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.
The 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
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.