Genre: Romantic Suspense
Author: Linda Howard
Publisher: Simon & Shuster, 1993
Rating: 4, very good read
Sexy Rating: 5
Description from amazon.com:
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….
I recommended the author Linda Howard to my new friend, Joy. She found this book at the library and I had it on my TBR shelf, having purchased it some time ago. We agreed to read it and I’m very glad we did. It brought back all the reasons that I find Howard’s books so entertaining.
This Howard novel is nearly twenty years old but it still resonates with her trademark gift of heart pounding suspense and romance. The action scenes are fabulous. Howard sets them up and they seem to just take off. The reader is thrown into the scene as if he were there. This is Indiana Jones and Romancing the Stone all wrapped into one. The villains are vile and only one achieves a bit of redemption. Howard’s descriptions of the jungles of Brazil are so authentic that we have to assume she has either been there or has done massive research.
Howard’s over the top Alpha hero is not the modern day ideal but that does not prevent the story from being compelling. I just wish he had a bit less Alpha. Some of the sensual scenes bordered on rape and that is never an inducement to romance. (This character flaw seems to be prevalent in many 1970-1990 romance novels. And though it is distasteful by current standards it did not take away from the enjoyment of this story.) The heroine was smart, tough and sassy even though at times a bit naïve.
I recommend this book and others on Howard’s backlist. My favorites are Cry No More and Kill and Tell but there are also many others that have provided hours of enjoyment.