Midnight Jewels, by Jayne Ann Krentz

>> Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Also last weekend, I did a lot of rereading. First, Midnight Jewels, by Jayne Ann Krentz.

Mercy Pennington liked to play it safe. Before she opened her cozy secondhand bookstore, she researched her prospects and minimized her risks. So she never should have handled a rare edition of erotica called the Valley of Secret Jewels. And she should have locked the door of her shop before Croft Falconer walked in.

Falconer enjoyed violence, not literature--beautifully controlled violence of the Asian martial arts. And he looked fighting mad when he learned Mercy promised Valley of Secret Jewels to another buyer. Falconer argued with her, offering her a small fortune, and then tender seduction.

As volatile as a match and dynamite, Mercy and Falconer lit sparks like the Fourth of July. But the real fireworks started when she discovered he had told her almost everything a woman falling in love wanted to hear. Falconer only forgot to mention one little thing: the secret behind the book of forbidden passion that could get them both killed.

The hero, Croft, reminds me of Elias Winters, of Deep Waters. *sigh* That's the problem of reading so many JAKs in such a short period. You start finding common elements, and you can't help but let them colour your views of the book you're reading. Like Elias, Croft is into martial arts, lives a very ascetic lifestyle (Japanese décor and shoji screens, whatever they are!) and has a unique personal philosophy by which he is guided (the Way of Water for Elias and the Way of the Circle for Croft). Croft, however, is quite a bit more "macho" than Elias, and has a past in which he made good use of his "adeption" (is this a word?) to violence. I'd say Croft is an alpha and Elias a beta.

Mercy was a good match for him. I loved to see how she goads him until he loses control every time they make love. I definitely understood why she'd want to do that; there was something very irritating about Croft when he was in that mode. She lost me a bit near the end, though, when she fell for Gladstone's ploy. An extremely TSTL moment.

The suspense subplot was ok. Not very suspenseful, actually, but entertaining, and not very believable either.

This one gets a grade of B+.

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