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5.0 out of 5 stars A Keeper from Linda Howard
In "Kiss Me While I Sleep," Linda Howard has returned to the world of John Medina and Niemi Burdock, the world of covert intelligence operations and contract killers. She has also returned to the theme she explored in "Cry No More," the trauma of a parent who has lost a child.
Lily Mansfield is a contract killer for the CIA, 37 years old, with 19 years of experience...
Published on July 19 2004 by Nancy J. Silberstein

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1.0 out of 5 stars Believe it or not
I have every Linda Howard book on my keeper shelf. This one I will not be keeping.
Lily has been a contract killer for the CIA since she was 18. Lucas has been a field agent (killer owned by CIA) since he was 19. Not only are they killers but they believe they are doing it for their country! (HA! HA!)
Lily's friends and adopted daughter have been murdered by one...
Published on July 14 2004 by Elaine C McTyer


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5.0 out of 5 stars A Keeper from Linda Howard, July 19 2004
By 
Nancy J. Silberstein (Philadelphia, PA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Kiss Me While I Sleep (Hardcover)
In "Kiss Me While I Sleep," Linda Howard has returned to the world of John Medina and Niemi Burdock, the world of covert intelligence operations and contract killers. She has also returned to the theme she explored in "Cry No More," the trauma of a parent who has lost a child.
Lily Mansfield is a contract killer for the CIA, 37 years old, with 19 years of experience. She is also a grieving parent whose 13-year-old, adopted daughter has recently been killed, along with her foster parents who were Lily's best friends. Lily has set out to kill the man who ordered the hit on Zia and her foster parents, and to wreck as much havoc as she can on his organization. She is doing this without the CIA's sanction; in fact, they have sent one of their top agents, Lucas Swain, to stop her.
Sound grim? It isn't. Lucas Swain is not only an alpha hunk, he is also one funny guy. I found myself chuckling at Swain's opinions and actions, whether it was his thoughts on "chick food" or his views on Fiats. (He hates 'em.) The man went through more cars than Stephanie Plum.
If "Cry No More" had a fairly straightforward plot, that must have been because Howard was saving all her twists and turns for "Kiss Me While I Sleep." Just when you think you understand all Lily's and Swain's schemes and counter-schemes, Howard gives the plot a twist, and you realize you've been led down the garden path. Again.
All in all, a delightful read with a sexy hero and heroine, a serious examination of a parent's grief, and a plot that will have your head spinning. Highly recommended.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner, July 19 2004
By 
Judy "book reader" (Cincinnati, ohio United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Kiss Me While I Sleep (Hardcover)
Linda Howard's Kiss Me While I Sleep is another riveting tale of intrigue, betrayal and love.
Lily Mansfield has been working as a contract agent for the CIA since she was 18. Lily is extremely good at what she does but after 19 years it's taking a toll on her. When close friends and their daughter are murdered, she goes out on her own to bring them down.
Lucas Swain another agent is called in to bring Lily back one-way or another. Higher ups are afraid that Lily is a loose cannon now. Lucas sets to track Lily but isn't prepared for the woman he meets. As they delve further into the reasons Lily friends were killed, it becomes clear that it is far more serious then Lucas first thought.
As they try to untangle the web of deceit, Lucas and Lily become more entangled with each other. Lily who has trusted few people in her life must put all her trust in Lucas. But will Lucas care for that trust or betray it.
Kiss Me While I Sleep is a book that will keep you clued to the pages till the very end. It has all that you expect from a Linda Howard book, the suspense, the intrigue and the passion.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Howard does it again!, July 16 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Kiss Me While I Sleep (Hardcover)
I have read all of Linda Howards books and reread many on my Howard shelf. Her books are always page turners with different characters to stimulate our imaginations in a believable fictional scenerio. "Kiss Me While I Sleep" was no different, it was a page turner with real characters as hero and heroine.
I was truly suprised by the ending which was terrific. Tears were necessary, but usually are at one time or another during a Howard book. I was shocked to tears at the ending.
Laughter, great dialogue, good plot, steamy romance, real people, good vs evil, saving the world, exacting revenge, duty, loyalty to family and country. What more can you want? It was worth the price of hardcover. It is definately on my keeper shelf.
My only wish for this would have been more resolution in the epilogue and more passion in the romance. I compare the passion in Linda Howards "Dying to Please" with these two lastest Howard books, "Cry No More" or "Kiss Me While I Sleep", and they do not equal the steamy passages from "Dying to Please". But then again, it may not be fair to compare.
All in all this was a great read and I would recommend it with 5 stars!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner for Linda Howard, July 16 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Kiss Me While I Sleep (Hardcover)
The great thing about Linda Howard is how her characters are always new, always different. (When I read Nora Roberts, for instance, I actually get confused sometimes because she has only two heroines: the sweet, smart, slightly clueless woman and the saucy, slightly brittle exerpienced woman. I still like her books, though! And don't get me started on Jayne Anne Krentz, whose books I also enjoy but please, can she stop writing about Seattle business tycoons and their bookish love interests!)
But I digress. Lily and Swain are two more originals and I enjoyed them both--particularly Swain, whose lightheartedness was particularly engaging. Appreciated, too, because when reading any kind of romance, I get tired of the bitter, angy hero, as in "After the Night" who abuses the woman emotionally until he decides he loves her. (Don't hate me, Howard fans: I actually did like After the Night.)
Swain was laugh-out-loud funny, and Lily has her share of one-liners as well. Given the subject matter, it's amazing that Howard could bring forth chuckles from the reader. I did not find the humor incongruous--If I happened to be in their line of work, I would appreciate a good laugh. The humor, far from being gratuitous, is really a survival tactic.
And thank you, Linda Howard for gracefully walking that thin line between "action-packed" and "too much skulking and spying, where's the romance?" Some readers have questioned the ending, but I think Howard made the right choices there as well. I don't want to give anything away, but there is a scene that actually brought tears to my eyes when Lily realized (or did she?) what her end would be. Definitely worth the price of a hardback!
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5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic romantic thriller, July 15 2004
By 
This review is from: Kiss Me While I Sleep (Hardcover)
At eighteen, the Feds recruited Lilly Mansfield to make her first hit and now nineteen years later she is a hired assassin working as a contract killer for the CIA. She gets through the days by telling herself the people she kills deserve it and she is doing a patriotic duty for her country that not many people can. Gradually she isolates herself from everyone feeling burnt out except for Averill, Tina, and their thirteen-year-old daughter Zia.
When Salvatore, the head of a worldwide crime cartel kills those who Lilly regards as her family, she turns rogue because Salvatore was a CIA asset. She knows that the agency will send someone to take care of her but she never thought Lucas Swain was that man. On his part, Lucas never expects to fall for Lilly or become the instrument that would take over the assignment with Lilly that Averill and Tina never completed. Swain knows that when Lilly discovers who he really is she will want nothing to do with him.
Linda Howard always writes fantastic romantic thrillers and her latest one is no exception. Only an author of her caliber can create a heroine that is a contracted killer and have the audience care about her and hope she find a way out of this life short of death. Swain, a happy-go-lucky agent in comparison to Lilly, is a true patriot with a good heart; he is a man who risks everything for the welfare of his country. Readers will empathize with his predicament and hope he and Lilly will stop the cartel from executing the plan that would kill millions of people worldwide.
Harriet Klausner
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1.0 out of 5 stars Believe it or not, July 14 2004
By 
Elaine C McTyer "avid reader" (Dawson, GA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Kiss Me While I Sleep (Hardcover)
I have every Linda Howard book on my keeper shelf. This one I will not be keeping.
Lily has been a contract killer for the CIA since she was 18. Lucas has been a field agent (killer owned by CIA) since he was 19. Not only are they killers but they believe they are doing it for their country! (HA! HA!)
Lily's friends and adopted daughter have been murdered by one of the worst criminals in the world. Salvatore Nervi is an arms dealer. He sells plutonium to terrorists. He is a major drug maker and dealer. He is wanted by many countries. A totally evil individual. So Lily sets out to take him out. She does.
BUT He is protected by the CIA because he has an agreement with them. He is sometimes an informant. Probably against his competitors. She knows that she will be considered a wildcard and possibly be sanctioned (murdered) by the CIA for taking him out.
Does this make sense? She kills for her country, and her country will kill her for killing a bad guy.
Lucas is sent to find her. He finds her and falls in love with her. She explains that Nervi had her friends and daughter killed because they blew up one of his labs. She is convinced that her friends had a good reason to blow up the bad dude's lab. So she convinces Lucas to help her. He only wants to get closer to her before he turns her in.
I am very unsympathetic to both of them. The first half of the book is trying to make you like these two people. The last third is the finding evidence against the Nervi organization, blowing it up, being betrayed by Lucas and finally being put in a sanitarium to help her get over being a murderer. wow.
In CRY NO MORE we are able to see Diaz for what he is, but we recognize that he is doing something that has to be done. Then we have Milla who is good, bad things had happened to her but she rose above it. At the end you feel she has made Diaz human and redeemed him.
Not so for this book. I look for a good read from Linda Howard, but this was a disgusting hero and heroine. Maybe the world needs people like these. But I sure don't want to read about them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars More like 4 1/2 stars, but wonderful none-the-less, July 14 2004
By 
This review is from: Kiss Me While I Sleep (Hardcover)
I'm a big fan of Linda Howard. She's about the only author I read that I shell out for a hardcover. I wasn't disappointed when I bought Cry No More, but this was a different story, different mood, different characters. Personally, I liked Cry No More much better, but this one had its moments. For instance, I got a pleasant surprise to find out how Medina was doing (although indirectly). The love scenes were much different than her usual and now I know how they got the cover art. I also liked the originality of this one, but at first, I wasn't sure how I would like a 37 year old female assassin as the main character. I have to say that she grew on me; I thought she suffered enough and needed a way out. It was also easy to follow her train of thoughts and helped me relate to her as a person. Swain was another story. He was a little too easy going and light hearted. Not what I expected of a CIA man sent to "terminate" her. But they worked well together and it helped lighten the mood of the book. The more I think about it, the more I realize that he was the only type of guy matched for Lily.
Reasons why I thought it fell slightly short of 5 stars...one, the way she was too trusting of Swain - not a characteristic that I would attribute to a 19 year veteran in the game. Two, I didn't think there was enough heart stopping action. For a CIA contract assassin and a CIA field agent, I sort of hoped for more cliffhanger type action. Three, the ending felt rushed. Personally, I like the end wrapped up nice and neat. Not to say this didn't end the way I wanted, but that I'm not into such an abrupt ending. Or maybe I wasn't ready for the book to end.
Overall, I liked the book because I'm a fan of Howard's writing style and I like the characters she develops. She tells a great story in a way that I like to read it. Can't wait for her next one.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but..., July 18 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Kiss Me While I Sleep (Hardcover)
I am a true blue Linda Howard fan. I read ANYTHING she writes. Her best is better than any other romance writer; her not so best is still really good. I would rank this in the good category. Even though the mystery is probably not the most important aspect of the book, I was disappointed that I figured out the culprit early into the story. I was delightfully surprised though by the resolution of the conflict between the main characters (really good), though I would have liked a longer ending to fully appreciate this resolution. Unlike some Linda Howard readers, I enjoy conflict between the hero and heroine with aspects of humor, and don't enjoy the "funny" Howards as much as some do. I was pleased this was more in the first category. I wish we could have seen Swain being pushed a little more at the end in the emotion department.
All in all, recommended. I probably won't read it again, but will definitely read Ms. Howard's next book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not Her Best By Far, Aug. 24 2005
After getting used to wonderful books full of emotion and witty dialog, this book fell pretty flat. Having a leading lady as an assassin was pretty novel, but her personality felt phoney. Her escape and evasion tactics at the beginning of the book are pretty spunky and showed great promise for entertainment value, but as soon as her leading man arrives, it's all down hill. The action in the book was good, but the plot twists a bit too contrived. And, the clincher was the lack of chemistry between the two main characters. If it had been any other author I would have given her another star, but compared to other LH books, this one was disappointing.
For excellent examples of Linda Howards' talent try "To Die For" or "Mr. Perfect" for a good laugh, or if you're in the mood of women who go through heart wrenching moments but prevail with intelligence, guts and class go for "Cry No More" or "Son of the Morning".
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3.0 out of 5 stars Okay, July 19 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Kiss Me While I Sleep (Hardcover)
This book had the intrigue, but I expected more intrigue, drama, suspense and emotion considering the plot involving CIA agents. The characters personalities just seemed out of place with the plot and lacked the depth that I expected from Ms Howard. Also, I didn't feel the chemistry or build-up between Swain and Lily before they became lovers and "fell in love." However, Ms Howard can switch from character to character on a dime in her books. Ms Howard's characters are never perfect, which allows her readers to relate and Ms Howard's characters are never run together as other authors tend to do. The ending was a nice surprise, if a little rushed. I would still recommend this book, but don't expect it to be as good as Cry No More, which tugged at my heart and made me cry...
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