Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Jayne Castle - Harmony

Harmony is a planet in the far future, aglow with an amber light and the psychic energy of its inhabitants. It is here that Jayne Castle casts her spell-over the men and women brave enough to love in a world unlike any we have ever seen before. In this unforgettable volume are two very enchanting tales set on Harmony... After Dark...The New York Times bestselling novel of romantic suspense with a paranormal twist. A para-archaeologist and one of the most dangerous men on the planet heat up a murder investigation with a passion that cannot be extinguished-or denied... Bridal Jitters...From the national bestselling anthology, Charmed. An official marriage-of-convenience between paranormal business partners is almost called off-because of love.

Comment: This is another book for the challenge. But the first reason that led me to it was the fact I won book #6 in the series in Nalini Singh's blog last year. Ha. I wasn't aware it was book #6, so I had to get book #1 to see if there was any chance I might reach book #6.
With two goals in mind because of this book, finally I got the chance to try it.
This book is an omnibus, it has two stories inside, the short story "Bridal Jitters" that's apparently the introduction to the series, and After Dark, which is the official full length book in the series. I was glad I could get both in one volume.

First of all, the world. I confess I don't read much sci-fi, it's not a genre I look for and especially if it doesn't have romance. So, to enter a new world with different rules..well, it can be an adventure so this was why I wasn't discouraged from the start. The author has written a note available in her website where she explains a bit the history behind the series, so I'll spare anyone who's not (yet) interested and leave only the link:
After reading this it's obviously so much easier to follow some information in the stories.
To summarize, action takes place in a different planet, in the distant future, after a disaster that separated Earth from the new planet. People there descend from colonizers from Earth and they started showing some affinity to amber, a stone prolific in the planet, Harmony.
This aside, the stories focus more on romance and storyline than the environment around them but it shows, so I think sci-fi is an adequate label.

The two stories I've read were interesting and full of information and even with the author's note I found myself confused a bit but that's normal because it's such a different set of rules and dealings, then the fact people there have some sort of paranormal power or close connection to something paranormal also makes it more rich but I was able to enjoy things more because of that too, it's a fulfilling world.
"Bridal Jitters" is about Sam and Virginia, they're going to get a marriage of convenience in order to gain some profit after selling a house, but after all they want more than just that...
After Dark is the story of Emmett and Lydia and how he asks her to help him finding a piece of furniture that has been in his family since colonization and he wants it back but they find themselves in the middle of a mystery and developing feelings.
Like I said, it's hard to get used to things at first but after some chapters we get to understand things more and to be honest the writing style is the same as her writing as JAK and Amanda Quick. This helped a lot to process the information about the world because the writing style can ease out understanding of things. Besides the fact it focus the romance helps too, we want the couple to be together. I have to be honest, the secondary characters weren't that interesting, but they played their part well.
I liked the book, the two stories and will read more, especially to know more about the world, because after a while we just want to understand Harmony and its secrets better.
In the end of the bigger story I was left wondering how the couple would do next and was satisfied with the mystery solving. All in all, a good attempt and I'm glad I enjoyed reading it.

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