New Release Review: Shadow Woman by Linda Howard

shadow woman
Shadow Woman by Linda Howard
Genre: Romantic Suspense, Thriller
Publication Date: Jan 1st, 2013
Book provided by NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group

Lizette Henry wakes up one morning and makes a terrifying discovery: She doesn’t recognize the face she sees in the mirror. She remembers what she looks like, but her reflection is someone else’s. To add to the shock, two years seem to have disappeared from her life. Someone has gone to great and inexplicable lengths to keep those missing years hidden forever. But the past always finds a way to return.

Strange memories soon begin to surface and, along with them, some unusual skills and talents that Lizette hasn’t a clue about acquiring. Sensing that she’s being monitored, Lizette suddenly knows how to search for bugs in her house and tracking devices in her car. What’s more, she can elude surveillance—like a trained agent.

Enter a mysterious and seductive stranger named Xavier, who claims he wants to help—but who triggers disturbing images of an unspeakable crime of which Lizette may or may not be the perpetrator. With memories returning, she suddenly becomes a target of anonymous assassins. On the run with nowhere to hide, Lizette has no choice but to rely on Xavier, a strong and magnetic man she doesn’t trust, with a powerful attraction she cannot resist. As murky waters become clear, Lizette confronts a conspiracy that is treacherous and far-reaching and a truth that, once revealed, may silence her and Xavier once and for all.

D.G.’s Rating: 4 stars = B+

In an industry dominated by series, it’s so refreshing to read a stand-alone book knowing that you won’t have to wait years until all the books get published to get the story arc. That’s why when I’m in a rut and don’t know what to read, I always turn to Linda Howard because I know she’ll have an exciting story with lots of twists and a sexy romance.

Shadow Woman is a high octane thriller that starts with a BIG BANG. The prologue is unbelievable and my eyes were almost out my sockets when it was done. As I continued reading, my mind was racing trying to connect the dots and figure out the way our characters were involved in the developments of the prologue. There were hints and clues to whet my curiosity but not enough to know exactly what happened. This is the kind of book that keeps you reading straight to the end because you HAVE to know the truth.

Now, the plot is a bit outlandish – it’s mind boggling to believe some of these things could happen. But Ms. Howard is counting with us to know enough conspiracy theories that it’s easy to throw our misgivings out the door and just go with the facts as they are presented in the book. It’s the kind of thing you don’t want to believe but deep down, you’re afraid it’s closer to the truth than you can ever imagine.

I really liked that Lizzy had mad skillz. It takes a while for her to get them back but she’s not the usual wilting flower that needs to be protected by a big, bad dude. She can take care of herself even if she doesn’t know where she learned those things. It would have been really easy for her to lose her cool but once she realizes something’s wrong, she learns to trust her instincts. However, she still questions herself and doesn’t dismiss the possibility that she’s paranoid and everything is in her head.

Although I enjoyed this book a lot, I’m not sure it will appeal to a broader audience. If you are a romantic suspense fan, then you will be disappointed in the romance because the leads are apart for the first 3/4 of the book. It still worked for me – what Xavier did for Lizzy was the epitome of romance – but the relationship is not the main point. And if you like thrillers, then you may get distracted with the explicit dreams Lizzy has about Xavier, which is the way the Ms. Howard brings the character together when they are apart.

Overall, a good thriller with a strong romantic elements. If you are looking for an action packed book and don’t mind an already developed romance, then this book might be for you.

D.G.’s Rating:  ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠ 

Thanks to Netgalley and Random House Publishing Group for providing a review copy of this book!

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