Thursday, September 01, 2011
A Perfect 10: PREY by Linda Howard
A Perfect 10
Ballantine Books (Hardcover)
Western Montana, the Present
PREY begins when Angie Powell arranges to sell the hunting guide business her father left her. Angie grew up in the area and used to help her father; then she spent some time in the city. Once at home and running the business, she discovered how much she loved the life of guiding people into the wilderness. But now, between the slowing economy and Dare Callahan’s setting up his own business in competition to hers, it’s time to move elsewhere. Angie’s reactions to Dare run between hatred toward him and feelings of butterflies in her stomach…something no other man in her limited experience has ever given her.
Angie has only one trip booked at the moment. Chad Krugman, a former client, is bringing a business associate to hunt for black bear.
Dare can be rough and abrupt—he spent some hard years in the military—but he lusts for Angie. He’s asked her out twice in the three years he’s been back and been shot down both times. When he hears from the realtor that she’s selling her place, he gets some ideas. The realtor is Angie’s father’s old friend who has a bad feeling in his gut about her upcoming trip and asks Dare if he could somehow contrive to keep and eye on her. After some waffling back and forth, Dare decides he could use a relaxing fishing trip into the area. And that’s a good thing!
Did I call Prey romantic suspense? Wow...on both counts! Ms. Howard takes us right into the minds of the main characters, the rugged wilderness, and the fury of a storm. While mainly Angie’s and Dare’s story, it’s shown from various points of view, and one of the scariest is the bear’s! The suspense is nearly unrelenting; if you have any fear of bears at all, I recommend you read this book in broad daylight, preferably hours before bedtime.
Angie and Dare are marooned together in the high country and surrounded by dangers. Yet the mood is lightened by their entertaining battle between attraction and antagonism on both parts.
What with so much of my time reading for review, it has been much too long between books by this outstanding author whom I first read in MR. PERFECT. Who else combines humor, suspense, and romance so perfectly? How fitting it is to award PREY one of Romance Reviews Today’s rare Perfect 10s.