Last month I was a guest blogger on Desert Island Keepers, and had a really great time. While there, I learned about their 2010 Book Reading Challenge … and decided to take the plunge. The Challenge: “Each month you will pick one of the 188 books that the DIK Ladies have brought to the island, read it, review it on your blog and then show us the link.” Certainly very simple, and lots of fun.
And even though real-world work deadlines caused me to miss the “posting during the last week of the month” piece of the rules, I thought it would still be fun to participate. After all, the list of 188 books contains some of my favorites and some newbies that I’m excited to read. I’m always on the lookout for a new author. So, here’s my first review, for one of my top 10 favorite books of all time:
All the Queen’s Men, by Linda Howard
It’s probably not really objective to begin a review by saying this is one of my favorite all time books by one of my favorite all time authors, so I figured I’d tell you why I like it so much. This is one of my go-to books when family and friends, or strangers have stopped me in the romance aisles at the bookstore and library and asked for a good title.
All the Queen’s Men has romance, intrigue, adventure and excitement, a strong heroine, a strong hero, sexy love scenes, international locale, great dialogue, and a believable setting. Like I said, everything’s good in this contemporary suspenseful romance. John Medina, the leading male character and our fearless hero, is a CIA operative who’d got a troubled soul. His past is iffy and he holds himself apart from the crowd because he can’t afford to get close to anyone. Mix in a compelling woman who’s out of place in a covert action in Iran and you’ve got a situation full of combustible possibilities.
The book is broken into three parts. Part one: John and Neima first meet on a covert ops in Iran, she’s with her husband and Medina resents having a woman on the mission. Could it be because he thinks she’s weaker or will perhaps slow them down, or because he’s attracted to her? Part two: five years later John and Neima work together to bring down an arms dealer in France. He gets her into shape, physically, mentally and as a marksman, and they depart for lands across the sea. Is their attraction mutual? Will Neima be able to love another man other than her husband, who died in the opening covert op? Part three: the culmination of John and Niema’s preparation is the covert op to stop the arms dealer. But is the arms dealer the monster he would have the world believe, or does he have another purpose driving him? And, will John and Niema be able to make a new life with each other, since he’s virtually a ghost?
So many exciting questions, and so many exciting answers. You’ll have to read for yourself. It’s like catnip to me.