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.

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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

The Art of the Pseudonym

Jayne Krentz has made her pseudonyms work for her. Even now, when many of her books’ themes are starting to overlap–contemporaries with psychic elements, historicals with paranormal leanings, and futuristics with both paranormal, science-fiction, and psychic turns–she has a distinct use for each pseudonym. I’m not sure how many other authors have followed her lead with the use of pseudonyms, but I can name several who have done the same, years after Jayne Krentz split herself into three different authors.

Nora Roberts began writing futuristic romance/mystery under the name J.D. Robb. Sherrilyn Kenyon writes paranormal romance, but using the pseudonym Kinley MacGregor, she writes historical romance novels.

I’m not taking real names into consideration, because I’m most interested in why authors’ write books under different names, not why they don’t choose to use their real names on their books.

Heather Graham Pozzessere used Heather Graham Pozzessere for her category romance novels. She branched out into single title romance and suspense with Heather Graham. She writes historical and paranormal romance as Shannon Drake, but she also used to write historical romance under the name Heather Graham, and she did write some single title suspense as Heather Graham Pozzessere. So how does one differentiate between Heather Graham’s pseudonyms? To me, this isn’t nearly as efficient and artful as Jayne Krentz’s use of pseudonyms.

Jayne Krentz differentiates her books by time period with her pseudonyms. She continues to publish contemporary romance novels under her Jayne Ann Krentz name. She publishes paranormal/science-fiction romance set in the future on worlds other than Earth under her Jayne Castle name. Using Amanda Quick, she publishes historical romance fiction, mostly set in the Regency or Victorian era, but she’s also published several medieval era romance novels as Amanda Quick.

There was a time when the delineation between her books was stronger. Her contemporaries weren’t very paranormal, but now, with the Arcane Society series, she’s blurred the lines between her style of books. This isn’t a bad thing. She’s able to use her strengths from each type of book and combine them into one strong series.

Some authors don’t see the need to separate their books. L.E. Modesitt Jr. writes both fantasy and science fiction under his one author name. I haven’t read any of his science fiction, and I’ve never been surprised by picking up a book that I thought fit into his fantasy worlds but was in fact a science fiction story.

I wonder sometimes how much of Jayne Krentz’s decision to go forward with the Arcane Society series was simply a decision to find a good way to cross-promote her different books. Maybe at this point she wishes she were using only one name. I can’t say and I shouldn’t speculate, because I can’t know the answer without asking, and I probably won’t do that.  :)

I think if an author chooses to use a pseudonym, the way Jayne Krentz has used them is a great way to do so.

What do you think about it? I don’t mind when authors write different types of books under one name, even if those books are very different, although I do like consistency too. What about you?

Dark Light by Jayne Castle

Writing as Jayne Castle, bestselling author Jayne Ann Krentz is able to explore paranormal worlds where extra-sensory perception and interaction with Alien Ruins is the norm. These books take place in her Ghost Hunters universe, the most recent being Dark Light.

I liked Dark Light a lot. I thought it was a great new chapter in the series and offered a tantalizing look into the different spectrums of the paranormal plane from which the ghost hunters are able to pull energy and ghost light.

I admit Elvis was one of my favorites from the book. I’ve enjoyed seeing the interactions of the people with these “pets” that are native to the world of Harmony. I don’t think for a minute that they’re insignificant. When I’m reading these books and enjoying the antics of the dust bunnies, I can’t help but think there’s a lot more to these guys and gals than what appears on the surface. There have been hints galore that the dust bunnies have a psychic connection to the planet and the alien ruins. I look forward to the day when I’ll learn more about them.

This is what series are all about. The opportunity to see a universe grow. It’s a fascinating and fun experience and I love it!

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.

Jayne Castle Book Trailers

Book Trailers and Videos for Jayne Castle’s Books

Jayne Castle has released several cute book trailers (video ads) for her books in the Ghost Hunters series. I like them because they feature the dust bunnies, which just happen to look exactly as I pictured them! My favorite is the Dark Light trailer because of how it incorporates the teaser for the story itself. The dust bunnies are cute, but it’s the book’s story that appeals to me most.

Silver Master

This book trailer is for Jayne Castle’s Silver Master. It features Araminta the dustbunny.

Dark Light

This book trailer is for Jayne Castle’s Dark Light, and features Elvis the dust bunny.

Silver Master (Cadence City – Davis Oakes, Celinda Ingram) :: There’s a neat video trailer for Silver Master

Dark Light (Crystal City Guild – John Fontana, Sierra McIntyre) :: Watch the cute book trailer for Dark Light

All “Ghost Hunter” (aka “Curtain”) Books

All Jayne Castle Books

bookcover image for Silver Master

bookcover image for Dark Light