Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mr. Perfect by Linda Howard

Book Description:
What would make the perfect man?

That's the deliciously racy topic that Jaine Bright and her three girlfriends are pondering one night at their favorite after-hours hot spot: Mr. Perfect. Would he be tall, dark, and handsome? Caring and warmhearted - or will just muscular do? As their conversation heats up, they concoct a tongue-in-cheek checklist that becomes an overnight sensation, spreading like wildfire at work and sizzling along e-mail lines. But what began as a joke among friends turns deadly serious when one of the four women is murdered....Turning to her neighbor, an unpredictable police detective, for help, Jaine must unmask a killer to save her friends - and herself.  Now, knowing whom to trust and whom to love is a matter of survival - as the dream of Mr. Perfect becomes a chilling nightmare.

This was an excellent suspenseful romance that was nearly impossible for me to put down. Feisty heroine, Jaine Bright and her three friends’ Mr. Perfect list puts them all in danger. What was supposed to be nothing more than a joke now makes the rounds at the office. Word spreads like wildfire across the internet, thus hitting the news agencies and morning news shows who want to interview the four women. Their little list has now become the flavor of the week. Unfortunately, a psychotic killer doesn’t think the list is so funny and he systematically decides to kill each of the women.

Meanwhile, Jaine has recently moved into her first house as a single home owner. All is right with the world except she hates her grubby next door neighbor who she is convinced is an alcoholic derelict – that is until she finds out he’s a cop and gets an eyeful of him one morning walking around in his kitchen in the butt buff. ;) Quite the eye candy! After that, he and Jaine develop the hots for one another, and boy – it’s hot! The chemistry sizzles, the heat scorches the pages, Linda Howard is aces at building sexual tension, teasing the reader along until these two are about to combust! In addition to the romance end of it, their playful banter flows effortlessly, the dialogue and action is fast and well paced – it was simply a great book! I loved it!

Sam Donovan is built with the body of a god and not afraid to show it off. The scene through the kitchen window is a hoot! He is to die for (although his hair is a bit short for my own personal tastes – a minor point in the grand scheme of things.) With a heart of gold and as brave and heroic as any medieval warrior – he’s someone who can handle just about anything. He also knows what he wants and doesn’t hesitate in going after it. He wants Jaine. Fortunately, Jaine reciprocates the feeling and realizes what a catch he is and melts in his arms (I would too.) As much as we don’t have to deal with a lot of romantic angst in their relationship, my one gripe with the story is just how quickly these two hook up with each other – as in marriage. It seemed a bit fast – I liked it, don’t get me wrong - but they instantaneously decide to get married within weeks of knowing one another. All hell is breaking loose around Jaine and her friends, due to the list, not to mention they’re starting to drop like flies from their friendly psychopath - and Sam is proposing marriage!

Naturally, our hero, Sam, is just the kind of cop that specializes in homicidal maniacs, yet, the killer proves to be quite a challenge and the reader is in for a big surprise at the end.  It was very, very clever, the whole play on the Perfect Man was really well done.  Jaine had no idea her grubby neighbor could very well wind up as her own Mr. Perfect, and no one guesses who the killer is - who has a serious Mr. Perfect complex.  I can’t recommend this book enough.  The characters are well defined, Jaine's friends have personalities - we know them!  Making parts of the book all the more bittersweet in parts.  I know now why this is always in the top ten best romance lists, it really is a winner and a worthwhile read. I could kick myself for not having read it earlier. I’ve only read one other book of Howard’s, Son of the Morning, and I loved that one as well. I’m definitely checking out the rest of her backlist! If contemporary romantic suspense is your thing – then read this! You won’t be sorry!



Joanne said...

I'm not usually a fan of contemporary romances, but this one sounds terrific. Definitely adding it to the loooong list! Thanks!

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

Joanne, this really is a great novel, very suspenseful, I'd love to know what you think of it!

So, if I come to NO for the KMM Shadowfever launch, you won't be around that weekend? I'm considering it, but nothing's definite yet.

Joanne said...

Definitely keep me posted about your plans, Julie. If you come to N.O., I will make a point of meeting up with you somewhere! I just wasn't planning on going to the launch as I'm out of the loop on the fever series.

On another note, I'm SO jealous -- you are getting an ARC of Orchid Affair!! Wonderful, and I can't wait to see your early review!!!

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

We'll see about NO, depends on if DH wants to go, "another book thing?" he'll say, so I'm not sure if we'll go or not, though I'm eager to go away and do something!

Yes, I got that ARC from the book cover contest - seems like ages ago now!

bookloveroh said...

This is my favorite single title by Linda Howard and has a permanent place on my keeper shelf.
My all time favorite Linda Howard's are the Mackenzie series (all from Silhouette) and the Midnight Rainbow/Diamond Bay/Heartbreaker/White Lies set from Silhouette.
After that, the rest of hers are hit or miss with me -- she has written some really good titles and some that are only so-so.

Julie at Outlandish Dreaming said...

Lynn, I've heard that about Linda Howard how she's hit or miss. She's been having a problem with an illness that has affected her writing, it's a sad story that I read about at Dear Author last month. In any event, I will look into your recommendations! Thanks!

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