After Daybreak by J.A. London

After Daybreak - J. A. London - Darkness Before DawnThis book perfectly ended the Darkness Before Dawn trilogy by J.A. London. I never wanted this trilogy to end, but with this book ending it I was very happy with the way it did.

The description for the book from Amazon.com is below. Enjoy!

After Daybreak brings J. A. London’s romantic dystopian Darkness Before Dawn series to a thrilling conclusion.

Dawn grew up behind a wall, terrified of the vampires outside who controlled the lives of humans and demanded their blood. But when she became a delegate for her city and met Victor, she realized that not all vampires were the same, that maybe one could be trusted.

Now Day Walker Sin is infecting his followers with a disease that turns them into mindless killers. Dawn and Victor will have to convince humans and vampires to band together to stop him, because alone they will all die.

After Daybreak is perfect for fans of the YA series Morganville Vampires and the Vampire Diaries.

You can find this book at Amazon in paperback or as a Kindle book: After Daybreak: A Darkness Before Dawn Novel

Blood-Kissed Sky by J.A. London

Blood-Kissed Sky - J. A. LondonThis book, the sequel to Darkness Before Dawn, is amazing. It definitely exceeded my expectations. J.A. London went above and beyond with this book. In my opinion, the second book is usually not even close to being as good as the first, but this book is just as good as the first, if not better. This is a must-read for YA romance lovers. This book has just the perfect amount of romance and action so there is never a boring spot.

I put the Amazon.com description below!

There’s nowhere left to hide.

I thought vampires were our enemies—they controlled our lives, isolated our cities, and demanded our blood—until I met Victor. With Victor taking over as the new Lord Valentine, things were supposed to get better. Instead, they’re worse than ever.

Day Walkers, a new breed of vampires who can walk in the sun, are terrorizing the city. Blood supplies are low, and if Victor’s vampires don’t get enough, they will become infected with the Thirst—a disease that will turn them into mindless killers.

To stop it, I must journey across the desolate wasteland to the very place where the sickness began. I can only hope that the answers that await me are enough to save us all . . . before it’s too late.

Get this book at Amazon: Blood-Kissed Sky

This book is part of a series. Previous book in the series: Darkness Before Dawn

Darkness Before Dawn by J.A. London

Darkness Before Dawn - J.A. LondonNow, I usually don’t go for vampire books, but when I bought this book I had no clue what it was about, I just loved the cover. But when I found out it was about a vampire named Victor, I thought I would just try it and if I didn’t like it I would return it. After about the first chapter I was hooked. I took this book everywhere I went and read it whenever I could. This isn’t your normal vampire love book, trust me. I highly recommend this book to everyone—even to those of you who don’t particularly like books about vampires.
Amazon.com description is below, enjoy!

Only sunlight can save us.

We built the wall to keep them out, to keep us safe. But it also makes us prisoners, trapped in what’s left of our ravaged city, fearing nightfall.

After the death of my parents, it’s up to me—as the newest delegate for humanity—to bargain with our vampire overlord. I thought I was ready. I thought I knew everything there was to know about the monsters. Then again, nothing could have prepared me for Lord Valentine . . . or his son. Maybe not all vampires are killers. Maybe it’s safe to let one in.

Only one thing is certain: Even the wall is not enough. A war is coming and we cannot hide forever.

Get this book at Amazon: Darkness Before Dawn

Deception Cove

By Jayne Castle (a.k.a. Jayne Krentz, Amanda Quick)

Book 2 of the Rainshadow Series

Deception Cove by Jayne Castle

In the world of Harmony, Rainshadow Island is home to a mysterious preserve, secrets that have been kept for centuries, and a treasure worth killing for…

As a light-talent, Alice North has the rare ability to make things disappear, including herself—a gift that comes in handy during her magic act with her dust bunny Houdini.

Business mogul Drake Sebastian is day-blind, since his sight was nearly destroyed in a lab accident. But he’s the one man who can see Alice when she disappears—and he needs her.

On Rainshadow Island, two dangerous Old World crystals are missing, igniting a paranormal storm. Drake thinks Alice is the key to finding them, and proposes they head there, but only after a Marriage of Convenience.

Alice’s honeymoon on Rainshadow is guaranteed to be memorable, as the island—and the passion between her and Drake—is about to explode…

Book description from Amazon: Deception Cove (A Rainshadow Novel)

So, sounds entertaining enough, huh? I’m actually in the middle of this book right now. I started it a while ago, and I’m not really sure why, but I let other stuff take precedence and haven’t finished the book yet! I’ve read plenty of other stuff in the meantime, but thinking back on it, I think it was because I’d just finished Crystal Gardens (by Jayne Castle’s pseudonymous alter-ego Amanda Quick). I enjoyed that book a lot, and although Deception Cove was good, it wasn’t historical and I was in the mood for historical.

Now that it’s come back to my attention, I think I’m going to spend a few hours and finish the book. :)

Canyons of Night Released

Today is the official release date for Canyons of Night by Jayne Castle.

This book is the latest in the Harmony and the Arcane Society series.

I’m excited about this latest book, because I really love the heroes and heroines in Jayne Castle’s futuristic/paranormal books. If you’re a fan, you’re probably as excited about the new book too. Well, it’s finally here for all of us to enjoy.

I mentioned this book previously, so click here for more about Canyons of Night.

Arcane Society Novels from Jayne Ann Krentz, Amanda Quick, Jayne Castle

The Arcane Society Series

Contemporary Setting
Book #5Jayne Ann Krentz weaves together historical, futuristic, and contemporary stories in her tales of the Arcane Society, writing as Jayne Ann Krentz and her pseudonym Amanda Quick and Jayne Castle.

Click the image to buy or read reviews
bookcover image of The Perfect Poison bookcover image of The Third Circle bookcover image for Second Sight bookcover image for Running Hot, Jayne Krentz bookcover image of Sizzle and Burn bookcover image for White Lies

An interesting aside is that the newest Jayne Castle book, Dark Light, is set in the Harmony universe and as usual revolves around psychic ghosts and alien ruins. In it, there is a clear tie to the Arcane Society. So it’s not an Arcane Society book, but it’s definitely linked.

[Update: The link is complete. With Midnight Crystal, Jayne Castle’s books are now part of the Arcane Society novels.]

Second Sight

Historical Setting
Book #1

Like many other of Amanda Quick’s most recent historical romance novels, this particular book was heavy on the suspense plot and light on the romance. If that’s what you most like, then you’re going to be more than happy with this book. As for me, I’d rather have had the romance.

The thing I’ve always love most about Amanda Quick books is how much the hero needs the heroine, and how much the heroine needs the hero. That’s been lacking lately, but not just in Amanda Quick’s novels. Many authors have taken to writing more “mainstream” and less romanticism into their works. Lately, I’ve seen that trend in many Amanda Quick novels.

Gabriel was a great guy, but he wasn’t a particularly enthralling hero. Venetia was an interesting female, but she lacked much of the singularity that makes Quick’s heroines so appealing to me.

That’s not to say this was a bad book. It just wasn’t a great book. As the start of a series, this book was good. As a romance, it lacked the impact and emotionalism that I needed to completely enjoy the romance between Venetia and Gabriel. The book read quickly but it’s not one of the many Amanda Quick novels I’ll be rereading anytime soon.

White Lies

Contemporary Setting
Book #2

White Lies introduces the psychic detective agency J&J (Jones and Jones) and the Arcane Society into a contemporary 21st century setting. The second book in the Arcane Society series, White Lies is a fast-moving tale of romance and mystery as Claire Lancaster and Jake Salter try to discover who might be out to harm Claire and put the blame on her for murder.

Claire’s ability to tell truth from deception is all that saved her half sister from death at the hands of her husband eight months prior. Now Claire is back in Arizona at her father’s behest and she’s suddenly become the target of someone out for revenge. Jake Salter works for the psychic detective agency of J&J as a consultant using his psychic abilities to work a very important case. Claire wasn’t supposed to be a factor, but now she’s here and Jake has an immediate desire to get to know her very well indeed.

Jake is a somewhat less than politically correct hero with a take charge attitude and a talent for dealing with danger. I liked him enormously and think his attitude is mostly to blame. I prefer Amanda Quick’s historicals for this very reason usually, because I prefer the strong, take-charge heroes–at least those who have an equally strong appreciation for the heorine and her abilities.

Compared to Sizzle and Burn and Zack Jones, Jake Salter is much more my style. I’m sure this is one big reason why I prefered White Lies to the more recent addition Sizzle and Burn.

As for Claire, her take on lying is a key part of the story, and honestly, this is what made her such a great character. Krentz did a fabulous job of building Claire’s personality, not to mention the very visual descriptions. This was one heroine that stands out in my mind, and although I love Jayne Krentz’s and Amanda Quick’s heroines, even I can admit that sometimes there just isn’t that much to differentiate them. In this case, though, Claire is well-defined and memorable.

I liked White Lies, but I will warn you that this isn’t a character focused book. The focus stays firmly on the mystery and suspense plot. The romance is hot, but you won’t wonder if the characters will get together, only if they’ll survive to enjoy it.

Nevertheless, White Lies was an excellent and engaging read. Highly recommended.

Sizzle and Burn

Contemporary Setting
Book #3

Certainly not the strongest book of the series, Sizzle and Burn is nevertheless a nice read. I almost feel like I’m insulting JAK when I qualify any story she’s written as less than stellar, but the fact is, I compare everything she writes to the best of her works, and those best are spectacular indeed.

In this addition to the Arcane Society, Raine Tallentyre hears voices, but they’re all in her head. The voices of victims, murderers and the like lead her to save an intended victim of a serial killer who is locked in the basement of Raine’s desceased aunt’s home. Zack Jones is hired by the Arcane Society’s PI firm, J&J. He has visions. Together, Zack and Raine must figure out the mystery surrounding the death of Raine’s aunt. Woven throughout is the continuing arc of the founder’s formula and the dark organization that’s developed a way to produce and use the psychic energy enhancing drug.

Although the two leads in this story were intriguing, the plot was a little flat and the twists seem to come out of nowhere, with little to tie it all together. However, I can’t stand to read a series and skip a book, and the rest of the books in this series certainly make it hard to pass any new addition to the tales of the Arcane Society.

There’s some interesting byplay between Zack and Raine that gives the book a readability factor that might have been missing otherwise. A weak plot for Krentz but an entertaining read anyway.

The Third Circle

Historical Setting
Book #4

The Third Circle is my favorite historical entry in the Arcane Society books. I liked Second Sight, but I didn’t love it, not the way I usually love Amanda Quick’s novels. This book dealt much more heavily with the romance between the characters, Leona Hewitt and Thaddeus Ware.

Leona is can work psychic energy through crystal and Thaddeus is a strong mesmerist. Leona is mostly immune to his psychic powers, and that’s a great thing for Thaddeus, since his abilities have made it difficult for him to find love.

They meet when they both happen to be looking for a very special crystal and end up standing over the dead body of a woman who appears to have become the latest victim of The Midnight Monster.

This book had both a mystery and a romance that entertwined nicely. I enjoyed Leona’s spirit, and Thaddeus is an intriguing hero.

I learned more about the mysterious Mr. Pierce and Adam in this book, and although they aren’t my favorite characters (they often bring out a little too much womens’ lib preachiness in Amanda Quick’s writing), I found that in this book, they started to grow on me—somewhat.

My only complaint about this one was that I wanted a bigger ending. I won’t say too much about that to avoid spoiling the book for another reader, but I thought Leona’s powers could have been used much more effectively at the end so that I could have the big ending I wanted. Ravished and other older Amanda Quick novels have very well done high-impact endings. That’s what I would have liked to have seen here.

This is a book I could enjoy rereading.

Running Hot

Contemporary Setting
Book #5

The Perfect Poison

Historical Setting
Book #6

There’s a video book trailer for The Perfect Poison, although it’s not one of the best. I enjoyed this book a lot, and in a way it reminded me of an earlier Amanda Quick book, Wicked Widow, because in both books the heroine is believed to be involved in wicked deeds.

Fired Up

Contemporary Setting / Hawaii
Book #7
Dreamlight Trilogy Book #1

Burning Lamp

Historical Setting
Book #8
Dreamlight Trilogy Book #2

Midnight Crystal

Futuristic/Paranormal Setting
Book #9
Dreamlight Trilogy Book #3

In Too Deep

Contemporary Setting
Book #10
Looking Glass Trilogy Book #1

Quicksilver

Historical Setting
Book #11
Looking Glass Trilogy Book #2

Canyons of Night

Futuristic/Paranormal Setting
Book #12
Looking Glass Trilogy Book #3

Jayne Castle Books

Jayne Castle, Also Writing as Amanda Quick, Jayne Ann Krentz

Books written as: Jayne Ann Krentz | Amanda Quick | Jayne Castle | Stephanie James | Jayne Bentley | Jayne Taylor | Amanda Glass
On this page: Series and Connections | My Favorites

All the Jayne Castle books I’ve read have been from her more recent science fiction paranormal series that involve the Curtain. These books are all exceptional. I admit, though, that I’m very good at suspension of disbelief when it comes to matters of sketchy science fiction.

bookcover image for Dark Light Silver Master bookcover

The truth is, these books are much more paranormal than sci-fi or even futuristic, regardless of the premise of humans having traveled to other worlds and coloning alien planets. The Curtain that allowed the space travel has since closed and stranded those colonists on planets that gave rise to psychic advancements of the human species.

Ghost Hunter bookcover After Glow bookcover

These Jayne Castle books are great fun because they allow for not-so-politically-correct heroes who are larger than life. Strong, competent, dangerous men who know how to protect what’s theirs (namely, the heroine). Reading is often a fantasy fulfillment

Also, I’ve created a page outlining Jayne Castle’s (Jayne Ann Krentz’s) pseudonyms.

Harmony (After Dark and Bridal Jitters) bookcover

Books by series or connection and interconnected stories

My Favorites

I particularly love the St. Helens series, but I’ve grown very partial to the Ghost Hunter books too lately. It helps that there are new books being added to that series, whereas it look as if St. Helens has been abandoned.

Silver Master is another great book by Jayne Castle that I particularly like.

Honestly, it’s hard to pick favorites because there just aren’t enough Jayne Castle futuristics to go around.

Available as ebooks:

Jayne Castle Books

Book trailers and videos for Jayne Castle’s books

Ghost Hunter Series from Jayne Castle

More about the Ghost Hunter Books

bookcover image for Ghost Hunter bookcover image for Silver Master bookcover image for Dark Light bookcover image for Harmony (includes Bridal Jitters and After Dark) bookcover image for After Glow

Buy books in the Ghost Hunter series by clicking the book title.

Bridal Jitters (novella)

After Dark

Cadence City – Emmett London, Lydia Smith

The characters from this book have enough unresolved issues that having them show up again in the second part, After Glow, makes perfect sense.

After Glow

Cadence Guild – Emmett London, Lydia Smith

One of my favorite things about this book was getting to discover Emmett’s secrets. I truly enjoyed the longer length of this two book tale.

Lydia Smith still doesn’t know what happened to her during her “lost weekend” while she was trapped in the catacombs beneath Cadence City. Emmett London has a secret past that he’s never bothered to fill Lydia in on. When Lyndia finds an old acquaintance dead of an apparent drug overdose, her dreams of her lost weekend lead her to believe she might be onto a murder.

Ghost Hunter

Aurora City Guild, Cadence City – Cooper Boone, Elly St. Clair

I tend to like the stories where the hero and heroine already know each other at the story’s beginning, at least as written by Jayne Castle (Krentz and Quick). She has a knack for bringing together the storyline without leaving me feeling that I’m missing something important. She does that here.

Elly St. Clair and Cooper Boone are already engaged when the story opens, but that doesn’t last long, as Elly is just about to give Cooper’s ring back to him. She believes he has asked her to marry him because of her family connections. He’s recently been made head of the Aurora City Guild, and Elly is ready to take herself and her broken heart off to Cadence City. She does, but he follows and what ensues is an exciting story of alien catacombs and ghost hunter goodness.

I really enjoyed this one. Cooper is a sexy hero, and Elly is an interesting heroine, quirky as usual for Jayne Castle books, but that’s one of the reasons I love ’em. If I wanted real-to-life I would read more biographies.

Silver Master

Cadence City, Frequency City Guild – Davis Oakes, Celinda Ingram

Silver Master is an excellent addition to the series. Davis Oakes isn’t a rising Guild Boss nor an ex-Guild Boss, which is an interesting change, but he is certainly a sexy investigator. The dust bunnies play an important role in this one, and Detective Alice Martinez from After Glow puts in an appearance. After having read all the books through Dark Light, I can see an interesting pattern of connections between characters and books that has developed. That’s the reason I like series. When an author takes advantage of the possiblities a series offers, she creates a universe for her readers that draws us back again each time a new book is released.

Celinda Ingram is a matchmaker with a powerful talent for reading people’s psi waves. Her abilities allow her to match people successfully. A past scandal very nearly put an end to her career and she’s not ready to end up in the middle of another. Davis Oakes is a security specialist who’s currently working an investigation for Cadence City Guild Boss Mercer Wyatt (introduced in the After Dark and After Glow books). He’s looking for an artifact that Celinda bought and the case has turned deadly.

I really liked Celinda, and she turned out to be a surprising character. This isn’t a book you’ll want to miss in the series.

Dark Light

Crystal City Guild – John Fontana, Sierra McIntyre

The underground rain forest discovered by Elly St. Clair in Ghost Hunter makes an appearance in Dark Light, as Sierra McIntyre and John Fontana work to discover the identities of those behind a conspiracy to distribute a highly addictive drug to burned-out hunters.

This book is a great addition to the series. Although not advertised as an addition to the Arcane Society books, this one does reference the Arcane Society at one point, which I thought was neat.

I picked up Dark Light on Friday evening and read it Saturday. Although the mention of the Arcane Society was interesting, it didn’t change the flavor of the book, which was nice. I like the Arcane Society books, but there’s a definite difference between them and Jayne Castle’s Ghost Hunters books.

I’m a bigger fan of Jayne Krentz’s older Amanda Quick books because the characters of those stories share more in common with the characters of her paranormal series. Strong male leads, intriguing and fascinating female leads, lots of plot, but a definite focus on the romance developing between the characters. Some of the newer Amanda Quick and Jayne Krentz books lack the really strong male leads. The stories are still good overall, but that’s a particular bit that I’ve missed lately. The romance has been downplayed in favor of the story’s plot. To some degree, this story isn’t as romance-centered as some of the other books in the Ghost Hunters series, but it’s fun to read.

Obsidian Prey

I really liked this book but I never got around to writing a review for it.

Midnight Crystal

Part of the Dreamlight Trilogy.

I’ve written a review of Midnight Crystal.

Canyons of Night

Part of the Looking Glass Trilogy.
See a recent post for more information about Canyons of Night.

Ly-San-Ter Series from Johanna Lindsey

The Ly-San-Ter Books

Warrior's Woman - a long time favorite
Warrior's Woman, a long time favorite and one of my most loved books. Click the image to buy

Click the links to buy any of the books in this series.

Warrior’s Woman

Tedra and Challen
Book #1

I can’t even begin to describe how much I adore this book. I was a teen when I bought it at my local grocery store. The cover alone was enough to entice me. (See the image on this page. Isn’t it cute?)

The premise is simple. Tedra comes to a planet looking for barbarians who can fight other barbarians who have taken over her homeworld. She finds them. But they’re barbarians, of the sort that that don’t like the clothes she wears or her forward ways. Challen, barbarian extraordinaire, immediately orders her to remove her warrior’s clothes, even if that means she’s got to stand around naked. Tedra refuses. She challenges him to a fight, loses (partly her own doing because she doesn’t actually want to hurt him), and ends up as Challen’s bedroom slave for a month.

The book is too cute to describe accurately. There’s no great science here, and reality is on a planet far far away from Challen’s homeworld, but I have never cared. The characters are so compelling and the storyline so charming that I wouldn’t change a thing.

Keeper of the Heart

Book #2

Tedra’s and Challen’s daughter Shanelle is all grown up and she isn’t that keen to take on life as a warrior’s woman. Although she has plans to escape life with a warrior (if escape becomes necessary), Challen has other ideas for his daughter after it becomes clear that she’s gotten a little too friendly with a visiting warrior.

Although this story in no way compares to Warrior’s Woman for quality and excitement and just plain fun, Keeper of the Heart is a really good book. There’s some spacefaring excitement in this one, and also some fun scenes when Shanelle gets caught in the middle of a gender war.

Heart of a Warrior

Book #3

It’s hard to say how much of a disappointment this particular book was. I expected great things of Dalden’s story–I didn’t expect to find myself reading about Earth and a woman who is so resistant to the idea that life exists out in the universe that she imagines she’s trapped in some kind of habitat with a delusional hero. There was so much potential for this book, and I honestly feel that almost all of it was squandered. Too much description of past events, too little tension between Brittany and Dalden.

However, I am thinking about rereading the book, which I’ve never done, so maybe there was something there that I missed the first time. I’m ever hopeful.