Whether writing as Amanda Quick, Jayne Castle or Jayne Ann Krentz, this author knows how to mix a sure-to-please readers' cocktail: Take 2 parts suspense, blend in 1 part sex, add a dash of surprises, and garnish with a satisfying conclusion. It's irresistible - after one sip you down it. Or, in the case of All Night Long read it from cover to cover.
Set in Dunsley, a small northern California town bordering a lake, Krentz's latest romantic suspense novel loses no time in painting a chilling scene. The Prologue is related in flashback as Irene Stenson remembers a summer some 17 years ago. She had been out with her best friend, wealthy and privileged Pamela Webb. Things didn't seem right when she arrived home. The porch light was off - her parents never left the house dark when she was out. Hoping to avoid recrimination for her tardiness she went around to the back door, thinking she could sneak into her bedroom. However, she couldn't open the door, something heavy seemed to be blocking it from inside. She pushed. Her screams were "high, desperate, frantic cries of grief, horror and denial" when she saw the bloody scene on the kitchen floor.
The deaths of her parents was determined to be a murder-suicide, and teenaged Irene left Dunsley forever. In the intervening years she has been haunted by the dark, unable to sleep unless the room is well lit, terrified of night places.
Now, some 17 years later she has received an email from her friend, Pamela, pleading with her to come back. What could possibly be so important that Pamela has to see her after all this time? It seems that question will remain unanswered as Pamela is found dead, pills and booze by her side. Her body is found in the home of her father, Ryland Webb, a U.S. Senator who has a new young wife and a sure shot for the presidency. Pamela's death is declared a suicide.
Irene doesn't believe that any more than she believes that her parents' deaths were a murder/suicide. Where can she turn? The townspeople are determined to consider her "not right" after the shock of finding her parents - she could surely use a friend and she finds him in an unlikely place.
Luke Danner, a former Marine, now owns Sunrise on the Lake Lodge, the string of cabins where Irene is staying. He's gruff, used to barking orders, yet very attractive. He's everything a Krentz hero is - honorable, brave, strong. Yet, he has some problems of his own. Of course, there's chemistry between the two that develops intriguingly.
While Irene had intended to put Dunsley in her rear view mirror as quickly as possible, she knows that she must find the truth that has been hidden for so many years and why keeping it secret is so vital to the present.
One more exciting read from the indefatigable Jayne Ann Krentz.
- Gail Cooke
on 27 June 2009
This was my introduction to Jayne Ann Krentz, picked up at the library, and I was not disappointed.
It is a smooth combination of flawed Alpha Male (definately the best type!) a messed up Heroine, riveting plot and steamy romance.
I gave it only 4 stars as I got a little confused with all the sub-characters (there seemed a lot of them), but the POV changes (slick) and strong writing style more than made up for this minor criticism.
Irene and Luke make such a great pair, that I wonder if Ms Krentz will include them in another story?
on 7 April 2006
I have been disappointed with the last few JAK's, having been a huge fan of her books for a long time so I borrowed this one from the library rather than pay for it. But, the good news is, this book shows a return to her old form. Although it has familiar elements (her father is believed to have killed his wife and then himself, she doesn't accept this), they gel better than in the last few books and I connected with her characters in a way I haven't for a while. I enjoyed a couple of the changes in POV, so you could see what the hero/heroine made of each other and her sense of humour is hitting the mark for me again - his attitude to being in the hotel service industry really made me smile!
All in all, a better read than I had hoped, and I will be buying myself a copy of this when its in paperback.