Prey by Linda Howard

Thirty-two-year-old Angie Powell has always spoken her mind, but in the presence of Dare Callahan she nurses a simmering rage. After all, why give Dare the satisfaction of knowing he can push her buttons and push her to the edge? — Three years ago, Dare returned home to rural western Montana and opened a hunting business to rival Angie’s. Complicating matters is the fact that Dare has asked Angie out (not once but twice) and has given her a gift of butterflies in the process. Angie has no patience for butterflies. They only lead to foolish decisions. And now the infuriatingly handsome Iraq war vet has siphoned away Angie’s livelihood, forcing her to close up shop. Before Angie is to leave town, she organizes one last trip into the wilderness with a client and his guest, who wants to bag a black bear. But the adrenaline-fueled adventure turns deadly when Angie witnesses a cold-blooded murder and finds herself on the wrong side of a loaded gun. Before the killer can tie up this attractive loose end, a bear comes crashing through the woods — changing the dark game completely.Luckily, Dare is camping nearby and hears the shots. Forced together for their very survival, Angie and Dare must confront hard feelings, a blinding storm, and a growing attraction — while being stalked by a desperate killer and a ferocious five-hundred-pound beast. And neither will stop until they reach their prey. 

Prey takes place in the Montana wilderness or at least Montana.  I’ve never been I’m pretty sure most of the state is wilderness.  LOL.  Side note:  I’ve always dreamed of living here but that might have A LOT to do with the amount of romance novels I’ve read involving ranchers.  Angie Powell is trying to continue her father’s wilderness guide business after his death but failing miserably and losing almost all of her business to Dare Sullivan, retired Iraq veteran.  (FYI:  Retired solider/outdoor guide is just as hot as a cowboy. ) 🙂

Obviously since he is “stealing” her business she doesn’t want much to do with him, so when Angie runs into Dare in town she tries to avoid him so she won’t pick a fight.  She knows he isn’t taking her business on purpose so she turns to walk away and he starts an argument.  He says that if she has a problem to tell him to his face, but really did she do anything other than turn around?  She didn’t give him any looks, say anything, do anything to his car, etc.  UGH, men.  After informing him that she is going on one last guide trip then selling her home and moving, he is torn between wanting to expand and not wanting her to leave.  It seems there is a bit of history between them as Dare has asked Angie out more than once and continues to get turned down leading to much frustration. . .

The POV switches around a lot, not only between Angie and Dare, but also Angie’s client (bad guy) and a bear.  That’s right, I said a bear.  WEIRD.  Angie client is taking out one of his clients he has been embezzling money from, whom he is hoping to “take care of” while they are out in the wilderness and as an extra insurance, Angie as well, so to not chance any witnesses.  An old friend of Angie’s father asks Dare to go as well and try to keep an eye on Angie as he has a bad feeling about her being in the woods alone with these two strange men for a week.  First night at camp Angie wakes to her clients arguing and witnesses a murder.  The rest of the book is basically her meeting up with Dare then not only running from the killer, but the bear as well since he has picked up her scent.

I found there was way too much vulgar language.  I mean I’ve been told I curse like a sailor at times and I found this way too much.  I understand cursing in books, even during “dirty” talk but I found this a bit extreme even for a Linda Howard book (whom I love).  I found myself wanting to skim especially anytime that bear was there because I didn’t want to see it from his POV and I didn’t want descriptions of how he was eating his dinner.  With the lack of romance in general it read closer to a psychological thriller than a romantic suspense, of which the former I do not read.  I’m sad because I love LH books, but they just haven’t been the same since Mr. Perfect and Open Season.

Pecans: 2.5/5

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