Lost and Found, by Jayne Ann Krentz

>> Tuesday, March 11, 2003

The last book I read this weekend was another Jayne Ann Krentz, this time one of her latest, more Romantic Suspense-y ones: Lost and Found. My grade for it is a B.

Cady Briggs was happy to get out of the family business. Aunt Vesta's antiques gallery may be a prestigious and successful business, but the stress and responsibilities weren't much fun for her, nor were the frequent comparisons to Aunt Vesta's quirky personality. Cady much prefers her art-consulting business, especially when it leads to meeting enigmas like Mack Easton. Mack's request for help tracking down a stolen Renaissance helm seems like an easy job, and a good way to get to know the mysterious man.

When Aunt Vesta dies under suspicious circumstances, Cady finds she needs to call on Mack's unique talents. Posing as Cady's "almost fiancé," Mack helps investigate the complex workings of the antique world. Sparks begin to fly, however, as everyone becomes confused about the true nature of their relationship, including Cady and Mack.

It seems that JAK is devoting less and less space to the romance part in her books, and adding to the suspense elements. This is something I don't much like. Still, the suspense subplot here was engaging and the romance (at least what there was of it!) was ok.

First the romance: definitely not her best. I really bought the beginning of their relationship, and how they started being attracted to each other through e-mail and phone interactions. This rang true to me, probably because I've had a couple of work-related phone and e-mail-only relationships where I developed a pretty nice rapport with the other person. They never escalated to real attraction, but I definitely see how they could have. However, when they finally met, the chemistry wasn't too good. It was all relatively unemotional, and I really didn't see them falling in love.

The suspense subplot did compensate for much of this. It was interesting and I liked the process of unraveling all the threads. Cady and Mack didn't just hide everything from everyone else and from each other and try to present the world with a fait accompli. No, they shared with potential allies as soon as they had something substantial, and everything ended up being a group effort.

Some little details: I would have liked the decorative art to be more present in the story, since I found the info Krentz put in fascinating. Loved the setting. The names Cady and Mack weren't too good. Maybe it was just me, but I felt neither was overwhelmingly feminine of masculine, so for much of the first third of the book I had to think twice whenever one of them was mentioned, to remember if this was the heroine or hero.

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