Truth or Dare, by Jayne Ann Krentz

>> Monday, February 07, 2005

Truth or Dare, by Jayne Ann Krentz is a sequel to Light in Shadow. It follows the same protagonists, Zoe and Ethan, as well as the various secondary characters from the previous books.

Zoe is an interior designer with a unique sense of style. But even more uncanny is her sense of what's going on under the surface, the secrets a house can hold.

At the moment, though, Zoe isn't concerned about a client's space. She's more worried about what's going on in her own house in Whispering Springs, Arizona, where she lives with her new husband, private investigator Ethan Truax. After a whirlwind courtship, and a dangerous adventure, they've gambled on commitment, hoping that their powerful attraction can help them learn to live together despite their utterly opposite personalities.

But newlywed life is suddenly interrupted when a shadowy figure from Zoe's past shows up in Whispering Springs, and her closest friend is put at terrible risk. For Zoe and Arcadia Ames share a shocking secret. And as they seek to protect the truth, they must join together, and with Ethan's help, accept a very dan-gerous dare
While not the best JAK I've ever read, Truth or Dare was very enjoyable, the type of book I know I'll be rereading over and over in the years to come. Sometimes you just know, as you are reading it the first time, that a book will become a perfect comfort read. My grade for it is a B+.

I found it ver remarkable how busy the book was. On the romance front, there's the main romance plot about Ethan and Zoe adapting to their marriage, and there are a few other subplots: Arcadia and Harry, Bonnie and Singleton Cobb, even Ethan's competitor, Nelson Radner, and the mystery about whether his wife is cheating on him.

On the more suspensey front, there's also a main one and a few minor ones. First there's the whole matter about Arcadia's husband trying to find her and murder her. There's also the thing about Dexter Morrow's potential threat on Ethan, a spillover from a former case. Then there's the old murder case Ethan is investigating for the town, about the murder of a famous writer who used to live in Whispering Springs. And finally, not really suspense, but there's the rivalry between Zoe and another designer, and Zoe's problems with her building manager.

Sounds like a bit much for a 350-page book, doesn't it? But it works surprisingly well. It didn't feel to me as if any thread was neglected, and when the focus changed from one to the other, I never got irritated because I wanted to stay with the previous one, as often happens when you read a book with several subplots.

My favourite was the main storyline about Zoe and Ethan, exactly as it should be. I liked how the story focused on them learning to live together and finally coming to terms with their inner selves and accepting that the other really loves them. Those parts were lovely.

I had a wonderful time reading this, and I'm looking forward to reading JAK's latest.


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