Publisher: William Morrow
Publication date: May 10th 2016
My rating: 4 stars
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A thrilling, fast-paced novel of romantic suspense from sensational New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Linda Howard.
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.
Linda Howard has been my go-to author for romantic suspense lately. I can’t get enough of her, and it doesn’t matter if the book was published twenty years ago or just releasing, she somehow nails the genre every time. Troublemaker pulled me in and kept me entertained the entire weekend!
Morgan Yancy is part of a top-secret, elite team ready to take down any threat to the US Government. He’s back in the country after a couple of months working and ready for some down time when trouble comes knocking on his door and almost kills him. He needs time to recuperate, and together with his team leader, Axel MacNamarra, Morgan needs to find out how he was targeted and why. They hatch a plan to hide him with Isabeau “Bo” Maran, the police-chief in a small West Virginian town, and lay a trap.
Morgan is thrust upon a reluctant Bo. She’s used to a solitary life with her vivacious dog, Tricks, and prefers it that way, but she can’t turn such a sick man away. As Morgan gets better and better they forge a bond and a mutual, fiery attraction begins to brew.
When I first started reading I had a little trouble with the amount of page time spent on Bo’s dog, Tricks, but she grew on me, and I think her antics were pretty entertaining. I dare any animal/dog lover not to fall for her.
The best part of the story to me was the gradual friendship-turned-romance between Morgan and Bo. Their romance felt powerful, yet realistic; not of the wish/fantasy fulfillment variety. I like that Ms. Howard rarely categorizes her main characters as model beautiful, rather, they have qualities that make them attractive and irresistible to the other lead character. Chemistry is at the root of all her romances, and Bo and Morgan’s built gradually, steadily, and believably.
I felt sucked into the story, and didn’t want to put it down for real-life. I wouldn’t say this is pulse pounding action, although, there are a few scenes of that here and there, but the characters and relationships are what reeled me in. I loved the small town aspect, complete with quirky secondary characters, and the dynamics that would only fly in a small, close-knit place. Linda Howard always manages to sneak in a few fun twists and turns that I’m not expecting to keep me on my toes, and Troublemaker was no exception.