Tackling The TBR – Again...
“Hogwash” – Linda Howard, Mackenzie’s Mission (Intelligent Woman)
I’ve had a busy old week this week, but I’ve managed to read some of the books on my never-ending TBR.
Ever since I read Linda Howard’s To Die For, I’ve been hooked on her books.
I haven’t read any of her books yet, that have made me want to slit my wrists in despair. In fact, I’ve freaking well loved all of her stuff thus far, so I’ve decided to make her an auto-buy author. The first in a long , long time.
I started the week off with Mackenzie’s Mountain, an introduction to the town and the people of Ruth, Wyoming.
What can I say? I loved it so much, I immediately went to Amazon, and ordered the rest of her Mackenzie family stories. I heart Wolf Mackenzie, and the heroine teacher was a jolly good sort too.
Mary was my kind of heroine. She was smart, funny, and intensely loyal. I loved the fact that she stood up for Wolf and his son Joe against the town who believed that he was a murdering waste of space just because he was a half-breed Indian.
It didn’t help his cause, that somebody was trying their best to rape and kill the women of Ruth, and that he was the obvious suspect in a town full of nutters. Happy sigh. I loved this book.
I then had to wait two days before the delivery of the other Mackenzie family stories, (I’m sure there’s one missing) but it was worth it.
Mackenzie’s Mission featured Joe Mackenzie, Wolf and Mary’s aviation-obsessed son. I’d gotten to know Joe in Mackenzie’s Mountain, and he’d been a pretty special 16 year old, so I was ecstatic that Linda had given him his own book.
The heroine in Mackenzie’s Mission was called Caroline, and I didn’t hate her. Bloody marvellous!
As a laser-targeting technician, recruited to troubleshoot the glitches in a new airforce operation, Caroline was a woman in a man’s world. Throw into the mix, a saboteur intent on discrediting her, a colleague, who’s advances she’d scorned, and Joe Mackenzie, who made her quim lips quiver, and hey presto, you have a book worth spending money on. Loved it.
Mackenzies Pleasure starred Zane Mackenzie, one of the huggings of children that Wolf and Mary had produced.
Zane was a S.E.A.L, and his mission was to rescue the daughter of a prominent politician. As you can imagine, he rescues her, they have lots of sex, and she gets pregnant. Wonderful! My only problem with this books was that the heroine was called Barrie. I mean come on. Barrie? What kinda freaking name is that for a girl?
Oh, and I have to mention Zane and Barrie’s daughter Nick. We meet her in the epilogue when she’s only two, but she fascinated me no end. I wonder if Linda Howard ever thought about writing a futuristic with her as the heroine? Just a thought…
A Game of Chance featured my favourite brother. Chance Mackenzie was a womanising moody bastard who I thought was bloody marvellous. Chance had been adopted by Mary and Wolf when he’d been a rebellious, homeless 14 year old, who’d been involved in quite a few shady things in his short life.
Mary had found him at the side of a road, half-dead, with a raging fever, and decided that she couldn’t possibly leave him to the authorities. Did I mention how much I loved Mary’s character?
Anyhoo, Chance has been trying to lure a dangerous criminal out of hiding, and by chance, (hee, see what I did there?) he finds out about his quarry’s estranged daughter, Sunny.
Sunny was a tremendously complex character, who I was able to empathise with on so many different levels.
She’d been in hiding from her father for years, due to the sad fact that he wanted to kill her (he wouldn’t have won the father of the year award that’s for sure).
When we meet her in the book, she is trying to deliver a package to one of her firm’s clients (she was a courier), but is frustrated at every turn, because all her flights keep getting cancelled.
Sunny could have easily been one of those psycho heroines, who leave me with the inexplicable urge to punch myself in the face, but thankfully, Howard didn’t write her that way.
She was a practical woman, who did what she had to, in order to survive, and didn’t bitch and moan about her crappy lot in life. The fact that the man who she’d fallen in love with, was using her to lure her evil father out into the open, didn't help things. Once again, my kind of heroine.
The only thing that irritated me slightly about all of the above books was the fact that all the heroines were virgins, but you know what, sod it, I bloody loved them anyway!!
Now, onto other non-Linda Howard books:
My next book was Caroline Linden’s historical, What A Woman Wants.
Jesus Effing Christ.
What a waste of a few hours of my life.
Basically, the hero is an idiot who needs money, and in order to get his hands on some money, he plans to marry the heroine’s niece, who is a stupid f*cking cow.
The heroine, knowing that the Stupid F*cking Idiot is intent on marrying her niece, Stupid F*cking Cow, deliberately tries to seduce him, to test his loyalty. He of course fails the test, due to the fact that his dick is attached to his one remaining brain cell.
After this encounter, things go to shit, and all kinds of absurd things happen to the heroine and the Stupid F*cking Idiot.
F*ck me, I can’t be arsed writing about this book anymore, in my opinion, it was a non-story. The characters made me want to stick my fingers in my eye, and chew off my own arm. I hope that Linden does better next time. Sheesh.
(You, on the other hand may think it’s just a marvellous book, and in that case, don’t pay any attention to my ramblings.)
I immediately counter-acted the effects of the previous book, by picking up another two Linda Howard books.
In Heartbreaker, Michelle Cabot inherits her father’s cattle ranch, along with all his debts, in particular a $100,000 debt to her sworn enemy, John Rafferty.
John and Michelle have had a love-hate relationship for most of their lives. He thinks she’s a spoilt princess (which she was) and she thinks he’s a dick (which he was), but as they get to know each other again, they discover their mutual passion for each other.
Did I forget to mention that Michelle had been married to a wife-beating psychopath? Well he shows his face, and all hell breaks loose. Once again, a jolly good read.
I then read Linda’s (I feel like I know her intimately, note the liberal use of her first name) White Lies.
Jay Granger opens her door to two FBI agents, who tell her that her ex-husband has been seriously injured, and that she needs to identify him, cuz she’s the only family he has left.
When Jay arrives at the hospital where her ex-husband is, he’s unrecognizable as the man she was married to, but she assumes that he’s her ex, and positively ID’s him as such. (I forgave her for being so frickin stupid, cuz she’d had a really shit day).
Everything goes to hell after that, but it’s all eventually sorted out, and they live happily ever after (can you tell I’m getting tired of typing now?) Another good book, even if I wasn’t blown away. Once again, the characters were key in my enjoyment of this book.
I finished reading Sharon Sala’s Chance McCall, which I enjoyed, but for some reason, it seemed to take me ages to read it.
Chance first arrives at Jenny Tyler’s father’s ranch, as a 17 year old boy with no family, and no past, and she falls in love with him there and then.
This story tells the tale of Jen and Chance’s evolving relationship with each other. Chance has many secrets, and through the passing years, does his best to stay away from the boss’s daughter, which of course pisses her off no end.
Chance is involved in a tragic accident which robs him of his memory. His loss of memory allows him to get closer to Jen, but in the back of his mind, he knows that in order to finally claim her as his, he must find out about his past. He then leaves the ranch in search of answers, leaving Jenny devastated.
Chance McCall was a touching book at times, but at other times seemed a little over-done. I felt that half-way through the book, Sala had forgotten what the original purpose of the book was, and it seemed to drift for a while, which might be why it took me so long to finish.
As with the Sala books that I have enjoyed in the past, it had a manic depressive feel to it. If you’ve ever read Sweetbaby, or White Mountain, you’ll know exactly what I mean by that.
I went through the entire book feeling like the worst was yet to happen, but of course, when you find out Chance’s secret, it turns out to be sadly non-earth-shattering. Sigh. Oh well, I still enjoyed it to a degree, and I’m still a fan of her books.
One thing I did find fascinating was that in Linda Howard’s A Game of Chance, Chance Mackenzie pretends to Sunny that his last name is McCall… Coincidence? I think not!
I also read Lisa Valdez’s, Passion, but I do believe that it deserves a review all on it’s own. I have much to write on the subject, and I’m not going to hint at whether I liked it or not, so you’ll just have to keep tuning in.
Well, my fingers are bleeding from all this typing, so I’m gonna stop before my head starts randomly spinning round.
That’s it for now, I really hope you all have a good weekend.