Years ago I purchased Midnight Rainbow by Linda Howard, the first romance novel I ever read. Since then, I have purchased all of Linda Howard's books and Open Season remains one of my favorites. While some of her novels, such as Cry No More, concern serious topics that will have you in tears, and others (All the Queen's Men) have more suspense, Open Season is a light hearted novel about life in a small southern town. This is a novel that will make you laugh.
Daisy is the town librarian who decides she is boring, dresses too plainly, doesn't date and living with her mom is not helping matters - so she gets a make over at the big city "beauty salon" vs. the small town "beauty shop" where she typically goes, moves out of her mother's house and rents a house only a first time renter could appreciate and attracts the attention of the local Sheriff, with humorous results. This is a romance novel, with a suspense sub plot that is there so the characters can have a romance. Deborah Hazlett's performance is very well done with distinctive accents, a good pace and inflection - she brings the book to life.
Linda Howard has written other books that have more involved plots, character development and suspense, but for sheer humor and joy, this book is a favorite.
I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!
STORY (romance/suspense) - The book takes place in a small town in Alabama. Daisy awakens on her 34th birthday and decides to make a change. Her clock is ticking and she wants a husband. So...new hair, new makeup, new clothes and, voila, it's time to go dancing. She gets the attention of sexy police chief Russo but, unfortunately, the attention of others as she witnesses a murder at a nightclub.
This is one of my favorite genres, romance combined with suspense. Another book from this author, Mr. Perfect, is one of my favorites. I've heard 312 books to date and have loved, liked and hated many, and I can honestly say that this is a very good book. Daisy (main character) is a hoot, and there's nothing wrong with Chief Russo either. The suspense element was good. I really can't say what my problem is with this book except that I've heard better, especially from this author.
PERFORMANCE - The reader has an age-appropriate female voice and does a pretty good job, but she reads a little too slow IMHO. I listened at 1.5X, partially because she was reading slow and partially because the book was kind of slow-moving. Occasionally, however, I would rewind or listen to good parts at 1.25 speed.
OVERALL - Good romance/suspense but not great. There are a few F-words but not many. There are, I believe, two sex scenes which are very short and moderately explicit. The violence is not explicit either. I think most women who like the genre would enjoy this book. I'm just probably too picky, as I said in my title.
Linda Howard is quickly becoming my favorite author. I have found that unlike other authors she makes me want to listen/read every word.
This book is fun, interesting, and Cinderelish (is that a word?) Since the previous reviewer pretty much explained what the book is about, very well I might add, there is nothing I would include. It is worth a credit or more.
I loved the characters in this story. The stereotypical small town people who, once you were introduced to them a bit turned out not to be so stereotypical after all. The interactions between mother and daughter, hero and heroine, even the puppy were delightful. I found myself laughing out loud.
I would absolutely listen to this book in one sitting. In fact as soon as I finished it I started listening again from the beginning.
Sassy dialogue, humor, and a great reader are important to me.
A good old fashion story. This is one of Ms Howards earlier works. If you are a fan, this will not disappoint you.
not the best reader
some good laughs
Delight in the journey and the struggle on the road to your dreams
Small town Alabama librarian Daisy Minor decides on her 34th birthday that it's time for a change; so she gets a makeover and begins going out to a club on weekends. There she sees the wrong people doing the wrong things and puts her own life in jeopardy.
Daisy is a great character and some of the interplay between and the Half-Yankee Sheriff Russo is really very funny at times. The reader Deborah Hazlitt does a great job narrating it in such a way that she remains funny and her southern accent sounds quite authentic. A better listen than much of Ms. Howard's library due to the humor.
audio addict! Mostly interested in history and some historical fiction. Will Durant is my all time favorite. Loving the Great Courses too.
*** 3.55 Stars ;) ***
Disclaimer: Linda Howard is my favorite author. I'm definitely biased, but surprisingly, it's not always positive bias. I hold her to higher standards because I know how talented she is. So here's my quick review a few weeks after listening to Open Season:
Open Season wasn't a memorable "best-of" Linda Howard book for me. But most fans really enjoy this book. So because it's a well-produced audiobook, I recommend it to Linda Howard fans. I do think it was a fun read. I also loved the Narrator.
Below is my enthusiastic and thorough review from the day I read it, which I erroneously submitted to the abridged version:
"God I love Linda Howard! She has written many of my all time favorite books. Unfortunately she's written some duds as well.
Luckily, this is a satisfying story with a fantastic performance by narrator Kate Forbes.
Daisy lives in a small town. She is a 34 year-old librarian, in need of a total life make-over. She has few friends, no men in her life, no style, and she still lives with her mother. With the help of her mother, her aunt and a gay friend named Todd, Daisy moves into her own place and invests her time and money into a full makeover.
Now she's ready to meet new people. For Daisy, meeting new people is code for "husband-hunting". I'm not into books involving desperate women searching for husbands, but LH works her magic and the story is well-written. You'll be sucked in by the 2nd chapter.
So fear of being an "old maid" pushes Daisy to find her inner beauty and bring it out, while also becoming more social. Meanwhile, surrounding towns are having trouble with GHB- a date rape drug that can be lethal in one dose. The new Chief of Police- Jack Russo is asked to assist the nearby city with its GHB problem. So while Daisy is trying to catch a husband at bars, Chief Russo is trying to find clues and info about GHB. Needless to say, worrying for her safety, he watches out for her.
That's as much as I can say without spoilers.
The story is very fun, sexy, and entertaining. The romance is wonderfully written. At times it's funny (there's a hysterically funny condom-buying scene that is unforgettable), then all of a sudden LH takes your breath away. Linda Howard can make more magic with a simple kiss and a slight caress than many authors achieve with a full-out sex scene. The characters are likeable and drive the book a great deal. The suspense plot is not forced, instead LH has woven it into the story slowly.
**** The downside : My issue in recommending this book is the somewhat degrading, possibly-offensive tone of the book at times. I assume this is a older book. I can't imagine she'd write such things today. But be prepared for condescending "jokes" about homosexuals, women and the south. Also a bit annoying: Daisy, the heroine, was explained as extremely intelligent. However, she acts without common sense and is ridiculously naive. Im sure the author intended her behavior to show her "innocence", but what it demonstrates to me is an obvious unintended contradiction in the character's personality. Daisy seems far more like an airhead, than a bright woman of 34. She is still very likeable; I'm only dissapointed LH didn't realize her mistake.
That being said, this is still a good listen. Howard fans will like it. ***If you haven't read Linda Howard before, please download Dreamman, Mr Perfect and/or After the Night . Those are some of her A+ books, and they'll give a better example of her work for a first-time reader/listener.
For Howard fans, this won't disappoint, bearing in mind that is has a dated, slightly offensive tone.
Also narrator deserves kudos for her performance. Very well done."
Linda Howard is a master at combining romance with suspense. Based on previous reviews, I didn't purchase this book until I couldn't find anything else that tickled my fancy. And I'm so very glad that I did. There were parts of this story that actually had me whopping with laughter. The wrap up to the story was not Howard's best, I'll grant you that, but it certainly did not detract from the majority of the story.