First published in 1982, Linda Howard has written over fifty books in several romance subgenres. She’s a New York Times bestselling author and received the Romance Writer of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005. Howard currently writes romantic thrillers that are about heroes, fighters and warriors.
This author is best known for the alpha male heroes she creates in romance fiction. The men are fierce and lethal predators. They will not compromise their missions, even if it means sabotaging their personal happiness or making unscrupulous choices for the greater good.
In the book Making Meaning in Popular Romance Fiction: The Epistemology, Jayashree Kamblé states that while Linda Howard’s warriors possess “significant courage, loyalty, and uprightness, they employ questionable methods for maintaining domestic security and policing international politics. These heroes act in charming ways that conceal exploitative tactics, all prompted by their commitment to protecting the country.”
James Diaz, the hero from Linda Howard’s Cry No More, has some of these traits. Is he a soldier of fortune or an executioner? He’s more of a weapon; his methods are brutal, merciless and legendary.
Milla Edge joins forces with Diaz as she hunts for her kidnapped son. Searching for almost a decade, she’s estranged from her family because of her dedication. Milla’s resilience has been forged by heartbreak and tragedy. Her only goal in life is to find her child. But can she trust Diaz, a mysterious man who might have his own agenda?
Cry No More is a romantic thriller published in 2003. Rather than solving a puzzle, the hero and heroine fight for justice in a cruel and dangerous world.
In Linda Howard’s stories, the heroes finding a capable and trustworthy ally is almost as difficult as finding justice. Fortunately, the heroines match the warrior spirit of the heroes. The women may not have superhuman strength, but they confront deadly events using their skill sets and their stubbornness.
This is seen in The Woman Left Behind, a story about a stoic soldier who must prepare a tech geek with a smart mouth for covert operations. When this off-limits romance story was published in 2018, Booklist called it “the literary equivalent of pure gold.”
Jina Modell is assigned to safeguard an elite paramilitary team as an on-site drone operator. She’s a nerd, not an athlete. Levi Butcher, the team leader, must prepare her for dangerous missions.
Jina is often reminded that she’s the least important member of the team, and the all-male crew speculates she’ll hold them back. As much as Levi wants her to quit, he admires her grit and courage. He has to get her field-ready so she can survive any situation, but he constantly battles the need to protect her.
The Woman Left Behind is very much Jina’s story as she discovers what she can do when the odds are against her.
Even when the heroine in a Linda Howard book believes in her abilities while facing extraordinary circumstances, she still is required to take a leap of faith with the man at her side. The couples frequently are hunted down by the worst of mankind as they fight for survival in hostile environments.
This is demonstrated in the romantic adventure, Heart of Fire. Jillian Sherwood is an archaeologist who needs to find a lost city in the Amazon rainforest. If she can prove that it exists, it will vindicate her father’s theories, clear his reputation and resurrect her tarnished career. But the unsavory people on her expedition are more interested in the city’s fabled red diamond.
She’s capable in handling the primitive conditions and the thugs on her crew, but Jillian has met her match in Ben Lewis. As the adventurer guides the expedition, he proves to be more dangerous and ruthless than his raunchy exterior suggests.
Jillian is as reserved as Ben is uncivilized, but she isn’t going to fall for Ben’s seduction techniques. He thinks he’s in charge, yet she’s the one who can decipher the map. It’s a battle of wills between the shameless ruffian and the savvy archaeologist.
Written in 1997, this romance offers a high-adrenaline treasure hunt and a sexy love story between two people who will fight for everything they want in life.
Readers who want rough heroes and women warriors should try a romantic adventure by Linda Howard. The stories are fast-paced, passionate and unforgettable as two people bond while facing danger.
To find out more about Linda Howard, visit her website.
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