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REVIEW

"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 WATERS.

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 any.

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 hair.

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

SUMMARY

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 a nightmare.

 

Light in Shadow
("A Whispering Springs Novel #1")
by Jayne Ann Krentz

Putnam
January 1, 2003
Available: January 1, 2003
ISBN #0399149384
EAN #9780399149382
368 pages
Hardcover
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Other Books by
Jayne Ann Krentz

Fired Up
Running Hot
Sizzle and Burn
White Lies
Falling Awake
No Going Back
Dangerous Affair
Truth Or Dare
The Private Eye
Light In Shadow
One More Time
Together In Eclipse Bay
Deep Waters
Witchcraft
Family Man
Smoke In Mirrors
Uneasy Alliance
Sweet Starfire and Crystal Flame
Worth the Risk
The Ties That Bind
Bedazzled
Summer In Eclipse Bay
Family Passions
Smoke in Mirrors
Lost and Found
Dawn in Eclipse Bay
Man With A Past
Soft Focus
Eclipse Bay
Wildest Hearts
Shield's Lady
Sweet Starfire


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