Quick Review: The Vanishing by Jayne Ann Krentz

The Vanishing Book CoverThe Vanishing by Jayne Ann Krentz came out in January 2020 and I finally got to it yesterday. I finished reading it this morning.

Fogg Lake, Book 1
Paranormal Mystery / Suspense and Romance

Here’s the book description.

Decades ago in the small town of Fogg Lake, The Incident occurred: an explosion in the cave system that released unknown gases. The residents slept for two days. When they woke up they discovered that things had changed—they had changed. Some started having visions. Others heard ominous voices. And then, scientists from a mysterious government agency arrived. Determined not to become research subjects of strange experiments, the residents of Fogg Lake blamed their “hallucinations” on food poisoning, and the story worked. But now it has become apparent that the eerie effects of The Incident are showing up in the descendants of Fogg Lake.…

Catalina Lark and Olivia LeClair, best friends and co-owners of an investigation firm in Seattle, use what they call their “other sight” to help solve cases. When Olivia suddenly vanishes one night, Cat frantically begins the search for her friend. No one takes the disappearance seriously except Slater Arganbright, an agent from a shadowy organization known only as the Foundation, who shows up at her firm with a cryptic warning.

A ruthless killer is hunting the only witnesses to a murder that occurred in the Fogg Lake caves fifteen years ago—Catalina and Olivia. And someone intends to make both women vanish.

First, I have to note that a big chunk of that description talks about stuff that actually isn’t in the book. So that was weird for me. I don’t think I’ve ever read a Krentz book with a description so far off the mark.

The book I expected wasn’t the book I got, in other words.

This one is a hard one for me to review in other ways, too.

The mystery was entertaining and pulled me through the pages quickly. But as I read, I kept feeling like I was missing something and it wasn’t until I got to the end and went searching that I knew what that was. The Vanishing introduces a new group, the Foundation, that deals with paranormal research, and brings back Vortex which is a shady organization that showed up in Jayne Ann Krentz’s Jayne Castle books set on Harmony.

The problem was that I kept wondering why no one in this book seemed to know about the Arcane Society, because so much of the stuff in the book was familiar in a way that only makes sense if this is happening in the same universe. If Arcane and Vortex coexist on Harmony, then Arcane must exist in the present in which The Vanishing takes place. And if this Foundation is as important as it seems, how can no one know about the Arcane Society?

The fact that it was never even hinted at just really threw me. I couldn’t seem to get past that while I read this story.

So in the end, the story was diminished by this missing link.

Another issue I had with this one is that there was almost no focus on the romance at all. I might as well have been reading a mystery novel.

Honestly, I know Krentz has been one of my favorite authors for a long time, but I’m just not feeling satisfied by her books as romance novels any longer. And although I like mystery novels, I don’t like them as much as I like romance, and when I’m in the mood for a romance novel, I want romance.

Unfortunately, I think this means that it might be time for me to start passing on Krentz’s books when I want a romance.

All that said, this was still a good book. If you don’t mind light romance and lots of mystery and some suspense, you should give it a shot. :-)

Just a Few More Days Until Copper Beach Hits Stores

Copper Beach is in stores on January 10, 2012. I’ve had my preorder in on Copper Beach for a couple of months now, since my birthday when I used a gift card to stock up on upcoming favorites.

Copper Beach - Jayne Ann Krentz

Since I’m a total fan of Jayne Ann Krentz (I think even her bad stuff is better than most other authors’ good stuff, LOL), I’ve been waiting for this since In Too Deep, which is now finally available in paperback. Now’s the time to start keeping an eye our for a bargain priced hardback for that one too.

After this book, JAK will be releasing Crystal Gardens (Ladies of Lantern Street) as Amanda Quick in April 2012. Both are paranormal romance and mystery, and it looks like Arcane Society is finally out of the picture for now. Although I have enjoyed the series, I’m definitely ready for a break from it. I’ll be sure to post about whether or not Copper Beach is a stand-along beginning to another series. The book is being called A Dark Legacy Novel, implying this is the beginning of a series and not identifying itself with any affiliation to Arcane.

Copper Beach by Jayne Ann Krentz

In January 2012, Jayne Ann Krentz releases another novel of paranormal romance, the first book of the Dark Legacy series, Copper Beach.

A rare book. An ancient code.

Copper Beach by Jayne Ann Krentz

Buy Copper Beach at Amazon

Copper Beach Book Summary

Within the pages of some centuries old, very rare books lie the secrets of the paranormal. Abby Radwell’s unusual psychic talent has made her an expert in such volumes while sometimes taking her into dangerous territory. After a deadly incident in the private library of an obsessive collector, Abby receives a blackmail threat.

Rumors swirl that an old alchemical text known as The Key has reappeared on the black market. Convinced that she needs an investigator who can also play bodyguard, Abby hires Sam Coppersmith, a specialist in paranormal crystals and amber "hot rocks."

Passion flares immediately between them, but neither entirely trusts the other. When it comes to dealing with a killer who has paranormal abilities and a blackmailer who will stop at nothing to obtain an ancient alchemical code, no one is safe.

Copper Beach is available as a hardback novel, an audiobook CD, and a Kindle ebook from Amazon.

I can’t yet tell if this is part of the Arcane Society but this is the start of the new Dark Legacy series. Considering the book description mentions amber "hot rocks" and the Harmony books make frequent use of amber, I believe this new series is somehow tied in to the rest.

In Too Deep by Jayne Ann Krentz, The Looking Glass Trilogy Book 1

In Too Deep (Jayne Ann Krentz) begins another trilogy within a series as part of the Arcane Society series from Krentz/Quick/Castle.

Buy In Too Deep

Buy In Too Deep eBook

In Too Deep Bookcover

Featuring Fallon Jones and Isabella Valdez, In Too Deep finally gives us a story about the much mentioned Fallon Jones from previous Arcane Society novels.  Isabella is likeable and fun, while Fallon is a strong, intense man who runs the Jones & Jones agency with strategic focus. Isabella is a good foil for Fallon’s more sober, methodical personality.

I enjoyed the mystery and romance in this one. The paranormal aspects were interesting too, but although the psychic nature of the characters of In Too Deep, like in all the Arcane Society books, are essential to the story line, they aren’t my favorite parts. The overly mystical way Krentz writes these parts of the book bog me down in details I don’t really care to know. That’s about the only negative I have to say about the book, and it is definitely a recommended read for anyone who likes Krentz’s style: great dialogue, clever humor, mystery suspense, and romance.

The books started off strong and interesting, bringing in characters from previous Arcane Society books in a supporting capacity without overwhelming this story. The end sets up the continuing saga of the Arcane Nightshade conspiracy but that’s something I’ve come to expect from these novels. Although each story ends in a satisfactory way, the ultimate conflict between Nightshade and Arcane continues to fuel more stories in the series.

Buy In Too Deep

Buy In Too Deep eBook

Series: An Arcane Society Novel

Next Book in the Series: The book is followed by Quicksilver with Jayne Krentz writing as Amanda Quick.

Previous Book in the Series: Midnight Crystal

Quicksilver looks to be an exciting follow up in the Looking Glass trilogy and I’m anxious to get my hands on the book. Although I generally don’t buy Jayne Ann Krentz novels in hardcover, I do buy Amanda Quick’s books for my personal library when I find them for sale at a bargain. So, here’s to some bargain hunting in my future as I await my chance to purchase Quicksilver by Amanda Quick in hardcover at a super bargain price. ;-) LOL.

Amanda Quick’s Books Have Changed

This was supposed to be a review of the book Burning Lamp by Amanda Quick—but it isn’t

Burning Lamp
Burning Lamp is book 2 in the Dreamlight Trilogy from Amanda Quick, Jayne Castle, Jayne Ann Krentz and is part of the Arcane Society series

In Burning Lamp, Amanda Quick continues with her Arcane series, specifically the Dreamlight trilogy. Burning Lamp follows Fired Up and is set in the late Victorian era. I’ll be honest. When I started writing this review, I couldn’t even remember the names of the two main characters, because although this book was an enjoyable read, it didn’t turn out to be memorable.

I bought the book through Amazon and got a great deal on the hardcover version at $9.99. I don’t regret my purchase at all, because I do love Jayne Ann Krentz’s Amanda Quick novels, but I admit to a lack of passion toward the books of late.

If it weren’t for the fact that I have just reread both Ravished and Deception not three weeks ago, I’d think it was just me and my changing tastes. However, I don’t think that’s the case. Ravished and Deception were both great books, with Ravished remaining one of my all-time favorite historical romance novels, and Deception isn’t far behind.

What I’ve noticed is a lack of depth in the romance between the characters in the Arcane series books with too much focus on the psychic connection of the characters, leading to romance without passion. Her historical characters have become too modern, her heroes too uninteresting. What happened to the men like Gideon and Jared from Ravished and Deception? Since Jayne Ann Krentz still writes fabulous paranormal romance with a psychic twist as Jayne Castle, I’ve begun to think it’s just the Arcane series, but then I think about the other recent historically set Amanda Quick and contemporary Jayne Ann Krentz novels in which the heroes lacked those qualities that made me fall in love with them in her earlier novels, and I realize it isn’t me. It’s her.

Her heroes and heroines have changed, and although I can appreciate on an intellectual level that nothing stays the same forever, it saddens me to know what once was and what likely will never be again.

Jayne Ann Krentz Pseudonyms

Amanda Quick, Jayne Castle, Stephanie James, Jayne Bentley, Jayne Taylor, Amanda Glass

Shield's Lady by Amanda Glass (Jayne Ann Krentz)
Shield's Lady is the only novel written by Jayne Ann Krentz as Amanda Glass

Jayne Ann Krentz is a prolific author and she uses several other names to author her books. Many authors use different names for their books depending on what type of book it is and these days, that’s exactly what JAK does with her other author names. Jayne Krentz currently writes under three distinct names, and she has a few older pseudonyms too that she doesn’t use any longer.

Jayne Ann Krentz
Krentz uses this one for contemporary romantic suspense and she also used to write for Harlequin Temptation, many of my favorites including The Family Way.
Jayne Castle
These days, as Jayne Castle, JAK writes futuristic paranormal romance in which the characters have psychic powers. Once, this pseudonym wrote series romance and other contemporary romance novels.
Amanda Quick
Under this name, Jayne Ann Krentz writes historical romance novels. I’ve only ever read one that didn’t have a strong suspense or mystery element to it and that is Scandal, which is actually one of my top five favorites.
Stephanie James
This pseudonym has been inactive, but many of the titles written under this name have been rereleased. Most of Jayne Ann Krentz’s works under the name of Stephanie James were written for Silhouette Desire.
Amanda Glass
[inactive, rereleased title as Jayne Ann Krentz]
Jayne Bentley
[inactive]
Jayne Taylor
[inactive]

In Too Deep Audio Book

Jayne Ann Krentz’s newest Arcane Society book is available to buy as an audio book from Audible. In Too Deep is book #10 of the Arcane society paranormal romance series.

In Too Deep Audio Book

Buy In Too Deep from Audible

The In Too Deep Jayne Ann Krentz audio book is narrated by Joyce Bean. (She also narrates the Darkfever books from Karen Marie Moning.) This edition of In Too Deep is unabridged and lasts 9 hours and 24 minutes! That’s plenty of time to become engrossed in this lively tale of romance, mystery, and the paranormal.

Jayne Ann Krentz follows up her highly successful Dreamlight Trilogy – written in collaboration with her two alter egos, Amanda Quick and Jayne Castle – with a brand-new Arcane Society story arc that begins in a secluded coastal town in northern California.

Scargill Cove is the perfect place for Fallon Jones, confirmed recluse and investigator of the paranormal. It’s a hot spot, a convergence point for unusually strong currents of energy, which might explain why the town attracts misfits and drifters like moths to a flame. Now someone else has been drawn to the Cove – Isabella Valdez, on the run from some very dangerous men.

When she starts working as Fallon’s assistant, Isabella impresses him by organizing his pathologically chaotic office – and doesn’t bat an eye at the psychic element of his job. She’s a kindred spirit, a sanctuary from a world that considers his talents a form of madness. But after a routine case unearths an antique clock infused with dark energy, Fallon and Isabella are dragged into the secret history of Scargill Cove and forced to fight for their lives, as they unravel a cutthroat conspiracy with roots in the Jones family business…and Isabella’s family tree.

Buy In Too Deep from Audible

See more Jayne Ann Krentz audio books

Recommended: Midnight Crystal by Jayne Castle

I read Midnight Crystal by Jayne Castle recently, and I loved it. :) Although I was concerned about how well I would like the intertwining of the Arcane series with the world of Harmony, I think Midnight Crystal set my fears to rest.

Midnight Crystal bookcover

Midnight Crystal
Dreamlight Trilogy Book 3

Midnight Crystal by Jayne Castle (Paperback)
Midnight Crystal by Jayne Castle (Kindle)
Midnight Crystal by Jayne Castle (Other ebook formats)

Book Description

Book Three of the 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…

Head of the ghost hunters guild Adam Winters and dreamlight reader extraordinaire Marlowe Jones must break the curse, save Harmony’s entire underworld-and fight a passion that could destroy them both.

I’ve always enjoyed the Jayne Castle books by Jayne Ann Krentz. Midnight Crystal is an interesting melding of her Harmony universe and the Arcane series and is the third book in the Dreamlight Trilogy that started with Fired Up by Jayne Ann Krentz and continued with Burning Lamp by Amanda Quick. Although they’re all written by the same author under different pseudonyms, the books share a connected story.

Although I’ve read all three books, I believe the books can be enjoyed just fine if you haven’t read any of the others. Ms. Krentz takes the time to slip in enough backstory so that you can figure out what’s going on without becoming lost.

Midnight Crystal was fun, exciting, romantic, and all around enjoyable reading. Try it.

Also, check out the next Jayne Castle book tied to the Arcane & Ghost Hunter/Harmony series, Canyons of Night.

Quick Review: Fired Up by Jayne Ann Krentz

Fired Up by Jayne Ann Krentz is book one of the Dreamlight Trilogy, part of the Arcane Society series. This particular series (The Dreamlight Trilogy) contains three books, one written by each of the author’s three pseudonyms: Jayne Ann Krentz, Amanda Quick, and Jayne Castle.

Fired Up bookcover

Fired Up
Dreamlight Trilogy Book 1

Fired Up by Jayne Ann Krentz (Paperback)
Fired Up by Jayne Ann Krentz (Hardcover)
Fired Up by Jayne Ann Krentz (Kindle)
Fired Up by Jayne Ann Krentz (Other ebook formats)

Fired Up has an interesting set of characters that trace back to the time of Sylvester Jones, the creator of the Founder’s Formula, and it focuses on the Winter’s Curse.

Book Description

Book one of the Dreamlight trilogy.

More than three centuries ago, Nicholas Winters irrevocably altered his genetic makeup in an obsessionfueled competition with alchemist and Arcane Society founder Sylvester Jones. Driven to control their psychic abilities, each man’s decision has reverberated throughout the family line, rewarding some with powers beyond their wildest dreams, and cursing others to a life filled with madness and hallucinations.

Jack Winters, descendant of Nicholas, has been experiencing nightmares and blackouts-just the beginning, he believes-of the manifestation of the Winters family curse. The legend says that he must find the Burning Lamp or risk turning into a monster. But he can’t do it alone; he needs the help of a woman with the gift to read the lamp’s dreamlight.

Jack is convinced that private investigator Chloe Harper is that woman. Her talents for finding objects and accessing dream energy are what will save him, but their sudden and powerful sexual pull threatens to overwhelm them both. Danger surrounds them, and it doesn’t take long for Chloe to pick up the trail of the missing lamp. And as they draw closer to the lamp, the raw power that dwells within it threatens to sweep them into a hurricane of psychic force.

You’ll probably need to read some of the earlier Arcane Society books, since I’m noticing a trend toward less stand-alone books. Or maybe it’s just that so much has happened now that it’s impossible to get it all out in current books without ruining the flow. The good news is that this might be true of the contemporary set novels (published under author name Jayne Ann Krentz), but less so for the historical set novels (by Amanda Quick), and not at all for the paranormal futuristics (written by Jayne Castle).

For Fired Up, though, much of the backstory is vague and I believe it wouldn’t be easy to follow unless you’ve read the previous contemporary novels in the Arcane series.

I’ve read them all, so it’s no problem for me. Since they’re all pretty good books, and some are excellent, I suggest that you just go out and read them all. These are hardcover releases, so any public library is likely to have copies of all these books, with the possible exception of the Jayne Castle books (released in paperback), which is the situation at my local library.

Quick Review: Obsidian Prey by Jayne Castle

I was so excited to pick up my copy of Obsidian Prey this past weekend. I was in the middle of another book, and for once, I actually made myself finish it before I moved on to Obsidian Prey (it was actually a very good book called Winter Kiss by Deborah Cooke).

Obsidian Prey is another of Jayne Castle’s Ghost Hunter series books. In this one, Lyra Dore and Cruz Sweetwater tangle with bad guys over some amethyst alien artifacts. There’s even a connection to the Arcane Society here.

Although some reviewers on Amazon mention that Obsidian Prey isn’t as fresh as it should be, I for one loved this story and these characters. Maybe you can blame my excitement on the fact that I only get about 1 Jayne Castle book from Krentz each year, but I don’t think so. I’m usually pretty picky. Even I didn’t care for Sizzle and Burn nearly as much as I have many of Krentz’s books. But Obsidian Prey was great.

So there you go! :) Read Obsidian Prey if you have the chance. It’s worth the time.