Linda Howard's books are a general hit or miss for me. Veil of the Night is one book of hers that I still remember with fondness and that's the only reason I made it past the synopsis for this book. Reason - it screamed predictability and in that aspect I was proved right. What's different is Howard's treatment of it which makes it somewhat interesting.
I'm not saying I loved it, but then I didn't hate it either.
As mentioned before, the story is way predictable: Angie and Dare (the name, the hoarse voice, the attitude - all kept screaming Clint Eastwood to me) are in the same business - camping/hunting guide - and unfortunately Dare is better so he's unknowingly driven Angie out of business. Dare has the hots for Angie (or rather, her world-class ass - his words, not mine) and and she returns the feelings but the business comes in the way. She goes off on a trip that proves to be anything but usual. Thankfully Dare is there to save the day.
Honestly, what captivated me were not the lead characters, but rather the man-eating bear. (Thanks to this book, I'll never be able to go camping ever, knowing what I now know about bears.) Actually all the predators in this story are pretty interesting, although the four-footed one is way interesting than the human, who runs true to villain-ish standards but ends up bumbling badly towards the end.
Howard's has a way with descriptive prose whether describing Angie's harrowing escape from the predators chasing her or how it all appears from the bear's perspective. That and how Angie and Dare gradually become close makes for a happy if somewhat (yes, there's that word again) predictable ending.
While not keeper shelf material, Prey will certainly help while away a lazy Sunday afternoon. Just don't take it on a camping trip - you'll be too scared to sleep!
Note - This book was received for review/feature consideration.
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