Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Review: Troublemaker by Linda Howard

Troublemaker by Linda Howard
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.

My Thoughts:
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. 

I’m happy Ms. Howard has quite a large backlist of stories to pick from.  It seems I can always turn to her if I’m in a book slump or vacillating over what I should read next.  If you’re a fan of romantic suspense you must look her up!


  1. Oooo, romantic suspense! I don't think I read too many of those, sadly. I love romance novels, so the first half is fine by me. ;) I LOVE the sound of the romance! Friendship-turned-more is definitely one of my favorite romance tropes. This sounds great!

    Fantastic review, Rachel. =)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  2. I'm glad to see you enjoyed this one Rachel. I had started it awhile ago, but it felt long-winded and overly detailed in the beginning, so I set it aside. I'm assuming it gets better since you clearly liked it enough. Great review!

  3. Awesome review Rachel, I have never read a Linda Howard book and reading this, I'm wondering why not?! Romantic suspense, friends to lovers, these are some of my favourite things! Will definitely be checking this out!

  4. I don't read a lot of this genre, but I will if I'm in the mood. I don't think I've read anything by this author. I'll have to check her out whenever I get in the mood for a romantic suspense.

  5. Great review Rachel I absolutely love romantic suspense especially if it is by Linda Howard even though I only read one book by her, but I totally love her writing style. Thank you for your awesome post.

  6. Gah. I still only have two books under my belt by hers. I need to get going because she certainly has quite a backlist!

  7. I'm so glad that you've discovered a new favorite in Linda Howard! I will have to give her work a try because I adore this genre and I trust your recommendations implicitly. Wonderful review, Rachel!

  8. Romantic suspense is definitely something I should read more. And Linda Howard is someone I've been meaning to try for a while... Great review! I'm so curious now :)

  9. Yay for liking this book so much Rachel :) So glad you love this author a lot. <3 You make this book seem pretty awesome. I hope I will want to read it one day :) Thank you for sharing about it. <3

  10. Great review Rachel! You know I couldn't agree with you more about this book or Linda Howard -- I just love it all! And the best thing about her backlist is that no matter how many times I re-read, I still love them!!


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