New York Times bestselling author Linda Howard gives her legions of fans an inside look at small-town life in the wild west, high up in the hills of Montana. Angie Powell is a strong, single woman who takes over Powell Guide Trips after her father’s death. She grew up helping her dad guide big-game hunters to their prey, bear and elk. “She was a decent tracker, and a decent shot.” Angie “loved being out on the mountains, she loved being in charge of her destiny.”
"This is high adventure and non-stop romantic suspense. Leave it to Howard to entertain her readers with male fantasies. PREY is pure satisfaction."
There is one problem: Angie has stiff competition from Dare Callahan, Wilderness Guide. The perception is that a man is a more suitable guide, and the economy is so slow that it will not support two guide businesses in the same location. Angie must sell her childhood home and move to support herself and her business. Even more exasperating is the fact that Dare is sexy, a veteran with “brilliant blue eyes” that makes her heart beat faster. Angie isn’t the kind of woman who gives in to blue eyes and a sexy physique. She is determined to ignore Dare’s invitations to go out --- no way was she going to date the competition.
As in all small towns, the locals look out for one another. Harlan Forbes is the local realtor and her father’s long-time friend. Harlan has watched the town’s population dwindle and hates that Angie has just listed her place for sale. There’s only one man in town with the means to buy her out: Dare Callahan. Dare’s offer is not welcome, but Angie agrees to think about it during her last guide trip. As luck would have it, Angie’s last trip is the trip from hell, and she is prey in more ways than one.
Angie is not comfortable hunting for bear. But that is exactly what the clients, city slickers Chad Klugman and Mitchell Davis, want, and Angie needs the money from this one last guide trip. What she doesn’t know is that Chad is using this trip to lure his boss, Mitchell, from whom he has been stealing money for years, to the wilderness so he can kill him before he finds out. Lucky for Angie, Harlan asks Dare to follow the group because he smells trouble. Since Dare secretly fantasizes about Angie, he agrees to keep an eye on them.
Howard inserts some gruesome scenes of an innocent hiker being torn apart by a man-eating bear. When Angie finds the remains, it changes the dynamics of the trip, and Chad must speed up his plans. The storm of the century comes out of nowhere, the bear finds Angie’s camp, and all hell breaks loose. Chad makes Angie his next target, steals the horses, and leaves her alone in the woods with lightning crashing all around. She runs for her life until she hurts her foot and has to crawl on the mud-soaked ground away from her camp and the remains of the bear’s second prey, Mitchell.
If you’re looking for a light, breezy Linda Howard romance reminiscent of her earlier novels, PREY isn’t it. It is survival 101: survival of the sexiest, survival of woman and man over bear, and triumph of good over evil. This is high adventure and non-stop romantic suspense. Leave it to Howard to entertain her readers with male fantasies. PREY is pure satisfaction.
Reviewed by Hillary Wagy on September 22, 2011