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 I liked: I’ve recently been on a listen/re-read of some of my favorite Linda Howard books and while I’ll always have my favorites (Mr. Perfect, Dying to Please), I thoroughly enjoy the characters in all her books.
I noticed how much I like the female leads and they are not cardboard cut-outs either. Each and every one of them are extremely well developed and no matter what, they are smart and strong. I’m not necessarily talking physically strong but more emotionally and mentally. Ms Howard also always pairs her female leads with a contrasting male. I don’t agree with all their choices but they are again, well written and not boring.
Troublemaker is another Linda Howard book I will re-read. I’ve read it twice already. The opening is enough to not only grab your attention but your imagination. Ms Howard’s descriptions of people and places are some of the best I’ve read. I actually sometimes think I can feel, see, and smell exactly what she’s describing.
Usually in Ms Howard’s story, the female is the one being threatened but she’s flipped things around in Troublemaker. Someone is trying to kill Morgan Yancy and he can’t for the life of himself figure out why! Admittedly he does do some highly classified work for the government but he and his boss, Mac, can’t come up with a reason Morgan’s life is currently on the line. The best they can do is hide Morgan somewhere and keep searching for clues.
I absolutely loved the angst between Mac and his “step-sister”, Bo (Isabeau Maran). They’ve been adversaries from the time their parents were married and can’t stand each other. The safest place Mac can think of sending Morgan is to the small town of Hamrickville, West Virginia where Bo is the sheriff in name only. Yep, she does all the administrative things no one else wants to do and it’s mostly a part-time job. It sounds like a strange set up but actually works very well in this story.
Now what story would be complete without a dog as a side kick. In Troublemaker, it’s Bo’s dog, Tricks. Tricks will melt your heart, make you laugh and is just an added bonus to the story! Give me a story with a smart, endearing, protective and a little bit goofy dog and I’m sold every time.
I was glad the relationship between Bo and Morgan wasn’t insta-love. The attraction is certainly there but both fight it and it ups the tension between them. In addition, they are not instant fast friends; each of them have their own way of doing things and they are not willing to negotiate. Eventually they do learn to respect each other but it’s tough going at first.
What I didn’t like: I’m looking back and going through my highlights and notes on my Kindle and I can’t honestly find anything I was unhappy about. Oh, wait....the cost of the ebook is $12.99. I would say the hardcover is worth the $18.38 if you collect Ms Howard's books. If you can wait until December, the mass market paperback is listed at $7.99.
I had a bit of an inkling about the “bad guy” but did not figure it out completely and that’s another big plus for me in a romantic suspense.