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Kiss Me While I Sleep (Howard, Linda) Hardcover – July 13, 2004

3.7 out of 5 stars 161 customer reviews
Book 3 of 3 in the CIA Spies Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

CIA contract agent Lily Mansfield has been a ruthless, professional assassin for nearly 20 of her 37 years, but her work takes a personal turn after the young girl she rescued off the street as a baby, and the friends that were raising her, are killed. Lily turns renegade and avenges their deaths with a brilliantly executed murder, but she soon finds herself hunted by an evil family, embroiled in a plot that threatens the safety of the world, and chased by handsome CIA agent Lucas Swain, who has been charged with bringing Lily back by any means necessary. Though Howard's latest offering (after Cry No More) is far flung, the high energy story line translates well to audio thanks to the compelling performances of Hill and Bean. The duo deftly tackle the story's many intonations and foreign accents, and their skillful use of nuance lends some depth to Howard's larger-than-life characters.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

"If you sense someone's watching you from afar, or if you feel a shadow other than your own at your back, I might as well pack it up and call it a day.
It's a job that makes a killing. Efficient, professional, and without apology, Lily Mansfield is a hired assassin, working as a contract agent for the CIA. Her targets are the powerful and corrupt, those who can't be touched by the law.
Now, after nineteen years of service, Lily has been drawn into a dangerous game that hasn't been sanctioned, seeking vengeance for her own reasons. Each move bolder than the next, she is compromising her superiors, drawing unwanted attention, and endangering her very life. Though stress and shock have made her feel somewhat invincible and a little cocky, Lily knows that she too can be taken out in an instant. And if it's her time, so be it. She intends to go down fighting.
A CIA agent himself, Lucas Swain recognizes the signs of trauma in the line of fire. His orders: either bring her in or bring her down. Yet he too is drawn into the game with Lily Mansfield, dancing on a tightrope as he tries to avoid a major international incident while still battling a tenacious foe who is dogging their every step. Keeping laser focus on the task at hand while vigilantly watching her back, Mansfield never sees the lethal peril that lies directly in her path . . . and how loyalty has a price.
Chock-full of the intrigue, breathless action, and sensuality that have made Linda Howard the master of romantic suspense, "Kiss Me While I Sleep is a daring thriller of passion, sudden twists, and richly imagined characters who live and breathe in readers' hearts. It is the most gripping and complex novel of LindaHoward's career.

"From the Hardcover edition. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: Howard, Linda
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; First Edition edition (July 13, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345453433
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345453433
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (161 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,125,217 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Linda Howard is the award-winning author of many New York Times bestsellers, including Up Close and Dangerous, Drop Dead Gorgeous, Cover of Night, Killing Time, To Die For, Kiss Me While I Sleep, Cry No More, and Dying to Please. She lives in Alabama with her husband and two golden retrievers.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In "Kiss Me While I Sleep," Linda Howard has returned to the world of John Medina and Niemi Burdock, the world of covert intelligence operations and contract killers. She has also returned to the theme she explored in "Cry No More," the trauma of a parent who has lost a child.
Lily Mansfield is a contract killer for the CIA, 37 years old, with 19 years of experience. She is also a grieving parent whose 13-year-old, adopted daughter has recently been killed, along with her foster parents who were Lily's best friends. Lily has set out to kill the man who ordered the hit on Zia and her foster parents, and to wreck as much havoc as she can on his organization. She is doing this without the CIA's sanction; in fact, they have sent one of their top agents, Lucas Swain, to stop her.
Sound grim? It isn't. Lucas Swain is not only an alpha hunk, he is also one funny guy. I found myself chuckling at Swain's opinions and actions, whether it was his thoughts on "chick food" or his views on Fiats. (He hates 'em.) The man went through more cars than Stephanie Plum.
If "Cry No More" had a fairly straightforward plot, that must have been because Howard was saving all her twists and turns for "Kiss Me While I Sleep." Just when you think you understand all Lily's and Swain's schemes and counter-schemes, Howard gives the plot a twist, and you realize you've been led down the garden path. Again.
All in all, a delightful read with a sexy hero and heroine, a serious examination of a parent's grief, and a plot that will have your head spinning. Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm a big fan of Linda Howard. She's about the only author I read that I shell out for a hardcover. I wasn't disappointed when I bought Cry No More, but this was a different story, different mood, different characters. Personally, I liked Cry No More much better, but this one had its moments. For instance, I got a pleasant surprise to find out how Medina was doing (although indirectly). The love scenes were much different than her usual and now I know how they got the cover art. I also liked the originality of this one, but at first, I wasn't sure how I would like a 37 year old female assassin as the main character. I have to say that she grew on me; I thought she suffered enough and needed a way out. It was also easy to follow her train of thoughts and helped me relate to her as a person. Swain was another story. He was a little too easy going and light hearted. Not what I expected of a CIA man sent to "terminate" her. But they worked well together and it helped lighten the mood of the book. The more I think about it, the more I realize that he was the only type of guy matched for Lily.
Reasons why I thought it fell slightly short of 5 stars...one, the way she was too trusting of Swain - not a characteristic that I would attribute to a 19 year veteran in the game. Two, I didn't think there was enough heart stopping action. For a CIA contract assassin and a CIA field agent, I sort of hoped for more cliffhanger type action. Three, the ending felt rushed. Personally, I like the end wrapped up nice and neat. Not to say this didn't end the way I wanted, but that I'm not into such an abrupt ending. Or maybe I wasn't ready for the book to end.
Overall, I liked the book because I'm a fan of Howard's writing style and I like the characters she develops. She tells a great story in a way that I like to read it. Can't wait for her next one.
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By A Customer on July 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I have read all of Linda Howards books and reread many on my Howard shelf. Her books are always page turners with different characters to stimulate our imaginations in a believable fictional scenerio. "Kiss Me While I Sleep" was no different, it was a page turner with real characters as hero and heroine.
I was truly suprised by the ending which was terrific. Tears were necessary, but usually are at one time or another during a Howard book. I was shocked to tears at the ending.
Laughter, great dialogue, good plot, steamy romance, real people, good vs evil, saving the world, exacting revenge, duty, loyalty to family and country. What more can you want? It was worth the price of hardcover. It is definately on my keeper shelf.
My only wish for this would have been more resolution in the epilogue and more passion in the romance. I compare the passion in Linda Howards "Dying to Please" with these two lastest Howard books, "Cry No More" or "Kiss Me While I Sleep", and they do not equal the steamy passages from "Dying to Please". But then again, it may not be fair to compare.
All in all this was a great read and I would recommend it with 5 stars!
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Format: Hardcover
The main character in Linda Howard's KISS ME WHILE I SLEEP is Lily Mansfield, an assassin for the CIA. Her two best friends, former CIA agents Averill and Tina, and their adopted daughter Zia --- a girl who Lily rescued after she was abandoned as a baby --- are brutally murdered.

Lily investigates and finds out that Averill and Tina performed one last assignment: blowing up a laboratory. The owner of that laboratory, Salvatore Nervi, is a powerful organized crime boss who has the family killed as payback for destroying his lab. Lily makes it her mission to avenge the deaths of her friends, and she does so by killing Salvatore. She is masterful at disguises, which comes in handy as she begins dodging Salvatore's son, Rodrigo, and the CIA.

The CIA sends out one of their best agents, Lucas Swain, after Lily to terminate her because she has committed an unauthorized kill --- it doesn't help Lily that Salvatore was an informant for the CIA. As Lucas becomes involved with Lily and finds out why she did what she did, he is torn between completing his assignment and helping Lily carry out her revenge mission. The two begin falling in love with each other, which complicates matters further. The twists and turns of the missions will keep readers turning pages, as well as the budding romance between the protagonists.

Both Lily and Lucas are likable characters and, despite their glamorous occupations as spies, very realistic. Readers will understand Lily's motives for revenge. It's obvious that killing is no easy matter for Lily; she has always justified her actions with the idea that it must be the right thing to do if her government tells her to do it. Readers will also understand the struggle Lucas has about how to handle his assignment.
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