Each week, I’ll be writing a review for an oldie but goodie that I’ve read through again to see if these books are holding up for me. I’m a different person than I was when I read these books, older and wiser (at least I hope) so I’m curious to see if books that I used to love can stand the test of time.
This week’s book is Dying to Please by Linda Howard
. For my other book blog’s summer reading challenge, I was assigned with reading Midnight Rainbow by Linda Howard
and instead of starting that one, I picked this one up instead.
Dying To Please
by Linda Howard Published by Random House
on November 4, 2003 Genres: Contemporary
, Romantic Suspense Point of View:
Alternating Third PersonPages:
416 Format: eBook Source: PurchasedAdd It
Alternate-cover edition can be found here
Loyal. Beautiful. Professional. Impeccably organized. Potentially lethal.
Sarah Stevens is a woman with many distinct qualities. First and foremost a butler par excellence, skilled at running large households smoothly and efficiently, she is also a trained bodyguard and expert marksman—indispensable to her elderly employer, a courtly gentleman whom Sarah has come to respect and love as a father. Then one night she thwarts an attempted burglary, a courageous act that awards Sarah her requisite “fifteen minutes of fame” with the local press. But the exposure is enough to catch the attention of a tortured soul who, unbeknownst to Sarah, will stop at nothing to have her for himself...
I’m really happy to report that even though I didn’t exactly LOVE this book the way that I did when I first read it, I was still really happy with the story that Linda Howard wrote for Cahill and Sarah.
If you’re new to this book or haven’t read it then this story features Sarah Stevens and Thompson Cahill. Sarah Stevens is a modern day butler/bodyguard and when she comes home from her day off to find her boss dead, her life is thrown upside down. Cahill is the detective on the scene and meeting Sarah Stevens knocks him on his ass. Of course, the first time they meet and he finds out that she’s a butler, he assumes she’s the judge’s mistress or plaything and I loved seeing him wise up in all things Sarah.
The mystery surrounds trying to find out who is killing all of Sarah’s employers and I’ll be honest, that part of the story is pretty weak. I knew who the killer was right away but that wasn’t what I loved about the book. I loved the romance that developed between Cahill and Sarah. I loved getting to know both of their characters and I still really love that wrestling scene.
I remember loving how strong and resilient Sarah was and that didn’t change here. I also remembered how much I adored Cahill but this time around, it was all Sarah for me. She was the bomb and I still think she can take The Rock on and come out on top. She’s smart, she’s strong and what you see is what you get. She’s got that take no nonsense kind of attitude that could be taken so many different ways but for me, it really worked for her character. There was a warmth to her and I was completely charmed. I seriously want to be Sarah Stevens when I grow up.
Cahill and Sarah made sense together and I really enjoyed each scene that they’re in together. Cahill’s honesty and Sarah’s take-charge attitude just worked for me and I loved how hot they were for each other. Linda Howard really shines at character development and I thought she did a nice job of letting us get to know these two. It’s a winner in my book and I definitely recommend if you’re in the mood for a little suspense, some hot loving and two strong characters that are just made for each other. This is a good one.
Buy the Book
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4 out of 5
This week’s Eye Candy Friday guy is the guy that I have spent the most time fighting my friend Holly over. Every single time that his book comes on to my radar, Ben Lewis comes to mind but more than that, the fights I used to get into with Holly over him (she has this need to claim all of our favorite heroes as hers and I don’t take well to that). Holly and I take our heroes very seriously and we would argue and bicker over so many but none more than Ben.
He’s completely worth all of the fighting words we threw at each other over the years. His book is a book that I had absolutely no interest in reading but I’m super thankful that I did read it because holy hot damn, Ben Lewis is my kind of guy. He’s funny. He’s flirty. He’s very crude and all of that goodness is packed in a strong and super sexy package that after all these years, I still love the hell out of.
Here is his book information:
Heart of Fire
by Linda Howard
A fabulous lost Amazon city once inhabited by women warriors and containing a rare red diamond: it sounded like myth, but archeologist Jillian Sherwood believed it was real, and she was willing to put up with anything to find it — even Ben Lewis. Ruffian, knock-about, and number one river guide in Brazil, Ben was all man — over six feet of rock-hard muscles that rippled under his khakis, with lazy blue eyes that taunted her from his tanned face. Jillian watched him come to a fast boil when she refused to reveal their exact destination upriver in the uncharted rain forests — and resolved to stand her ground. Neither of them could foresee what the days ahead promised: an odyssey into the fiery heart of passion and betrayal, and a danger that would force them to cast their fates together, immersed in the eternal, unsolved mysteries of love….
Before reading this book, I had no interest in reading books set in the Amazon. Books that took place in the jungle or swamps of any kind just wasn’t something I was interested in reading but this book turned that around for me.
Heart of Fire is probably my favorite book by Linda Howard. She has written some fantastic romantic suspense books that I used to love but Heart of Fire is special to me because on top of Ben Lewis working his love magic on me, the heroine, Jillian is no slouch herself.
You can see Ben’s pervy but flirty personality shine through in the following scenes & quotes:
“It’s not something I can control, damn it. Every man I know wakes up with a hard-on.”
“Maybe so, but they do not – repeat, do not – rub it on me.”
“‘Every man I know’ wasn’t rubbing it on you! It was just me!”
“And it was just your hair that I pulled, wasn’t it?” she asked sweetly.”
“You have underwear.”
“I’m glad you enjoyed it. Did you try it on?”
“Nah. Just rubbed it against my face.”
Haha, you guys…I seriously love this guy because he’s more than the silly, crude guy who has a comeback for every single comment. He’s a guide and he’s smart, he spends his days guiding and protecting people in the wilds of the Amazon so he’s also really strong. Ben was a delightful surprise in a book that packed a lovely romance that will win your heart.
Here is what Ben looks like in my head:
He’s a pretty perfect Ben Lewis and if you haven’t read his book, fix that pronto. Go forth and swoon over Ben with me. You won’t be sorry!
Buy the Book
Heart of Fire by Linda Howard
July 1, 1993
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
Until next week…enjoy!