Review: The Night Island

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.


Review: The Night IslandThe Night Island (The Lost Night Files, #2) by Jayne Ann Krentz
Series: The Lost Night Files #2
Published by Berkley on January 9, 2024
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 336
Goodreads
four-half-stars

FINAL DECISION: I enjoyed the suspenseful narrative, gradual romance development, and interconnected world-building which harkens back to many Krentz/Quick/Castle books, but I was left with some loose ends.

THE STORY: The book continues the story of Talia March, Pallas Llewellyn, and Amelia Rivers, who formed a bond after a night they can’t remember that gave them psychic abilities, prompting them to investigate what happened. In this book, when Talia follows up on a lead about a list of other test subjects, she finds the informant, Phoebe, missing and meets Luke Rand instead, who is also seeking the list. They realize they have a common goal and join forces, pretending to be a couple to investigate the remote “Unplugged Experience” retreat on Night Island. On the technologically isolated island, Talia and Luke encounter suspicious guests, strange plants, and deaths as they use their powers to uncover the secrets of the retreat and find the list, all while beginning to genuinely fall for one another even as danger lurks. Phoebe is not the first to disappear at the retreat, and Talia and Luke must rely on their psychic talents and blossoming romance to stay alive and solve the mystery.

OPINION: From the opening disappearance, a tone of tension and mystery permeates the narrative that immediately hooked me. I enjoy getting to know Talia and Luke, who both possess psychic gifts. Krentz does a great job establishing initial chemistry between them. Krentz makes great use of the pretend relationship combined with — “we can’t be together because of our cover story.”

As the book reveals the background stories of Luke and Talia, they have a shared bond that builds a strong connection between them that works both for the investigation and also for the romance. I’m always left wanting more romance in Krentz’s current romantic suspense format, but what is here worked for me.

While the ending feels rushed to me, leaving key questions frustratingly unresolved (probably awaiting the third book in the series), I really enjoyed the well-paced suspense narrative.

As a longtime Jayne Ann Krentz fan, I enjoyed connecting the dots across her elaborate interconnected worlds. I especially enjoyed the connections to her historical Arcane series books. I’m happy that Krentz has apparently decided to keep going forward with these stories even thought I don’t expect a final resolution of any of these bits and pieces. It is fun being reminded of books I read years ago and know that Krentz hasn’t forgotten them either.

But it is Luke and Talia and their somewhat sweet romance that kept me hooked even when the central island mysteries ultimately end up lacking full resolution.

WORTH MENTIONING: This book has strong paranormal elements.

CONNECTED BOOKS: THE NIGHT ISLAND is the second book in the Lost Night Files series. The romance here is self-contained and this book can be read as a standalone although there is an overarching storyline…but a reader can quickly catch up.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.

NOTE: I received an eARC of this book via Netgalley in order to prepare this review. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.

four-half-stars

Review: Sleep No More

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.


Review: Sleep No MoreSleep No More (Lost Night Files, #1) by Jayne Ann Krentz
Series: Lost Night Files #1
Published by Berkley on January 3, 2023
Genres: Paranormal, Romantic Suspense
Goodreads
four-half-stars

FINAL DECISION: The story is much more suspense than romance, although I really enjoyed that Pallas and Ambrose spent most of the book together doing their investigation. I wish there were more relationship development, but I don’t expect as much of that in Krentz’s books now as I used to enjoy. The story was really good and kept me engaged until the end. Warning that this book leaves the big overarching story open for the rest of the series (what happened to the characters during the Lost Night), but the primary plot of the book is resolved.

THE STORY: Pallas Llewellyn’s life was turned upside down when she awoke at a hotel with no memory of what happened. Two other women had the same experience. The three have bonded in trying to determine what happened to them. The three have the “Lost Night Files” podcast where they investigate unusual happenings in hopes of discovering what happened to them.¬†Ambrose Drake has had a similar experience as the three women at the Carnelian Sleep Clinic. His experience was magnified because he believes that he saw a murder during his “lost night”. Ambrose connects with Pallas t get her help in discovering what happened. The two join forces to investigate what happened to them — especially because each had a significant paranormal talent arise after the missing night.

OPINION: This book has a similar theme to Krentz’s last series, Fogg Lake, but I feel that she has improved just about everything in the series. This book has more tension and drama, and suspense. My only complaint is that there really isn’t any drama between Ambrose and Pallas, so their relationship is not compelling at all. Instead, it seems obvious from their first meeting that a relationship is inevitable.

The suspense story here is well crafted as there were plenty of twists, but the twists make sense, and the foundation for them is developed throughout the story.

My favorite part of this book, however, is that Ambrose and Pallas spend almost the entire book together. It feels like a buddy book (with sex and romance, certainly). That might be what bothered me about their relationship. It feels like a book that is part of the series where the main characters already have an ongoing relationship that turns romantic. (Because I am primarily a romance reader, I prefer romance to suspense, but this book definitely leans on the suspense part). There definitely is equality between the characters and their importance in solving the mystery of the book.

Both Pallas and Ambrose are suffering from the events of their lost night and dealing with their enhanced paranormal abilities. Some of my favorite Krentz books are her paranormal ones because they have a different energy, and the book feels more engaging. The paranormal abilities give the characters quirks that they have to deal with so the characters are changing as the story develops. Pallas and Ambrose find acceptance in one another which helps their relationship during the book.

We don’t get much about the other characters who will be the focus of the other books in the series, so I’m looking forward to their stories.

WORTH MENTIONING: I loved the Easter Eggs for fans of Krentz’s universe, including Arcane and Burning Cove.

CONNECTED BOOKS: SLEEP NO MORE is the first book in the Lost Night Files.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.

NOTE: I received an eARC of this book via Netgalley to permit me to prepare this review. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.

four-half-stars