>> Monday, September 30, 2002
Reading a mystery is always good for cleansing the palate and getting it ready for more romance reading. I started Gift of Fire, by Jayne Ann Krentz earlier today. I read its prequel last week and loved it, so I decided to reread this one.
"When her lean, sexy lover, Jonas Quarrel, leaves her to run her gourmet restaurant and travels to a Pacific Northwest island to search for missing Renaissance jewels, Verity Ames follows him, hoping to snare a husband."
From what I remember from the first time I read this, the above description is way off base. She doesn't follow him to the island, they go together. In fact, she manipulates him into accepting a job doing the authentification of a Renaissance villa transplanted to the island. And Verity's not on a husband-hunting mission, she's scared that Jonas may be getting bored with her and wants to leave, so she wants to be certain about his feelings. And if I remember correctly, Jonas is not at all certain about her feelings, so they do a lot of tip-toeing around each other. I remember it as a very satisfying read, so I'm very much looking forward to revisiting it.
Gift of Fire was exactly what I was looking for, a very satisfying read. This is my definition of a comfort read, and my grade is A-.
It takes a special talent to finish the first book with enough closure, yet still have enough relationship issues to solve in the sequel. Here we see Verity and Jonas comfortable enough with each other to do some exploring, which was lots of fun, but still not trusting their relationship as much as they should. This was one of the rare books in which the heroine's pregnancy is not just "icing on the cake" or a means to get the guy to marry her, but functions as a means to explore more aspects of their relationship.
I found the whole Italian villa thing fascinating, with just the right amount of suspense involved, which for me implies no big final confrontation with the villain. In this case there was a confrontation, but it was basically with a vision, and someone who had the same talent as Jonas himself. The only problem I had with this one was that there were too many "villains" involved. Three characters out of six (excluding H/h) had taken part in one of the violent incidents which had happened, which is too much.