by Jayne Ann Krentz
Book 2 of Arcane Society
And now it seems that meeting the half sister and family whom she never knew until seven months ago was a mistake. Her father summons her from California to play a role in his business empire, and Clare doesn’t intend on making the same mistake twice. But after meeting Jake Salter, Archer Lancaster’s “financial consultant,” Clare is convinced that things aren’t what they seem. Salter’s careful conversation seems to walk a delicate line between truth and deception, revealing and resisting. Something sparks and sizzles between them—something more than the usual electricity between a man and a woman.
Caught in a dizzying storm of secrets, lies, and half-truths, Jake and Clare will plunge into an investigation that demands every bit of their special gifts—together they must overcome their mutual distrust in order to unravel a web of conspiracy and murder.
The one thing that stood out the most to me in this book was how much I loved the partnership and subsequent relationship between Jake and Clare. The two of them work very well together as an investigating team, and while their chemistry isn't exactly off-the-charts hot or anything, they DO present a rather obvious "meant to be" aura about them--I don't know if that has to do with the deliberate engineering by the author to create a couple destined to be perfect for each other or what? Whatever it is, Jayne Ann Krentz managed it extraordinarily well.
No doubt, Jake and Clare are thus far one of my more favorite couple-combinations of romance and investigating team in JAK's fictional worlds so far. There was banter, and oh, it was great banter! Fun was had by all involved. And sweet exchanges like the following was what I liked about the two of them together.
Jake looked at the door again. "I lied to you."
"I know." She smiled faintly. "You were good at it, too. Takes a lot of talent to keep me guessing."
"So, do you hate my guts now that you know the truth?" [...]
"Good grief. Why would I hate you? You have a job to do." [...]
"You were never supposed to be part of the job."
"But I became part of it. Not your fault. It's all right, Jake. I understand."
"You really do have a slightly offbeat philosophy on the subject of lying, don't you?"
"Like I said, the ability to lie is a tool, as far as I'm concerned. What matters is context."
He started to smile.
"That does not mean, however, that I have changed my mind about Fallon Jones," she added crisply.
His teeth gleamed in a wolfish grin. "I don't give a damn how you feel about Fallon as long as you'll still sleep with me."
"I'm glad you have your priorities straight. Now, I think we should postpone the rest of this conversation until a more convenient time. This is where we get to corner one of the bad guys and scare him into spilling all his evil secrets, remember?"
"Yeah," Jake said. "This is the fun part."
"You know, you remind me of those coyotes that come around hunting in the morning."
"Is my tongue hanging out yet? I hate it when my tongue hangs out. Kind of embarrassing."
One of the things I've noticed that I like about JAK novels (whether as Jayne Castle or Amanda Quick or, in this case, the contemporary author of Jayne Ann Krentz) is that she balances both romance and suspense pretty well. Her pacing is fast-paced, smooth, and engaging. And even though the mystery aspects are pretty predictable, you can't help but become hooked.
I finished reading a good chunk of this book before I even realized it. Within hours, I was finished with the entire reading.
White Lies is entertaining and enjoyable, that's for sure. The cross from historical in the first book of Arcane Society to contemporary in this second book was a little disorienting, but JAK connects the two books quite believably, even if not flawlessly.
And once again, I find it hard not to like the characters created in a JAK novel--they are intriguing, resourceful, readily likable people. Even with some frustrating moments at the beginning of the book, it didn't deter me from enjoying myself.
Once again, it is so easy to find one of JAK's novels absurdly addictive.
This being the first of her contemporary romantic suspenses I've read, I think we're off to a good start. I am sincerely looking forward to reading the rest of the Arcane Society series as well as the Harmony series, and even any of her other back list.
While these aren't the best books in the world, they are, once again, highly addictive and enjoyable. And as far as I'm concerned, it suits me just fine.
2016 Reading Challenges:
• Goodreads Reading Challenge
• BookLikes Reading Challenge