A woman brought in several paranormal fiction books to my store (I sell used books as part of my retail business) and I asked her about them. I told her that I love the paranormal genre but don’t like romance. She insisted that they weren’t really romance that there was just a love story as part of it. I’m a sucker for a good love story, just not romance books. I figured I would give the books a try.
I read the back of several, trying to find one that seemed interesting. I was skeptical because they all seemed like romance. I settled on The Lost Night by Jayne Ann Krentz, writing as Jayne Castle.
The story is about a woman, Rachel Blake, who reads and works with people’s auras. After losing her job on the mainland, she goes back to Rainshadow Island to run the bookstore her aunts left her. She meets and is attracted to Harry Sebastian, whose family owns a large chunk of the island called the Preserve.
The Preserve is a dangerous area because of the alien energy it contains that makes it hard to escape. Harry is investigating strange, violent energy emanating from the Preserve that is affecting the whole island and wants Rachel’s help.
At first Rachel’s a suspect because, before she went to the mainland, she spent a night in the Preserve and found her way out, but can’t remember what happened. Once Harry gets to know her, she’s off the suspect list.
Together they discover what happened to Rachel on her lost night and find men involved in a scheme to smuggle alien weapons off the island.
Harry also finds one of the three stones his ancestor buried on the island, which were all stolen. It turns out the stones were causing the energy disturbance and finding one helped calm the energy somewhat, keeping people safe for now and setting up another book.
Within in the first twelve pages I was ready to put it down. The writing style screamed romance. It wasn’t great but it was decent. I can see why people whip through these books with the short sentences and simple story lines.
Despite this, I kept going.
I must admit the book was entertaining, though likely not the way the author intended. It was a paranormal romance. The cliché romance writing made me laugh out loud several times. There were lots of passages I read to my husband who looked at me like I was out of my mind.
The characters were decently written and I was intrigued by Harry Sebastian, once I got over his name. Krentz (Castle) had come up with a nice little world and some pleasant characters. I like the different talents (powers) some of the characters have.
I was able to overcome the romance idea but didn’t find the story overly exciting. There was a fire, some okay sex, a kidnapping, some more sex in a cave despite the danger they could be in, and then they find the bad guys, the pace picked up a bit then, but it didn’t last long.
Overall the book was boring with hardly any action and I didn’t really feel the connection between Rachel and Harry. The ending was a little too happy for my taste.
For those looking for a quick, easy read or those who like paranormal romance this is a book for you. I’m sure this woman isn’t a New York Times bestseller for nothing.
For anyone seeking something darker with lots of excitement and deeper characters, don’t bother.
Is anyone else having trouble finding good paranormal reads that aren’t romance...guess I’ll just have to wait until Anne Rice’s Prince Lestat comes out on October 28 and in the meantime, delve further into my own dark paranormal book.