Raintree: Inferno

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Overview

Two hundred years after the Raintree clan defeated and abandoned them on a small Caribbean Island, the Ansara wizards are rising again to take on their bitterest foes. Despite their extraordinary powers and supernatural origin, the Raintree have largely blended into the modern world. They are bankers, cops, husbands, wives and lovers in the society of humankind. But now, from Nevada to North Carolina, the rejoined battle will measure the endurance of their people. It will test their loyalties and relationships. ...
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Raintree: Inferno

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Overview

Two hundred years after the Raintree clan defeated and abandoned them on a small Caribbean Island, the Ansara wizards are rising again to take on their bitterest foes. Despite their extraordinary powers and supernatural origin, the Raintree have largely blended into the modern world. They are bankers, cops, husbands, wives and lovers in the society of humankind. But now, from Nevada to North Carolina, the rejoined battle will measure the endurance of their people. It will test their loyalties and relationships. And it will force upon them all new lives they could barely have imagined before.

This trilogy was five-years in the making. What started as, more a less, a creative lark for the three of us soon became a creative adventure that in the end bordered on a creative obsession. Since we were not contracted to write these books, we had the freedom to do whatever we wanted with these fantastic people--two ancient races with incredible powers, the "good" Raintree and the "evil" Ansara. For lack of a better way to explain their supernatural powers, we refer to them as wizards. Linda Howard coined the phrase that is found on the back cover of these books: There have always been those among us who are more than human.

From the beginning, one thing was understood--that each of us had authority over her own book, the plot and the characters, so long as everything fit within the basic framework of the overall "big picture." Considering the fact that each of us has a strong personality, it is a miracle that we seldom disagreed about anything concerning our Raintree books. It was as if we each instinctively knew when something was right or when it was not.

I think our being good friends who respect one another was a key factor in the success of this trilogy, as well as the fact that we went into this project as equals. During the process of planning, plotting and writing, we each voiced our opinions and jointly decided on each aspect of the basis plot thread that was woven throughout the three novels.

Somewhere along the way we realized that these three stories would have to be told simultaneously, so each story runs from Sunday or early Monday to the following Sunday. This meant we had to share a timeline and check on any phoneconversations or secondary character interactions. Man, did we burn up the e-mail on this one! Of course, since the stories are so closely related it meant a few in-person brainstorming sessions, which was not exactly a chore. Plotting and planning is usually done alone, so this was a new experience. While writers are usually control freaks - yes, even us - this shared plotting was a lot of fun. I suppose it might've been less fun if we hadn't agreed on so many aspects, but when something was right we all knew it.

When it came to the overall story which runs through all three books, nothing significant could be written without checking with two other writers. It's amazing how details that seem so small can rise up to impact someone else's story, so it was always best to check with the others. At the same time, each romance is uniquely our own, written in our own styles and with out own types of characters.

Between the necessary interaction and trying to work around three busy schedules, it's a wonder this project only took five years.

Okay, we'll confess: the project took five years because our "research" trips (to casinos, to the mountains -- multiple times) were so much fun. Yes, we actually worked on the project on each of those trips, but it seems logical that our brains would need to rest while we communed with the neon one-armed bandits. Right? After all, the first book was set in a casino. And the last book was set in the mountains. I can't believe we didn't manage a trip to the beach . . .

We're delighted that Silhouette Nocturne let us share our adventures with you and hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

Linda Howard Raintree: Inferno - May
Linda Winstead Jones Raintree: Haunted - June
Beverly Barton Raintree: Sanctuary - July

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Lorna Clay, a woman who is suspected of cheating at a Reno casino, provides the opening spark for Linda Howard's blazing opener in an intense paranormal trilogy. Dante Raintree, owner of the casino, is concerned that the woman might be a spy from the Ansara clan, which is at war with his own. (Both families have powers that make them more than human; the Raintrees, for example, can channel special earth energies.)

Before Dante can determine more about Lorna, a fire breaks out in the casino, and it takes Dante's powers -- and Lorna's -- to control them. That near disaster convinces Dante that Lorna, although not a member of either clan, is certainly precognitive, and he persuades her to embark on a week's training to channel her gifts. Howard turns up the heat as Lorna and Dante battle and then give in to their intense attraction, even as the Ansaras continue their attacks. In the cliffhanging finale, the Ansaras attack Sanctuary, the heart of the Raintree clan, and both Lorna and Dante are compelled to respond. It will fall to two different authors -- Linda Winstead Jones and Beverly Barton -- to carry the continuity series forward. Ginger Curwen
Romantic Times
Suspected of cheating and brought to casino owner Dante Raintree's office, Lorna Clay is shocked at the immediate surge of attraction between them. But right after they meet the casino goes up in flames and Dante, a paranormal with the ability to control fire, drags her into the inferno to control the flames so the people in the casino can escape. Scarred by her terrible past, Lorna has to learn to trust Dante, but their relationship is hurried along by the danger in which they find themselves. Raintree: Inferno (4.5), by Linda Howard, is an exciting and fast-paced novel. The plot is refreshing, her characters are unique and her writing sparkles. Her creation of a new kind of paranormal character will keep readers entertained from start to finish.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780373617623
  • Publisher: Silhouette
  • Publication date: 5/1/2007
  • Series: Harlequin Nocturne Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 4.21 (w) x 6.62 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Meet the Author

Linda Howard is an award-winning author whose New York Times bestsellers include Open Season, All the Queenâ's Men, Mr. Perfect, Kill and Tell, and Son of the Morning. She lives in Alabama with her husband and two golden retrievers.

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Read an Excerpt

Dante Raintree stood with his arms crossed as he watched the woman on the monitor. The image was in black and white, to better show details; color distracted the brain. He focused on her hands, watching every move she made, but what struck him most was how uncommonly still she was. She didn't fidget, or play with her chips, or look around at the other players. She peeked once at her down card, then didn't touch it again, signaling for another hit by tapping a fingernail on the table. Just because she didn't seem to be paying attention to the other players, though, didn't mean she was as unaware as she seemed.

"What's her name?" he asked.

"Lorna Clay," replied his chief of security, Al Rayburn.

"Is that her real name?"

"It checks out."

If Al hadn't already investigated her, Dante would have been disappointed. He paid Al a lot of money to be efficient and thorough.

"At first I thought she was counting," said Al.

"But she doesn't pay enough attention."

"She's paying attention, all right," Dante murmured. "You just don't see her doing it." A card counter had to remember every card played. Supposedly counting cards was impossible with the number of decks used by the casinos, but no casino wanted a card counter at its tables. There were those rare individuals who could calculate the odds even with multiple decks.

"I thought that, too," said Al. "But look at this piece of tape coming up. Someone she knows comes up to her and speaks, she looks around and starts chatting, completely misses the play of the people to her left—and doesn't look around even when the deal comes back to her, she just taps that finger. And damned ifshe didn't win. Again."

Dante watched the tape, rewound it, watched it again. Then he watched it a third time. There had to be something he was missing, because he couldn't pick out a single giveaway.

"If she's cheating," Al said with something like respect, "she's the best I've ever seen."

"What does your gut say?" Dante trusted his chief of security. Al had spent thirty years in the casino business, and some people swore he could spot cheats as soon as they walked in the door. If Al thought she was cheating, then Dante would take action—and he wouldn't be watching this tape now if something hadn't made Al uneasy.

Al scratched the side of his jaw, considering. He was a big, bulky man, but no one who observed him for any length of time would think he was slow, either physically or mentally. Finally he said, "If she isn't cheating, she's the luckiest person walking. She wins. Week in, week out, she wins. Never a huge amount, but I ran the numbers, and she's into us for about five grand a week. Hell, boss, on her way out of the casino she'll stop by a slot machine, feed a dollar in and walk away with at least fifty. It's never the same machine, either. I've had her watched, I've had her followed, I've even looked for the same faces in the casino every time she's in here, and I can't find a common denominator."

"Is she here now?" "She came in about half an hour ago. She's playing blackjack, as usual."

"Who's the dealer?"

"Cindy."

Cindy Josephson was Dante's best dealer, almost as sharp at spotting a cheater as Al himself. She had been with him since he'd opened Inferno, and he trusted her to run an honest game. "Bring the woman to my office," Dante said, making a swift decision. "Don't make a scene."

"Got it," said Al, turning on his heel and leaving the security center, where banks of monitors displayed every angle of the casino.

Dante left, too, going up to his office. His face was calm. Normally he would leave it to Al to deal with a cheater, but he was curious. How was she doing it? There were a lot of bad cheaters, a few good ones, and every so often one would come along who was the stuff of which legends were made: the cheater who didn't get caught, even when people were alert and the camera was on him—or, in this case, her.

It was possible for people to simply be lucky, as most people understood luck. Chance could turn a habitual loser into a big-time winner. Casinos, in fact, thrived on that hope. But luck itself wasn't habitual, and he knew that what passed for luck was often something else: cheating. Then there was the other kind of luck, the kind he himself possessed, but since it depended not on chance but on who and what he was, he knew it was an innate power and not Dame Fortune's erratic smiles. Since his power was rare, the odds made it likely the woman he'd been watching was merely a very clever cheat.

Her skill could provide her with a very good living, he thought, doing some swift calculations in his head. Five grand a week equaled two hundred sixty thousand dollars a year, and that was just from his casino. She probably hit all of them, careful to keep the numbers relatively low so she stayed under the radar.

He wondered how long she'd been taking him, how long she'd been winning a little here, a little there, before Al noticed.

The curtains were still open on the wall-to-wall window in his office, giving the impression, when one first opened the door, of stepping out onto a covered balcony. The glazed window faced west, so he could catch the sunsets. The sun was low now, the sky painted in purple and gold. At his home in the mountains, most of the windows faced east, affording him views of the sunrise. Something in him needed both the greeting and the goodbye of the sun. He'd always been drawn to sunlight, maybe because fire was his element to call, to control.

He checked his internal time: four minutes until sundown. He knew exactly, without checking the tables every day, when the sun would slide behind the mountains. He didn't own an alarm clock. He didn't need one. He was so acutely attuned to the sun's position that he had only to check within himself to know the time. As for waking at a particular time, he was one of those people who could tell himself to wake at a certain time, and he did. That particular talent had nothing to do with being Raintree, so he didn't have to hide it; a lot of perfectly ordinary people had the same ability.

There were other talents and abilities, however, that did require careful shielding. The long days of summer instilled in him an almost sexual high, when he could feel contained power buzzing just beneath his skin. He had to be doubly careful not to cause candles to leap into flame just by his presence, or to start wildfires, with a glance, in the dry-as-tinder brush. He loved Reno; he didn't want to burn it down. He just felt so damn alive with all the sunshine pouring down that he wanted to let the energy pour through him instead of holding it inside.

This must be how his brother Gideon felt while pulling lightning, all that hot power searing through his muscles, his veins. They had this in common, the connection with raw power. All the members of the far-flung Raintree clan had some power, some heightened form of ability, but only members of the royal family could channel and control the earth's natural energies.

Dante wasn't just of the royal family; he was the Dranir, the leader of the entire clan. "Dranir" was synonymous with "king," but the position he held wasn't ceremonial, it was one of sheer power. He was the oldest son of the previous Dranir, but he would have been passed over for the position if he hadn't also inherited the power to hold it.

Gideon was second to him in power; if anything happened to Dante and he died without a child who had inherited his abilities, Gideon would become Dranir—a possibility that filled his brother with dread, hence the fertility charm currently lying on Dante's desk. It had arrived in the mail just that morning. Gideon regularly sent them, partly as a joke, but mainly because he was doing all he could to insure that Dante had offspring—thus upping the chances that he would never inherit the position. Whenever they managed to get together, Dante had to carefully search every nook and cranny, as well as all his clothing, to make certain Gideon hadn't left one of his clever little charms in a hidden place.

Gideon was getting better at making them, Dante mused. Practice made perfect, after all, and God knows he'd made plenty of the charms in the past few years. Not only were they more potent now, but he varied his approach. Some of them were obvious, silver pieces meant to be worn around the neck like an amulet—not that Dante was an amulet kind of guy. Others were tiny, subtle, like the one Gideon had embedded in the newest business card he'd sent, knowing Dante would likely tuck the card into his pocket. He'd erred only in that the very power of the charm gave it away; Dante had sensed the buzz of its power, though he'd had the devil's own time finding it.

Behind him came Al's distinctive knock-knock on the door. The outer office was empty, Dante's secretary having gone home hours before. "Come in," he called, not turning from his view of the sunset.

The door opened, and Al said, "Mr. Raintree, this is Lorna Clay."

Dante turned and looked at the woman, all his senses on alert. The first thing he noticed was the vibrant color of her hair—a rich, dark red that encompassed a multitude of shades from copper to burgundy. The warm amber light danced along the iridescent strands, and he felt a hard tug of sheer lust in his gut. Looking at her hair was almost like looking at fire, and he had the same reaction.

The second thing he noticed was that she was spitting mad.

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Interviews & Essays

An Interview with Linda HowardBarnes & Noble.com: Your new book, Raintree: Inferno is the lead title in a new paranormal series from Silhouette Nocturne. Tell us how you got involved, and how it works creatively, since other authors write the later books. Linda Howard: I'm very good friends with the other two authors, and about five years ago when we were sharing a suite for a Readers' Luncheon, we began discussing continuity series and how difficult they could be. From there we progressed to writing connected stories ourselves -- though we didn't have one in mind -- so we began searching the phone book for a name that sparked our imaginations. "Raintree" was that name, and from that we began world-building. B&N.com: The love story between the powerful Dante Raintree and civilian Lorna Clay, who has extraordinary but unchanneled powers, is terrific, even as it is conducted in the midst of grave danger. There are many great moments here, but to you, which scene best represents their changing dynamic? And was that the hardest or easiest to write? LH: Ah, I don't want to give away too much, but the car crash and the reaction of each. Dante was willing to sacrifice himself to save her, and when she realized what he'd done …. It's strange, but the difficult scenes to write are never the tension-charged ones; it's the transition scenes, the necessary but undramatic scenes, that are hardest for me, perhaps because I haven't visualized them time and time again. The easiest scenes are the ones that have the most going on, because then the words just tumble out. B&N.com: What new books are you working on? What's coming up next? LH: The next book is Up Close and Dangerous, to be published by Ballantine, which is a sort of murder mystery, plane crash, survival type of thing. You can tell I'm synopsis-challenged by this description, can't you?!
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 29 )
Rating Distribution

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(13)

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(9)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 29 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 20, 2013

    This is the first book of a trilogy. You'll really like Dante ev

    This is the first book of a trilogy. You'll really like Dante even if he is extremely arrogant, bossy, and a big cruel. Lorna is more than ready to put him in his place, and does - often. The book just ends, so does the second in the series. If you're not prepared to read all three to learn the complete story, don't even start. You will be pleased if you do.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2012

    Linda Howard Rocks!

    I love Linda Howards books...and if you like adventure packed love stories you will too. I found this one to be hard to put down as well. I'm one who will not even read the back cover because I don't want a clue to whats coming next so lets just say that its thrilling, funny, romantic, and different. Any book with Linda Howard's name on it is a book I will buy!

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  • Posted September 8, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Raintree Inferno

    Well,I feel that this novel was rather good. Good romance but bad ending,it kinda of forces you to read the next two books because the first ends very abruptly,The concept of the Raintree and Ansara wizards was good and unique to not that eye-catching as i would have expected.The romance also had very little time to develop and i was hoping the novel ended with Lorna accepting Dante as her other half but that did not happen as I was a little disappointed to say the least.Good for a quick read though!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2008

    A reviewer

    This book was extremely interesting and it kept my attention. I love the whole good vs. evil theme. I am new to Linda Howard but if all her books are this good, I can't wait to pick up the rest.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2007

    why's it got to be like every other paranormal romance?

    Most paranormal romance writers nowadays seem to fall into formulaic traps that only results in poorly written books. Like all other books of the genre, there's the strong man in power who captures the girl and somehow they fall in love instantly. The characters fall flat and are boring, nothing special about them even if Dante is the leader and Lorna is supposedly powerful. Not to mention, this book has an unfinished ending which will probably be followed up in the sequels. Linda Howard is a great writer, but just not for this collaboration in the Raintree series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2007

    Enjoyable reading

    I enjoyed the book. It kept my attention to the point where I couldn't put it down. While it may not be the mystery I expected from Linda Howard, I wasn't disappointed. I read anywhere from 4 to 6 books a week and have always enjoyed her work. As a solo family physician I need light reading in my time off and this worked for me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2007

    A reviewer

    How very disappointing. I love Linda Howard books, and the book was great...Till the end that wasnt there. Most series are kind of stand alone where you can pick up any of the books and have a story. This one just ended with no end. You actually have to read the other two whether you care for those author's style of writing or not. Now, if the other two were written by Linda I would be upset that I need to pay three times as much to read what is essentially one story line, but I probably would have. Unfortunately I don't care for either of the two other authors style and will just have to write this one off. Also now I will have to scan Linda Howard books more carefully and glance at the ends of them to make sure I won't need to buy another one to find out how the story ends before I purchase it. 'sigh'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2007

    A reviewer

    I was very impressed with this book. I am a devout romance reader, but was getting bored with the same ol same ol. This book was very refreshing and exciting. The cliffhanger was just too much though and now I'm hooked. I can't wait for the other two books to come out! If you love Linda Howard or just love suspenceful romances get this one!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2007

    You have to read this in conjunction with Raintree: Haunted

    I'm a die hard Linda Howard fan and I agree that this book could have been so much more. But don't write off the other two parts of this trilogy just yet. I recently read Raintree: Haunted...I thought it would be horrible because I really don't like Linda Winstead Jones's writing style but it's a must read. It's absolutely fantastic.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2007

    A reviewer

    If you are a big fan of Linda Howard's and go into this book ready for the usual Linda Howard Romances then you will probably be disappointed. If you step back though and prepare yourself for something new, something different then I think you will truly enjoy this masterpiece. I can't wait to read the next piece of the puzzle!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2007

    AMAZING!!!!

    I know it's untraditional to start a review this way, but I wanted to say that I fully support every fan who wants to support their favorite author. With that being said, I want to add that with all the people in the world, it will always be possible, in fact plausible that more than one person will get the same idea or even set of ideas. It's what you do with those concepts admist your story that makes it unique! 'After all look at Holy Blood, Holy Grail versus the Davinci Code - 2 sets of authors with the same research, yet producing different books'. I have not been a very big fan of Linda Howard however, this Raintree series is very intriguing and she has won me over. So, red and blue make purple, so what? Linda Howard and company have truly landed on something here. It's almost Quentin Tarantino-like and I mean that as an extreme compliment!! If you have enjoyed Linda or Quentin's ideas in the past, then you will not want to miss this amazing triology!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2007

    Vampires - let's get real!

    Does every writer have to jump on the same horrible bandwagon? I love Linda Howard's books, but this one is awful. It seems that all the romance writers have been adopting this theme and it's ridiculous. If this keeps up there won't be anyone left to read. I've talked to a great many friends and colleagues who have noticed the same trend, and they agree. We want a good believable romance, not crap!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2007

    hmmmm...

    ...but extraordinary powers and supernatural origin and they will have to face their greatest fears. I feel like I already read this in Gods or Monsters - the Red bloodline which is called the Clan and the blue bloodline... its extremely coincidental that Raintrees first 2 covers are red and then blue. I have seen the 3rd cover yet, but if its yellow(gold) or Purple... then I'd have to wonder if these authors got there research from the same source... or actually I don't know what else to wonder... Still the 3 part series is an interesting depart from the ordinary

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2010

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    Posted June 14, 2011

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    Posted December 6, 2011

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    Posted December 18, 2008

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    Posted December 26, 2009

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    Posted March 15, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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