Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Romance Suspense Novels: The Desperate Game, The Chilling Deception, The Sinister Touch, The Fatal Fortune, Author: Jayne Castle

Quirky detectives - Guinivere Jones and Zac Justis

These days there are a number of authors reissuing their out-of-print backlist books in e-book form. Sometimes it's a score for the reader.

Case in point, Jayne Castle has recently re-released her Guinivere Jones series. This is a series of four romantic-suspense novels that were originally released in 1986. Over the course of the novels, Guinivere Jones meets Zac Justis and forms a relationship with him - while solving crimes.

In the first book - The Desperate Game - Gwen and Zac stumble through solving the mystery of who's stealing equipment from Starr Tech. There's a video game with an elf and a king. There's a frog who may or may not turn into a prince. And there's a secret in someone's past.

In the second book - The Chilling Deception - Gwen drags a protesting Zac into a job where he's supposed to be guarding documents but ends up being more of a bodyguard. The bodyguard duty puts a kink in both of their plans for enjoying a free island vacation at the expense of their boss.  There's a mystery man who may have come back from the dead. There's a gun in a bathroom that may not be a gun.

In the third book - The Sinister Touch - Zac is once again reluctantly pulled into Gwen's drama / mystery as she tries to help the painter who waves at her every morning from his apartment across the way. There's a scary occult group. There's a deceiving relative. There's a woman with a very inappropriate request of Zac. And Gwen's sister falls in love.

These first three books end happily-for-now, each furthering the affections the quirky detectives feel for each other and moving their relationship along.

In the fourth and final book - The Fatal Fortune - someone is messing with the secretarial temps Gwen sends out from her agency. This time she's determined to solve things on her own. Which might have worked until someone trys to blackmail her and suddenly Zac is very interested. There's a psychic named Madame Zoltana. There's an evil man from Gwen's past. And Gwen is moving through secretarial candidates left and right trying to find the perfect one for Zac; perfect meaning efficient but grandmotherly and not likely to seduce him.
This one has what I consider to be a happily-ever-after but ymmv because there is no wedding or pregnancy.

The books take place in Seattle and definitely have an 80's feel to them. I very much enjoyed reading them.

Of course, whether she's calling herself Castle, Krentz or Quick, I always enjoy her subtle blend of wit, humor, heat, affection, lovable characters and well-planned plots.

The thing about JAK is, she consistenly writes a steady stream of good books. She's been averaging three or four a year since 1979 when she sold her first novel.

For a reader such as myself who needs books almost as much as she needs food, water or air, that kind of quality productivity is greatly appreciated.

I eagerly await her next book, The Lost Night (A Rainshadow Novel) by Jayne Castle that is due out Sept 4th.

Amazon says this about the book:
Even the mysterious world of Harmony has people who don’t quite fit in. They’re drawn to places like Rainshadow Island, a beautiful sanctuary where anyone can feel safe—and where secrets are closely guarded...

Schooled in an exotic form of martial arts, and with the ability to detect the auras of dangerous psychic criminals, Rachel Bonner and her dust bunny companion have found peace and quiet on Rainshadow Island, operating a bookstore and café.

But her tranquil new life is thrown into chaos when Harry Sebastian, the descendant of a notorious pirate, arrives to investigate strange developments in the privately owned woods known as the Preserve.

Immediately drawn to the amber-eyed woman, Harry must tread carefully. While Rachel’s special talents can help him track down dangerous rogues who have violated the Preserve, they can also sense the heart of darkness within him. But desire can weaken the strongest of defenses—and leave even the strongest man wanting more…

How can you not love a book where dust bunny's are companions? I want one. How about you?


  1. I do love me some Krentz. I haven't tried her Castle books yet, but it sounds like they're right up my alley, too.

    But, man oh man, it's hard for me to grasp that kind of productivity. Does the woman not sleep? *grin*

    1. I think the Castle books are all good. Not 100 % sure, though. I say that because some of her earliest books are kind of hard to take in this day and age. She has 3 or 4 psuedonyms before she settled on Krentz/Quick/Castle. Like the couple of Stephanie James books I read, I thought - what woman would let a man treat her like that?

    2. I hasten to add - the Castle books about the land of Harmony are fabulous!

  2. I'm like Linda, for some reason I haven't tried the Castle books. And they sound like something I would enjoy. Thanks so much for this. I'm off to order on my kindle. : )

  3. A dust bunny friend? Oh I'm going to have to give this book a try. TBR list just keeps growing and growing. ;)

    1. Judie - the dust bunny companions start back in the original ghost hunter book, Harmony, with a little guy named Fuzz.
      Her books in the series stand alone but are even better enjoyed if you read them in order.

  4. Three to four a year?! For over thirty years?! That's crazy talk, right there. I can't even. *stumbles off in a daze*

    1. And the thing is, they're good. I mean, they're not genius good like Crusie but I love them.

  5. I already have more dust bunny pals than I can handle...

    1. Oh but throughout the ghost hunter books the dust bunny pals are so adorable. Some of them like to wear jewelry. Some of them eat odd things. Some of them go out and attract other dust bunnies to hang on the balcony with.
      And all of them are lethal. When danger comes towards their companions, a second set of eyes appear and they go hyper alert. At that point people with bad intent better look out.
      I really want a dust bunny pal. Can you tell?