Friday, June 15, 2018

Jayne Ann Krentz - Truth or Dare

The sexy, suspenseful sequel to Light in Shadow Zoe is an interior designer with a unique sense of style. But even more uncanny is her sense of what's going on under the surface, the secrets a house can hold. At the moment, though, Zoe isn't concerned about a client's space. She's more worried about what's going on in her own house in Whispering Springs, Arizona, where she lives with her new husband, private investigator Ethan Truax. After a whirlwind courtship, and a dangerous adventure, they've gambled on commitment, hoping that their powerful attraction can help them learn to live together despite their utterly opposite personalities. But newlywed life is suddenly interrupted when a shadowy figure from Zoe's past shows up in Whispering Springs, and her closest friend is put at terrible risk. For Zoe and Arcadia Ames share a shocking secret. And as they seek to protect the truth, they must join together, and with Ethan's help, accept a very dangerous dare.

Comment: Last year I've read a book by Jayne Ann Krentz that had been in the pile for a long time and because I liked it, I've decided to read the sequel, this title. I think that both are in the same level, so one can trust on the author's consistency at least. I hoped for something with more impact, though.

In this sequel, we have Ethan and Zoe still married and trying to balance their expectations because they do like one another but both have secret thoughts about themselves they find difficult to share, like Ethan's fear of not being able to be who Zoe needs and Zoe thinking Ethan might never accept her psychic side.
At the same time life goes, including their jobs and routines. Among all this, there are still some loose threads to solve from the previous book regarding a third character and that will put everyone again on guard about possible weird situations that might compromise their safety...

I can't think of a better way to be both vague and to the point about this novel. The story is very much to the point despite the amount of pages but because the biggest complexity is how several situations come together in order for the finale to happen.
I did miss some more...psychological content, to say it simply. I'm glad the characters discussed their issues but since all are clever and well adjusted despite their past experiences, there wasn't much to see or develop regarding their personalities.
I, therefore, had hopes about the problem still to solve and while it did offer some interesting situations, it was a huge letdown how everything was solved.

I think the author used a technique I tend to like, which is how good guys don't fully lose control of the problems, and it's always great to see authors trying to portray this while maintaining the mystery, the suspense. This takes talent.
However, at the same time, mrs Krentz went a little too far because when the biggest enemy is dealt with, when the climax of his actions happens, the solution and final scenes are.... outside the page.
I mean..... we know of what happened, we don't see it. What a disappointment.
And after this, we have left several pages that read like a huge epilogue but that felt too much and not that important considering everything could have been said with a lot less pages.

This book is not perfect, no. I think the chapters aren't all very well interwoven together. But there's something about simplicity and knowing what to expect that made it easy and fluid to read and one didn't need to anticipate negative surprises. I also liked seeing all the characters discuss stuff together, trying to live their lives in peace but while being friends, that was positive. But I got to say, if the focus was on so many people, apart from the protagonists Zoe and Ethan, the others were left a bit too much to the "underdeveloped" stage and I would have liked to see them as complex and detailed as the main couple.

After reading several books by the author (in all her pseudonyms) I can see not only the trend and formulas in her work but also common character-types. This can be good for those who enjoy knowing what to expect and in part I liked that but the stories feel slightly superficial, as if we didn't get to all the layers. I'd change this a bit in her books if I could.
Despite this and my critiques, I had a great time reading and it does feel like spending time with interesting and close people. This is a very nice feeling and while I might not read a JAK as soon, I might dive into some of her other work, just to change genres.
Grade: 7/10

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