"A Memorable Gem!"
Jayne Ann Krentz seems to be into series these days, so I
am HOPING we will see more of Zoe Luce and Ethan Traux. I
was extremely disappointed in her latest historical pairing
of Tobias March and Lavenia Lake series under her Amanda
Quick banner. Since Quick/Krentz is one of my favorite
authors it is with great pleasure so say how much I really
loved this JAK. It shoots up to the top with my all time
favs of WILDEST HEARTS, ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY and DEEP
JAK has been one of my favorite writers for nearly two
decades. Even in her earliest series books you see the
diamond brilliance that has put her at the top. However, I
was disappointed in some of her recent works. She came
powering back with the marvelous SUMMER IN ECLIPSE BAY - SO
perfect!! SMOKE AND MIRRORS...I went hum....not bad, but
could have been better. Worse, was her Amanda Quick's DON'T
LOOK BACK so dreadfully dull, that I wanted to howl. At
this point, I swore I would stop buying her in hardback!
And immediately turned around and could not resist buying
LIGHT AND SHADOW because it sounded like the 'old'
JAKs...and it IS!!
Back in top form, she spins a warm, humorous, loving
mystery that I just could not put down, it's billed as "A
Whispering Springs Novel" so we can expect two more, I am
presuming. I shall be first in line.
JAK gives us a Zoe Luce an interior decorator with a
special touch: she can "feel emotions" within a room.
Currently, she is decorating a house for a new ex-husband,
who claims he wants a redo after his wife left him. The
instant Zoe steps into the bedroom and sees the missing bed
and shower curtains in the bathroom, she knows he killed
his wife. What to do? Zoe cannot go to the police for two
reasons: 1) she is on the run from a high-price mental
institution and 2) would the police really believe her?
Most people would let it go, but Zoe cannot. She has to do
something, so she finds the ad in the yellow pages for
Ethan Truax, a private detective. Sam Spade he is not. He
is just coming off a bad third marriage (Big Thumbs up for
this JAK!!) and a failed business, so he rebuilding his
life and career. Due to monetary concerns, Zoe hires him
Naturally, they create sparks off each other, but there are
SO many things standing between a relationship. She is
running from the men in white coats - along with her fellow
inmate escapee - and various other people wanting to use
her or hide her away from the world. He hates psychics,
considers them a fraud, and does not have much use for
interior decorators either... and here is Zoe the psychic
interior decorator. He has three failed marriages. I have
always applauded JAK for making her leads 'middle aged', so
I give her credit for giving him three failed marriages. A
man that is his late 40's just does not go through life and
not have some experience, but romance tends to turn a blind
eye to this. So thanks, JAK for sticking to your guns and
giving him a big dose of realism.
We learn Zoe though is a psychic, this had nothing with her
confinement in the mental hospital. She is not is
unbalanced; she just happens to be standing in the way of
the cousin of her dead husband. She could wreck his
multimillionaire business deal and he wants her out of the
way until after the merger goes through. Zoe believes the
cousin killed her husband, but had no proof, so when she
kept pressing the claim, the cousin paid a small fortune to
have her quietly committed, keeping her safely out of his
Truax does what Zoe hires him to do: finds the missing
wife, but that is just the tip of the iceberg to this
clever tale. There are the men in white coats with needles
trying to catch Zoe, there is the former security chief of
the institution who thinks a little blackmail would be very
profitable, the cousin-in-law and his wife who want her
tucked away on the nice sedate clinic, the owner of the
clinic who wants his cash-cow back and a strange
doctor/profiler who wants to use Zoe's talents - and not as
an interior decorator. And the only thing standing in their
way is Ethan Truax.
It's typical JAK yeah, but it's JAK at her best, so her
fans will dance with joy at another of her memorable gems!!
Bring on more Whispering Springs novels....Zoe and Ethan
steal your heart!!
Posted March 29, 2003
Reviewed by Deborah Macgillivray
Posted January 3, 2007
Zoe Luce is a successful interior designer in the Arizona
town of Whispering Springs who's developed an unusual
career specialty-helping recently divorced clients
redesign their homes, to help them forget the past and
start anew. But Zoe knows that some things can't be
covered up with a coat of paint. And when she senses that
one of her clients may be hiding a dark secret, she
enlists P.I. Ethan Truax to find the truth.
Working together, they solve the mystery . . . and barely
escape with their lives. But Ethan's exquisite detection
skills are starting to backfire on Zoe: she never wanted
to let him find out about her former life; she never
wanted to reveal her powerful, inexplicable gift for
sensing the history hidden within a house's walls; she
never wanted him to know that "Zoe Luce" doesn't really
exist. She never wanted to fall in love with him.
Now, no matter how much she resists, Ethan may be her only
hope-because the people she's been running from have found
her. And just when Zoe dares to dream of a normal life and
a future with the man she loves, her own past starts to
shadow her every step-and threatens to take her back into