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on December 14, 2003
I'll start out by saying I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and would happily recommend it to others. However, the story was not at all what I expected, nor what the jacket or editorial summary promised.
The bare bones of the story are mostly as described - a happily married new mom living in Mexico is brutally attacked and her baby stolen. Fast forward ten years as our heroine is now divorced, running a non-profit organization that helps to man searches for lost people and desperately trying to find the son who was kidnapped (despite family and friends wanting her to give up and move on). There's not a lot of plot or relationship building that helps us get from point A to point B, but to move the story along, Milla just happens to stumble across the one man who can help her find her son and (shock) he's studly and silent and brooding, just like her.
The book jacket promises that Milla is extraordinarily gifted at finding children, but apparently the editors forgot to leave that part in the book, because apart from one brief and not particularly suspenseful search, we never see Milla find anyone. Ms. Howard tries very hard to make us understand that despite her outward tough girl, Milla is a girly cream puff, longing to be a housewife and mom. I didn't really see any tough girl, but I guess the fact that Milla wears a lot of fluttery pastel blouses and sundresses supports the latter.
The hero is sexy in a surly, sort of dusty and menacing sort of way, and apparently he has a sweet inner self that Milla manages to unearth. Surprisingly for Ms. Howard, the sex scenes were fairly bland to me and I found myself enjoying the perspective of the hero and how their relationship affected him more than anything from Milla's point of view.
As for the villains, I'm no Einstein, but I figured those two out by the first quarter of the book. There was nothing at all surprising, interesting or fulfilling about their exposure and while I don't expect every loose end tied by the end of the book, what happens to these two was remarkably...nothing.
All that said, the final 60 or so pages of this book were completely riveting. No contemporary romance author writes angst and pain better than Ms. Howard and I found myself with tears on my face for most of those 60 pages. Those pages alone elevate this book from a formulaic romantic suspense novel to a really good study of the devastation caused by the loss of a child, the sweetness of giving a gift even though it tears your soul out and the road back to living. The final page (the final paragraph, really) was touching, even if it was predictable.
Don't buy this if you're looking for a suspenseful mystery or thriller, because that's just not what this. There's not a lot of background detail, not a lot of scene detail and parts of the characters are less nuanced than I've come to expect from Ms. Howard. But as a really touching story of one woman's journey from obsession to peace, this really is a book that works.
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on May 4, 2004
Milla Edge encounters the watershed tragedy of her life in the heart-pounding opening sequence of the book. While accompanying her doctor of a husband on a stint, her newborn baby Justin was ruthlessly snatched away from her by perpetrators of a baby smuggling ring in a Mexican marketplace. She lost a kidney in the fierce struggle - her husband and family too - as she forged herself to become stronger and never giving up hope in her quest for Justin, while others misunderstand and loses faith in her quest for an impossible dream.
Ten years in hot pursuit of the perpetrators has left Milla with a new link after a mysterious phone call that unites her with bounty hunter James Diaz. As the mystery deepens, she finds herself confronting a web of conspiracy spun by her closest friends and sponsors of her foundation that is dedicated to finding the missing.
The mayhem and cutthroat suspense may be similar to Ms. Howard's previous efforts like Open Target and Dying to Please. But in Cry No More, Ms. Howard outdoes herself as she throws herself into the world of her central character, bringing out the empathy and admiration for her steely Milla with gut-wrenching emotions. Her angst and bitterness makes her a gripping heroine in every sense; the hero Diaz with the dangerous slant unearths her softness and vulnerability, enriching the poignant romance in the midst of the spinning action.
Ms. Howard clearly has shown that her passion overrides everything. She gets all her elements in place, beautifully injects realism with bits and pieces of Mexican culture, surprises us with an act of maturity by Milla in the ending sequence and lets us feel the unconditional love in maternal ties. This is simply Ms. Howard at her best - and it is bound to leave her fans crying for more.
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on December 5, 2003
Having been a huge fan of Ms Howards work over the years I greatly look forward to and anticipate each release.
In Cry No More Ms Howard has written a powerfully moving account of one woman's driven, almost obsessive search to track down and find the son who was snatched from her arms ten years before. In doing so she loses her husband, some of her family and as the tale progresses, almost her life.
This was no cosy tale of romance - the genre that I and other fans buy her for and if you buy this novel expecting that, then you will be disappointed. It does'nt make the tale less, but there was a dark edge that permeated the whole book and in some places made it heavy going. It was certainly a different style than all her previous works and was more mainstream women's fiction for that.
Howard did touch on a relationship between Milla and another of the characters, but it was certainly secondary to the main story and at times I felt that a more even balance could have been achieved, to satisfy both her "core" fans and her new ones.
Another thing - the main storyline so overwhelmed the other plot elements of the book, that they were'nt wrapped up at the end and subsequently it left you feeling vaguely dissatisfied.
However, overall, it's an evocative, emotionally heartrending tale of strength and courage against adversity ,but it is'nt a Howard romance.
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on November 19, 2003
Since she has authored so many delicious reads, I know that I can trust a book by Linda Howard. It's never money wasted. Even her worst is better than most author's best. I often reread them rather than buy a new book by someone else (my favorites being After the Night, Now You See Her, and Dream Man).
Cry No More was absolutely outstanding. It was simply impossible to put the book down and go to bed - the last third is soooo compelling - it just blew me away! I loved the strong hero and brave heroine - their quirks and vulnerabilities were gently revealed. Heavier in theme than most of her other works, it was none-the-less a page turner. It was a deliciously sensual and suspenseful adventure, a thrilling roller coaster ride, alternately tear-jerking, tender and joyful. (And those fabulous love scenes kept me reaching for the fan). An author myself, I am humbled by such talent. I await her next book with utter impatience.
Damn, Linda. Keep up the GREAT work.
Girl - YOU ROCK!
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on June 27, 2004
I love Linda Howard's books. They are always a treat. However, I really felt this wasn't one of her best. I didn't really like the character of Milla. I thought that she was unevenly written and started to get annoying. I also felt that the plot drug on a bit and was a bit implausible. I don't read books based on whether it could really happen...I just felt that this was a bit too much. I can't believe that after ten years of no leads...all of a sudden everything clicks into place; all of these things just start happening and it is easy to find the answers. I think it would have been a better book if it had taken place a year or two after the kidnapping, not ten. It is not Linda Howard's best work, but I still love her and will continue to read her.
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on August 2, 2004
This is the second book I've read by Ms. Howard and I have quickly become a fan. "Cry No More" deals with one woman's desperate search to find her missing son. Milla Edge is feminine to the core but tough as nails when it comes to trying to locate her son. When James Diaz joins her in the hunt, the chemistry between them leads to a sizzling romance. But Milla is aware that both carry baggage from the past, and can she have a relationship with an assassin/bounty hunter?
This is a great read, with many highs and lows, and a few places you might need to pull out the tissue. Great book, Ms. Howard.
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on December 6, 2003
Milla Boone's 6 week old baby boy was snatched out of her arms on a bright sunny day while she was shopping in an open air market in Mexico. The aftermath of the kidnapping had a profound impact on her life. She founded an organization to help people look for missing children and she continued to look for her own son.
Ten years pass and Milla is no closer to finding her son, despite the fact that her son's kidnapping made news headlines. Her single minded drive to recover her son has alienated her family, cost her her husband and sent her into very dangerous situations.
Then Milla meets Diaz, a mysterious figure who also specializes in finding people. With Diaz's help, Milla manages to find out more about her missing child in a few weeks than she had in 10 years. And the closer Milla and Diaz get to finding out the truth, the closer they are to danger. And Milla discovers that part of the reason she never found out about her son was due to treachery and betrayal.
I was kinda disappointed in Linda Howard's last few offerings. They seemed really subpar to what I know this author it capable of. This book is more like the Howard I know. This book is a curious amalgm of "Son of the Morning" and "MacKenzie's Mountain" both very good books (Mackenzie's Mountain is simply excellent).
Milla is like Grace St. John of "Son of the Morning." She is a very feminine girly-girl who would have been content to be a Doctor's wife and schoolteacher and raise her own children. But because of one moment of violence she is forced to become a tough survivor (still very girly-girl) who doesn't hesitate to kill if she must.
Diaz, on the other hand, is very much life Wolf Mackenzie. A tough, loner who immediately wants to protect "his woman." Howard does a great job of making Diaz one of the scariest good guys you'd ever meet on paper.
There are some nice little plot twists and the resolution of Milla's baby search is pretty much a tearjerker. I only gave the book four stars because there were some points that I would have liked to have seen resolved or at least revisited in an epilogue such as Milla's relationship with her family and the aftermath of Rip and Susanna's relationship. I was also very disappointed that the plot with the smuggling ring was ended "off-stage" as it were. I would have loved to know what the bad guys' reactions were to getting caught after all this time. But overall a good story. I recommend.
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on March 10, 2004
Milla had a good life with her husband and infant son. It was all taken away in a moment that was to become the second that defined her existance. On the darkest day of her life, Milla was stabbed and her son taken by a group of child smugglers. Only two things can even halfway be considered comforting - a white child would be well cared for due to the high demand for them and she was able to put out the eye of the monster who stole her baby.
Ten years pass, and during them, Milla's purpose gains focus. Perhaps her own son is lost, but she can help others find their missing loved ones. It is something of a balm, seeing other's joy at reuniting, when she has lost not only her child, but her marriage and friendly relations with her family. Then, hope is reborn. Milla makes contact with Diaz, a bad man who might be able to track down the scum who wrecked her life. Working with him is nerve wracking. Diaz is everything she should avoid, and everything she needs. In his arms, Milla's tears begin to dry. But, there is someone out there who wants revenge for his lost eye. If Diaz can't protect her, Milla will find herself scattered across Mexico.
*** Linda Howard, the author who gave us Mr Perfect, once more chills readers in this fast paced novel that takes us through a whole range of feelings. Every one can empathize with Milla's obsession and inner turmoil. Yet, despite the chills and thrills, the ending warms the heart. ***
Reviewed by Amanda Killgore for Huntress Reviews.
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on November 10, 2003
Linda Howard has always been a favorite of mine so I eagerly awaited the release of 'Cry No More'. This book started slowly but the finish more than made up for the slow start. Howard tackles the very difficult subject of illegal adoption rings and of kidnapped infants and the consequences for the families they leave behind and the families who adopt them.
Milla Edge led a blessed life until the day her six week old infant, Justin, was stolen from her arms at a Mexican market. Since that dreadful day she has spent her life searching for her son and other lost children. Finally she gets a real lead regarding the whereabouts of Justin but she needs help. She turns to James Diaz (Diaz) a dangerous assassin whose reputation is more formidable than the enemies she seeks. Together they track the ruthless baby sellers and put their own lives at risk to find a child.
The story is well told and heartbreakingly real. Make sure there are tissues nearby when you get to the final hundred pages. I was interrupted several times while finishing this book and each time I returned to the story I cried more than the previous times.
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on November 18, 2003
In 1993, Milla Boone and her husband were living in Mexico. David Boone is a surgeon and went to Mexico to volunteer a year's service at a free clinic. One day while shopping at the market, two thugs approached Milla and ripped six week old Justin from her arms. She fought back and scarred one man for life and for her efforts she was stabbed and left to die. Milla was rushed to the clinic where her husband saved her life.
After recovering, Milla had one goal in life and that was to find her son. Relentless in her ten-year search, she and David divorce and Milla starts the organization called "Finders". Their mission is to find lost or stolen children and eventually branches out to find any missing person. Milla does well finding lost loved ones of others but she cannot find her son. Why?
She finally comes in contact with James Diaz, an undercover bounty hunter/assassin. Diaz agrees to help her search for her son and she makes progress after ten years of following tips that end up going nowhere.
That's all I'm going to say about the story because I don't want to include any spoilers but there is so much more.
It's been eighteen months since Linda's last book and if you are a fan of hers as I am, the time seemed like forever. But it was well worth the wait. If you have never read any of her books I would recommend you try this excellent story and get out your tissues.
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