Eclipse Bay, by Jayne Ann Krentz

>> Tuesday, September 23, 2003

After reading Summer in Eclipse Bay, by Jayne Ann Krentz I had to go back and reread the first in the trilogy: Eclipse Bay.

Their grandfathers hated each other. Their fathers hated each other. And as the next generation of the Hartes and Madisons, Hannah and Rafe are expected to hate each other too. But Hannah Harte, a successful wedding consultant with a skeptical view of marriage, remembers the long-ago night on the beach that revealed Rafe as much more than just "that disreputable Madison boy." And Rafe remembers the heroic gesture that proved Hannah's fierce spirit was stronger than any feud and saved him from near-certain imprisonment.

Now reunited by a surprising inheritance after years of living their separate lives Rafe and Hannah return to Eclipse Bay, and the hostilities that still divide, and bind, their families. And they are discovering something that is at once delightful and deeply disturbing? They don't hate each other. Not at all.
It was very good, just as good as the last in the trilogy: a B. Now I've got great hopes for Dawn in Eclipse Bay!

It was a perfect comfort read. It did have a little suspense subplot, but it was very light. The focus is firmly on the hero and heroine falling in love, together with the quirky (in a good way) secondary characters, including an adorable, very dignified dog.

I really liked the protagonists. Hannah was a regular woman reputed to be a goodie-two-shoes, which is something I can identify with, and Rafe was wonderful, the perfect fantasy man: a bad boy who is actually a nurturing, caring, kind man. This, and not the masterful alpha male, is a fantasy that really resonates with me. And, to make it even more perfect, Rafe cooks! Gourmet, no less. I got a couple of interesting tips from that ;-)

The only thing I found irritating was JAK's overreliance on using "family characteristics", assuming someone is a certain way because he or she is part of a certain family. I'm a Harte, therefore I'm all business. I'm a Madison, so I am completely focused on "my passion". This is something JAK tends to do a lot, and I usually don't notice it (or if I do, it doesn't bother me all that much), but she went a bit overboard here.

Still, that's a relatively minor point, and the balance for this book was very positive.

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