I think I want to have Linda Howard's babies. I'd find a way to make it happen, believe me. I've read 3 of her books recently and I either got totally lucky, or Linda Howard makes a habit of writing strong female lead characters.I was so happy to read about a female lead with guts, common sense, and realistic emotional responses. Barrie was delightfully strong and courageous in the face of serious danger. No squealing, no running headlong into danger, no freaking out and losing her cool. *sigh* It was lovely and she kicked ass (not physically, but you know what I mean). =)Barrie was a wonderful female lead and Zane was the perfect counterpart. He was compassionate, tender, and understanding. He treated Barrie just right after her kidnapping. I would wrap him in bacon and chow down on him any day. He always knew what Barrie needed and was right there putting her and her needs first. I want a Zane of my own, please.The story was paced very nicely. Drama, lull, drama, lull, drama, ending. It was a fairly short read, but I was really into it. I didn't stop for anything short of the doorbell ringing until I hit the last page. Though I haven't read any of the other Mackenzie books, the prologue gave me a sizable rundown of the other family members that were featured in previous books. Even though I had no clue who those people were, a few things mentioned piqued my interest and I'll be looking for Joe and Caroline's story in the future.As odd as it is to say, everything was very believable and felt right. The characters, the suspense, the threats, the familial interactions, etc. I'm glad I gave this book a chance (the cover made me doubt myself for a while) and I hope I can find more strong heroines by Linda Howard. You guys have no idea how amped I am to not want to kill a heroine myself. It's really rare. =)I will be recommending this book to my romance reader friends.