I received this book for free from Netgalley in order to prepare an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Guild Boss by Jayne Castle
Published by Berkley Books on November 16, 2021
FINAL DECISION: This book was just fun. An action-adventure paranormal sci-fi futuristic mystery. The conflict here is external concerning the plot so the romance just felt sweet and enjoyable. Loved the strong characters — and who can resist a pizza-eating dust bunny?
THE STORY: A return to Harmony, a colony of earth now cut off where people have various psychic powers interacting with the alien world. Lucy Bell disappears into the tunnels under the city and is rescued by Gabriel Jones, one of the Guild Hunters. While Lucy insists that she was drugged and kidnapped, people believe that she got drunk after a party and wandered into the tunnels. The incident ruins Lucy’s reputation in her profession and months later when Gabriel comes back into her life, she is working as a guide on a studio tour. Now the Guild Boss of Illusion Town, Gabriel reconnects with Lucy as the two discover what happened the night Lucy disappeared.
OPINION: This book was deeply satisfying for me. It was light and fun (although there is a serious storyline — it’s not a comedy). It had a fun action-adventure vibe that I needed right now. I admit to being a huge Arcane fan and love whenever connections to that series come up. In this book Castle leans into the connection which was gratifying.
Nobody writes the “corporate” romance better than Jayne Ann Krentz (aka Jayne Castle) and this book moves the Guild more towards a polished organization. As someone who reads all three of Krentz’s different time periods, this book just felt like a great synthesis of all of them. The reveal of the significance of the book’s title was fun and just lifted the story with a little comedy.
I loved Gabriel who is put in his place by the strong Lucy. Their relationship has real equality, and there is chemistry and Castle always has great dialogue that builds a great relationship. These two are obviously meant for one another and much of the conflict is external involving the mystery, but it works here.
The only reason that this isn’t a perfect 5 star for me is that frankly there are other Castle books from this series that I love better. This one was really good, enjoyable, a rollicking adventure, and hit both the tone that I wanted and also had some great nostalgia.
I’m so glad that Castle is back writing this series and look forward to more.
WORTH MENTIONING: Gabriel is definitely one of those Jones for fans of Jayne Ann Krentz’s Arcane series. For fans of that series (who may be disappointed that Krentz abandoned the storyline in her contemporary romantic suspense), some of the past storylines are picked up here.
CONNECTED BOOKS: GUILD BOSS is the fourteenth book in the Harmony/Ghost Hunters series. The book can be read as a standalone although a new reader will need to catch up on some of the worldbuilding rules. This book is also connected with the Arcane series (which spans all three of Castle’s noms de plume — Jayne Ann Krentz, Amanda Quick, and Jayne Castle).
STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.
NOTE: I received an eARC of this book via Netgalley. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.