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REVIEW: Veil of Night by Linda Howard

Dear Ms. Howard:

I have to preface this review with a little backstory about my love for your books. I’ve loved most everything you have written from your early category days (McKenzie’s Mountain, the Kell Sabin Series) to your hardcovers like Open Season. I’ve defended Marc Chastain and his Guiness Book of World Records erection in Kill and Tell against Sarah who says that any man that can hold it up that long must suffer from priapism. I’ve defended Dain in Dream Man against Robin who says that he is more deranged than the serial killer. Dain was just trying to struggle against being in love and catching the bad guy. Poor Dain (and cripes that book scared the bejeesus out of me. Sometimes I still root around in my closet to make sure no one is hiding there).

Veil of Night by Linda HowardI trot out my past reading credentials not just to show off my Howard pride but to provide some context for this review. Suffice to say that my disappointment comes from a well of deep love. When I started Veil of Night, I sent an email to a friend of mine “I’m reading the latest Howard book and it is pretty good.” I get farther into the first two chapters and I email her again “It’s classic Howard. Cop hero. Wedding planner heroine.” My next email was the following day and it was “I ended up hating the Howard book. Asshole hero. Mean heroine. The ending was laughably bad.” It was a trifecta of horrible.

Jaclyn Wilde is a wedding planner in business with her mother. They are steel covered in silk and linen and no wedding is too difficult for them to pull off. Working out of a swishy Atlanta suburb, Jaclyn is currently working on the high society wedding of Carrie Edwards and the son of a Georgia politician. The father of the groom is rumored to be the next U.S. Senator from Georgia. Carrie, however, is a Bridezilla and everyone from the caterer to the cake decorator would like for Carrie to go away. And one day, someone acts on that impulse and shoves a bunch of skewers into Carrie, killing her.

Unfortunately for Jaclyn, she was seen having a huge argument culminating with a physical altercation with Carrie right before Carrie was kebobbed to death. The investigating detective turns out to be Eric Wilder. The complication is that Jaclyn and Eric up for the first time just the night before. Instead of bowing out of the investigation, Eric takes charge and pursues Jaclyn as a suspect hard, in order to not be accused of any bias. In his head, Eric justifies this because he doesn’t believe Jaclyn is guilty and him heading a hard charging investigation will just clear her faster. Of course, Eric does not share this information with Jaclyn. Jaclyn believes herself to be a suspect in a murder investigation and despite being a super savvy business woman doesn’t think to engage herself a defense attorney. She’s also quite hurt that Eric is not only heading the investigation but believes her to be a murderer.

Eric eventually gets information that clears Jaclyn but decides to keep it to himself for a few more days despite seeing how emotionally traumatized Jaclyn is being a murder suspect because he realizes he needs a little more time with her to back into her bed. Eric, he’s all heart. Eric was a real ass. He acknowledges Jaclyn’s business is very important to her but he constantly shows up at her wedding events, sometimes interrogating her in the parking lot and sometimes pretending to be her boyfriend. Either way it screamed unprofessional because who wants their wedding planner either a) as a suspected murderer or b) as someone who brings her date to her job?

I liked Jaclyn only a tiny bit better than Eric. Both Jaclyn and her mother pretty much hated all their brides and derided their brides’ taste. In one long scene, Jaclyn attends a hillbilly wedding and everything is derided by Jaclyn from the ill behaving children to the slutty guests to the ridiculous decorations.

Thoughts about the groom: Not like he was about to run, but still. .. nervous. If he had any brains at all, she thought, he’d rabbit. Evidently he was brainless.

Thoughts about mother of the bride: Next, the bride’s mother was seated, to a Garth Brooks tune of her own choosing. Her dress was at least one size too small, and way too short. Spaghetti straps weren’t what Jaclyn would have chosen for the occasion.

Thoughts about the kids: The baby wasn’t happy. One of her cousins, a sullen six-year-old boy, pulled the wagon, jerking it along.

Thoughts about the wedding group: The bride and all of her bridesmaids had disappeared about half an hour later to also join in the dancing, with all of them having changed into short, flirty dresses. A couple of them-okay, several of them-went past "flirty" "straight into "slutty" territory, but at this point it wasn't Jaclyn's business if the
bridesmaids drummed up some extra money on the side.

Thoughts about the guests: Fun didn't have to be color-coordinated. Fun didn't have to have a background of classical music. But what kept her from relaxing was the strong impression that this group's idea of fun didn't fit within the definition of "legal." She frequently handled guests, and wedding party participants, who drank too much or breathed through a joint, but she was afraid this group leaned more toward crack, meth, and a variety of crimes that made the words "warrant for arrest” of importance to them.

The only wedding that Jaclyn thought was wonderful was her last event and that was a wedding in which “money was no object”. The families were all wealthy and “the bride’s mother was from one of the prominent families in Georgia, which upped the social awareness of the event a hundred times over.” and “Even the flower girl and ring-bearer were both adorable, and both were well behaved.”

The juxtaposition between this wedding and the hillbilly wedding made Jaclyn’s thoughts all the more discordant. Obviously the better class of people and the more money, the more “perfect” the wedding. The problem was that I thought you meant to write the scene to show that all types of weddings could be fun by Jaclyn never made the connection in her own mind thus it was impossible to see any character growth.

There is a lot of internal exposition. Like we are treated to a three paragraph dissertation on why Jaclyn drives a Jaguar. Allow me to say it for you. She drives one because it is important to keep up appearances that the business is doing well. This particular entry is emblematic of the entire book. We get paragraph upon paragraph of ridiculous exposition but almost none on the attraction between Jaclyn and Eric. We are treated to four or five pages of villain exposition of the villianous scheme to get rid of Jaclyn but sadly, while this “how to get rid of annoying loose ends in one’s evil scheme handbook” is detailed it’s also about the dumbest plan ever.

[spoiler]The plan is that the villain will wait outside Jaclyn’s last wedding, near an empty parking lot and then will follow Jaclyn’s car, separate Jaclyn’s car from her cop boyfriend’s car, then shoot Jaclyn while both are driving and then dispose of car and gun and run away for a while. WAT? [/spoiler]

Finally, while there were some weak attempts at obfuscating the villain, the whodunit was obvious from the minute the dead girl showed up. The best part of the book was the police procedure. Maybe I am not into weddings but the details of the weddings I found to be excruciatingly boring. Boring details, unlikeable characters with no obvious chemistry, endless exposition, and really dumb ending force me to give this book a D. Thank the Lord I didn’t have to pay for this book.

Best regards,

Jane

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Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

52 Comments

  1. joanne
    Aug 11, 2010 @ 12:20:53

    I’ve skipped the spoilers because I am just trying sooo hard to get through this book.

    Like you I’ve fought all the good fights in defense of the Howard book but this one, oh dear.

    I’m finding the repetition really trying (alright all ready, I know the father is a flake and the mother is a rock, and Jackie is a born-again virgin, stop telling me!).

    After reading Nora’s stories about wedding planners and all the research that went into those books I’m truly disappointed in this one by Linda Howard.

    And again, the title and the cover have little if anything to do with the book.

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  2. Diane V
    Aug 11, 2010 @ 12:29:50

    Used to take the day off when Linda Howard had a new release…now I don’t even bother to buy her books as I know I won’t finish them (of her previous 5 releases I only managed to finish “Burn”.)

    As you said her writing has gotten boring. Her sex scenes are non-existent and boring compared to her earlier books – I have found myself wondering if she’s even writing the books or if she has some kind of health condition that has turned her into an old dried up prune.

    What’s funny is that I was in Border’s yesterday and the manager says to me “Oh, you must be in to get Linda Howard’s new book” and I realized that I had no clue that August 10th was the release date and I had no interest in buying the book. I did pick it up and thumb through it…didn’t come across anything that tweaked my interest. After reading your review, I’m glad I didn’t waste the $18 to buy it.

    Did the hero at least have a huge penis? that’s the one thing that Howard’s and Lisa Marie Rice’s heroes always have in common — a penis so long that you figure they have to be going commando and running it down their pant legs. What’s the comment from “Mr. Perfect”…something like “Anything longer than 6 inches is just a waste.”

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  3. Vi
    Aug 11, 2010 @ 12:35:21

    Wow. You really were disappointed, weren’t you? I started the book on the same note of thinking, it’s classic Howard. Then it spiraled downhill. 
    I wished Eric and Jaclyn talked a little more to each other instead of rhapsodizing about how they felt in their heads. I liked Eric more than you did. I understood that he needed to be professional so that he could stay on the case. It wouldn’t be professional to call up a possible murder suspect and tell them privately you believe in her innocence. Yes, he was a little extreme sometimes with his methods. 
    I skimmed the wedding parts because Nora Roberts’ Bride books had everything I wanted to read about weddings.  
    Did you by chance catch the h/h last names? Wilde and Wilder, and only one joke was made. 
    I liked this slightly more than you did but I lament the loss of the fantastic storytelling that was once Linda Howard. I want to believe that each a book an author produces is written to the best of his/her ability. I begin to wonder about this with each Howard that I read. 

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  4. Jane
    Aug 11, 2010 @ 13:10:39

    @Vi – I heard that this was supposed to be a funny Howard and I guess that must be why there is the running gag throughout the book about how Eric always breaks up these robberies but she didn’t set it up well.

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  5. Diane V
    Aug 11, 2010 @ 13:12:37

    I used to take the day off when a new Linda Howard book came out – now, I don’t even bother to buy the book (even in paperback).

    I think you have managed to capture in your review my problem with the last 8 or 9 books – boring writing and h/h that I really could care less about.

    Her sex scenes now are boring to me too…I have found myself wondering if she’s actually writing them or if she has a medical condition that has turned her into a dried up prune of a woman with no more concept of what great sex is. Oh, for the sex in the bathroom scene in “After The Night” or the sex in the stairwell scene of “Son of the Morning” — her recent books I can’t even remember anything about the sex scenes let alone what the books were about.

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  6. Vi
    Aug 11, 2010 @ 13:17:11

    @Jane Honestly, those were my favorite parts of the book. Looking back at it, the gag seems out of place.

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  7. Jane
    Aug 11, 2010 @ 13:19:15

    @Vi – I think that my problem is that those gags didn’t predate the book and were therefore gimmicky. I.e., if it had been well known and a running joke at the law enforcement center, it would have fit better. Otherwise, it was just a …. well, it didn’t tell us anything about the hero, the romance or the suspense plot. There was nothing in the gag that was applied to any part of the actual story.

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  8. Jodi
    Aug 11, 2010 @ 13:48:13

    Sadly some of my favorites have slipped into the realm of formulaic. The last I read was Cover of Night and I realized it was all the same…only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.lol There tends to be too much conflict and not enough romance. What takes place seems to be just sex.
    Same with Evanovich I couldn’t even finish 16 because I simply no longer cared. I knew at the beginning I wasn’t going to get the resolution I needed.

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  9. Maddie
    Aug 11, 2010 @ 14:12:54

    I read it in one setting and I think I would have given it a C+ at best, it read like a paperback book, not a hard cover very light compared to Death Angel and Cry No More, so much so that it read like a different author.

    I do think that as a cop Eric did the right thing with not telling Jaclyn that she was cleared, because if that had gotten out and the case against the villains went south at trial he would have been screwed.

    I thought that the hillbilly wedding was funny, only because the rehearsal dinner when Eric came in and some of the guest got up and left because they were afraid of the “cop” being there to arrest them.

    As for the villains, their actions didn’t add up for me

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  10. Linda S
    Aug 11, 2010 @ 14:13:59

    I’m so glad I read your review, Jane! I am in the exact same Linda Howard fan club you belong to, but I do prefer the stories prior to say, 2002. I’ve kind of adjusted my expectations and enjoyed the last one with the lottery winner. Anyway, I’ve been getting recent ones from the library, but this prepares me for the worst.

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  11. Melissa
    Aug 11, 2010 @ 14:49:20

    I am a huge fan of Linda Howard’s older books too. I love to reread the Mackenzie’s, Dream Man, After the Night, Kill and Tell, Open Season, Midnight Rainbow, White Lies – plus a few more. Howard used to write such intense romance and sexual chemistry plus great alpha males and wonderful stories.

    I stopped reading her new books after trying Cover of Night and being bore out of my mind. What happened to her great romances? The chemistry that sizzled up the pages – hello porch scene in After the Night – has disappeared. I made it a chapter into Burn and decided to just stop. I would rather spend my time rereading her amazing older books than getting depressed while reading the boring mediocre newer ones.

    I am sorry to hear this one follows her recent trend of lackluster romance, it’s sad to see this happen to one of my all time favorite authors – but I will always have Wolf Mackenzie to go back and enjoy.

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  12. meoskop
    Aug 11, 2010 @ 15:20:23

    Howard has class issues. I’m so glad you read this book instead of me. Like I said on Twitter, I broke up with Howard over Death Angel, but what I didn’t say was that I did give her one more chance with Burn – the pages of exposition explaining how difficult the rich have it by our burdensome tax system and how when she was poor everyone was a Freeloading User but now that she’s rich she can meet Good People. I was actually kinder to it here http://www.amazon.com/review/R2PX0P2YADBNQQ/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm than I am in retrospect. I bought Ice but never read it – gave it away to an aunt who hated it.

    I think this is one author where I can say it’s not me, it’s her.

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  13. Jane
    Aug 11, 2010 @ 15:46:18

    @meoskop – interesting. I thought Howard was from hillbilly country.

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  14. Statch
    Aug 11, 2010 @ 16:31:17

    Oh, this is so disappointing! I’m also a huge Linda Howard fan from way back and reread her older books frequently. I haven’t cared for the last several books, but was hoping this one would break what appeared to be a trend. I’m holding fast on not buying ebooks at the current inflated prices, but was going to make an exception for this one if it appeared to be good. Guess I can stay true to my resolve :->.

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    Aug 11, 2010 @ 16:54:16

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  16. Meriam
    Aug 11, 2010 @ 17:06:55

    I broke up with Howard over Death Angel

    Heh, me too. Horrible, horrible book. Nowadays I derive a grim sort of pleasure reading reviews from disappointed former fans.

    Vintage Howard was so much angst-ridden fun. Perhaps ‘fun’ is the wrong word. Her romances were incredibly intense but well told, so that even the preposterous moments (Kill and Tell…) were enjoyable.

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  17. orannia
    Aug 11, 2010 @ 17:31:01

    Thank you Jane! I think I’m going to stick with re-reading the Mackenzie books (I adore Mackenzie’s Mountain), Cry No More and Open Seasona, although I haven’t read any of LH’s latest books because they just don’t appeal.

    And the heroine’s insights into the wedding? Cutting! As for
    Jaclyn driving a Jaguar…I would have thought a wedding planner would have needed something more practical…and something not so flashy so as not to upstage the clients. Because, wouldn’t you want to put them at ease? I haven’t read Nora Roberts wedding planner books – are they good?

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  18. Eva_baby
    Aug 11, 2010 @ 17:33:19

    Man oh man, I loved Death Angel like nobody’s business.

    I Liked the second half of Burn (thought the first half read too much like a how to on winning the lottery).

    I Hated Ice like my innards were on fire. I was hoping this one would swing the pendulum back to at least the “like” category.

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  19. Xtina
    Aug 11, 2010 @ 18:01:25

    So sad. I gave up on LH four books ago, but some of my favorite romances are a few of her earlier works.

    This is not really related, but does Howard hate the Internet? Why doesn’t she have a website?

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  20. Debra
    Aug 11, 2010 @ 18:10:46

    Wow, I just finished the book and I liked it. Yes, it wasn’t like her other books, but for me I enjoyed it. Thought it was much better then Ice. I will buy her again. Linda always gives me a good read. Eva, I also loved Death Angle.

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  21. Kendra
    Aug 11, 2010 @ 18:12:38

    I’m convinced someone has kidnapped Linda Howard. I’d pay the ransom, if they give her back. I liked Death Angel(yes, very different),Ice and hated Burn.

    What has happened to her? She’s no longer an auto buy for me. I just gave my Gramms, All the Queens Men and Kiss While I Sleep. Grams likes the Thillers. I won’t give her any of Linda’s new books. sigh I miss her.

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  22. lucy
    Aug 11, 2010 @ 18:37:36

    Ice was actually the last book from her that I think I finished. I remember reading it but I don’t remember the end, and for some reason I found it short.

    Yeah, I also love her oldies especially the historicals, but not so fond of her newer books. But I almost got this one because I thought it was an old one of hers. The cover title was so familiar.

    I find that most authors kinda loose their touch if they been in the business for too long.

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  23. azteclady
    Aug 11, 2010 @ 19:10:35

    Xtina,

    My understanding is that after a stalking incident quite a while back, Ms Howard keeps a very low key online presence (read: none except through her publisher).

    Like many here, I adore Ms Howards’ earlier books–yes, even Marc Chastain and Dane :grin: –but in the past few years she has been hit and miss (haven’t been able to get past the first couple of chapters in Burn, liked Death Angel quite a bit, have no interest in reading Ice, etc.), so I didn’t even plan on reading this one. Seems it was a good plan, hmm?

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  24. Heather
    Aug 11, 2010 @ 19:16:11

    Xtina, if I remember correctly, Howard had a bad experience with the internet. I think it had to do with a stalker. I could wrong, if so sorry, but I think shes not on line because of bad experience. If I’m remembering correctly I totally get her not wanting to be on the net. Heather

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  25. Amy
    Aug 11, 2010 @ 20:03:57

    I think I’ll sit this one out, but I just bought some vintage Howard for my Kindle–the Mackenzies Bundle.

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  26. Mai
    Aug 11, 2010 @ 20:07:48

    *cries*

    I forgave LH for unleashing Sarah’s Child, All That Glitters, An Independent Wife, Dream Man, Shades of Twilight and Tears of the Renegade upon this world, because there were great LH books available to even it out.

    And now? I really need to break up with LH for once and all. I shouldn’t have returned. I left after Dying to Please, but I recently returned because I missed her writing, but reviews in general last three years make it sound as if LH books so far are pretty much meh.

    I suppose this means in order to have a proper break up, I’d have to kill this tiny but god-so-stubborn hope that classic LH would ever return.

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  27. Amy
    Aug 11, 2010 @ 23:07:04

    I’m also a formerly huge fan of LH. She stopped being an auto buy for me some books back as well. After reading this review I know I have to let this one go, too. :( What happened to LH?

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  28. Lin
    Aug 12, 2010 @ 00:58:20

    I have a theory about LH’s decline in calibre of writing. I think sometime around 2005 she either a) lost a long-time editor, or b) lost a critique partner. Either way she lost someone who kept her on track, kept her pace moving, and cut away all the deadwood. Someone who wasn’t scared to be brutally honest with her and make her rewrite when needed. What do you think?

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  29. Janet P.
    Aug 12, 2010 @ 06:50:44

    So many of these major authors anymore, I feel like they don’t even have to try in order to get their contracts, marketing, and space on the bestseller list – so they don’t.

    I struggled through this book yesterday. Like Jane – I really liked the beginning. They just fall into bed together and they’re both like “Hello? I was horny!” It was refreshing.

    From there? nada. Constant bitching from the woman on how she’s so busy with her job and she doesn’t have time to be a murder suspect. Lotso words from the man about how real life police work isn’t like TV … then he confiscates a bunch of clothes from the suspect but never even bothers to verify with anybody that those really were the clothes she was wearing? Just huge silly plot holes a 4th grader would notice.

    Zilch relationship development. I don’t think they ever even shared a meal together before they decided they were “in love.” Silly and stupid. Linda Howard is way too old to be writing silly and stupid.

    And the parking lot tantrum scene? WTF was that? Hissy fits from a 12month old baby can be cute sometimes. An adult woman? Not.So.Much.

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  30. Nifty
    Aug 12, 2010 @ 08:53:15

    I’m another used-to-be fan of Linda Howard. Stopped reading her books when she starting writing more suspense and less romance.

    As I was reading the review, your description of Eric kept reminding me of Robert Cannon — whom I hate with the passion of a thousand burning suns. (Asshole “hero” if ever there was one, considering that he destroys Evie’s possessions to send her tottering toward financial destruction, forces her to sell her home and endangers her livelihood, gets jealous that she’d loved someone before him, and then basically excuses his asshattery because he’s gonna “take care” of her and support her when the real villain is caught. And then at the end, he’s all “I’ll keep you barefoot and preganant and you’ll love it!” and she’s all “Okay.” Blech.)

    Sounds like this book is just more of the same. No thanks.

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  31. Nifty
    Aug 12, 2010 @ 08:59:45

    @Xtina:

    Xtina, I did recently discover that Linda Howard has a Facebook page with fellow author Linda Jones. I went and checked it out, and then had to back quickly away, as her politics are quite different than mine, and she seemed rather vocal about her perspective. Which is her right, of course. But I’m the type of person who “votes with her dollars,” and I can easily turn my back on an author if she does something that has me putting her in my “Authors Behaving Badly” category. So I decided that it was best I didn’t spend too much time on LH’s facebook page. (I don’t read her books much these days, but I did buy and read her new vampire book, co-authored with Linda Jones, and would willingly buy the next one, too.)

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  32. meoskop
    Aug 12, 2010 @ 10:46:39

    @Nifty I figured out that our politics diverged during Burn. It’s interesting, because unless there is something egregious about an author’s personal life I don’t let it affect my purchasing – but when it is strongly introduced into the book – it’s a problem for me to stay in the story. (LH would be to the right, Jayne Krentz to the left)

    It’s tough for authors – self promote in an increasingly digital road while being aware that people may associate personality with product in a negative way. The book is the product – I try to keep that separate.

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  33. joanne
    Aug 12, 2010 @ 13:18:50

    @Eva_baby:Since our tastes seem to be similar I’ll say that now that I’ve finished VoN I’m not so down on it as I was for the first few chapters which were slower then slow.

    It’s much better (IMO) then Ice which, to me, read like an early category romance and not as good (loved it too!) as Death Angel. I finished it with a smile- so Howard is still an auto-buy for now.

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  34. brooksse
    Aug 12, 2010 @ 17:00:20

    I had high hopes for this one. The blurb actually sounded interesting for a change. Linda Howard used to be one of my favorite authors but I think the last one I enjoyed was Open Season, and I stopped buying her books a couple years ago.

    I can still recall key scenes and names of characters in some of her single titles from before the switch to hardbacks: After the Night, Now You See Her, Kill and Tell, Heart of Fire. Her newer books, not so much.

    *sigh* I really miss the early Linda Howard books. Julie Garwood and Judith McNaught too.

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  35. Annmarie
    Aug 12, 2010 @ 20:52:01

    I liked it. *shrugs*

    I think Jaclyn sounds like a lot of Southern women I know. I like weddings and so the details didn’t bother me much.

    Jaclyn did say that she had a blast at the hillbilly wedding. I suppose since I’ve BEEN to a hillbilly wedding where you were sure 1/2 the wedding party had BOLO’s, I could relate.

    I liked Veil of Night better than Burn. I liked Burn better than Death Angel. My *HOPE* is that I’ll like the next one more…

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  36. Maddie
    Aug 13, 2010 @ 08:43:18

    @Annmarie:

    Linda Howard says her next one will be “The heroine’s occupation in my next book is a wildlife guide” and

    ” If I had to describe it, I’d say almost a modern-day western. That’s as it stands now; until a book is actually finished, I’m prepared at all times to make massive changes!”

    5 Questions link below

    http://www.rtbookreviews.com/rt-daily-blog/five-questions-linda-howard

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  37. Annmarie
    Aug 13, 2010 @ 18:44:21

    @Maddie:

    Thanks for the info Maddie!

    I wonder what she means by a modern day western? I’ve read novels in the romance genre and western sub-genre. Something tells me this is not the same. Of course, I’m really tired so I may not be thinking enough. Or too much…

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  38. Sair
    Aug 15, 2010 @ 04:23:56

    I did eventually enjoy Blood Born. And now I really want the next one.
    I am just about to start this veil of night.

    My adoration of old Howard knows no bounds, but I feel the problem with the new ones is not repetition of penis size but the turgid amount of world building she does nowadays.

    Remember Wolf standing naked at the window … now that was dropping us straight into the action and world building be damned. You either dived right in or were left behind.

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  39. Yeldir
    Aug 15, 2010 @ 11:22:34

    I am not sure what any of you who did not like the new Linda Howard book were reading but it was not Veil of Night. This book is as amazing as every other one she has written with great characters and an wonderful plot. Maybe you should reread it and figure out where you went wrong with your opinion

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  40. Kifah
    Aug 15, 2010 @ 19:38:10

    “…figure out where you went wrong with your opinion”

    Whaaa…? Let us review the definition of an opinion shall we.

    Wikipedia says “…a subjective statement or thought about an issue or topic, and is the result of emotion or interpretation of facts.” and “a subjective statement or thought about an issue or topic, and is the result of emotion or interpretation of facts.”

    So in your opinion the book was wonderful.

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  41. kifah
    Aug 15, 2010 @ 19:40:44

    @Kifah: Doh, I also ment, “An opinion may be the result of a person’s perspective, understanding, particular feelings, beliefs, and desires.”

    I really need a new mouse.

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  42. Cady
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 10:06:42

    Like others, I really enjoyed this book. Truthfully, some of her older books that I know are beloved, definately are not for me, so I am guessing it is just a case of everyone’s taste.

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  43. Punatik
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 17:17:54

    The last few haven’t been as good as her great ones but they haven’t been the worst I’ve read. So, I’ve stuck with her.

    Just read this today and it actually explains the slide in the last few years…

    From Linda on facebook:
    Who knew that a healthy thyroid was so critical to writing, to the creative part of the brain? I didn’t. I’ve had a sluggish thyroid for most of my life, and did just fine. No weight issues, my brain was sharp. I was cold all the time, even in summer, but I was okay with wearing a sweater. Then I finally saw an endocrinologist and began taking a thyroid supplement (Synthroid) and for the first time in my adult life I was warm. Life was good. Until 2005.

    In autumn of 2005, my sluggish thryoid abruptly reversed itself, and went into hyperdrive. Turns out a hyperactive thyroid is a terrible thing to have, and it completely shuts down the creative part of the brain, not to mention makes you feel like hell. You can take medication to slow it down, but the side effects are pretty bad. You can take radioactive iodine to gradually kill it. Or you can have surgery to remove it. My thyroid went so extremely hyper so fast, within half an hour of seeing the numbers my endo had me in a surgeon’s office all the way across town, actually talking to the surgeon, not just sitting in the waiting room.

    So, I had surgery to remove my thyroid. I immediately felt better. I’d been fighting to write, struggling for every word, sometimes sitting at the computer for eighteen hours and producing one measly paragraph. Sometimes I would completely lose connection with the book, not know what was going on, what I was doing. It was bad. But with the nasty thyroid gone, I’d be on an increased but level dosage of Synthroid, and everything would be cool, right?

    Wrong. Turns out your body and brain doesn’t need the same amount of thyroid hormone every day. It fluctuates, depending on level of activity, amount of stress, how much and what you eat — a bunch of different things. While I had a functioning thyroid, when I took my med if I didn’t need that much that particular day, the thyroid would throttle down. Without a thyroid to adjust things, the level of Synthroid I took was what my body had to deal with that day, and it turns out over the years I’ve evidently become extremely sensitive to the meds. What my brain needs is way less than what the protocol says I need. And when my stress level goes up, I pretty much have to completely go off the Synthroid. Unfortunately, I live in chaos. It’s just something I have to handle.

    I didn’t find this out immediately. It’s been a long, slow process, learning how to judge my dosage by how I feel. Yes, the books reflected the struggle. I did the best I could, with a brain that kept disconnecting. I’m well aware that the work wasn’t my best, but it was definitely the best I was capable of AT THE TIME. LJ has been a huge help, doing research on everything, kind of monitoring my mental reactions. She usually spots when I have too much Synthroid in my system before it even occurs to me. And she does it just by reading my e-mails, which is unreal.

    But I’m getting better and better at judging how much to take and when to take it. Veil of Night is more in the old style than anything I’ve written since 2005. I connected better with the characters. There was about a six-week stretch when I was writing it that my brain disconnected again, that I was so completely removed from the creative part of me that I couldn’t even read. It’s scary. It’s maddening. It really pisses me off. But the more I learn about handling this, the better I’ll get at it — and the closer I’ll get to the old way of writing. — LH

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  44. Sair
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 19:10:57

    WOW!

    That is so very interesting.

    Thank you for passing that on, Punatik.
    I’m not sure how happy I am about knowing someone’s medical details, but I wish LH well and hope she gets her creative groove back.

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  45. Punatik
    Aug 17, 2010 @ 21:26:18

    I thought it was interesting.

    She did started the post off by saying that normally she don’t discuss health issues. That not only is it TMI, it’s really no one else’s business. But she was making an exception because the issue relates to writing AND almost maded her to stop.

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  46. pat
    Sep 01, 2010 @ 12:40:42

    Wow, I completely disagree with this review. Though I would have liked a deeper suspence, it had humor and romance to please me. I laughed out loud with some of the scenes, but then again I live in the South and can recognize that kind of humor…to say that Linda is a snob because of the contrast between bridezilla and the hillbilly wedding is wrong and unfair. I think she purposefully created that contrast – and a lot of it was tongue in cheek. Humor is subjective, but to assign a motivation that isn’t there is plain malicious. After reading this review and the comments on this board the only thing I can say is thank God that this review comes from a “well deep of love”…

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  47. Jane
    Sep 01, 2010 @ 13:00:39

    @pat I don’t think Howard is a snob but that the writing made the heroine seem like one to me.

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  48. willaful
    Sep 24, 2010 @ 22:03:58

    I liked this more than you, but I’m glad the review pointed out the classism/elitism issue, because it really bugged me.

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  49. Spring
    Sep 24, 2010 @ 22:44:48

    Okay, apparently people don’t know this so I’m just going to say it, anyone that has used a party/wedding planner, or a caterer guess what? You and your choices are being judged. Shocking I know. But if you want a wedding cake with a NASCAR theme, plastic flowers, and hot wings & beer for the rehearsal ‘dinner’ you just might be judged a little harsher then someone with some taste. Sorry.

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  50. Rochi Samra
    Aug 17, 2012 @ 02:55:19

    Thanks for the post This was just what I needed this morning :)

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  51. Gina
    Aug 19, 2012 @ 03:34:06

    I just found this site after googling “What happened to Linda Howard?” I am in exactly the same boat. In fact I own every Linda Howard book until the last few years and re-read most of them once a year. They were hot, steamy, fun, imaginative, okay, somewhat formulaic but so entertaining that you didn’t mind it. I’d await eagerly for each new book knowing I’m going to spend 7 hours straight reading it through. Then it all changed. And I can tell you the exact book- Killing Time in 2005. The stupid time travel one where paper was worth millions. What happened? Every book since then has been one disappointment after another.

    I admit I still read her- from the library- the hope is still there that one day, I’ll be surprised by vintage Linda Howard and whatever happened to turn an amazingly entertaining author into a crappy one will stop. So far, not yet. I am going to read the next one- Shadow Woman. Hey, it’s the optimist in me, but I’m not holding out much hope. If I wasn’t so in love with her previous books, I would have given up by now. But there’s that part of me that goes what if… If she comes back, it’ll almost be worth the last 7 years of crap I endured.

    But I still want to know what happened to her?

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  52. Jane
    Aug 19, 2012 @ 08:01:56

    @Gina: Gina, Linda Howard mentioned on her facebook page that she had suffered from a thyroid problem and that it was adversely affecting her books. I can’t recall exactly whether she intimated that it was affecting the sensuality or romantic nature of her books, but that is what I took from the post.

    I read an advanced copy of Running Wild which is a book co written with another Linda (Linda Jones) and while it isn’t exactly a return to classic Howard, it is far far more satisfying than her current hardcovers.

    ReplyReply

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