Friday, February 27, 2009

YotC Review: Raintree: Inferno

Title: Raintree: Inferno
Author: Linda Howard
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Raintree Trilogy/Book 1
Published: June 2007
Silhouette Nocturne
Year of the Category Challenge

Cheating is a bad thing, we all know that. And if you're caught cheating in a casino it can get you killed. Watching Lorna Clay on his video monitors, Dante Raintree knows she's cheating, he just doesn't know how. But he's going to find out. When she steps into his office a fire ignites in him and in the room. Literally. Dante is no ordinary man, he contols fire but when he sees Lorna his reaction causes that control to slip. Lorna feels something too but she just thinks he's weird and incredibly good looking. Figures.

Linda Howard is one of my favorite contemporary authors. She seldom writes a book that I don't find at the very least good and quite often wonderful. This is not her usual format of her more recent books, they tend to be full length novels. So reading a shorter length book (266 pages) I wasn't quite sure what to expect. The story was a little slow going and it took me a while to warm up to the hero and heroine, not good when there's less than 300 pages. There were times when the story got to be a little far fetched but I kept reading. I should warn anyone who plans to read Inferno that it leads right into the next book and the true ending, IMO, doesn't happen until the last book of the trilogy.

This first book in the Raintree trilogy introduces the leader of the clan, Dante Raintree. He is the Dranir, or king, of the Raintree clan. They are group of people with magical powers related to nature. Dante can control fire, His brother Gideon can use the power of electricity and their sister Mercy is a powerful empath. Over 200 years ago the Raintree clan and their rivals the Ansara clan fought a deadly battle that almost annihilated the Ansara. Except for the random, lone Ansara, the Raintree clan members have had little contact with the Ansara. But now there's a chance the Ansara are back and they are trying to kill Dante. Since Lorna is with him she ends up in the line of fire.

Dante runs a casino in Reno and also handles the finances of the clan. I would call Dante a typical alpha male with all the protective, "I know what's best" attitude that alpha males exude. Add to that his ability to use mind compulsion on people to do what he wants and it makes for a man accustomed to getting what he wants. His ability works exceedingly well on Lorna and she doesn't like it one bit. He can basically tell her to "be quiet" or "stay here" and she has to do what he says. Yeah, that would piss me off too.

Lorna Clay knew she was different than most people. Her affinity for numbers has led her to the casinos and helped her make a decent living. She sees numbers in her head, dreams of them. Sometimes their meaning isn't always clear. She also has a very strong sixth sense that she listens to most of the time. When she first met Dante her sixth sense was telling her to run unfortunately her body had other ideas.

I liked Lorna more than Dante. He was just too... bossy. Lorna was a survivor and a loner. She was also funny in her frustration of having to do whatever Dante told her. She let him know exactly what she thought of him. Good for her! He did ease up on the orders and they did get to know each other enough to fall for each other. This took place over the course of about a week. With the page limitations it had to be quick. The love story was kind of meh for me. It just didn't seem like there was much more than sexual attraction between the two. It just happened too fast.

So my overall opinion on this one is that it's not Howard's best work, not even close. I did read the other two books in the trilogy and I would say Raintree: Haunted (book 2) by Linda Winstead Jones is by far the best. Book 3, Raintree: Sanctuary was okay. Didn't really care for the hero in that one. If you do plan to read any of these read them in order since they are really just one long story with three couples.

Rating: B-


  1. I read the trilogy when it was published as individual books. I agree with you that book 2 was the best of the three. I couldn't stand the couple in book 3 and only my interest in the world building keep me from tossing the book aside.

  2. The only reason I kept reading the 3rd book was to find out what the final outcome was. Didn't really care for Mercy or Judah together. Gideon and Hope from Book 2 made the most sense as a couple.

  3. Sorry I'm late to the table! This past weekend was not conducive to much online playing. :(

    I'm really glad you read this one, I've always been curious about it. Comments for the most part don't seem favorable for it though and this review seals that for me. I like Howard's full length suspense work so I think I'll stick with that is a Howard craving calls again.

    Great review! Thanks! :)

  4. While it was ok it's already in the bag for the library donations. :) Definitely stick with Howards full length books.