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Burn: A Novel [Mass Market Paperback]

Linda Howard
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Aug. 31 2010
When Jenner Redwine wins a lottery jackpot, she can’t imagine ever finding a place in the world of the wealthy. Seven years later, though, she finds an ally—and a guide to the rarefied realm of privilege—in the kind-hearted heiress Sydney Hazlett, who invites Jenner on a charity cruise aboard a luxury liner. But what Jenner gets is more like a Hitchcock movie than a Love Boat episode. Taken hostage by a menacing stranger, with nowhere to run, Jenner is drawn into a game of dizzying intrigue and harrowing danger. But as fear of her captor turns to fascination, Jenner rediscovers feelings she hasn’t had in years—and realizes she’s found a life worth living. If she survives.
 

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Review

“Those who love Howard’s brand of quirky humor combined with real chills are in for a special treat. Settle back and savor this one.”
—Romantic Times (Top Pick)

“[Linda] Howard’s newest read is certainly a hot one.”
—Entertainment Weekly

About the Author

Linda Howard is the award-winning author of many New York Times bestsellers, including Up Close and Dangerous, Drop Dead Gorgeous, Cover of Night, Killing Time, To Die For, Kiss Me While I Sleep, Cry No More, and Dying to Please. She lives in Alabama with her husband and two golden retrievers.


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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story! Another great book by Linda Howard Nov. 5 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Jenner and Cael had me bursting at the seams with their back and forth banter. The author yet again had me fall in love with her book and the characters inside. Highly recommend this book and author.
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5.0 out of 5 stars hard to put down Jan. 13 2010
Format:Hardcover
The book was a fast read with a unique plot --where the kidnappers were actually the good guys.
Fantastic chemistry between Jenner and Cael.
Author keeps the reader in the dark about the true nature of the antagonist til the very end.
Lots of humor through the story. I was not laughing out loud with this story as I was with others by the same author but I really did enjoy it.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars hard to put down Jan. 13 2010
A Kid's Review
Format:Hardcover
The book was a fast read with a unique plot --where the kidnappers were actually the good guys.
Fantastic chemistry between Jenner and Cael.
Author keeps the reader in the dark about the true nature of the antagonist til the very end.
Lots of humor through the story. I was not laughing out loud with this story as I was with others by the same author but I really did enjoy it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.1 out of 5 stars  155 reviews
96 of 99 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Somewhat Disappointing July 15 2009
By Lauren Cross - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm a long-time Linda Howard fan, and was highly anticipating this book, but ended up disappointed. Being Linda Howard, it's still better than most of the romances out there, but it's just not up to her usual caliber. The characters were intriguing and hilarious, the plot should've been fast-paced and interesting, but instead it was just kind of boring.

Ms. Howard's main problem with this book is that the story-telling switches so often from character to character that the reader becomes omniscient. You know exactly what Cael and his team are doing on the boat, you know where his intentions lie, and why he kidnapped Jenner. But you get to read page after page (after page after page) of Jenner musing over just these questions. Unfortunately, with no mystery to the reader concerning his actions, being forced to read on and on about her trying to figure it out becomes tedious and boring with much skimming involved.

Likewise, it's very obvious, very quickly exactly what the villain of the piece is up to and why he plans what he plans because we read from his viewpoint so often. But having to go over and over (and over and over) Cael's musings to figure out the nefarious plot is equally frustrating. Ms. Howard could have easily created an extremely suspenseful and fascinating novel had she limited her character viewpoints only to Syd and Jenner. She could've expanded to include Cael and his team once we knew what role he played, and kept a couple of short blips from the bad guy without revealing anything but sinister design. But instead we're subjected to long and ultimately pointless descriptions of ghosting and surveilling Larkin, while the main characters struggle to understand what's happening around them. There's just NO MYSTERY. Even had it been set up like All the Queen's Men, wherein the reader understood everything happening, but the plot was filled with excitement and adventure, this novel would have been good. But no, after the kidnapping takes place, nothing at all exciting happens until the very end (that doesn't have to do with sex).

Don't get me wrong, as I mentioned earlier, the interactions between the two main characters Jenner and Cael are passionate and absolutely hilarious (reminiscent of Jane and Sam in Mr. Perfect). Those scenes are well worth the read and certainly enjoyable. But absolutely nothing exciting or interesting happens in the middle of the book. I would recommend this one for the fun of it, but expect long skimming sessions.
52 of 56 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars still waiting for a good one July 22 2009
By S. Keith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
What has happened to Linda Howard? I thoroughly enjoyed "Son of the Morning," "Shades of Twilight," "Dream Man," "After the Night," etc but her recent ones have been real clunkers. This novel gives you no real relationships except that of the main two characters and they interact with one another in the same exact manner throughout the book, the sex scenes are boring and then magically they are in love forever. I sorely miss the old Linda Howard. Can someone tell her we want her back?
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Weird and creepy spy guy story let down July 17 2009
By L. Williams - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I've been reading Linda Howard's books since 1984 and I think I have copies of everything she ever wrote including some of her truly dreadful early work before she hit her groove that zipped her to the top of my favorite authors list for more than two decades. Everyone agrees that Linda Howard's claim to fame are her sexy delicious heroes. She writes wonderful sexy stories about cops, mercenaries, corporate sharks, cowboys and service men in the regular military. I loved her medieval hero in the time travel she wrote. And I thought the hit man in Death Angel was ok despite a *weird* deus ex machina scene half way through.

Unfortunately, I can't tolerate Linda Howard's spy guys. I dislike them so much that each time I read one of her spy guy books, I am motivated to write a negative review so that maybe her publisher can influence her to stop writing these clunkers! Linda Howard just can not make these spy guy heroes sympathetic. And her spy guy plots are just hokey and full of holes.

I can overlook an implausible plot if the hero and heroine are likeable but every one of her spy guy heroes are unfeeling, righteous, macho, sadistic jerks and the hero in BURN, Cael Traylor, lives down to all those adjectives. I was so repulsed by him from the very first chapter that I never could suspend disbelief sufficiently to fall for the incoherent plot. In fact, I put Burn down for 3 days before picking it back up again. I was close to deciding not to finish it. It's really too bad because the heroine Jenner Redwine started out great before she got dumbed down and by the jerk. Someone in another review wrote that she became boring. That's right, she did. Jenner kicks out her moocher boy friend, wins the lottery, makes some smart decisions about her money, and was shaping up to be one smart cookie before she took a 180 to boring and never recovered. She deserved a lot better book. Tant pis.

If you buy Linda Howard's books because you are collecting them, then you're like me. Buy it. If you want to buy a book because you want a good read. Skip this one, the plot's incoherent, the hero is an arrogant creep and the heroine is boring.
45 of 53 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars No, no, no July 15 2009
By M. Essig - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Linda Howard is one of my favorite authors. I love her stuff. Except for this one. The plot makes little sense. The villain's of the piece motivation just doesn't cut it which makes the whole storyline fall apart for me. How and why is having cancer sufficient motivation to blow up an entire boat? The cruise is populated by rich people, true, but they're all donating heavily to a charitable cause so how and why are they useless parasites? Jenner's father and best friend are heavily written about, then just disappear one third of the way through never to be heard from again. The same with Al, her accountant who's supposed to one of Jenner's two best friends. Lots of introduction with little follow through. I wait impatiently for each of Linda Howard's releases but found Burn to be very disappointing.
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The book wouldn't be so bad if the main character were at all good. Aug. 12 2009
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I thought I'd try Burn even though I put down the last few Linda Howard novels I started midway through because they were so unengaging. I actually finished this novel, but by the end I was angry at it. The story itself was okay, but the hero had no personality whatsoever and the heroine had no redeeming features.

First of all, she starts out the novel working at a meat packing plant, where she apparently has utterly no ambitions other than to go out drinking at night. I felt like Howard was trying to create an average-yet-poor person, but she made Jenner so stupid I was kind of insulted. Jenner has no plans, no interests in anything, few friends, no bank account, and no general knowledge. There are people with crappy jobs and no plans to change them, but everyone has interests, or wishes.

Second, Jenner wins a huge lottery jackpot. . . and whines about taxes. Repeatedly. Throughout the book. She likes Marines, she roots for the good guys, but shows no insight about what pays for Marines. She ends up with over a hundred million dollars that she won randomly by chance, and we can't just read a romance novel without this whining about taxes? Worse, when Jenner whines, it seems embarrassingly like Howard's whining bleeding through. I'm not reading this book to get an idea of Linda Howard's sociopolitical views. . . in part because they seem so bitter.

Third, Jenner--despite showing no particular skill at anything--manages to take that hundred million dollars and multiply it with her financial skills. This has the effect of creating a weird feeling of moral capitalism in the book--Jenner is good because she can make money. She can make money because she is good. Her goodness can be seen by looking at her money skills. Taxes are evil because they take her money that she won in a lottery. She must have won the lottery because she was a good person waiting to happen, and once she got all that money she was transformed into a totally different person.

Fourth, her name was Jenner. All through the book, I kept hoping that it had just been a misprint thus far and that it was really Jennifer, or Jennet, or Jenne, or anything that wasn't Jenner. No luck.

Fifth, there are just no positive points about Jenner. Negative ones abound: falling in love with the guy who's kidnapping you and holding your friend hostage? Just plain creepy. I didn't feel very comfortable with the situation, and I really wasn't sure what I was supposed to like about Jenner.

Thinking back on this, I think that this has been my problem with a lot of Howard's more recent books: her heroines just aren't that great any more. The last of Howard's novels that I really liked was Mr. Perfect, and even in that one the heroine bordered on being unsympathetic. They've just gotten really self-righteous, and they lack emotional depth. I miss Marlie from Dream Man, Roanna from Shades of Twilight, and Grace from Son of the Morning--these characters had a vulnerability that is just lacking from Jenner. This is the last Howard novel I pick up where the characters are embittered secret agent/assassin/criminal types. I don't like these people. I don't get the romance high from watching unlikeable people fall in love, and if there's none of that. . . what's the point?
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