Linda Howard is back with a blistering thriller. Her novels have moved from the overtly romantic to the extremely thrilling, but all the while she's kept her edge. Now You See Her sizzles with sensual fire and burns with the sexual tension for which Howard is known.
Paris Sweeney, who prefers to go by her last name, is a painter. Well, more than anything, she consumes the colors around her and pours them, slightly subdued, onto the canvas. One day things get a little trippy when, looking at a gorgeous sky and street, she sees the ghost of a friend's child tagging along behind his mother. In a moment, Sweeney understands that somehow her life has changed, and that she will never view the world in the same way ever again. She makes the effort to ignore her spectral visions and manages to continue with her career. In her new home, New York City, her career as an artist is taking off, but something keeps bothering Sweeney -- something other than the ghosts that she continues to see, and ignore, in Manhattan. Something that has changed her radically as an artist. No longer able to paint pretty and traditional portraits and landscapes, she finds that her new paintings are bold and bursting with color. Too confused by this sudden change, Sweeney is hesitant even to show the new work to her agent, Candra. Making matters worse, ever since she came to the city, she's felt the magnetic pull of Candra's filthy-rich husband, Richard. Despite her steamy fantasies, Sweeney has no intention of beginning a career as a homewrecker. But when she learns from Candra's assistant, the hunky Hawaiian boy-toy Kai, that Candra and Richard are splitsville, Sweeney wonders if there might be a possibility of romance.
When Richard gives her a ride in the rain one night, she learns more about his intentions toward her. He wants Sweeney badly, and he's been going through the divorce with her agent for a year. But Sweeney doesn't want to get entangled in this while he is still married, and she has some loyalty to the woman who is her agent -- even though she's sure that Candra has been fooling around with Kai. When Candra herself calls Sweeney to tell her that she'd give her blessing to a relationship between Richard and Sweeney, Sweeney's head really begins to spin trying to figure out just what could possibly be going on behind this wacky relationship. Candra doesn't seem to be suffering from such stress, and she enjoys a lustful night of hot passion with her younger lover, plotting for a big divorce settlement from her husband.
As the mystery of Candra and Richard's divorce proceedings slowly comes to light, a nightmarish twist occurs: The kind gentleman who always sold Sweeney her lunchtime hot dogs is killed. Eerily, the image of his corpse in the alleyway in which he died miraculously appears as a painting on one of Sweeney's canvases, with her signature at the bottom, leaving her to fear what dark force is at work. As the suspense builds, and as Now You See Her becomes at turns an erotic thriller and a stunning murder story, Sweeney discovers that sometimes one must open up the most terrifying doors to access the human heart.
Linda Howard has hit her stride with Now You See Her, a novel that won't be forgotten. It has all the heat of a Judith Krantz novel and all the suspense of the best of Mary Higgins Clark.
--Jessi Rose Lucas
Jessi Rose Lucas's first romance novel, The Swan Prince, is forthcoming. She lives on the New England coast and is currently working on her second novel, The Tarnished Knight, a medieval romance about Lancelot and Guinevere.