Tag Archives: Jayne Ann Krentz

The Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda Quick

The Girl Who Knew Too MuchThe Girl Who Knew Too Much by Amanda Quick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Title: The Girl Who Knew Too Much
Author: Amanda Quick
Series: n/a, but I hope so
Pages: 400
Publisher: Piatkus
Date: May 16, 2017

Summary:

Amanda Quick, the bestselling author of ’Til Death Do Us Part,transports readers to 1930s California, where glamour and seduction spawn a multitude of sins…

When Hollywood moguls and stars want privacy, they head to an idyllic small town on the coast, where the exclusive Burning Cove Hotel caters to their every need. It’s where reporter Irene Glasson finds herself staring down at a beautiful actress at the bottom of a pool.

Seeking the truth, Irene finds herself drawn to a master of deception. Oliver Ward was once a world-famous magician—until he was mysteriously injured during his last performance. Now the owner of the Burning Cove Hotel, he can’t let scandal threaten his livelihood, even if it means trusting Irene, a woman who seems to have appeared in Los Angeles out of nowhere four months ago.

With Oliver’s help, Irene soon learns that the glamorous paradise of Burning Cove hides dark and dangerous secrets. And that the past—always just out of sight—could drag them both under…

Review:

The 1930s is a new time period for Amanda Quick, aka Jayne Ann Krentz. I was a little nervous about this book because this period is not a particular favorite of mine. However, it is an Amanda Quick book, so I had to read it as soon as I could get my hands on it. I was thrilled to score an early reviewers copy MONTHS ahead of time.

I don’t know why I had any doubts. Of course, the book is great. I have never read one of her books that wasn’t. Oliver is an alpha male who is used to people doing what he tells them and Irene is an independent woman who doesn’t let anyone tell her what to do.

Yep, classic Jayne Ann Krentz.

Poor Irene. The bodies keep dropping around her. It’s not her fault, but it’s obvious that she is going to be one of them soon if they don’t find the “bad guy.”

And Oliver never wanted to be involved in finding a murderer, but when one of the bodies is found at his very private and exclusive hotel, what’s he going to do? He’s not completely sure Irene is not involved. She is a journalist after all.

Both Irene and Oliver have secrets in their past that they are not sharing. Could they have anything to do with the current string of murders?

I guess you’re going to have to read the book to find out.

It’s a great book with plenty of plot twists and strong supporting characters. There’s one in particular that I want to have his own book. There’s no mention of a sequel, but I really, really want one.

-sigh- And now I have to wait FOREVER for another book by JAK. Whatever it is and whichever name she uses, I know it will be wonderful.

This book was sent to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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Quote-tastic Monday: The Cowboy by Jayne Ann Krentz

Talk about an oldie.  This book was originally published in June 1990 and yes, I bought it then.  For some reason, I had a reading slump a few days ago and my solution is always to read something that I know I will enjoy.  Needless to say, that means pick up a Jayne Ann Krentz regardless of what name it is written under.

She has always written alpha males and strong females.  Her earlier books sometimes make me (and the heroine) want to “Gibbs” the guy in the back of the head, they can be so controlling.  (If you’re a NCIS fan, you’ll get what I mean.)  Even so, I love them and I love that I can depend on JAK no matter what she writes.

So, a quote to demonstrate the relationship and the fact that JAK can always interject a little humor when it is needed.

“I want you to marry me.  But I want you to come to me willingly, Maggie, love.  Not because I’ve pushed you into it.”  Rafe drew a quick breath and got the rash words out before he could rethink them. “Take all the time you need to make your decision.”

“So long as I come up with the right one?”  Her eyes danced mischievously.

He grinned slowly, relaxing inside.  “You’ve got it.  So long as it’s the right one.”

And I’m over my slump.  I just needed something to make me remember why I love to read so much and this book did it for me.

“Quote-Tastic Monday” is a meme hosted every Monday on Herding Cats & Burning Soup. Head on over there to see what everyone else is posting about this week.

quote-tastic final with green bordercowboy

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When All the Girls Have Gone by Jayne Ann Krentz

When All The Girls Have GoneWhen All The Girls Have Gone by Jayne Ann Krentz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Title: When All the Girls Have Gone
Author: Jayne Ann Krentz
Series: None listed, but I really think there will be two sequels.
Pages: 304
Publisher: Berkley
Date: November 29, 2016

Summary:

When Charlotte Sawyer is unable to contact her step-sister, Jocelyn, to tell her that one her closest friends was found dead, she discovers that Jocelyn has vanished.

Beautiful, brilliant—and reckless—Jocelyn has gone off the grid before, but never like this. In a desperate effort to find her, Charlotte joins forces with Max Cutler, a struggling PI who recently moved to Seattle after his previous career as a criminal profiler went down in flames—literally. Burned out, divorced and almost broke, Max needs the job.

After surviving a near-fatal attack, Charlotte and Max turn to Jocelyn’s closest friends, women in a Seattle-based online investment club, for answers. But what they find is chilling…

When her uneasy alliance with Max turns into a full-blown affair, Charlotte has no choice but to trust him with her life. For the shadows of Jocelyn’s past are threatening to consume her—and anyone else who gets in their way…

Review:

Okay, this book is definitely a romantic suspense . . . or maybe, a suspenseful romance? Either way, there is plenty of both in it.

One of the things I really liked about Max and Charlotte is they are ordinary people. Neither one is “stunningly attractive.” They both have to work to pay the bills. And they both have broken relationships in their past. They have problems, just like everybody else.

Max is definitely the strong, in charge type, but he doesn’t try to tell Charlotte what to do. Probably because he realizes it would be a waste of time. They both consider themselves plodders and use the phrase “one foot in front of the other” to describe themselves.

They are just likable people.

Now, the mystery. All I can say is Good Grief!

I had it figured out half way through the book.

I thought.

Nope. I was totally wrong.

Then, I decided it was someone else. How could I have missed that?

Nope, that wasn’t it.

And the plot continued to twist and turn. When the mystery is finally solved and all the questions are answered, I had an “oh, yeah” moment. There was nothing that came out of left field. I felt like I should have seen it all along.

And that makes for a great mystery. It kept me guessing, but all the clues were there.

Jayne Ann Krentz is a great romance author. I have been reading her books for years. However, she is also a wonderful suspense writer. I read her books for the romance and humor, but the plots completely grab me.

I haven’t seen anything that says there will be any sequels, but Max is one of three brothers. I really think (hope) we are going to get a trilogy at least.

When All the Girls Have Gone comes out November 29th. Give yourself an early Christmas present, but make sure you have time to read it. You will not want to put it down.

This book was sent to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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Quote-tastic Monday: With This Ring (Vanza, #1) by Amanda Quick

Yeah, yeah.  I know it’s Wednesday.  As a matter of fact, this isn’t posted yet and it may even be Thursday before I get it together.  Don’t ask about my week.  Just don’t ask.

Now for a little background.  The hero of the book has decided that the heroine, Mrs. Poole, should stay at his estate for a couple of days for her own safety.  He summons the butler to give him his orders.

“In the morning you will inform Mrs. Poole that she cannot leave Monkcrest until the day after tomorrow at the earliest.”

“You wish me to stop Mrs. Poole from leaving?”  Finch’s jaw unhinged.  He swallowed twice, very quickly, and recovered his composure.  “M’lord, such an action may not lie within my power.  Mrs. Poole is a very forceful lady.  I’m not sure the devil himself could stop her if she took a mind to vacate the premises.”

I love it and Finch is right.  “Forceful lady” is putting it lightly.  Force of nature would probably be more accurate.

I read this series when it was first released back in the late 90s and early 2000s.  They were great then and have definitely stood the test of time.  I am enjoying a reread after so many years.  It’s like I have discovered them for the first time.

If you are not familiar with Amanda Quick, that is the pen name for Jayne Ann Krentz when she is writing historicals.  She also writes science fiction as Jayne Castle.  It doesn’t matter what name she writes under, they are all wonderful.

quote-tastic final with green borderring

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Illusion Town (Ghosthunters, #13) by Jayne Castle

Illusion Town (Ghost Hunters, #13)Illusion Town by Jayne Castle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Title: Illusion Town
Author: Jayne Castle
Series: Ghosthunters, #13
Pages: 352
Publisher: Jove
Date: July 26, 2016

Summary:

With its opulent casinos and hotels, the desert city of Illusion Town is totally unique—and will take you on a thrill ride you’ll never forget.

Hannah West isn’t the first woman to wake up in Illusion Town married to a man she barely knows, but she has no memory of the ceremony at all. For that matter, neither does Elias Coppersmith, her new husband. All either can remember is that they were on the run…

With Hannah’s dubious background and shaky para-psych profile, she could have done much worse. The coolly competent mining heir arouses her curiosity—as well as other parts of her mind and body. And even her dust bunny likes him.

But a honeymoon spent retracing their footsteps leads Hannah and Elias into the twisting underground catacombs, where secrets from both their pasts will come to light—and where the energy of their clashing auras will grow hot enough to burn…

Review:

I know it’s a cliche, but Jayne Ann Krentz aka Jayne Castle has done it again. She has written a fun, romantic mystery with clues that will lead you right down a dust bunny hole. Do dust bunnies even live in holes?

Hannah is a dream walker with a twist. She has a doppelganger who always has the answers. It’s just Hannah doesn’t always have the right questions.

But she’s not crazy or fragile regardless of what the parashrink said.

Elias is a Coppersmith. Yes, of those Coppersmiths. We met his family in the previous book, Siren’s Call, and he is just as strong in his talent as is expected.

And he doesn’t think Hannah is crazy or fragile either.

I love Jayne Ann Krentz/Jayne Castle/Amanda Quick books regardless of what name she is writing under, but I ADORE her dust bunny books. They are all good, but I have to admit I didn’t like the last few books set on Rainshadow Island as much as I have the others. I am so glad she has moved her setting to Illusion Town (where the thrills are real). They just seem more like her earlier writings.

In other words, this book is even better than the last one.

Read them. Read all of them. You don’t have to read them in order, but why not? You will love them all.

This book was sent to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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‘Til Death Do Us Part by Amanda Quick

'Til Death Do Us Part‘Til Death Do Us Part by Amanda Quick

Title: ‘Til Death Do Us Part
Author: Amanda Quick aka Jayne Ann Krentz
Series: n/a
Pages: 352
Publisher: Berkley
Date: April 19, 2016

Summary:

Calista Langley operates an exclusive “introduction” agency in Victorian London, catering to respectable ladies and gentlemen who find themselves alone in the world. But now, a dangerously obsessed individual has begun sending her trinkets and gifts suitable only for those in deepest mourning—a black mirror, a funeral wreath, a ring set with black jet stone. Each is engraved with her initials.

Desperate for help and fearing that the police will be of no assistance, Calista turns to Trent Hastings, a reclusive author of popular crime novels. Believing that Calista may be taking advantage of his lonely sister, who has become one of her clients, Trent doesn’t trust her. Scarred by his past, he’s learned to keep his emotions at bay, even as an instant attraction threatens his resolve.

But as Trent and Calista comb through files of rejected clients in hopes of identifying her tormentor, it becomes clear that the danger may be coming from Calista’s own secret past—and that only her death will satisfy the stalker…

Review:

The description of this book is not correct regarding the “trinkets and gifts” Calista is receiving from what we would nowadays call a stalker. However, they are the same sort of thing. The term, which I had never heard before, is momento mori and I am completely creeped out.

Who knew there was ever such a thing?

It’s not like Calista doesn’t have enough problems. She is a businesswomen in an era when respectable people did not work, much less a woman. Her “introduction” agency is doing well, but the slightest bit of scandal will drive her clients away. She has a nineteen-years-old brother who is staying out late and probably associating with the wrong sort. She is being left funerary trinkets by an unknown person . . . one of them in her bedroom.

And then there is Trent. Trent, whose sister is a client of Calista’s. Trent, who thinks Calista might be after his sister’s money, or at the very least will introduce her to a fortune hunter. Trent, who is the most interesting man Calista has ever met.

Many of Amanda Quick’s books have a mystery and suspense element to them. This one, however, takes it a step further. I think it is the whole momento mori aspect that makes this book seem more disturbing than the others.

Which does not mean it isn’t good.

The primary characters are classic Amanda Quick/Jayne Ann Krentz. The hero is strong and protective and the heroine can think for herself. The secondary characters have well developed personalities and the villain is easy to hate.

The only difference is that the villain in this book is really, really creepy.

Which doesn’t mean that the plot is completely serious. Trent is an extremely popular author and everyone who meets him thinks he needs their advice on how to improve his books. Watching him trying to remain polite to his readers was fun to read.

All in all, this book was a pleasure to read and that is never a surprise by this author. It does not appear to be part of a series, but who knows?

By the way, momento mori jewelry can be purchased on Etsy and Ebay. I am NOT looking into it myself. Did I mention I find it creepy and disturbing?

This book was sent to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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Secret Sisters by Jayne Ann Krentz

Secret SistersSecret Sisters by Jayne Ann Krentz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Title: Secret Sisters
Author: Jayne Ann Krentz
Series: n/a
Pages: 352
Publisher: Berkley
Date: December 8, 2015

Summary:

Madeline and Daphne were once as close as sisters—until a secret tore them apart. Now it might take them to their graves.

They knew his name, the man who tried to brutally attack twelve-year-old Madeline in her grandmother’s hotel. They thought they knew his fate. He wouldn’t be bothering them anymore…ever. Still their lives would never be the same.

Madeline has returned to Washington after her grandmother’s mysterious death. And at the old, abandoned hotel—a place she never wanted to see again—a dying man’s last words convey a warning: the secrets she and Daphne believed buried forever have been discovered.

Now, after almost two decades, Madeline and Daphne will be reunited in friendship and in fear. Unable to trust the local police, Madeline summons Jack Rayner, the hotel chain’s new security expert. Despite the secrets and mysteries that surround him, Jack is the only one she trusts…and wants.

Jack is no good at relationships but he does possess a specific skill set that includes a profoundly intimate understanding of warped and dangerous minds. With the assistance of Jack’s brother, Abe, a high-tech magician, the four of them will form an uneasy alliance against a killer who will stop at nothing to hide the truth….

Review:

I have been a fan of Jayne Ann Krentz’s books since I discovered her as Stephanie James. People, we’re talking about the early 1980s, so I have been reading her books for over thirty years. In my world, release day is reading day and it does not matter what else is going on: another book, work, Christmas, nothing! If there is a new Jayne Ann Krentz book out, everything stops. I have to read it now.

So, why did I not jump on this book as soon as I received an advanced copy? I must have had it two or three weeks before I actually read it. Yes, I had other books I was reading, but that has never made a difference in the past. Why this time?
I’ll tell you why. The descriptions I read made it seem like she was trying something different with her writing and I did not want anything different. Krentz is a wonderful author whether she is writing historical, contemporary, science fiction . . .

or romantic suspense . . . which is definitely what Secret Sisters is described as being. I just had a really bad feeling that she was making a major change to her writing style and I couldn’t stand it.

And I was WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!

The book is wonderful. Yes, it is romantic suspense and there is a strong mystery (or maybe more than one), but the romance is integral to the plot. It is more intense than some of her books, but it is not dark. It starts out with a bang and then jumps almost twenty years, but that’s okay. It works with this book.

Secret Sisters is primarily a murder mystery and involves the leading family of an isolated island in the Pacific Northwest. The family consists a possibly violent, arrogant, womanizing husband, his long suffering wife, two sons, and a daughter-in-law. Every time I was sure who the “bad guy” was, the plot took a twist. Nothing from left field, just nothing I expected.

In other words, the plot kept me engrossed. I never did figure out the end until the end.

The good guys were likable. The bad guys were NOT. Even the secondary characters felt well developed.

All of my fears were for nothing. Secret Sisters is a step above and beyond Krentz’s other writing and I did not think there was room for improvement.

My only problem is it appears to be a stand alone and I would have enjoyed learning more about the characters in this book. Maybe she’ll give us more of their story later on.

This book was sent to me by NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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