The Ties That Bind, by Jayne Ann Krentz

>> Monday, February 10, 2003

After that, I read an old Jayne Ann Krentz category, The Ties That Bind, from 1986.

Finally Shannon Raine decides to stop speculating about her dark, brooding neighbor on California's rugged Mendocino coastline -- and just introduce herself. But the last thing she expects to find in this enclave of artists and writers is a Silicon Valley mogul. Garth Sheridan is cool, sensual and intriguing. And immediately Shannon knows the passion that flares between them will become intense and all-consuming.

But the more intimate their desire becomes, the more Garth's life seems hidden from Shannon. She longs to understand this man and the other life he leads, far from the scenic haven they share. Somehow she has to convince Garth that he can trust her with the part of him that rules the ruthless, high-stakes arena of big money and corporate power. For only then can their two worlds become one.

This one was like Gambler's Woman in reverse. Here it's the heroine, Shannon, who worries about being apart from the rest of Garth's life, about being a weekend lover. I found it interesting that while I enjoyed seeing Jordan steamed about the situation in G'sW, I was absolutely outraged when Shannon was in the same position. Doble standard? Me? LOL!

Anyway, maybe because of this, TTTB wasn't too good. Basically, Garth was a jerk... a patronizing, condescending jerk. He's the stupid, oblivious idiot who thinks that if a woman makes a friendly overture to him, she's a slut who wants to have sex with him, and he gets angry at her (huh? even if she did want to have sex with him, why the anger?). He's the self-righteous prig who sees nothing wrong in demanding of a couple he's just met why they're having a child without getting married. Oh, and let's not forget the paranoid jealousy.

However, the thing with JAK's jerk heros is that they usually do realize they're doing something wrong and apologize (after a fashion).

I did like Shannon, and appreciated the fact that she didn't tolerate most of Garth's idiocies. She confronted him and told him she wouldn't stand for certain things. She was a bit too forgiving for my taste, though, and I really didn't see what she saw in Garth.

The plot about industrial espionage was pretty ludicrous, as was the "villain"'s reasoning for going after Shannon. Why would he assume what he did assume? No reason. And Shannon should have handled the confrontation differently... maybe even going with the truth? (or at least a big part of it?) None of this made sense, and (this is nit-picking!) neither did Garth's business' name: Sherilectronics? Huh?

For all the things that I didn't like, there was enough here to keep the book a C+, though. The supporting characters were well done, as were the atmosphere and setting. I LOLed at the reworked version of "The Taming of the Shrew", and would love to see it. And the protagonists did have chemistry between them. So, this wasn't a total bust.

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