2015 Book #43 – Garden of Lies by Jayne Ann Krentz

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Title: Garden of Lies
Author: Jayne Ann Krentz
Date finished: 5/13/15
Genre: Historical romance, Romantic suspense
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Publication Date: April 21, 2015
Pages in book: 359
Stand alone or series: Stand alone

Blurb from the cover:

The Kern Secretarial Agency provides reliable professional services to its wealthy clientele, and Anne Clifton was one of the finest women in Ursula Kern’s employ. But Miss Clifton has met an untimely end—and Ursula is convinced it was not due to natural causes.
Archaeologist and adventurer Slater Roxton thinks Mrs. Kern is off her head to meddle in such dangerous business. Nevertheless, he seems sensible enough to Ursula, though she does find herself unnerved by his self-possession and unreadable green-gold eyes…
If this mysterious widowed beauty insists on stirring the pot, Slater intends to remain close by as they venture into the dark side of polite society. Together they must reveal the identity of a killer—and to achieve their goal they may need to reveal their deepest secrets to each other as well…

My rating: 3.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This book will be counting towards my goal for the Pop Sugar Reading Challenge 2015 checklist under the “a mystery or thriller” check box because I thought the main point of the story was really the mystery they were solving. I thought that this was a good book. I haven’t been thrilled by a couple of Krentz’s recent releases because I found them too predictable but this novel was interesting throughout and actually took me by surprise at a couple points. I found the characters to be interesting and I admired Ursula’s courage at many points. The conversation did sometimes feel stilted or rehearsed but the relationship between Slater and Ursula in all its awkwardness felt genuine. I don’t want to say too much about the plot because I don’t want to give anything away but basically Slater and Ursula come together to solve a mystery. It was a good story and probably would have been a quick read if I hadn’t had the concentration of a gnat for the past week.

The bottom line: I would recommend this book, it was interesting and was a good read.

Link to author website
Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2015 Book #11 – Soft Focus by Jayne Ann Krentz

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Title: Soft Focus
Author: Jayne Ann Krentz
Date finished: 2/11/15
Genre: Romantic suspense
Publisher: Jove
Publication Date: October 1, 2000
Pages in book: 350
Stand alone or series: Stand alone

Blurb from the cover:

Elizabeth Cabot is all business. She knows how to maximize her investments and cut her losses–in both her career and her personal life.
So when she discovers that Jack Fairfax has deceived her, she’s determined to end their relationship. Putting a stop to their budding romance is easy. But breaking up their business deal will be more difficult. Despite all her efforts, she has no luck disentangling herself from Jack’s client company, Excalibur. But the situation becomes even more strained when a new obstacle emerges: a lethal act of sabotage that could put both of them out of business for good.
Elizabeth is no fool. If she can help Jack save Excalibur, she’ll recoup her substantial investment plus millions in profit. Putting her emotions aside, she insists on helping him search for the scientist who’s disappeared with a valuable new crystal that could revolutionize the high-tech industry. She’ll go in, solve the problem–and get out.
The trail leads Elizabeth and Jack to a fringe film festival, but their goal is as elusive as the shadowy black-and-white images from classic noir films. Life starts to imitate art, and double-dealing seems to be the name of the game. For these business adversaries turned reluctant partners, keeping an eye on each other–and the lid on a sizzling attraction–seems the only insurance against further treachery. But with millions at stake, trust can turn to betrayal in the blink of an eye.

My rating: 2.5 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This book will count towards my “Bookish Bingo” reading challenge, marking off the “Mystery or Thriller” square. Elizabeth and Jack make an interesting team in this story. He’s a little heavy-handed with the orders and she’s a little strong-willed so it makes an ok balance tension wise. There wasn’t really much depth to the characters though and there wasn’t any character growth. And to be honest, I’m getting sick of the women in romance novels always being like, there’s no way he loves me, this is surely just a fling, don’t get too invested. Realize your own self-worth woman! Gosh if  you don’t think you’re worth falling in love with, then he for sure won’t either. Just grow a pair.
The story line in itself was fine. Nothing outstanding but wasn’t awful either. I was pretty neutral to the plot. I didn’t really get excited at any points and I was honestly somewhat bored at a few points. I normally love this author but this was just not one of my favorites.

Memorable Quotes:
“A lady with a past has nothing to lose. But a woman with a future can’t be too careful.”

The bottom line:  I don’t think I would recommend this book. It was not my favorite and its not part of a series so I probably wouldn’t bother.

Author website

Link to Amazon

2015 Book #4 – Trust No One by Jayne Ann Krentz

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Title: Trust No One
Author: Jayne Ann Krentz
Date finished: 1/18/15
Genre: Romantic suspense
Publisher: Putnam Adult
Publication Date: January 6, 2015
Pages in book: 327
Stand alone or series: Stand alone

Blurb from the cover:

Working for a guru of positive thinking couldn’t be a better experience for Grace Elland. Used to bouncing from job to job, she’s finally found stability and success with the Witherspoon Way. Her marketing and social media skills have made Sprague Witherspoon the top motivational speaker in the Pacific Northwest.
Then Grace finds Sprague murdered. A vodka bottle on his nightstand is a terrifying reminder of the horrors of her past, a message to Grace that can be no coincidence.
When Grace retreats to her childhood home, Cloud Lake, to regroup, she suffers through sleepless nights and nightmares. She turns to breathing exercises, mantras, and meds to quell her fears. She tries to put everything she’s learned about positive thinking into practice – a process that is seriously challenged on a blind date. “Awkward” doesn’t begin to describe her evening with venture capitalist Julius Arkwright. She has nothing in common with a man who lives to make money, by any means necessary.
But the intense ex-Marine has skills that Grace can use – to figure out her future. Living by a simple set of rules – Trust no one and Everyone has a hidden agenda – Julius is the perfect man to help Grace, when it becomes clear that she is being stalked.
And as Witherspoon’s financial empire continues to crumble around them, taking a deadly toll, Julius will walk Grace step by step into her past to uncover a devious plan meant to destroy not only Grace, but everyone around her as well….

My rating: 4 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This book will count towards my “Bookish Bingo” reading challenge, marking off the “Free Space” square. I am a big fan of Jayne Ann Krentz (as well as her other pen names) and I really have been looking forward to this new release. I really enjoyed reading this book, I didn’t want to put it down. I did find the plot to be a tiny bit predictable, but there were some surprises thrown in there. At no point was I really thrown for a loop though. My rating would’ve been closer to a 5 if I had in fact been thrown for a loop.
Other than a slight lack of surprise, the book was quite good. I liked Grace’s character alot, she was strong-willed but also honest and genuinely cared about those around her, even the not so good guys. Julius was a pillar that Grace could lean on when she needed him most, and best of all he was smart. Some romance novels, the hero ends up being a glorified body-guard but Julius was such a successful and brilliant businessman and his company helped the police figure out the embezzlement of Sprague’s revenues. Julius was the strong, silent type and even when Grace protested he still was there to support her.

The bottom line:  I would recommend this book!

Author website
: http://www.krentz-quick.com/
Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Trust-One-Jayne-Ann-Krentz/dp/0399165134/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1421602723&sr=8-1

2014 – Book #86

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The eighty-sixth book I read in 2014 was The Hot Zone by Jayne Castle. This is the fifteenth book in her Harmony series and the third book in her Rainshadow series. I finished this book on 9/27/14. I rated this book 3.5 stars out of a scale of 5. This book is about Sedona Snow (descendant of Arizona Snow from one of Jayne Ann Krentz’s earlier novels) who was the victim of kidnapping and a subsequent awful medical experiment. After she escapes the mad scientist’s lab in the catacombs, she retreats to the island of Rainshadow to try and start over.

Cyrus Jones is the new Guild boss of the newly formed ghost hunter Guild on Rainshadow. While he is exciting to take on this new challenge, he is also there to check up on Sedona Snow. Jones is also a member of the Jones from the Arcane society. Cyrus was sent by Arcane to see if the “formula” worked on Sedona and she has developed some kind of second talent as her ancestor had also done. Multi-talents can sometimes become unstable and dangerous but Cyrus finds Sedona to be not only stable but extremely intriguing.

There’s a lot of other stuff going on in this story, all of which adds to the intrigue of the plot. I do have to say though that if you haven’t read the other Harmony books (or at least one) then this novel might be kind of hard to understand. Harmony is another planet. Apparently at some point in the future a “curtain” will open up between Earth and Harmony. Some people traveled over to Harmony to colonize it and then all of a sudden the curtain closes. The colonists on Harmony are stranded and all of a sudden when the curtain closes all their technology stops working. Also after living on Harmony for awhile amongst the Alien’s psi-strong tunnels, all the citizens of Harmony start to develop natural powers. Most citizens have low-level powers and all citizens need tuned amber to rez their talents, but Sedona and Cyrus are off the charts talents.

Overall I thought this was a really good book. I like this series a lot because its creative and interesting and completely out of the box. Who would ever think of this other planet where everyone has powers and there are underground tunnels that you get lost in unless you have tuned amber on you? Crazy. I would never think of that on my own. So, good book. Nothing outstandingly exciting but overall solid plot, well-paced, and interesting.

Link to author website: http://www.krentz-quick.com/

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Hot-Zone-Rainshadow-Jayne-Castle/dp/0515154725/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1411829348&sr=8-2&keywords=hot+zone

2014 – Book #30

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The thirtieth book I read in 2014 was River Road by Jayne Ann Krentz. I finished this book on 4/25/14. I rated this book 3.75 stars out of a scale of 5. This book tells the story of Lucy Sheridan and Mason Fletcher in the small town of Summer River.

Lucy is still ticked that Mason had the nerve to pull her out of a party and drag her home when she was sixteen, but she isn’t aware of the danger she was in at the time.  Skip forward to thirteen years later, Lucy is a woman with a job she loves but she can’t seem to find the right guy. She returns to Summer River after she inherits her aunt’s house and who does she run into but Mason Fletcher. Mason has grown up as well but he’s still got a protective streak in him and Lucy’s not one to take well to being given orders anymore. Their personalities and the compromises they make to adjust those personalities to fit well with one another was a great piece of this story.

Krentz usually writes novels with some kind of psychic or paranormal twist. However, this was a fantastic romantic suspense (with no psychic or paranormal twists)  that kept me riveted through the whole story. Overall it felt like a quick read, but the story was full of intrigue and honestly I never saw it coming who the villain turned out to be. Was a great book and if you like romantic suspense I would definitely recommend!

Link to author website: http://jayneannkrentz.com/

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/River-Road-Jayne-Ann-Krentz/dp/0399165126/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1398515120&sr=1-1&keywords=river+road