Now You See Her - Linda Howard
Note: Originally posted at - www.Bookloversinc.comNow You See Her is one of my all time favourite books, and it is one of those books I revist again and again, especially at times I need to get out of a book funk or to comfort myself when I need a pick-me-up. I am a huge huge fan of Linda Howard’s, but there is something really magical about this book especially where it stands out among her backlist, and most recently I reread it again for the 5837327 time, and I decided to write an Oldie but a Goodie review.Paris Sweeny is a quirky artist who is lost in her own world but she isn’t only talented with paints but she also carries other gifts such as, guessing the right answers to Jeopardy, driving and not experiencing a traffic jam/red light and her plants always flourish. She is content with life as a loner who is a flourishing artist living in New York. But one day something changes inside her that transforms the insulated world she has formed around herself which brings new possibilities but she also discovers that she has gained a new terrifying gift of painting and predicting scenes of violent murders of people she is acquainted with or knows.When she goes to her gallery to meet a potential client she notices the gallery’s owner soon to be ex-husband Richard Worth. And her hormones come ALIVE as that instant sexual attraction sparks off and ignites a romance between them. There are complications like the fact that Richard is in the midst of an ugly divorce, with his wife Candra although their relationship ended years ago due to infidelities, and a huge betrayal that broke their marriage up.At the same time, Sweeney discovers her gift of painting takes a dark turn when she starts to sleep walk and dream paint images of people she knows dying a brutal death, and the aftermath of this takes a serious toll on her emotionally and physically. The after affects of painting a scene causes her to go into deep shock. When Richard finds out he helps to care of her when she has an episode. But worse is to come when someone close to both of them is murdered brutally, and they find themselves in the midst of danger and suspicions.I love coming of age stories, especially when there is a core romance which helps to awaken the heroine to face new possibilities, and this is a dominant theme in this book. But in this case Sweeney is reawakened, and it feels more like a Sleeping Beauty motif because one day she wakes up and finds that she begins to change her life in little ways- by the way she dresses, paints and notices new things and aspects of herself. And I love her reawakening sexuality which Richard helps to bring out, and discovering there is more to her insular world that she used to protect herself.However, despite these complications I liked how they refrained from getting sexual(although there’s a scene or two that skated close to the edge). But it helped to stoke up the tension between them and I loved how he cared for her when she had to cope with the aftermath of painting these dark scenes. Linda Howard has a fantastic way with her alpha heroes and Richard is no exception, protective, sexy and tough. I absolutely adored the scenes between him and Sweeney and I melted at the scene where he admitted to her that he would refuse to call her by her surname, and because she disliked being called Paris, I loved his nickname for her ‘Sweetie’ and that really sums up their romance for me. Richard who was betrayed by his wife’s numerous affairs and Sweeney’s troubled childhood, was a wonderful basis for their connection.Nonetheless, I did find Richard’s ex-wife Candra was a bit two dimensional at times, and I wished her character was expanded a bit more to show more depth. She was selfish, and stupid and shallow and although there was glimpses of more, I felt overall she was used as a source of conflict for Richard and Sweeney.The mystery did have a twist, I didn’t expect and I was pleasantly surprised by it, especially with the tense and pacey ending. Although I do wished it didn’t end so abruptly. Yes I wanted more *sigh*However the real heart of the story was the love story between Sweeney and Richard. I remember picking up this book from a book store and the moment I read the first page, and I was so engrossed into the story that when I emerged from the book, I literally read the night away. I know this isn’t a fan fave of the earlier Linda Howard books, but for me there is something magical and comforting about these characters and their romance, and I hope if any of you'll pick it up, that you will feel the same, too.