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review 2019-02-13 15:23
He needed training in how to deal with female co-workers.
The Woman Left Behind - Linda Howard

The blurb made it seem that she would spend a goodly chunk of the book getting herself back to the team or civilisation or whatever but actually it's only a few chapters in a story, though it is a pivotal point in the story for the heroines growth.

Levi Butcher leads a paramilitary unit of macho men and into this mix his boss puts a geek, and a female geek at that. She, Jina Modell, and the other geeks assigned to other teams, are unfit and would not be able to keep up with the team so they set about fixing that, trying to break her, but she refuses to break and becomes part of the team. After a few missions she ends up left behind and has to get to safety, ignoring pain and the fear of being trapped behind enemy lines.

It's interesting and the characters are well drawn, even if Levi Butcher comes across as being a bit of an ass sometimes while he tries to convince himself that the only feelings he has for Jina is that of a co-worker. I also had some issues with the resolution as it was a bit pat and easy. Still an interesting read with characters I was rooting for.

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review 2019-01-19 15:35
Mostly the dog
Troublemaker: A Novel - Linda Howard

I enjoyed this story that is mostly about the dog Tricks but also about two people who end up befriending her.


Morgan Yancy is just back from a tricky mission and now he's trying to relax so he heads out on his boat to fish.  While there he meets some people he knows and he realises that somethings has gone badly wrong when he arrives home to an assassin.  When he wakes it's in a hospital bed and he's in pain.  He had survived the assassination but his boss, Axel, has no idea who and why he had been targeted.


Axel decides to send Morgan to someone he hasn't seen in years and someone he seriously doesn't care for, her mother and his father were once married for a few months and they didn't get on then.  She's distant enough and needs the money so Bo Maran agrees.  Bo never intended to be in the house she is and part-time working as the Sherrif (mostly to get the paperwork done) and not a dog owner.  But these things are what have her in the town she's in and she likes the community around her.


I enjoyed the read, I liked how Morgan had to come to terms with his now body (though he didn't have enough falling over for long enough to be honest and never relapsed, it is a fantasy/thriller version of recovery).  Things do get resolved fairly quickly and this is also more a romance with a taste of thriller than a full thriller.  There's also a lot of dealing with a spoilt dog who walks all over the two characters (and a lot of other people in the town).  I really did like how respectful Morgan was about her job and her and dealt with his issues like an actual adult.


The author could use other members of the team for more stories...

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review 2018-11-16 07:10
Thoughts: The Woman Left Behind
The Woman Left Behind - Linda Howard

The Woman Left Behind

by Linda Howard
Book 2 of GO-Team



Jina Modell works in Communications for a paramilitary organization, and she really likes it.  She likes the money, she likes the coolness factor—and it was very cool, even for Washington, DC.  She liked being able to kick terrorist butts without ever leaving the climate-controlled comfort of the control room.

But when Jina displays a really high aptitude for spatial awareness and action, she’s reassigned to work as an on-site drone operator in the field with one of the GO-teams, an elite paramilitary unit.  The only problem is she isn’t particularly athletic, to put it mildly, and in order to be fit for the field, she has to learn how to run and swim for miles, jump out of a plane, shoot a gun... or else be out of a job.

Team leader Levi, call sign Ace, doesn’t have much confidence in Jina--who he dubbed Babe as soon as he heard her raspy, sexy voice--making it through the rigors of training.  The last thing he needs is some tech geek holding them back from completing a dangerous, covert operation.  In the following months, however, no one is more surprised than he when Babe, who hates to sweat, begins to thrive in her new environment, displaying a grit and courage that wins her the admiration of her hardened, battle-worn teammates.  What’s even more surprising is that the usually very disciplined GO-team leader can’t stop thinking about kissing her smart, stubborn mouth…or the building chemistry and tension between them.

Meanwhile, a powerful Congresswoman is working behind the scenes to destroy the GO-teams, and a trap is set to ambush Levi’s squad in Syria.  While the rest of the operatives set off on their mission, Jina remains at the base to control the surveillance drone, when the base is suddenly attacked with explosives.  Thought dead by her comrades, Jina escapes to the desert where, brutally tested beyond measure, she has to figure out how to stay undetected by the enemy and make it to her crew in time before they’re exfiltrated out of the country.

But Levi never leaves a soldier behind, especially the brave woman he’s fallen for.  He’s bringing back the woman they left behind, dead or alive.

The truth is that this book probably doesn't deserve more than 3 Stars.  It isn't the best outlined, and would even come across as fairly boring to anyone looking for an action-packed story where our heroine gets left behind, and needs to fend for herself until her team comes back for her.  But the summary blurb is a little bit misleading, frankly, and the action-packed part of the book really doesn't take place until well into the last half of the book.

The Woman Left Behind had tons of potential to be a great book, but it fell short of that by maybe spending too much time on Jina's day-to-day training life with the GO-Team she's been re-assigned to work with.  This part of the book, in itself, is already a little unbelievable, and requires a very high willingness to suspend disbelief.

By narrative, Jina ends up spending six months on physical training and drone training.  In the book, there are times where you want to get on with the story.  On the other hand, I can't find myself just blowing off that first half of the book she spends challenging herself and pushing herself to physical limits she never knew she had.  And I honestly loved the camaraderie built between her and a team of macho super paramilitary men who didn't think she was going to make it in the first place.

Color me contradictory--those six months she spends getting to know her knew teammates was truly loads of fun.  I love a character driven story, and I love great character interaction, and this book certainly had that in spades.  To others, it might come off dragged out and too banal for a romantic suspense, or military romance thriller.  And once again, the entire ordeal requires a certain amount of suspension of disbelief anyway--because who in their right mind actually thinks its a great idea to take a bunch of chair-bound tech geeks and force them through high impact military precision training so that they can join these elite GO-Teams in dangerous operations?

I have a hard time believing that the higher ups couldn't have just transferred in some military personnel, already trained for battle, who also have great tech skills.

But moving along, because something about that entire training sequence sort of appealed to me anyway.

Yeah, I'm kind of wishy-washy in my opinions.

And speaking of the romance, for romance lovers, this book might also kind of fall to the wayside.

While we DO have a lovely couple to focus on, we unfortunately don't get to see much of the chemistry, or the romantic bond building between Jina and Levi.  And also, Levi sort of runs hot and cold, which helps him get categorized squarely on my asshole list.  I don't care that he also had some very good personality traits, he crossed a couple lines he shouldn't have crossed and that makes him an asshole.  The way that the romance was resolved made me a bit pissy.

On the other hand, I like how Jina's own self-revelation journey/conflict was concluded.  Somehow, it seems appropriate for her.

So without a whole lot of suspense and without a whole lot of romance, and without even a focal conflict, this book, instead, ends up becoming a sort of self-journey book for Jina, as an individual.  And it's a fairly thought-provoking journey that I thoroughly enjoyed.

And we'll just kindly side-step that strange, background villain subplot that lurked along the entire book, and took up precious book space every few chapters.



Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/11/thoughts-woman-left-behind.html
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text 2018-10-20 01:02
Reading progress update: I've read 128 out of 352 pages.
Cover of Night - Linda Howard

The bad guys need to retrieve a flash drive with mob stuff on it. They think it was left in the B&B the h owns. They tried breaking in and threatening the h to get it back, but were stopped by the H. Their new plan is to hire a few more guys and blow up the bridge on the one road in and out of town and hold the entire town hostage until they get the flash drive back. Talk about using a bazooka to kill a bug.



I think I am going to have to throw in the towel for now, at least. This is too ridiculous.

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text 2018-10-18 00:20
Reading progress update: I've read 122 out of 352 pages.
Cover of Night - Linda Howard

It feels like I am making no progress with this book. I can see that the "read" page count is higher, but ye gods. This. Is. So. Boring. I'm nearly halfway finished and we only just now had an action scene.


I'm really wanting to like it more than I am, because the hero is more beta. He's shy and awkward around the heroine. He'd been attracted to her since she moved to town but she'd just lost her husband.


Now, three years later, things have happened that put her in danger and he came to the rescue. Now suddenly she's starting to see him with new eyes, and it's just not working for me at the moment. Not feeling it at all.

Plus, there's far too much page time spent with the bad guys.


I just don't know. I'm going to try to press on, but may end up using a wild card.

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