Sunday, October 17, 2010

Random Romance Sunday: Jungle Love

The Book: Silver Linings by Jayne Ann Krentz

The Particulars: Romantic suspense, Pocket, 1991, In Print

The Blurb:


Successful but shy, Seattle art dealer Mattie Sharpe fell for handsome, outspoken, professional adventurer Hugh Abbott at first sight. So she turned up her courage, let down her hair and made him an offer she thought he couldn't refuse. But he broke her heart, and left Seattle for his South Sea island home. Angry and hurt, Mattie endured the advice of her eccentric, artistic family --- a sister who disdained Hugh as too "elemental," and an aunt who called him a "real" man. Mattie vowed that she'd meet Hugh again, over her --- or better, his --- dead body.

When they do meet again, it's over someone else's dead body --- and now they're running for their lives through an island jungle. Hugh's talking fast to make up for his mistake. Mattie's not listening --- until his gentle touch ignites a white-hot fusion, and she gives in. But Hugh's past is catching up with them --- and Mattie must stake her very survival on the man she loves --- the only man who ever let her down! Weaving a tour-de-force of delectable, sensual romance and breathless adventure, Jayne Ann Krentz kindles our deepest dreams with a tale of enduring family bonds and the miracle of a love that --- finally! --- conquers all.

Is It In Wendy's TBR?: Nope

Any Reviews?: Reviews for older romances can be spotty, but this is JAK, so yeah - we have a couple.

Publisher's Weekly had this to say (you can read full review over at Amazon, but be warned - I personally found it spoiler-ish):
"An action-packed plot and a charming heroine who sports her share of modern neuroses may cajole readers into forgiving Krentz ( The Golden Chance ) for a happy ending that's a real clunker...."
On the flipside, there's a reader-written DIK review over at AAR - so yeah, an A grade:
"This is a funny, smart, and sexy book with some very witty dialogue. Mattie is very much a modern woman who knows what she wants, and goes out to get it. She's very brave, smart - in short - a JAK heroine. Hugh is adorable, and admirable; throughout the book you see Hugh's determination to win Mattie over. Once he's decided she's what he wants, he never wavers. Both characters have depth, and you always understand why they act the way they act."
Anything Else?: I came to the romance genre late (1999) and didn't waste much time before jumping on the reviewing bandwagon. In a nutshell? I was reading assigned review books when most people in my shoes would have been exploring the backlist of many super popular authors. Outside of two of the Eclipse Bay books (which I was assigned to review), I've never read anything else by Krentz.

I know, I know.

So let's open up the comments field, shall we? What's your favorite JAK novel (her pseudonyms are also welcome!)? And, have you read this one? What did you think?


jmc said...

I read JAK and her Amanda Quick books early in my romance reading career, but haven't read her recently. I remember LOVING this book -- it was the first JAK I ever read, but I wonder if it has aged well, or if it would disappoint if I reread it today.

Ann Bruce said...

I read JAK in all her incarnations: JAK, Jayne Castle, Amanda Quick, Stephanie James, and so on and so forth.

JAK is one of the few writers whose characters consistently do NOT make me want to smack them upside their heads and whose books do stand the test of time...except for maybe the fashion (she does seem to love her shoulder pads and military-like styles). She's neither emo nor purple and none of her heroines have ever owned a cheesy sex toy shop, and that's all I really ask for in a romance.

And my favorite? Dawn in Eclipse Bay. It's such a fun, comfortable read that I pull it out every few months to reread.

Anonymous said...

Some of her stuff is klunky--not surprising when one considers how much she's written. Most of it though is readable. A favorite is a Quick title--Mystique--a delightfully funny read.


Phyllis said...

I like some of her older Quick books, and then most of the recent paranormal/Arcane Society ones (but not all - less than thrilled with one of the contemp ones, but don't ask me the title, I haven't finished my coffee yet). Eclipse Bay were OK, but nothing out of the ordinary.

I wasn't that thrilled by the Jayne Castle paranormal one, mainly because I'm not much into SciFi and haven't read any others set there.

Jill Sorenson said...

I'm not a big JAK fan but I've always liked Amanda Quick. Quirky heroines, smart heroes, interesting sex scenes. Often h/h investigate a mystery that deals with a fad of the era (seances, antiquities, erotic statuary etc.). That said, I can't pick a favorite and haven't kept up with her newer stuff. Seems like it got less romancey over time.

Hilcia said...

Ah, JAK... I did enjoy her early Amanda Quick books and picked them up as they were released (just gave them all away). I still own the Eclipse Bay trilogy and her books: The Pirate, The Adventurer, The Cowboy, Worth the Risk.

I have a few of her Suspense Romance books on my shelfs, ie: White Lies. She went that route a while back and unfortunately I haven't purchased a book by JAK in a few years now.

bafriva said...

Ah Wendy

I love this book--it is one of my keepers and I re-read it every couple of years.
I am old enough that I first started read JAK when she wrote for the Candlelight Ecstasy line as Jayne Castle. (Ahem, I bought Gentle Pirate when it first game out and that is CE #2, I believe). Anywho, I have read all of her stuff and obviously am a fangirl. And I buy all of her stuff in mm. Now I don't have room to keep all of them and I do weed them out--but the ones I've kept, I re-read and they hold up just fine.

@Hilcia--can't find White Lies on JAK's book list. Now Linda Howard certainly had a book by that title, perhaps you have the two mixed up.

HelenKay Dimon said...

I've read everything by JAK under every pseudonym. I continue to read the Arcane series even though I don't really like them. Yes, I'm a fangirl.

Love the grounded heroines and slightly clueless but strong heroes. This book is typical of JAK - light suspense, quirky heroine, tough but easily educated hero. For some reason it's not my favorite. Much preferred PERFECT PARTNERS, WILDEST HEARTS and TRUST ME.

LoriK said...

@ bafriva: JAK definitely has a book titled White Lies. It's one of the centemps in the Arcane Soceity series.

My experience with JAK/AQ/JC has been spotty, but generally more positive than negative. I don't buy her books, but I'm working my way through all the ones the library has.

bafriva said...

@Lori K

Ahhh, my bad. Don't know how I missed that one.
(Slinking away now in fangirl disgrace.....)

MaryK said...

When I first started reading Romance, I read a lot of Amanda Quick historicals. I remember liking them, but don't remember much about them. I haven't read much JAK.

The Jayne Castle books are crack-like. I've been working my way through them in audio and enjoying them a lot. Audio tends to highlight writing weaknesses - you can't really skim - so I could give a list of faults. But darned if I don't keep coming back for the next book! They're a lot of fun.

Kay Webb Harrison said...

JAK, et al is near the top of my favorite authors list. My favorite book is The Golden Chance, which came out just before Silver Linings, which I also enjoyed. Grand Passion is a close second. I believe that the work she produced during that period [late 80s-early90s?] is among her best.

I don't remember the first JAK book that I read; it may have been The Family Way, a Harlequin Temptation. I remember glomming all of the Candlelights, Silhouettes, Harlequins and early Pocket books [Sweet Starfire, Midnight Jewels, Coral Kiss, Crystal Flame] that I could find. I also began to purchase any new book by her as soon as it came out, which I still do. She is one of the few authors whose hardcovers editions I buy.

She has included elements of psychic powers in many of her books, even if it is only the exceptional intuition of the heroine. I enjoy that aspect of the paranormal; I enjoy her Arcane Society books.

I highly recommend the St. Helen's futuristic books under the Jayne Castle name. I believe that they were reissued this summer--Amaryllis, Zinnia, and Orchid.

@bafriva: I believe that Jayne Castle's Gentle Pirate was Candlelight Ecstasy #1.


LoriK said...

Slinking away now in fangirl disgrace.....

It's not that bad. I'm sure there's some way to blame it on bad layout of the book list or something. I only knew for sure because I just read it a couple weeks ago.

The Jayne Castle books are crack-like. I've been working my way through them in audio and enjoying them a lot. Audio tends to highlight writing weaknesses - you can't really skim - so I could give a list of faults. But darned if I don't keep coming back for the next book! They're a lot of fun.

This is pretty much my opinion of the Castle books. I read them close together and that also highlights some of the weaknesses of the writing. But I'm like you in that I still find them fun and keep reading. They're the book equivalent of cheese puffs.

Jenny Schwartz said...

I only recently started reading JAK. It was a Goodreads discussion that got me started. Someone mentioned loving Georgette Heyer, Elizabeth Peters and JAK. I thought, the first two are re-read favourites of mine, I have to try the third. I'm so glad I did. They're light, fun and there are so many! My favourite so far would be "Sweet Starfire". Although I find the Harmony dust bunnies pretty irresistible.

sandy.hagman said...

I believe that I have read all her books even the McFadden ones. What I enjoy about her books is that they are comfortable reads. She was writing books for the male point of view before others, she also was an early writer of sci-fi, fantasy romance. I just finished her Midnight Crystal book today and enjoyed it. I have some of her books in hardcover, paperback and CD.

bafriva said...

@Jenny Schwartz--
OMG, another Sweet Starfire fan!!
I bought it brand new, back in the day, have re-read it often, and "
All is Serene" is a favorite tag line between myself and another long time JAK fan.
The fun part of having read her stuff from the beginning (under all pen names) is watching her craft expand and improve. My keeper shelf of her books includes books from several decades.
And her latest series of Harmony books (as Jayne Castle) are indeed crack--dust bunny crack!! The fuzzy creatures are direct descendants of the critter in 'Sweet Starfire'!

I guess the thing that keeps me reading JAK's book is her sense of humor. Thank goodness she doesn't try to do slapstick or funny. Rather, she does witty! A twist in the dialog, a wink-wink-nod-nod about certain situations, a mildly sarcastic description of someone or something---I spend a good deal of time giggling happily as I read her books.

Rosario said...

I loved this one, but I haven't reread it in quite a few years, so I'd have to see how it's aged. My absolute faves are Trust Me for her JAK pseudonym and Ravished for Amanda Quick. You really should try some of her classic ones, Wendy. Her newest have become really meh, but she used to be just brilliant.

BevBB said...

What Krentz is able to do goes well beyond being a comfort read to me. To me, a comfort read is an author that has a very personal affect on the reader. They're the ones individual readers turns to through thick and thin and would probably like anything they write. Their writing simply resonates with those individual readers.

Krentz, however, is one of those very few romance authors that have mastered the romance formula to the point she goes beyond that to a larger audience. A much larger audience. There are very few romance authors who have been able to do that and still retain their "comfort readers" within the romance genre itself because she never deserted her base audience to do so.

This is an extremely rare thing.

nath said...

Hmmm, I was in my JAK phase last year, but for some reason, this one... I think it's the jungle LOL. I love when stories are set in urban setting... when it goes to more exotic setting such as jungle, I lose interest. However, I think I should go to the library and read this one ;P

I do agree with most commentors. Her work in late 80s and early 90s seem to be her best :P and they're still very readable :P

BeretBrenckman said...

What first caught me was the quote "Cast adrift on loves transcendent shore." It was from an early Amanda Quick and I've glommed her ever since. I thought that JAK in all her names was someone EVERYONE read in the 90's. Before romance went to hardcover she was one of the big five...Nora, Linda Howard, Johanna Lindsey and Elizabeth Lowell. I have all of her books and reread every two years or so. This one used to be one of my favorites before Perfect Partners came out. For AQ - Paid Companion and for JAC - Orchid.

DianeN said...

I've read JAK only sporadically over the years, though I did read most of her early stuff. I always enjoyed them but never found them particularly memorable, although they were always well written and enjoyable. The only thing that has ever stayed in my mind about her writing is that in one book her computer genius hero had invented a Blackberry-like device and made the heroine take it even though she was not so hot on the technology stuff. In the end she gets kidnapped and is able to send the hero an email so he can come and rescue her. And the interesting thing about it is that this is one of her older titles, written well before the actual technology she envisioned existed. Anyone else remember this one?

Kristie (J) said...

Wendy, Wendy, Wendy! Those are the only JAK books you've read? While I don't read her nearly as much anymore, her early books are wonderful. I think it was with the Eclipse Bay books though that my interest started to wane. I didn't really care for them all that much. So you really do need to try some of her earlier books

BevBB said...

Before romance went to hardcover she was one of the big five...Nora, Linda Howard, Johanna Lindsey and Elizabeth Lowell.

I've heard that "big five" list of authors cited by longtime readers, particularly readers who've delved into the categories, for years and never thought to question something.

Johanna Lindsey did categories? (blink, blink)

It boggles the mind.

I say that because she's the one I always forget. Intentionally, I think. o.O

No offense to anyone who likes her books. ;-)

Jenny Schwartz said...

@ bafriva I loved seeing the prototype for dust bunnies in Sweet Starfire. I have Shield's Lady on order and hope it will be just as much fun.

And I've taken Rosario's rec and bought Ravished and Trust Me -- my excuse for the book splurge? The strong Aussie dollar has brought prices down a fraction :)

MaryK said...

@DianeN Yes! I remember the PDA one. Not the title of course. :eyeroll: But I remember that plot element.

bafriva said...

@MaryK, @DianeN--
Could it possibly be Trust Me (1994)?
That's the one where our heroine is a caterer and the hero runs an electronics/computer firm.
I recall she uses the PDA when she gets locked in the meat cooler at her job.
Must go re-read now. That's one of her top ones!

Kay Webb Harrison said...

I think that the PDA book was Trust Me. The heroine, Desdemona, ran a catering business that employed members of her extended adoptive family when they couldn't get jobs in the acting field. She met the hero when his bride did not show up for the wedding, catered by the heroine's company. The PDA was a birthday present the hero programmed for her. She used it to send a message when she got locked in her freezer at work.

The theme of family runs through many of JAK's books, especially the family that we form with people who may not be related by blood. That theme is part of what makes Trust Me and Grand Passion such heart-warming stories.

In Ravished, JAK/Amanda Quick recycles a theme from her Harlequin Temptation The Family Way: what the hero does when he has or might have made a woman pregnant and what he does when he KNOWS that he hasn't.

Can you tell that I have read JAK'S
books more than once [LOL]?


Wendy said...

I just had this feeling that spotlighting an early JAK title would bring out the commenters :)

This has been fun, thanks everybody!