Dear Ms. Howard, welcome back.
I've been bored by your last couple of books. I mostly read them out of continuing loyalty. But I didn't enjoy the craziness of the plots, the unsympathetic heroines, or the ridiculous amount of detail involved in describing (step by boring step) how to survive the wilderness (me? not a camper). But you have returned to top form in this book, which I stayed up until 3:30 a.m. to finish in one sitting.
This book is not a usual romance story. The heroine is a drug lord's eye candy and the hero is an assassin. But the chemistry is sizzling and the plot fast-paced (mostly). It's difficult to review the book without some spoilers. I will attempt to keep them to a minimum.
The basic set up is this – Drea steals $2 million from the drug lord she has been with for the past two years after he carelessly betrays her. The drug lord sends the assassin after her. Drea is given a second chance at life when she is believed to be dead. But of course, she can never be truely safe until the drug lord is dead.
Drea is supposed to be a bad girl turned good. But as we get to know Drea, we see that Drea was never that bad to begin with. True, she hooked up with a drug dealer. But I think she was just lost and emotionally shut off (due to some traumatic event in her life before) and is merely looking for financial security. The hero, on the other hand, we don't see his motivation very much. I definitely felt his love for Drea. But I never really got why he was an assassin to begin with. In that sense, I never felt that he was "heroic."
Oh, Ms. Howard did get bogged down in the minute details a bit in this book, but nowhere near the level of details in her last wilderness survivial story. For example, I skimmed over the stuff about when banks transfer money, how the IRS checks any transfers over $10,000 blah blah blah. Drea is supposed to only pretend to be the blonde bimbo but is actually quite bright. The details about the difficulties Drea faced in getting her money after successfully stealing it was not only boring, but also made Drea seem a bit stupid or at least, someone who did not think too far ahead.
But like I said, the book is hot, fast-paced, and an entertaining read. I wouldn't say it's Ms. Howard's best effort, but it's certainly her best effort in years. This is a solid B.