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Shadow Woman: A Novel

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Shadow Woman: A Novel [Hardcover]

Linda Howard
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (413 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 1, 2013

From Linda Howard comes a thrilling and sensual new novel of romance, suspense, intrigue . . . and memories that can kill.
Lizette Henry wakes up one morning and makes a terrifying discovery: She doesn’t recognize the face she sees in the mirror. She remembers what she looks like, but her reflection is someone else’s. To add to the shock, two years seem to have disappeared from her life. Someone has gone to great and inexplicable lengths to keep those missing years hidden forever. But the past always finds a way to return.
Strange memories soon begin to surface and, along with them, some unusual skills and talents that Lizette hasn’t a clue about acquiring. Sensing that she’s being monitored, Lizette suddenly knows how to search for bugs in her house and tracking devices in her car. What’s more, she can elude surveillance—like a trained agent.
Enter a mysterious and seductive stranger named Xavier, who claims he wants to help—but who triggers disturbing images of an unspeakable crime of which Lizette may or may not be the perpetrator. With memories returning, she suddenly becomes a target of anonymous assassins. On the run with nowhere to hide, Lizette has no choice but to rely on Xavier, a strong and magnetic man she doesn’t trust, with a powerful attraction she cannot resist. As murky waters become clear, Lizette confronts a conspiracy that is treacherous and far-reaching and a truth that, once revealed, may silence her and Xavier once and for all.

Praise for Shadow Woman
“Dazzling . . . From the opening line, [Shadow Woman] will grab readers and take them on an exhilarating and terrifying adventure!”—RT Book Reviews
“Fast-paced, intricately detailed romantic suspense . . . Readers won’t want to put it down until the extraordinary conclusion. . . . Highly recommended.”—Fresh Fiction
“An intriguing plot and captivating characters [with] lots of drama, tension, intrigue and suspense.”—The Star-Ledger

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Four years after the first lady shoots the president and then herself, a woman in northern Virginia wakes up one morning, looks in the mirror, and sees a face that isn’t hers. How could this be? As she thinks back on her life, Lizette realizes that there’s a two-year gap in her recent memory. As she makes this discovery and works to recover her memories of those years, her handlers are starting to panic as they pick up her agitated mutterings via the bugs they’ve placed in her house. If she remembers everything that happened before they wiped her mind, the handlers will all be in deep trouble. Her former lover and now anonymous protector, Xavier, also knows what her awakening mind means: those who erased her memories will now want to kill her. Saving Lizette means going against protocol and aligning himself with what his superiors see as the wrong side. As usual, veteran Howard, the queen of romantic suspense, gives readers a roller-coaster ride of action, intrigue, and love. --Pat Henshaw


“Dazzling . . . From the opening line, [Shadow Woman] will grab readers and take them on an exhilarating and terrifying adventure!”—RT Book Reviews
“Fast-paced, intricately detailed romantic suspense . . . Readers won’t want to put it down until the extraordinary conclusion. . . . Highly recommended.”—Fresh Fiction
“An intriguing plot and captivating characters [with] lots of drama, tension, intrigue and suspense.”—The Star-Ledger

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; First Edition edition (January 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345506936
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345506931
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (413 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #415,774 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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
115 of 121 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Where's the rest of the story? January 3, 2013
I couldn't wait to read this book, a woman who doesn't recognize her face? That sounds amazing. And the first few chapters of this book were compelling, well written and sucked me straight into the plot. This book was living up to my expectations. A lot of reviews talk about the lack of romance, but I actually enjoyed that most of the story played out before Xavier and Lizzy met up again. But once they did meet, I feel the book lost momentum. Fast. The last 5 chapters left so much to be desired that I almost quit might just be me, but I didn't feel any of the excitement or urgency that the first 5 chapters held. The villain of the story (or is it villains?) didn't seem fleshed out enough and I really don't understand the motivation behind some of the actions in the book.

In fact, in retrospect, I was so disinterested in the outcome of the book, I can't remember who the bad guys were or why they were the bad guys! I feel like the publisher said "You only have 336 pages for your next novel. Go." Consequently, since too many pages were spent on Lizzy and Xavier separately, once their stories merged there was nothing left - hence the (IMO) unsatisfying ending.

I don't mind that Linda Howard (why doesn't she have a dedicated website, anyway?) has moved away from category romance novels, her suspense and mystery always comes across as well thought out and she delivers it with panache. I own every single one of her books and Shadow Woman will likely remain in my personal library. I just wish there was a little more substance and maybe another 5 chapters at the end that are just as gripping as the first. Instead I'm left feeling a little lost and let-down now that I'm finished; I guess I'll fill this void by reading Shades of Twilight. Again.
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88 of 97 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars No romance included January 1, 2013
First let me say that I am a big LH fan. Having said that I found myself disappointed by this book, Well written, yes, with lots of mystery and suspense. But very little romance and that not until the book is almost over. I would like a little interaction between the hero/heroine. Both were strong characters and well portrayed, but absolutely no chance to see any sparks. Don't call it a romance, call it a mystery and you wont be disappointed.
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61 of 67 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Engaging story January 1, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
From the moment Lizette Henry looks in the mirror one morning and doesn't recognize her face, this story begins a rather odd and bizarre journey to distinguish between her current existence and an alternate reality. Every time Lizette has thoughts of another point in time that is inconsistent with her present lifestyle, she gets intense, debilitating pains in her head that level her. She can remember beyond three years ago, can remember her childhood up to five years ago, but cannot account for that two-year gap.

There's an interesting prologue that provides a clue as to what she may have been involved in but it's still murky. As Lizette starts to remember more things about what was obviously a former self, things start getting dicey and she realizes her life is now at risk. Meanwhile, a black ops agent named Xavier is monitoring the people monitoring Lizette and clearly has her back.

I was really engaged in this story, intrigued by this strange puzzle and followed Lizette's thought process as she struggled to figure out what was going on and what happened to those two missing years and why she now has a new face. She was clearly a project being overseen by those in the covert world but typical of those agencies, it wasn't always clear who the good and bad guys were.

What detracted from the story was part of what made it interesting in the beginning. It just continued for too long without interaction between the characters. Almost 80% of the story plays out in the heads of Lizette and Xavier, separately, and it took too long for the central scheme to be revealed in the story. I found myself just wishing someone would tell me, even considered jumping to the end to put me out of my misery.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed! Disappointed! January 16, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Shadow Woman is not recommended. As a die hard of Linda Howard, Shadow Woman is the biggest disappointment I've had from her. For the past 5 years Linda Howard's books have become progressivly worse. Shadow Woman was as boring as watching paint dry. There was too much story telling and not enough dialogue. The plot was a good one if only the characters had some meaninful dialogue with each other. Miss Howard has lost her touch, she is a great Romance Book writer and she should go back to where her true talent lies - Romance with some Suspense. Mr. Perfect, Dream Man, All the Queen's Men, The Mackenkies, Heart of Fire, Midnight Rainbow, Diamond Bay are all books that hooked me. Write some more books like these Ms. Howard.
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37 of 42 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Book But It Wasn't What I Wanted It To Be January 2, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It was a good book. I completely realize that saying the book isn't what I wanted it to be is ridiculous. The book is what it is and it IS a good book. But, I'm a lifetime Linda Howard fan and at least two of her books are on my all-time romance top ten and I compulsively re-read her books when I don't have others to read. And, in my opinion, this book is lacking some of the fabulous Linda Howard voodoo. So, I expect some of her other lifetime readers will feel that parts of this book are lacking. That while the book was an enjoyable read, it just left me a little disappointed. But, personal preference aside, I think a lot of readers will enjoy the book.

It was an enjoyable read. Linda Howard has a fabulous writing style. She writes quick and snappy books. She has a pretty impressive talent building a mystery and unfolding that with suspense. Her romances are usually just fabulous. This one was pretty good. The hero and the heroine were well matched, personality-wise. And they had some chemistry and there was some heat. I thought the set-up of the book was original and definitely had some intriguing moments. The book had a less than linear plot-line which was interesting. A lot of the crucial plot twists happened before the narrative started and the book unfolds in a suspenseful and mysterious way with some smart foreshadowing and misdirection. The reader really doesn't guess what is happening or how all the pieces fit together until the very end.

The main thing I found lacking was that the juiciest stuff all happened before the story or was outside the narrative. The mystery- I'm not going to spoil it- was pretty fantastic stuff (and I'm using fantastic in the wildly unbelievable sense of the word).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
Love all your books. Have every book you have ever written. I can not wait until you write some more.
Published 10 days ago by aushelab
5.0 out of 5 stars I loved this book
I have not read a lot of Linda Howard's books, so did not have any preconceived ideas. Therefore, I loved this book. Read more
Published 10 days ago by PatnAL
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
Linda Howard never disappoints. The book was fast paced and the characters were very believable. Loved the surprises along the way. If you have an afternoon free, read this one!
Published 16 days ago by Jackie
3.0 out of 5 stars interesting
It was a good read. It was not really believable. I enjoyed it nevertheless. The premise was preposterous. It contains just the right amount of romance.
Published 17 days ago by tahoffman
5.0 out of 5 stars also an easy read so that you did not want to put ...
dynamic story that kept your attention. also an easy read so that you did not want to put it down
Published 24 days ago by shirley moore
1.0 out of 5 stars not one of Sandra's best.
Very Slow, not one of Sandra's best.
Published 25 days ago by Carolyn Gr
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
The kind of book that makes a great read, that is hard to put down. It is one book that has my highest recommendation.
Published 1 month ago by Ben
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner
I've read every book Linda Howard has written. She is fantastic. This is certainly as good as all her others. Being a fan, I wish she could write faster.
Published 1 month ago by jo anna fisher
5.0 out of 5 stars Seriously loved it!
I hate reading, but Shadow Woman kept me so engaged until the end! On my spare time, all I did was read this book Lol. I highly recommend it! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Angeles Cruz
2.0 out of 5 stars Literary, etc Review
I've always wanted to read Linda Howard's books, but I've never had the chance to do so. When the opportunity came to review SHADOW WOMAN via LibraryThing's Early Reviewers... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jess
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Topic From this Discussion
Anyone know what this one's about?
I have always enjoyed Linda Howard's book until the last few out.I understand her daughter has help with her recent books and I wonder if that the problem.Has Mrs. Howard reach a point in her life when she cannot continue to write for whatever reason and her daughter is filling in for her. If so... Read More
May 31, 2012 by Shirley Morgan |  See all 9 posts
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