘s review of Burn by Linda Howard
Romantic Suspense released by Ballantine 7 July 09

I’ve been disappointed in most of Linda Howard’s more recent releases, but I was pleasantly surprised with this one. It reminded me quite a bit of All the Queen’s Men. Kind of light on the romance and heavy on the storyline, but still oddly satisfying. 

I really liked the beginning of the book. Though it was kind of drawn out, I enjoyed getting to know Jenner and seeing the circumstances behind her winning the lottery. I think it really gave insight into the character she was and how she changed because of betrayals along the way.

Jenner was strong and levelheaded. Right from the beginning I liked her and was cheering her on. She was just your average ordinary girl who had something extraordinary happen to her. As the novel progresses into the second half we see that she’s changed quite a bit. She’s more jaded and cynical, though her core has remained the same. I liked that most of all, I think. Her core remained the same.

Cael is another story entirely. I never really felt like I got to know him despite the amount of time we spent in his head. I guess we got a feel for the basics, but I would have liked to see more of his backstory. Though it’s noted right from the start that his motives aren’t what they appear, I still wondered if he’d cross the line.

I was concerned that the resolution between Jenner and Cael wouldn’t be quite satisfactory, but I was pleased with the way it turned out. I felt they worked well together.

The storyline was interesting because it took place almost exclusively on a cruise ship. The suspense plot didn’t contain much mystery – the villain was introduced almost immediately – but it still worked. I’m sure if I thought long enough I could find plenty of holes in the story, but the truth is I was entertained enough that I didn’t care.

holly.jpgGrade: B


It’s true what they say: Money changes everything. And in Linda Howard’s red-hot novel Burn, the changes come fast, furious, and filled with the kind of sexy suspense, heart-stopping romance, beautiful people, and risky business guaranteed to give you the most bang for your buck.

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.

Read an excerpt here (click on the book cover).