It’d been ages since I’d read a Jayne Ann Krentz novel. Before my seachange and before book blogging the Ks were one of the spots I used to check on my once-twice weekly visits to the local library. I had a routine going and was always able to move quickly between authors. Many were found in similar spots – there were lots of Bs from memory… (Burke x 3; Baldacci; Brennan, Brockmann; (Sandra) Brown; Brookner and so forth). And there were a few Ks – including Krentz.
Krentz also writes under the names Amanda Quick and Jayne Castle, but I steered clear from them – romance / historical and paranormal fiction being outside of my usual comfort zone.
Like Sandra Brown, Suzanne Brockmann, Karen Rose, Elizabeth Lowell, Allison Brennan and (sometimes) Nora Roberts, Krentz usually had her romantic suspense novels tipping slightly towards the latter. And I’m able to skim over cliched sex scenes if the suspense is keeping me sidetracked.
They knew his name, the man who tried to brutally attack twelve-year-old Madeline in her grandmother’s hotel. They thought they knew his fate. He wouldn’t be bothering them anymore…ever. Still their lives would never be the same.
Madeline has returned to Washington after her grandmother’s mysterious death. And at the old, abandoned hotel-a place she never wanted to see again-a dying man’s last words convey a warning: the secrets she and Daphne believed buried forever have been discovered.
Now, after almost two decades, Madeline and Daphne will be reunited in friendship and in fear. Unable to trust the local police, Madeline summons Jack Rayner, the hotel chain’s new security expert. Despite the secrets and mysteries that surround him, Jack is the only one she trusts…and wants.
Jack is no good at relationships but he does possess a specific skill set that includes a profoundly intimate understanding of warped and dangerous minds. With the assistance of Jack’s brother, Abe, a high-tech magician, the four of them will form an uneasy alliance against a killer who will stop at nothing to hide the truth….
I very much enjoyed this book though found the plot a little more clichéd than I’d expected. I couldn’t stop turning the pages but it felt like Krentz took the easy way out on a few occasions in terms of both the plot and characters.
Madeline felt a bit naive and immature to be responsible for a chain of hotels and Jack was typically manly and protective. And the not-eating-because-she’s-been-hurt-in-the-past Daphne and the nice (but I-can-make-you-eat-and-know-what’s-best-for-you) Abe felt a little contrived.
The romances were a tad obvious. And on that note… does everyone have to have issues because of past relationships? Can’t they just be f*cked in the head because of their own foibles? Or better still… perhaps they could have no baggage at all?
Having said that, I was surprised there was no antagonism between Madeline and Jack before they ‘got it on’. I mean, I’m accustomed to a sizzling disdain before our protagonists admit to their feelings—in fiction. So it was a nice change that the attraction was there from the beginning and there was minimal game-playing.
We’re pointed in the direction of the baddies from the early in the novel but it’s the extent of their involvement and the secrets they’re hiding that’s in question. The plot was well-paced and the action kept coming. I did find the ending a bit convoluted but there were a few twists I didn’t entirely see coming.
Fans of Krentz or romantic suspense will undoubtedly love this novel, which I enjoyed despite my whining!
Secret Sisters by Jayne Ann Krentz will be published in Australia via Hachette on 8 December 2015.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes.