Archive for the ‘Paranormal Romance’ Category

Copyright: 1999

Pages: 336 (hardcover edition)

Setting/Type: Contemporary, Paranormal/Romantic Suspense

Grade: A+

Paris Sweeney, who calls herself Sweeney, is living a pared-down existence devoted to painting when she begins to see ghosts. Worse, she starts painting disturbing images while sleepwalking, then wakes with an unnatural, bone-deep chill that can only be dispelled by direct body contact with the unexpected new man in her life–Richard Worth, the soon-to-be ex-husband of the gallery owner who sells Sweeney’s work. Then Sweeney realizes she’s painting the picture of a murder victim, just before the actual crime takes place. Can she stop the killing before it happens? And if not, is she destined to become either the prime suspect or the murderer’s next victim? Howard keeps the suspense streamlined and straightforward, focusing equally on the relationship between the sympathetic Sweeney, whose dreadful growing-up years forced her to become more independent than is good for her, and Richard, whose drive to leave his old life behind matches his determination to make Sweeney part of his future.

After having taken an envious peak on Alex’s last month’s reading list, I decided to catch up with my re-reading project and ordered some of my favorites to my library branch.

Now You See Her being one of them. Sweeney, the heroine, is a quirky, funny, ghost-seeing heroine that strives on painting great pictures and little else. So far she thinks herself lucky never having been involved in any messy relationships or affairs. That changes when she sees one morning a Diet Cola commercial on TV. Shortly after, she also realizes that her gallery owner’s soon-to-be ex-husband is serious hunk material.

Richard Worth is a to die for hero. I would love to swing my magic wand, making him thereby a real and life person with a secondary residence next to my living quarters :-). Richard grew up poorly but with strong ethical values and an unquenchable thirst to make money. He, too, succeeded, more so than he ever thought possible. Now the only thing he wants is to finish off his rotten marriage with Candra and to persuade Sweeney that he is better for her than Easter and Christmas thrown together. When Sweeney starts having problems because of her ghost-induced night-walking drawing sessions, Richard is the man to help her physically and psychically to recover.

Did I mention that I love this book? Linda Howard is one of the few authors that can pull off a near virginal/inexperienced heroine without making her look like a relict from medieval times. Sweeny is an adorable, funky heroine with a strong sense for humour and zero tolerance for bullshit. Richard is the ideal counterpart. Fed up with hypocrisy and sleek and cold New York they make one of those ideal couples whose names and characters you will never forget, even after another 1000 books.

The plot is very simple but well fleshed out, with a strongly and surely distinguished assortment of characters and villains. What makes this book an A+ read for me is less the plot but the individuality and specialness of Sweeny and Richard, one of the most gorgeous couple out there in Romancelandia.


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