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review 2017-06-12 09:27
All Night Long by Jayne Ann Krentz
All Night Long - Jayne Ann Krentz

Seventeen years ago, Irene Stenson found her parents corpses in their kitchen. The crime, ruled murder-suicide, has scarred her for life, since she couldn’t come to grips with the fact her father could’ve killed her mother, and so unable to put it all behind.

Now, Irene, an investigative reported with a small newspaper, receives an e-mail from her once-best friend, the one who was with her on the night that had changed her life, inviting her back into her hometown with promises of explanations about the past.

But instead of explanations, Irene finds more questions, when she finds her friend dead of a supposed overdose, while the very next day her friend’s house burns down. Something’s not right, but the local police denies any suspicions, yet Irene isn’t alone in her little investigation. Luke Danner, the owner of the resort Irene’s staying in, feels not all dots are connected, and knows Irene is right in the middle of the emerging picture.


Oh, wow. This is how you write romantic suspense, and this is what I’ve been missing lately in Ms Krentz’s novels.

Great characters, both scarred, both with issues not many people can understand or relate to, but they’ve each managed to find someone who does.
Both Irene and Luke (although we can only imagine what he went through) went through horrible experiences, and yes, those experiences have marked them, but didn’t put them out of commission, they’ve come back swinging and stronger for it.
And in the end, against all odds, both their diagnoses (hers confirmed, his not so much), despite his meddling family (which was the “weakest” part of the story, if you ask me, since it didn’t really “connect” with the overall plot), despite everything they found each other, that someone who can understand, who can relate, and who can help battle the demons when they struck.
Their chemistry was sizzling, and almost palpable, their romance rather believable, if a bit rushed, their communication both serious and funny...Boy, howdy, I loved them to bits.

But romance, no matter how strong the characters are, isn’t enough to make a romantic suspense novel. You also need suspense, and this one had it in spades.
Gripping, intense, edge-of-your-seat, keeping-you-guessing-until-the-last-page suspense. Nicely paced, well-written, well-plotted out, with many red-herrings along the way, and when the big reveal came (well, both of them), I just couldn’t. I absolutely didn’t see it coming, but in the end, the villain, the motive, everything made perfect sense.
Wow.

This one truly had it all; wonderful, layered characters, great chemistry and romance, a good supporting cast, gripping suspense with loads of misdirection, and the main villain you won’t see coming.

More, please.

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review 2017-06-01 03:35
Brief Thoughts: Obsidian Prey
Obsidian Prey - Jayne Castle

Obsidian Prey

by Jayne Castle

Book 6 of Harmony

 

 

Amber tuner and independent prospector Lyra Dore lost her heart—and her discovery of a rare amethyst ruin—to cutthroat businessman Cruz Sweetwater.  At least she had her artistically talented dust-bunny to comfort her…

But the ruin’s mysterious power has put everyone involved with the project in danger.  And only by trusting their psychic instincts will Cruz and Lyra survive— and surrender to the desire that binds them.



As has been with all of Jayne Castle (Jayne Ann Krentz)'s Harmony books, I immensely enjoyed Obsidian Prey.  The writing style is smooth and easy to read, the story line is straight forward, the progression is fast-paced, and the characters are fun.

I love me some dust bunnies!  They are my mascot and I really, really want to create a stuffed dust bunny of my own!  Although, while I DID love our resident dust bunny in this book, I can't say that Vincent really stood out from the other dust bunnies from previous books.  HOWEVER, I do love that each of our bunnies has their own unique style and personality; the entire world of Harmony is like a playground to them.

I enjoyed the entire "Dust bunny as mysterious, new, and celebrated artist" thing going in this book.  I thought it was adorable.

Our human characters, however, were less relatable.  Lyra was standard--feisty, stubborn, etc....  I DID like the whole "Dore luck" thing, because it reflects life so well.  Cruz was standard--broody, alpha, stubborn, demanding... etc....  But there really wasn't much about him that I did like, even if the whole "Sweetwaters take their romance very seriously" thing was kind of intriguing, if also kind of tacky.  Because Cruz was kind of a jackass in the beginning, and even as the story progressed, he didn't really stop being a jackass, he just managed to add some charm into his jackass personality.

I liked the other young Sweetwater male we get to meet, Jeff, a whole lot more; he who wants to quit the family business and be part of real law enforcement so he can help fight for the little people--the people who can't afford major security companies like Amber Inc., run by the Sweetwaters, geared towards the wealthy.

I like every time we uncover continued connections between Arcane Society and Harmony.  I like the new developments of different paranormal talents.

The suspense part of the book--mysterious hallucinations, a murder in the background, stolen artifacts, hired thugs--were a little lacking, I felt.  The romance was also a bit lukewarm, compared to previous romances in this series.

And, really that's all I can come up with.  It's not a memorable book, truth be told, though it was an enjoyable one while it lasted.


***

 

Booklikes-opoly


Roll #14: (See Also: Memorial Weekend Extra Roll Activities)
This book it tagged 'science fiction' on GR.

Page Count:  351
Cash Award:  +$3.00

Updated Bank Balance:  $64.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/05/brief-thoughts-obsidian-prey.html
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review 2017-05-14 08:59
The Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda Quick
The Girl Who Knew Too Much - Amanda Quick

Four months ago, Anna Harris fled her previous life after finding her employer murdered and herself suddenly in possession of a dead scientist's notebook. Now, she's once more looking at a dead woman's body, drowned in the spa pool of an exclusive, elite California hotel.

The dead woman had a connection to a rising star in Hollywood, the same actor who's also a guest at the hotel...And this is the third dead woman connected to the same actor; all of them died the same "accidental" death. The woman who now calls herself Irene Glasson knows the connection is there, even though no one else wants to acknowledge it, and she's willing to risk everything to prove it.


There was a good story in there, pity it got bogged down by all the "sideplots", red-herrings, misdirections, a secondary suspense plot (that was resolved too easily), a mediocre heroine more or less skirting the TSTL territory, and a lukewarm-at-best romance that felt both rushed and forced.
Also, the period didn't work for me, too close to "contemporary" to actually sound overly "historical", while sounding weirdly outdated.

A rather large disappointment from one of my favorite authors whose "voice" I barely recognize.

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review 2017-02-07 12:22
Uneasy Alliance by Jayne Ann Krentz
Uneasy Alliance - Jayne Ann Krentz

Some people have complained that this story hasn’t aged well. But, beside the “archaic” dialogue or two, I would politely disagree. Yes, the hero, Torr, was a jackass. Overbearing, dominant, possessive, didn’t take no for an answer when he knew what he wanted or thought he knew what was right. A very Alpha hero. If this story was written twenty or thirty years later as a paranormal, no one would even arch an eyebrow. But I guess, as long as the hero is some ancient immortal being (be it vampire or Alpha shapeshifter), his overbearing nature is oh-so hot and oh-so right. But if it’s a romance written in the eighties, the hero suddenly becomes a Neanderthal and whatever he does to the heroine is borderline rape.

I’d say it was the contrast with the heroine’s character, that made Torr out worse than he actually was. She was a doormat most of the time, letting him do whatever he pleased despite all her protestations about disliking overbearing men. It was her character, contrasting so starkly with his, that made me want to smack him with a cast-iron pan. A good two-handed grip and let loose.
But once the story started rolling, and especially in the end, when it became clear Abby had clear TSTL tendencies, I actually apologized to Torr (in my mind) for wanting to bash him with that pan. No wonder he was the way he was, asserting his will all over the place, telling her what to do and how to do it, determined to protect her no matter what...Because she didn’t know better. She was a flake, all over the place with her vitamins and her I-know-better, I’m-a-woman-and-won’t-be-dictated-to attitude. In the end, I actually felt sorry for the guy.

So, no, the rating has little to do with the hero, quite a lot to do with the heroine (she annoyed me more and more as the story progressed), but mostly the low rating is because the story itself is redundant. The blackmailing scheme could be solved with one simple phone call.
Idiotic premise, redundant story, stilted pacing, annoying heroine, jackass hero...Did I miss anything?

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review 2016-12-08 12:00
An Exciting Journey & Dust Bunnies, Of Course!
Illusion Town (Illusion Town Novel, An) - Jayne Castle

“By the way, one more thing you should know about our current situation.”
She paused in the doorway and looked back at him. “How bad is this one more thing?”
“Depends upon your point of view. We’re married.”

 

What a fun ride it was visiting Illusion Town and following Hannah and Elias on their exciting journey underground. This definitely had something for everyone: bad guys giving chase, a heated connection between our main characters, a strong sense of community. And dust bunnies, of course!

‘In Illusion Town, the thrills are real.’

There’s just something about Jayne Castle’s writing ‘voice’ that gives me the warm & fuzzies every time I read one of her books. I love the multidimensional characters, the sophisticated plots and especially the dialogue she creates. Her stories are imaginative, playing out like a movie on the pages. But most of all, it’s the sense of humanity that I love about the characters and the situations they find themselves in. Their reactions, Hannah and Elias included, always seem real, which draws me in to the book even more.

 

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