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text 2017-11-03 17:28
Orchid by Jayne Castle $1.99 Fun!
Orchid - Jayne Castle,Jayne Ann Krentz

Atop psychic for exclusive Psynergy Inc., Orchid Adams has her hands full with a baffling murder—which doesn’t exactly allow time for husband hunting. Is it even possible there’s a man on St. Helen’s who measures up to her dreams of wedded bliss? Take her new client, Rafe Stonebraker: primitive and elemental, an unlicensed P.I. with some serious secrets, Rafe is hardly marriage material. So why does his powerful presence have Orchid imagining the most outrageous affair? Rafe is embroiled in solving a strange theft while thwarting a hostile takeover of Stonebraker Shipping; he needs a wife—and fast—to salvage his credibility. Orchid Adams doesn’t fit the profile he had in mind, but she fits in his arms. Will their electrifying connection end up getting them burned?

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review 2017-09-05 03:32
Quick Thoughts: Canyons of Night
Canyons of Night (Arcane Society,#12)(Harmony, #8)(Looking Glass Trilogy,#3) - Jayne Castle

Canyons of Night
by Jayne Castle
Book 8 of Harmony
-- Book 12 of Arcane Society
-- Book 3 (final) of Looking Glass Trilogy
-- Book 0 of Rainshadow



Charlotte Enright, owner of a small antiques shop called Looking Glass Antiques on Rainshadow Island, and Slade Attridge, the community's new chief of police, both have something in common: they possess strong paranormal talents.

They met several years ago when they were in their teens spending the summer on the island.  Slade saved Charlotte from a gang of drunken toughs, but then at the end of the summer Slade and Charlotte went their separate ways and started their adult lives.

Now, fifteen years later, they have both been drawn back to Rainshadow Island.  They will discover the adult passion they have for each other and start to explore some of the mysteries of the forbidden section of the island known only as the Preserve.

Canyons of Night rounds out the Looking Glass sub-trilogy of the long-running Arcane Society series.  I assume this is also the last book in the Arcane series, though it's usually hard to tell with long-running series like this.  Nonetheless, it is also an introductory story into a new chapter of the Harmony series, called Rainshadow--we already get to see a little bit of what Rainshadow is all about, starting with the island and the Preserve situated on the island.

I look forward to the rest of the Rainshadow installments, if only because it seems like it'll be an intriguing new development to the futuristic series.

As a JAK novel, of course, this book is highly enjoyable during the reading.  The characters are great, and the community mirrors that of a small town in the U.S., with everyone knowing everyone's business, and all the people on Rainshadow Island kind of policing themselves.

Our main male and female MCs are good people, although they don't really stand out all that much, and I really hate to admit that even Slade's dust bunny companion, Rex, seems a bit flat as well.  I liked that we've kind of returned back to a semi-murder mystery type of story, and have sort of veered off from the ongoing "band of rogue psychics" conspiracy that has been happening in the Arcane parts of the connecting series.

Harmony is a series separate from Arcane after all, even if there are some intersecting story lines, with references from historical, to contemporary, to futuristic.  I always find the references to 21st century Earth as a "point in history" kind of amusing.

Meanwhile, aside from some more references to glass light energy, the words 'looking glass', and Mrs. Bridewell's clockwork curiosities being used as psi-weapons, I'm honestly not sure that these past three books really needed to be connected as a trilogy.

If there were one (or two) things I'd like to see more of in this series, it would be more insight into the alien civilization that has vanished, maybe some introductions to more alien beasts than just the dust bunnies.  It seems hard to reconcile that all alien live save for dust bunnies have somehow gone extinct.

I would have also have liked to see and learn more about the Bridewell clockwork curiosities, and feel as if the Quicksilver mirror, or glass light energy is more significant than it's kind of being made out to be.  The previous sub-trilogy was all about the dreamlight, but glass light is only barely touched upon in the contemporary and now the futuristic novels of this trilogy--really, only the historical part of the trilogy gave glass light more than just a passing thought.

Otherwise, like I've said before, JAK novels are always entertaining and easy to breeze right through.



Halloween Bingo 2017



Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/09/quick-thoughts-canyons-of-night.html
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review 2017-08-21 11:28
Promise Not to Tell by Jayne Ann Krentz
Promise Not to Tell - Jayne Ann Krentz

***ARC provided by publisher through NetGalley***

Hannah Brewster, an artist and former member of the Quinton Zane cult, throws herself off a cliff after destroying her latest painting. But before burning down her cabin and jumping to her death, she takes a photo of her last creation and mails it to one of the survivors of the "end" of the Zane cult, art gallery owner, Virginia Troy.

Virginia knows there's more to Hannah's death than the suicide everybody else is buying, so she enlists the help of Anson Salinas, the man who saved her and seven other children from the fire Zane had started all those years ago. Salinas has recently opened an investigative agency, along his three foster sons, all three saved from the same fire, and Cabot Sutter immediately recognizes Virginia, and agrees to help in her investigation.

Cabot and Virginia quickly realize they're on the right path, as bodies start piling up, but little do they suspect their poking into the past will soon make a demon from their joint, fiery past rear his dark head.

It was still as complicated and convoluted as its predecessor, but the mystery was much tighter and intriguing, keeping me entertained and guessing despite all the villains, motives, motivations, and sub-plots.

This one also took its sweet time before it started going, but the pace wasn't as slow to begin with, and once the mystery kicked in and later started to unravel, the pace was suitably heightened.
Unfortunately, the many slow spots in between, exposition scenes, inner monologues, anxiety attacks etc., made the story flow rather "hiccup-y"; the constant start-stop-start-stop of the story jarring.

The characters had also much to be desired. Bland, template-y, carbon copies of previous character by the same author, and despite Ms Krentz obvious attempts at adding layers and depths, rather one-dimensional and dull.
The hero didn't appear to have much of a personality, while the heroine "quirks" were rather incongruous with what she's been through (how can someone who survived a fire when she was nine end up having intimacy issues is still beyond me). Neither hero nor heroine had any really appealing character traits to get them to stay in the reader's memory beyond the end of the book, and their romance was a real stretch to believe.

Sometimes a story it so intriguing, so realistic, it makes the reader think it could easily happen in real life, then there are those that by character action and/or plot elements and story scream "fiction" and this one was one of the latter. Everything was just a tad too bland or that little bit over the top (the whole hiding of the money from the monster, for example) to make it unrealistic and implausible, straight-up fiction.

Still, the mystery was intriguing, but the story could've used some heavy editing to get rid of some unnecessary scenes, especially those after the end, where the scene with the reveal about the major player from the past would've sufficed.

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review 2017-07-26 02:35
Thoughts: Midnight Crystal
Midnight Crystal - Jayne Castle

Midnight Crystal
by Jayne Castle
Book 7 of Harmony
-- Book 3 (final) of Dreamlight Trilogy



For many earthly centuries, a legendary curse has plagued the Winters family, stemming from the tumultuous founding of the Arcane Society.  But now, on the futuristic world of Harmony, the curse’s final mystery will be unraveled…

Adam Winters has enough responsibility as the new head of the local Ghost Hunter Guild without being saddled with the family curse.  He’s convinced his recent nightmares and hallucinations will lead to him becoming a psychic rogue—unless he can find a stolen relic and a woman who can read dreamlight.

Marlowe Jones rides into his life on a motorcycle and with a dust bunny at her side.  Though a descendant of the rival Arcane family, she’s just what Adam needs: a psychic private investigator and dreamlight reader extraordinaire.

Together, amid the glowing catacombs and steamy underground jungles of Harmony, Adam and Marlowe must break the curse, save the entire underworld—and fight a passion that could destroy them both…

As I had hoped, Midnight Crystal wrapped up the Dreamlight trilogy quite nicely without overdoing it with the repetitive 'Burning Lamp' and 'Winters Curse' legends.  There were a few repeats of similar dialogue and actions from the previous two Dreamlight books, but overall, Midnight Crystal proved to be a standalone, and a conclusive sequel to the Dreamlight trilogy.

As is usual for Jayne Castle (a.k.a. Jayne Ann Krentz), we still employ a lot of the same devices for the romantic relationship and the standard main hero and heroine.  But as is also usual, I enjoyed myself enough not to get nit-picky about it.  Once again, new psychic skills and alien discoveries were employed as part of the book's background; and once again, we get to see the interesting world of Harmony, as well as how well JAK manages to connect it to her contemporary and historical series, Arcane Society.

But rather than hints here and there about a paranormal society from the 'Old World' on Earth, we make a big, distinctive connection by bringing in Marlowe Jones, the new boss of Jones & Jones, the paranormal private investigation company that works for the Arcane Society.  Even Adam Winters' appearance was more Arcane Society than Harmony, which really DID make the book feel more like part of the former series than the latter.

Castle's ability to somehow interweave the paranormal talents from Arcane Society with the newly developed alien psi talents on Harmony was actually handled quite well.  I would love to see more of these interconnections, but as the Arcane Society series draws to a close, I'm not sure how much more of Harmony series will include Arcane.

Nonetheless, back to Midnight Crystal...

The book is enjoyable, well-written, and fun.  I loved the characters, and even though this book mainly focused on Adam and Marlowe, I loved the potential that other side characters had.  The main conflict of the book wasn't all that interesting, as it progressed along the same lines as the previous two books in this trilogy.  The rest of the story felt like there might have been more than one main conflict, which also progressed along the same lines as the rest of the Harmony books that came previously.

What saves these books from being overly repetitive are the new developments in the world and the story line.  But otherwise, the romances are always the same, the general book outline is typically standard, and everything is a little predictable.

But nonetheless, I always enjoy myself.

One thing that stood out, though, was Marlowe's assertion that Jones & Jones was no longer a unique, stand alone paranormal private investigating agency.  With the development of paranormal and psi abilities in Harmony, the idea of psychic ability became a normal part of everyday life.  And so any old paranormal private investigator would promptly become just any old regular private investigator.  And even while Jones & Jones still gets most of its work from the Arcane Society, they are now in a greater competitive scope with many other private investigators who can do the same kind of work that Jones & Jones can do.

I thought that that was a nice touch, considering how secretive the agency had to be throughout the historical and contemporary time lines.

Meanwhile, I never tire of Castle's tendency to also insert some dust bunny moments that just make me feel all smiley and fuzzy.  Gibson wasn't really all that unique when it comes to dust bunnies, but he was still a wonderful addition--I can still picture the scene at the beginning of the book where Marlowe finds him a nice piece of deadwood to use as a surfboard in one of the alien underground jungle pools.



Free Friday #6:

Page Count:  371
Cash Award:  +$6.00

Updated Bank Balance:  $233






Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/07/thoughts-midnight-crystal.html
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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.

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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