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Witchcraft [Paperback]

Jayne Ann Krentz
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nov 1996
A single blood-red rose -- with a needle through its heart -- is left on her doorstep. A hooded figure wielding a sacrificial dagger watches from beyond her window. Someone wants Kimberly Sawyer to feel very afraid. And they're succeeding. They've driven the successful mystery writer to do something she rarely does -- ask for help. But maybe that's part of the plan. Maybe someone wants Kim to stay at Darius Cavenaugh's Napa Valley vineyard for a reason. Is she walking into a trap or into the arms of a man who promises to protect her?

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Product details

  • Paperback: 249 pages
  • Publisher: Mira Books (Nov 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1551661586
  • ISBN-13: 978-1551661582
  • Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 10.4 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 773,618 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jayne Ann Krentz, who also writes historical and futuristic fiction under the pseudonyms Amanda Quick and Jayne Castle respectively, has more than fifty NEW YORK TIMES bestsellers under various pen names; more than twenty-five million copies of her books are in print. She lives in the Pacific Northwest.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
If you're a fan of Jayne Ann Krentz and have been disappointed in her latest novels, pick up a copy of one of her reissues. First published 13 years ago, Witchcraft epitomizes the romantic strength of JAK's characters and the slightly offbeat plot complications in which they find themselves embroiled.
Kimberly Sawyer, a writer of detective novels with a gutsy female lead, reluctantly gives herself into the protective keeping of vineyard owner Darius Cavenaugh when she receives some engimantic threats. A rose with a needle embedded in it, followed up by a dagger-weilding cloaked figure in the dead of night, push Kimerly into Cavenaugh's fierce and and passionate protection.
Cavenaugh arrives on the scene because he is in Kimberly's debt for her part in rescuing his nephew from a band of quirky would-be witches two months previously. He's been biding his time before he comes after her to repay the debt and coax her into his life . But he moves like a steamroller when he finds out Kimberly is being threatened by the witchy kidnappers.
Female readers will silently applaud heroine Kimberly Sawyer because she is an independent lady who is quick with logical comebacks when the hero tries to railroad her emotions. Cavenaugh quickly reveals his vulnerability to the reader when he suddenly finds himself wanting to protect as well as bed Kimberly. But wariness and willpower are on her side as she asserts her independence in Cavenaugh's household where too many demanding family members are reminding her that she prefers a life without familial duties and demands.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Psychic romance mind candy 23 Mar 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Questions: Why the needle in the red rose? What happened two month ago? Who is Darius "Dare" Cavanaugh? Are there really witches? How did Kimberly Sawyer get involved?
Kim lives alone and she likes it that way. Somehow, living on the Northern California coast, she meets the owner of a Napa Valley winery, that is 150 miles away. We learn of Kim's wounds while growing up and Dare's international past in the import-export business. This story started out well, but the writing became cliche-ridden. It could have been exciting, with its intrigue and unconventional psychic elements, but somewhere along the line, it became derivative, routine romance-genre material.
Written in 1985, it is nice to know that since then, Krentz has grown from mechanical language and characterization into a more powerful and skillful author.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars not too bad 20 Mar 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
As a huge fan of Jayne Ann Krentz, I was not very impressed with this book. The chemistry between the main characters starts off well, but loses something as you arrive at the conclusion. As always, the supporting characters are loveable and provide a lot of the book's charm. The story is lacking in realism (not unusual for this author) and I found it particularly difficult to swallow. But it was certainly an enjoyable read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 2.9 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Early Krentz is breathtakingly romantic - not formulaic! 21 Mar 1998
By gdypeab@en.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
If you're a fan of Jayne Ann Krentz and have been disappointed in her latest novels, pick up a copy of one of her reissues. First published 13 years ago, Witchcraft epitomizes the romantic strength of JAK's characters and the slightly offbeat plot complications in which they find themselves embroiled.
Kimberly Sawyer, a writer of detective novels with a gutsy female lead, reluctantly gives herself into the protective keeping of vineyard owner Darius Cavenaugh when she receives some engimantic threats. A rose with a needle embedded in it, followed up by a dagger-weilding cloaked figure in the dead of night, push Kimerly into Cavenaugh's fierce and and passionate protection.
Cavenaugh arrives on the scene because he is in Kimberly's debt for her part in rescuing his nephew from a band of quirky would-be witches two months previously. He's been biding his time before he comes after her to repay the debt and coax her into his life . But he moves like a steamroller when he finds out Kimberly is being threatened by the witchy kidnappers.
Female readers will silently applaud heroine Kimberly Sawyer because she is an independent lady who is quick with logical comebacks when the hero tries to railroad her emotions. Cavenaugh quickly reveals his vulnerability to the reader when he suddenly finds himself wanting to protect as well as bed Kimberly. But wariness and willpower are on her side as she asserts her independence in Cavenaugh's household where too many demanding family members are reminding her that she prefers a life without familial duties and demands.
This shying away from anything that smacks of family responsibility brings in the second conflict of the novel, and incidentally its strongest element, because it shows the emotional distance Cavenaugh and Kimberly must travel before they can understand as well as accept the compromises a union between the two of them will bring. The conflict has its roots in Kimberly's past. After arrogantly snooping through her mail, Cavenaugh learns that Kimberly is refusing to end the estrangement with the grandparents that cast of her mother and refused to acknowledge their only grandchild 28 years ago. Experience has taught Kimberly that duty to the family can be stronger than love so she's determined to find a lover as solitary and independent as she is. Cavenaugh does not fit the mold because he is committed to a heritage of vineyards and the extended family that depends on it. We like him the better as we watch him frustrated and floundering trying to impose his real-life passion on a woman who seems to find more statisfaction with a character she's created in her own novels.
Desire runs strong through the novel beginning with outrageously provocative statements by Cavenaugh about what he wants to do with Kimberly and coming to a quick culmination with a love scene in a deserted storage shed three days later. This offbeat setting for the first love scene foreshadows Krentz' delight in getting her lovers into the unlikeliest positions, both setting-wise and conjugal-wise. Later love scenes portray the escalation in Cavenaugh's determination to smother Kimberly's fears. Again the reader will applaud Kimberly's honesty and strength because she is the first to say I love you despite Cavenaugh's overbearing ways.
But Cavenaugh believes his elusive lady is still not ready to fully commit to him and arrogantly forces a confrontation with the grandparents Kimberly has steadfastly refused to meet. He believes he's only doing what's best for her by making her face the past.
Here is where Krentz is at her emotional best, showing with just a few words Kimberly's belief that Cavenaugh has betrayed her trust and her love, and his fear that he may have pushed her too far.
His fear turns to panicked desperation when Kimberly runs from him, unknowingly running into danger from the weird kidnappers that began the story.
Witchcraft may be limited in plumbing the depth of secondary characters and in the quickly resolved plot compared to Krentz' later and longer novels. But just like Cavenaugh wines, this is vintage Krentz to be savored over and over again, a fact which is proved by the tattered condition of my original copy. Now that Witchcraft has been reissued I'll definitely be replacing it before I lose the pages that have already fallen out.
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Psychic romance mind candy 23 Mar 1998
By April M. Love - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Questions: Why the needle in the red rose? What happened two month ago? Who is Darius "Dare" Cavanaugh? Are there really witches? How did Kimberly Sawyer get involved?
Kim lives alone and she likes it that way. Somehow, living on the Northern California coast, she meets the owner of a Napa Valley winery, that is 150 miles away. We learn of Kim's wounds while growing up and Dare's international past in the import-export business. This story started out well, but the writing became cliche-ridden. It could have been exciting, with its intrigue and unconventional psychic elements, but somewhere along the line, it became derivative, routine romance-genre material.
Written in 1985, it is nice to know that since then, Krentz has grown from mechanical language and characterization into a more powerful and skillful author.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing. This is definitely an early work. 15 Oct 1999
By Ms. Tammy Sudol - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I was disappointed in this book. The characters start out on an interesting note (Is there some kind of metaphysical element here?) but fizzle down into a flat-line. Although Kim shows strength in her character, she wavers back and forth between accepting and rejecting Darius without really exploring either side (She accepts things too easily and when she does get mad at him, she forgives him so quickly--I don't think she really knows what's on her mind). Darius seems to have only one real character trait: bossy.
All in all, I found this book disappointing. The witches' characters are also underdeveloped. Their plans for Kim are a bit far-fetched. Question: What was the reasoning behind the red rose?
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read, but frustrating 24 Sep 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
If you are a big Jayne Ann Krentz fan, which I am, you will appreciate the alpha male in this book. However, I was disappointed in the heorine's back and forth emotions. One minute she's in love with him, the next she hates him..etc.etc. I think she forgives him way too easily too many times, but overall it was an easy read. Not her usual standards, but not a total loss.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 for Jayne Ann Krentz' Witchcraft 27 Jan 2007
By Venus A. Rachal - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I recently got the single title book Witchcraft by Jayne Ann Krentz. I cannot comment on the anthology version which has recently been released, only on Witchcraft itself.

That being said, I must say that the characters are lively and engaging, but I cringed or laughed through every single love scene in the book. I have to admit that I am a big fan of Jayne's and I read pretty much every book she writes under the Amanda Quick pen name. I don't ever remember laughing through the other books!

As one reader stated, it is definately dated. Thankfully, most of the description is still relevant because the clothes they wear are fairly standard--shirts and jeans--but the love scenes are chock-full of purple prose. I can't tell you how comical it is to see "feminine core" repeated as a euphamism for female genitalia. I think the purple prose is more of an indication of the time that this was written rather than a reflection on Jayne's writing or style. The writing of love scenes has come a LONG way since the 80's (when this book was written).

However, Darius Cavenaugh is still a very interesting hero--an alpha male forced to run his family's winery after engaging in some questionable import and export activities abroad. He is a terrific match for Kimberly Sawyer, an independent writer who prefers to live alone rather than deal with anything remotely resembling family responsibility. There is a distinct contrast between Darius and Kimberly, who are really kindred spirits reacting to the world in completely different ways.

The villains in the story are comical and slightly over the top. For a second or two, you might think you are in the middle of the Da Vinci Code with the lurking hooded figures carrying silver daggers and the pentagram references. While this is not quite as suspenseful as the Da Vinci Code, there is definately a charm inherent in this story.

If you read this, go into it for the character development rather than the love scenes or the suspense plot. Witchcraft is great evidence of why Jayne Ann Krentz has lasted so long in the romance genre. She writes funny, quirky characters who seemed destined for one another despite their differing personalities.

True to form, Jayne ann Krentz portrays Kimberly as a "spunky" heroine (forgive the cliche) and Darius Cavenaugh as a take-charge, responsible yet slightly dangerous hero who rules the lives of those around him. Darius is every bit the Lord of the Manor, though this is set in the "present" day and not in the early 19th century as some of Jayne's other books are.

I'd say buy Witchcraft used unless you want to purchase the 3 story anthology. Don't be discouraged by the "dated" quality of the work because it really does have heart and good characterization.
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