Customer Reviews


166 Reviews
5 star:
 (27)
4 star:
 (34)
3 star:
 (39)
2 star:
 (32)
1 star:
 (34)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong Heroine Works for Me!
I love Linda Howard's writing. She makes it look so damned effortless (her and Nora both). That said, I loved the book. I know there have been reviews where people felt there wasn't enough romance in the book but this book is more than that.

The strength of Cover of Night is that you get a strong sense of who Cait is before the romance begins in earnest. I like...
Published on January 22, 2007 by Lauren Dane

versus
58 of 62 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good story, but missing the sensuality and snappy dialogue
Cate is still mourning the loss of her husband who died three years earlier of an infection, leaving her with infant twin boys. Realizing that she could not make ends meet in Seattle, she moves to a small town in Idaho and buys a B&B. When her latest guest leaves via the window rather than the front door and does not come back the next day, she notifies the police...
Published on July 3, 2006 by Tracy Vest


‹ Previous | 1 217 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

58 of 62 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good story, but missing the sensuality and snappy dialogue, July 3, 2006
By 
Tracy Vest (Northern California) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Cate is still mourning the loss of her husband who died three years earlier of an infection, leaving her with infant twin boys. Realizing that she could not make ends meet in Seattle, she moves to a small town in Idaho and buys a B&B. When her latest guest leaves via the window rather than the front door and does not come back the next day, she notifies the police. Meanwhile, the town is trying desperately to get Cate and the local handyman, Cal together - even going so far as to sabotage her plumbing, but she does not seem to notice him.

The guest is Jeffrey Layton, an accountant who is blackmailing a Chicago gangster. He has info on a flash drive that would ruin the gangster, and he has left a trail straight to Cate's door. When the gangster hires thugs to bring Jeffrey and the flash drive in, they rough up Cate and her friend and have a run-in Cal, who would do anything to protect Cate. The thugs leave with bruised egos and Layton's suitcase. Sensing danger, Cate has her mother take the twins to Seattle for a visit, which turns out to be smart. The two thugs come up with a ridiculous plan to take the town hostage to obtain the flash drive when they determine that she did not give them all Layton's luggage.

When the hired thugs (their numbers swollen to six) strike, all hell breaks loose in Trail Stop, Idaho. Little do they know Cal is a former Special Forces soldier - a one man army if you will. With the aid of his former mentor Joshua Creed, Cal organizes the townspeople who are cut off from the outside world. Cate and Cal are forced to climb their way out of the valley via a sheer cliff to obtain help.

While the plot is engaging, there is a lack of chemistry between the main characters. We know Cal is in love with Cate, but Cate never even noticed him, so her sudden turnaround is hard to buy. The requisite love scene between the two comes so late in the story that it seems like a last minute add on. Also in short supply is the snappy dialogue that keeps the pace of a typical Howard novel. While I enjoyed this novel, it certainly is not in my top 10 LH faves.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


42 of 49 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Could have been titled "The Incredibles" ......, August 13, 2006
This book is yet another disappointment from Linda Howard, who seems to have lost her ability to write either mystery or romance. Cover of Night is slow starting, repetitive,--Howard tells us again and again what a good, responsible person and mother Cate is, which, since she's our plucky heroine, we assume is a given--and overwritten, an ongoing problem with Howard. In attempting to establish character, she consistently tells the reader too much, as though she doesn't trust her audience to "get" it. Here's an example: Describing Cate's self-sacrifice and unselfishness, Howard writes: "Just about the only extra grooming she had time for these days was keeping her legs and underarms shaved, which she did because--well, just because. Besides, all it took was an [the edition I bought has a typo of two "ans"]--extra three minutes in the shower." Judicious editing would have reduced this description to: "Just about the only extra grooming she had time for these days was keeping her legs and underarms shaved," which is more than enough to let us sympathize with this busy mother of twins and owner of a Bed and Breakfast, who doesn't take enough time for herself. To tell more is the mark of a bad writer, and makes the reader (at least this reader) impatient. Perhaps Howard is not to blame as much as her editors for passages like this, but the book is full of them. It is also uneven. The action sequences are marginally better, crisper, without all the interior monologues or descriptions of motivation that slow the first part of the book down and make it--and its heroine-- dull. Are these sequences better edited or is Howard just better at describing action than she is in creating characters? Hard to know; neither work all that well here.

There are other problems, too, but the most serious is its incredible plot. WARNING: plot revelations follow. Howard's own characters say it best: "Toxtel's plan was one of the most idiotic things he'd ever heard in his life....." and later, "This whole thing was so over the top it didn't make sense." The "plan," so to speak, is to blow up bridges, put an entire town under seige, take the inhabitants hostage, and kill innocent citizens--all in order to recover an item which the protagonists ONLY ASSUME IS HIDDEN IN THE TOWN! The expense of such an operation alone makes it unbelievable, never mind the impracticality or logistics of it. The plan's mastermind is not even portrayed as an out-of-control, power-hungry madman, who might conceivably come up with such a deranged idea, but simply as a rather plodding hitman, angry because his first attempt to recover the object failed. Almost as incredible is our hero's action in allowing these bad guys to leave town in the first place, when any thinking, sane person would have turned them over to authorities. But of course they had to leave town so that the remainder of the plot--and I use the term lightly--could unfold.

CofN is also highly predictable; I knew our hero and heroine would have reason to climb a mountain from the first moment we learn they have climbing experience. But even then, the climb is aborted, as though Howard herself grew bored with it. And then there is the relationship between Cate and our hero, which other reviewers have commented on and which I agree only adds to our disbelief. In this, as well as in other aspects of the story, Cate comes off as slightly stupid, while our hero challenges our believability by doing a sudden about-face (no pun intended) from blushing, stammering handyman to Super Marine. Precocious, baby-talking four-year olds and assorted other good and bad characters with mysterious pasts help clutter the landscape but do little to enrich the story.

Again, I cannot help but suspect that Cover of Night is an earlier unpublished Howard manuscript which has been updated and offered to an audience eager for her next best seller. If I'm wrong and this is the level of her current writing, then I also can't help anticipating future Howard offerings with a certain amount of trepidation.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


46 of 55 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It could have been very good., July 7, 2006
By 
Pinktulip "Cat" (Chattanooga, TN United States) - See all my reviews
I was so excited to get this book. The storyline was so promising, but I didn't think it went deep enough. As a previous reviewer remarked, Cate didn't notice Calvin until half way into the book. We got Cate's take on things, but rarely a glimpse at what Calvin was thinking, feeling, ect. That is the element that was missing in her story. It seemed like it was rushed or something. I love Linda Howard, but this one is not her best work. Wait until it comes out in paperback.

Some of her best works are: Mr. Perfect, Kill and Tell, and Now You See Her.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not up to Howard's talents, July 12, 2006
This book isn't bad, but it certainly doesn't reflect Linda Howard's writing talents. I won't rehash the plot as many of the reviewers have already done so. The characters in this novel were not that memorable. In fact, I read the book a few days ago and I'm having trouble recalling the names of anyone other than the main characters. The plot was totally unbelievable and even worse the way it unfolded didn't create suspense, romantic tension or anything else. It was almost like the author when she was 2/3rd's of the way through the plot thought to herself "this is dumb," but like her bad guys (who were doubting things also) she decided to persevere with the tangled up mess. Even the bad guys were doubting the feasibility of the town attack!

That said, the two main "love stories" had a lot of promise, but they didn't unfold well. I found myself rereading some of the pages to see if I missed something. There were so many opportunities for us as readers to get to know Cate and Calvin through the townfolk's eyes in a humorous, romantic way, but Howard didn't take advantage of this tactic. The romance between the other couple was suddenly there. Again, this could have developed more slowly, more thoroughly and both romances could have made the book more satisfying to the romance reader inspite of the outlandish plot.

Howard did not even begin to reach her potential in both mystery and romance writing with this book. It is a beach read, but not much else. Buy it in paperback or get it from the library!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Strong Heroine Works for Me!, January 22, 2007
By 
Lauren Dane (Pacific Northwest) - See all my reviews
I love Linda Howard's writing. She makes it look so damned effortless (her and Nora both). That said, I loved the book. I know there have been reviews where people felt there wasn't enough romance in the book but this book is more than that.

The strength of Cover of Night is that you get a strong sense of who Cait is before the romance begins in earnest. I like that she's a real heroine. She doesn't wait for the guy to swoop in to save her but she's a thinking woman. I did get annoyed by the use of the soft R sound with the twins. But I appreciated Cait being written as a real mother with real responsibilities (sadly, it's pretty rare)

The action scenes are all very well done (my only complaint is that several things were repeated too much for instance how bullets would be stopped by a refrigerator). I liked Cal a lot as a hero, I believed his character. I did like how Howard transformed him for the reader at the same time she transformed him for Cait although I did find it a bit abrupt, I still found it believable.

As for the ratio of romance to suspense - it's not 50/50. It's probably 70/30 but I thought it was extremely well done and unlike some of my other favorite authors who went the way of just suspense and no romance, I thought Howard did a good job with the balance. I don't think so much in terms of percentage but how it fits overall and when I shut the book I thought it was a romance.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Linda Howard tries straight suspense, June 30, 2006
By 
Jackie L. McCollum "J. McCollum" (Centennial City, CO United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
The reason I enjoy LH so much is her willingness to experiment with many different styles of the romance genre. Time travel, historical, bubbly, emotionally wrenching, spy novels, etc. Like the Nora Roberts, you haven't read one then read them all with LH. Ok, straight suspense isn't her best, but still this is way better than most suspense novels, because at least I care whether the characters live or die. The last suspense novel I read before this was called Kill the Messenger and I was hoping the kid would get hit by a semi and put me out of the misery. Can't wait to see what LH will try next.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not THAT bad...but not that good, either, July 3, 2006
This is really like two completely separate books. The first half - and I mean that literally - is boring as can be. We spend the entire time getting to know the heroine, which wouldn't be so bad except that she's an essentially boring human being who has martyred herself for her children. By the halfway point, she and the hero have spoken perhaps five times, all of which involved one or the other of them blushing, and most of the discussions were about home repairs. She has had a lustful thought for the hero once - once! - and explains it away as an aftereffect of his having saved her life. Howard has pulled off novels before where the protagonists didn't even meet until halfway through - see "Son of the Morning" - but fails this time.

The first half also spends a great deal of time inside the minds of three different bad guys, and almost no time in the mind of the hero. The plot setup is so contrived, you can almost see the thought process - "Wow, it'd be a really cool book if we had an entire town taken hostage...how do I create that situation?"

The second half of the book jumps into high gear, and in my opinion was worth forcing myself through the first half to get there. Suddenly the hero is a hero, action is happening, and the children have been shipped off to grandma's house so we're saved from any more long explanations of how devoted a mom the heroine is. The ending is a bit anticlimactic - everything kind of fizzles into a tidy knot, without any real showdown - but also seems to contain a clear setup for a sequel with one of the few characters in the book that I found myself wanting to know more about.

All in all, not on par with her best (Kill and Tell, Kiss Me While I Sleep, etc.) - but not the worst book ever. In fact, if my expectations for Linda Howard weren't so high, I might've liked it more. Worth reading, but not more than once.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not Worth The Time, February 21, 2012
By 
Regina "Regina" (Oak Park, IL, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Cover of Night: A Novel (Mass Market Paperback)
Let me start off by saying I do enjoy some romantic suspense (Suzanne Brockmann, Kaylea Cross, Cindy Gerard, Pamela Clare). So I went into this book expecting, maybe not to love it, but to enjoy it. That did not happen. This book is just so bad. I listened to it on audio while at work and during my walk to the train. I checked it out from the library and typically, I am okay with less than good audio books to keep my mind occupied during mindless admin stuff I have to do at work and the walk to the train. But wow, this book had some really really bad scenes. I should say that this book has a lot of what I love in stories and movies, it involves a woman (young widow, twin 4 year old boys) who has to start over again, so she moves to a very rugged and remote area in Idaho. She buys an old Bed and Breakfast in a remote area that gets random tourists who are there to hike, rock climb and hunt. I gotta say that I love this theme. I love the self reinvention storyline - but it is done so poorly here.

There are some good things about the story. There is a good inner dialogue from the heroine, a lot of great descriptions of small town life, of her life as an owner of a B&B and her life as a widow. There is decent set up for friendships and connections between the towns people. The location is described beautifully. Okay, that is the good stuff. Now the bad.

Some spoilers in the next section. Just by coincidence, there are two former elite marines retired in this same area (Cal and Creed). One of them (Cal) is secretly in love with the heroine, Kate. Much of the beginning of the book involves details of Kate's parenting her twins. Her parenting style is so over the top and it left me wondering if the author has any kids at all. I do have kids, I have 4 kids and 3 are very close in age and the stuff the author had Kate disciplining her kids for is normal play stuff that all toddler/pre schoolers do - yet she is constantly punishing them and sending them to the "naughty chair" where of course the 4 year olds sit in the chair patiently for 10 minutes each. Sure, completely believable. These scenes made me want to shout - "just let the kids play!" and if the author really wanted to include details on punishment and discipline - then have the kids actually do something worth punishing for, not silly little preschool stuff that is completely normal every day stuff. There is a dramatic scene where everyone is upset because the twin 4 year old boys ...... fought! They fought! The author treats this situation as if it is horrible, mind boggling and wow - just so stressful. Has the author ever been around young siblings - or any siblings before? They fight. Everyday. The discipline aspect of the first half of the book was just very heavy handed, over the top and not realistic.

The romance - so unbelievable. After being acquainted with each other for 3 years but never having any conversation or speaking beyond simple instructions that Kate gives Cal (her handyman), once the suspense and action begins Kate suddenly realizes that Cal is a MAN and realizes she is in love with him - but still they haven't had a full conversation. I won't spoil the fun if you plan to read this, but eventually Kate and Cal have to go off in the wilderness alone together in order to escape the bad guys. In order to keep warm, the couple decides to have sex, fine it is a romance novel there should be sex - but right before the sex Kate realizes that she wants to spend the rest of her life with Cal. What? Why? They have now had maybe 2 conversations - about climbing a huge mountain to escape the bad guys and to warm up after they are both wet and cold in the Idaho night. This is a widow who as of the previous chapter was still mourning her young dead husband - and now she wants to spend the rest of her life with a man she has never even conversed with? No personal conversations, nothing in depth and the author specifically mentions that they are unable to talk while hiking and climbing. Once Kate and Cal have sex, Cal admits to Kate that he has been in love with her for 3 years - even though he has never spoken to her. He admits that he was never a handyman before BUT he became a handyman so he could be close to her during the day and watch her. Oooookaaay ....... and then he admits that the locals in the village have been purposely sabotaging her house by cutting wires, loosening pipes to throw her (local B&B owner) and Cal (local handyman) together. Now in the beginning of the book Kate is constantly stressed about money, about the repairs to her B&B but she takes this very weird and freaky information in stride - and she laughs. This by the way, is Cal and Kate's first personal conversation that is not about pipes, fixing a lock, climbing a rock, or drying cold wet feet. Suddenly the next morning after the sex - she talks about how Cal is a hero and how she is in love with him - where the heck did this come from?

This is my first Linda Howard book and I am not impressed - I spent much of the time either fast forwarding (I am listening to the audio) or laughing out loud. I am a fan of romantic suspense involving military men or former military men and I like self remade stories - but this is just a bad story.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Suspense, romance and a little comedy - pretty entertaining, August 12, 2006
Cate is a widow of 3 years with twin 4 year old boys. She did not want to rely on her parents or family to help support them so she moved to the tiny town of Trail Stop where she and her late husband used to go rock climbing. She bought a bed and breakfast and is making a go of it. She has friends in the town and good employees plus she relies on the handyman, Cal Harris, who seems shy and older to her. She is so focused on her kids, the B & B that she does not take time for herself nor does she spend much time noticing or becoming close friends with those around her.

One of her guests comes to the dining room doorway and backs out. She goes later to see if he wants a tray brought up and finds his window open and his car gone! Luckily he had paid by credit card so she is not shorted her money. However, when she realizes he left toiletries and a suitcase and doesn't come back for them in a day, she calls the sheriff. She puts his things away in her attic. Cate also gets a call from a car rental agency saying his car is overdue being turned in....the call sounds suspicious to her so she call the agency back and finds out the call was phony.

A couple days later to gentlemen check into the B & B, one dressed in a suit and the other more casual. Cate is in the kitchen with one of her friends, Neenah, making cookies and discussing the mystery man who took off and speculating on why and if he was on the run. The new guests grab Neenah and put a gun to her temple and demand that Cate retrieve the mystery guest's suitcase. But first the handyman Cal comes in the parking lot in his truck. Cate tells them he is there to get the mail. They let her have him come in, stamp her mail and give it to him. Cal drives away. The one gunman holds Neenah with the gun at her temple and Cate goes upstairs while the other gunman watches the front door. They go to the attic where she retrieves the suitcase all the while wondering what she can do as she knows the gunmen will kill her and Neenah. As she hands the gunman the suitcase, Cal comes up into the attic with a shotgun point right at the armed man. The look in Cal's eyes in nothing that Cate has seen before! Cal gets the armed man to drop his weapon, take the suitcase and help his friend who Cal had knocked unconscious and they take off.

Thus begins a whole series of events where Cate has revelations about Cal, the town and herself while they deal with tragic events and fight for their lives. I felt the plot had a few holes in it and wasn't as tight as many of Ms. Howard's other suspense storeis but there were some very touching scenes as well that helped hold it together.

A good but not great read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than "Killing Time," but still not why we love Howard, June 30, 2006
If I could have given this 3 1/2 I might have, just to keep it the proper distance from "Killing Time," which I think is probably the Howard novel that most fans rank last. That said it seems Howard is still trying new things--like her foray into first-person narration in "To Die For"--which doesn't always sit so well with old-time fans who came to her from traditional romance.

I don't mind Howard going off in different directions. After all, we've got to keep her happy and if she got bored she doesn't seem like the type to keep writing (in contrast to other best-selling authors who continue to dish up the same plots and techniques). But I am only mildly more interested in psycho gangs holding Mayberry hostage than I am in time travel ('Killing Time'). The heroine is fun, her kids and mom are like so many we all know in 'real' life, the townspeople are cute and spunky. But the hero is disappointingly taciturn (at least in scenes with the heroine). He makes Gary Cooper look like Chatty Cathy. Mostly I miss the snappy dialogue and humor of such faves as "Open Season" and "Mr. Perfect."

But probably my biggest objection is the way we spend so very much time in the minds of the bad guys. That's not why I read women's fiction. And yes, I could have used a little more explicit passion between our protagonists.

The question is what does Howard have in mind for the next book? After the last three novels I'm a little worried. Bottom line: If you didn't like those this one may not be worth the hardback price.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 217 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Cover of Night: A Novel
Cover of Night: A Novel by Linda Howard (Mass Market Paperback - May 1, 2007)
$7.99
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.