She's hunting for a mate and there's no more playing it safe. Daisy Minor is bored. Worse than that, she's boring. A plain, small-town librarian, she's got a wardrobe as sexy as a dictionary and hasn't been on a date in years. She's never even had a lukewarm love affair, let alone a hot one. So when she wakes up on her 34th birthday and wonders how it is that she still lives with her widowed mom and spinster aunt while her friends have all gotten married and started families, she decides it's time to get a life - and a sex life. And as far as she can tell, good girls don't attract nearly as many men as bad ones. One makeover later, Daisy has transformed herself into a party girl extraordinaire. She's dancing the night away at clubs, and laughing and flirting with men for the first time in, well, forever. With a new lease on her own place, it's open season for manhunting. But on her way home late one night, Daisy sees something she's not supposed to see. Suddenly the target of a killer, she's forced to put her manhunt on hold. But the very moment she stops looking might be the moment she finds what she's wanted all along.
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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.
*** 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."