ISBN-13: 9780062418975
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication Date: May 2016
Format: Hardcover, 400 pgs
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss

Morgan Yancy is an operative and team leader in a paramilitary group. During a break after a mission, someone ambushed him and nearly had him killed. Determined to find out who is after his squad member, his supervisor, Axel, decided it would be best if Morgan stays in a low profile while he discreetly track who is behind the attack. That "low profile" place happens to be Axel's ex- stepsister's house which is situated at a remote location at Hamrickville, West Virginia. 

Isabeau "Bo" Maran is the part-time police chief at Hamrickville. Her life is simple, blissful and she's a few good friends and a lovely, devoted dog named Tricks. When Axel called her one day about "housing" his mate, she couldn't say no because as much as she hates the idea of sharing her house with a stranger, Axel's offer for financial assistance to her house loans seems too good to be true; plus Morgan has already showed up on her doorsteps looking quite sickly. 

Bo knew something is up with Morgan's situation since he barely talks about his job and when he does they are usually vague. However, she trusts Axel's decision despite they are not the closest step-siblings. And the more Morgan gets close to Tricks and her as the days go, she realises that Morgan isn't entirely a cold and secretive person as he looks and there might even be a future with him if she decides to accept his job and all. 

Troublemaker begins with a big bang with someone targeting Morgan but the thrill and suspense ended once he lived in with Bo and there begins his recuperating days. However, that intensity is shifted more towards the romantic and warmly side as readers get to read more about his interaction with Tricks and getting to know more of Bo and the Hamrickville residents. As much as I enjoyed reading the interaction between Bo, Morgan and Tricks, there are times I find they are a tad too much, especially how Bo fussed over Tricks (although it's a joy to read from a dog lover's perspective and I really learned a lot more about a dog's behaviours here.) Other issues such as a domestic brawl of one family clearly demonstrated Bo's and Morgan's abilities of solving an intense situation (it was a complicated family with power, wealth and all) but instead I was expecting something more surrounding Morgan's killer and his/her motive. The suspense part did come eventually but it was towards the last two chapters which I felt was too quick and well, a bit anti-climatic. 

While this isn't Linda Howard's best, it was still considered a good read in the romantic department (and then there's Tricks who's adorable and intelligent.) 
8 Responses
  1. Lark Says:

    I would probably want less downtime with the dog, and more action and suspense, but this does sound like a fun summer read. :)

  2. Melody Says:

    Lark - It was a fun read but it'd have been better if there's more suspense.

  3. I tend to prefer more suspense than romance in books like this, but it does sound interesting. If I do read this one, I'll keep in mind that it's more romance than action.

  4. Melody Says:

    Wendy - I suppose I've high hopes for Linda Howard's latest because I loved her earlier books so much! Still, I'd fun reading this book; and Tricks is such a likeable character! :-)

  5. jenclair Says:

    I'm always disappointed when an author I've enjoyed doesn't quite live up to expectations. Doesn't mean I don't enjoy the book, but still.... Since I haven't read anything by this author, it might not have the same effect.

    I was out of town for a few days, and when I got back, I found your postcard! :)

  6. Melody Says:

    Jenclair - Yes, indeed. I understand some authors change their writing style under their agents/publishers' requests.

    Anyway, do try her earlier books if you are interested.

    Yay! I was wondering when it'd reached you. ;-) FYI, I'd sent out a letter and a postcard to you yesterday.

  7. The Bookworm Says:

    Too bad this one disappointed. Sounds like it needed a little more thrills.

  8. Melody Says:

    Naida - I hope her next book will be better.

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