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Oldie Review – Now You See Her by Linda Howard

Now You See HerPublisher: Pocket

Publish Date: Out Now

How I got this book: Purchased

 

Up-and-coming painter Paris Sweeney finds herself painting a vivid murder–based on a series of disturbing dreams. But when her friend Chandra is killed in a similar fashion, Paris and her lover become the prime suspects. Reprint.

*Blurb from Goodreads*

 

When I saw this Howard book as the Kindle Daily Deal the other day, I went and checked out all the favorable reviews from my friends and decided that I needed to give it a try. I had yet to read a Howard book, despite all the good things I’ve heard over the years.  I have to say, I was a little disappointed, especially after hearing the hype surrounding her.

Sweeney is a painter who is a lot clueless to everything else in life, especially once she started seeing ghosts and other odd phenomena. She lives for her paintings, and when she paints the murder of the local hotdog vendor, she wonders what exactly is going on with her life. Things get even more complicated when Richard begins pursuing her in a relationship, and the two get tangled up in murder case that Sweeney finds herself painting in her sleep. But when word gets out, Sweeney realizes she might have confided in the wrong man, and is suddenly in the crosshairs herself.

Let me start with the romance, because although I usually like the slow build up, the relationship between Richard and Sweeney drove me bonkers. Although Richard was in the process of divorcing his wife, I can’t stand the thought of him getting involved with Sweeney before everything was finalized. That’s just me, but I still feel like it’s a version of cheating, and I don’t like it. That reason alone turned me off from their romance.

I also thought that the genre wasn’t extremely flushed out. The paranormal aspects were somewhat weak in my opinion. I like my paranormal romances to be all out: witches, shapeshifters, vampires, the more obscure the better. When a book features just a lone psychic in a contemporary setting, I usually feel a little jipped, and this book definitely fell within that category.

At the same time, I also didn’t feel as if the suspense was all that great either. Other than the slow going painting, I never really felt like there was all that suspense or mystery surrounding Sweeney and the murder she was painting. There was little action, except for the last ten pages or so, and I found that I like my romance suspense to be a lot more action packed and hard hitting than Howard provided.

One thing I did like was the archetype that Howard based Richard’s character on. Despite his pursuing another woman while married, I liked his take-charge attitude and his strong silent type. He was the kind of hero that I could have fallen for, and probably would have had the circumstances been different.

All in all I was a little disappointed by my first Linda Howard read. I will probably have to give another one of her books a chance, especially if her other hero’s have the best of Richard’s traits.

I give Now You See Her a C-

 

By MinnChica

MinnChica can usually be found with her nose in a book (or nook), and can ALWAYS find a few minutes to read: stuck at a red light, sitting in the doctors office, on her lunch break. She's so addicted to reading that her family frequently threatens to host an intervention. Currently MinnChica is devouring every romance book she can get her hands on, especially ones that feature 'friends to lovers' stories. Some of her favorite authors currently are Ilona Andrews, Jill Myles, Meljean Brook, Nalini Singh and Susan Mallery.

11 replies on “Oldie Review – Now You See Her by Linda Howard”

I saw this on sale the other day and thought about getting it but the relationship with the still-married but getting divorced guy was a deal breaker. I found it particularly problematic because the review I read said that Sweeney was friends with the wife.

I hope you’ll give Linda Howard another try, I do like her a lot. Son of the Morning is a favorite of mine. I also liked her Blair Mallory books (To Die For and Drop Dead Gorgeous) although, be warned, the heroine is definitely polarizing among readers–they either love her or hate her. Open Season and Mr. Perfect are also good.

This was was a D for me – the way Richard had never noticed her before in the Gallery until she wore a red sweater?? Uh? The coy – ‘I must get you nekkid and heat you up’ and yes, the cheating . . ugh!

I thoroughly recommend her older books – in category, the Kell Sabin series which is Midnight Rainbow, Diamond Bay, White lies & Heartbreaker. Also Mackenzie’s Mountain and Duncan’s Bride.

Kill & Tell, Dream Man, Heart of Fire and I also enjoyed her dip into historical Western with Lady of the West.

After around 1999 her books just didn’t work for me – and I LOATHED the Blair books with the passion of a thousand burning suns 😀 In recent years the romance is minimal – slot A into Tab B and the suspense has more holes than Swiss cheese! And there are pages and pages of what I call ‘boring padding’ which will numb you into a coma 😀

I agree with Willa. I love Linda’s older stories including her Harlequins (Mackenzies!) but haven’t been able to get into any of the new books. Actually I don’t think I’ve bought the last 3-4 books. There’s been a definite shift in her books that makes me sad.

Oh I loved this book and ironically enough this was my first Howard I think as well although i may have read a harlequin of hers before that but it wasn’t that memorable. But Richard’s divorce wasn’t an issue for me because I think he was in a dead marriage for a long while and like Sweeney he woke up too. And that scene on the couch where he warms her up *fans self* –

@MinnChica I think you may like Open Season or Mr Perfect, there’s more humour in those as well.

Can I just say it makes me really sad that this is labeled an “Oldie Review”. I’m feeling my age here.

I agree this isn’t her best effort. I wasn’t bothered by the cheating (which is surprising since that’s usually a deal breaker) but it certainly isn’t the book I would recommend to start her with.

Duncan’s Bride is a much better choice. Or, as Willa suggested, the Kell Sabin categories.

I disagree about Open Season and Mr. Perfect. I know many readers love both titles, but they drove me bonkers.

I loved this book when I first read it years ago when it came out. I’ll cling to my fond memories of the book. This is why I don’t reread hardly any of my favorite romances.

@KatieF: Sweeny WAS friends with the wife, which made it all that more weird!

@Willa: Yeah the red sweater thing threw me for a loop. How is it that when you put a tight shirt on a girl, take off her glasses and put her hair down she is suddenly a new woman?? O_o

@Susan W.: I’m gonna pool these comments and chose a different book to read, and I’ll be sure to report back!

@Has: Yes, the couch scene was good, but the rest just didn’t do it for me. 🙁

@Holly: Sorry Holly, didn’t mean to make you feel old! 🙂 For me, anything that hasn’t been released in the last 5 years or so seems old. The publishing industry just moves so quickly! 🙂

@Keishon: There are some books I won’t re-read because I don’t want to break the magic. I know what you mean!

I think I might have to try Duncan’s Bride, now if only I could find an ecopy… Might have to check to used bookstore in town!

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