Thursday, January 9, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Desperate and Deceptive

Desperate and Deceptive (The Guinevere Jones Collection - Volume 1) by Jayne Ann Krentz writing as Jayne Castle

Publication Date: 01/07/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Trade
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 384
ISBN-10: 0425271838
ISBN-13: 978-0425271834

(Received for an honest review from Berkley Trade)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Indiebound

Jayne Castle (aka. Jayne Ann Krentz) on the WEB: Website, Twitter, facebook, goodreads


The Desperate Game and The Chilling Deception, together for the first time!

Meet Guinevere Jones—a woman with a talent for love and trouble—and Zac Justis—her sexy and dangerous partner in crime—in the first two books in the New York Timesbestselling series.

The Desperate Game

It’s hard to keep a small business afloat—just ask Guinevere Jones, owner of a struggling temp agency. And security consultant Zac Justis isn’t making her life any easier. After he blackmails Gwen into helping him solve a computer crime, she finds herself caught in a web of suspense, danger, and love.

The Chilling Deception

A temp job as an executive secretary gives Guinevere Jones access to high places—and sets her instincts for danger tingling. Convincing Zac Justis to provide security for her client during a meeting on the wintry San Juan Islands gives her peace of mind, but brings them face-to-face with a dead man determined to avenge the past.


Desperate and Deceptive is a two-book collection of the first two Jayne Castle novels featuring heroine Guinevere Jones originally released in 1986. Jayne Castle is a pseudonym of bestselling author Jayne Ann Krentz. This collection includes both 'The Desperate Game' and 'The Chilling Deception' and will be followed later this year with a second volume that will include the last two books in the series. Readers who enjoy romantic suspense with an edge, will be thrilled with this re-release of some of Krentz's earlier works.

What I liked: 

This is some of JAK's early writing and before now it has been relatively hard to get a hold of. I liked the fact that Berkley Trade decided to re-release these stories in a collection. Both books were short enough to be done in this way and not provide a long and meandering book when put together. I liked having them both at my fingertips, so as soon as I finished one I could start the second one. Those of us who love a good series enjoy that. 

When JAK first started writing she wrote a lot of male characters that were most definitely alpha. But they also tended to be a little too dominant for my tastes. It was nice to see that Zac in this series is not so abrasive and hard to like, as some of those JAK was writing at the same time. Zac being the security game has to have a tough persona but it doesn't get out of hand and he turns out to be a pretty good leading man. 

Guinevere is a true original. She is a plucky small business owner who knows exactly what she wants, but can't seem to stay out of the trouble in the process. Mixing her with Zac, just seems to add to her troubles instead of making them better. In first book in this collection, The Desperate Game. she and Zac team up for the first time and the rest is history. They both find that they are really suited to working together and playing off each others strengths. JAK did a great job with Gwen and readers who have read these stories long ago will want to read them again, and Gwen will find a whole new audience as well. 

The Desperate Game deals mostly with the set up of the partnership of Zac and Guinevere and the computer related case that Zac is working on. The fact that he blackmails Gwen into helping him is classic and a lot of fun. The case was interesting and provided a great backdrop to the relationship that was developing between the characters.

The Chilling Deception in my opinion was the better of the two stories. Readers already had the background on who these characters were, what kind of motivations they had etc. In this story they focus more on the cases at hand and how to solve them. I liked the way that JAK let the story unfold with a steady pace but not overwhelming one. The fact that one of the characters was supposed to have been dead added another dimension to the story. I enjoyed this one a lot. 

It was obvious that these were early books from this author and that over the years she has really honed her craft and become a great writer. That is not to say that either of these stories are not well written. They both are, it's just that JAK has gotten better and better. Any fan of a good writer likes to read every thing they have written and it's nice to have these back in print again for that reason.

What I didn't like: 

I really can't pinpoint anything that I didn't like in either of these stories. It is just hard to give them a 5 apple rating when I know the author has written some other highly exceptional works.

Bottom Line:

They were good stories, but not JAK's best. I would certainly still recommend them as they both still stand on their own merit. Great characters is one of JAK's strong suits and that is true of Gwen and Zac in this series. I'm looking forward to reading the second volume in this collection and catching up on the last two books in the original series.

Desperate and Deceptive is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Jayne Castle, the New York Times bestselling author of Deception CoveThe Lost NightCanyons of NightMidnight CrystalObsidian PreyDark LightSilver MasterGhost HunterAfter Glow, and After Dark, is a pseudonym for Jayne Ann Krentz, the author of more than fifty New York Times bestsellers. She writes contemporary romantic suspense novels under the Krentz name, as well as historical novels under the pseudonym Amanda Quick. She lives in Seattle.

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Desperate and Deceptive by Jayne Ann Krentz writing as Jayne Castle.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ U.S. Addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight, EST January 23rd.

1. Please leave a comment describing whether or not you have read other books by Jayne Castle and what were your favorites. If you haven't read any, what about her alter ego's, Jayne Ann Krentz and Amanda Quick. 
2. Please fill out the FORM.


traveler said...

I read several novels by Quick. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Karen B said...

I have not read any of her books.

Nancy Luebke said...

I thought I had but guess I haven't unless it was a long time ago. It does sound interesting tho.

Victoria Zumbrum said...

I havent read any of her books yet but I would love to. Thanks for the awesome giveaway.

Renee G said...

I have read books by both Jayne Ann Krentz and Amanda Quick, although it hasn't been recently.

Natasha said...

I have read quite a few by her and I loved them all.
Thanks for the chance to win!

Anita Yancey said...

I have read several by Jayne Ann Krentz and Amanda Quick. They were all really good. Thanks for having the giveaway.


lag123 said...

I have yet to read any of her books.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

bn100 said...

Don't think I have

CrystalGB said...

I have read some of her Amanda Quick novels and really enjoyed them

Texas Book Lover said...

I have not read any books by Jayne or any of her alter ego yet.

Anonymous said...

Hello Debbie. No I have not read any of Jayne Castle or her akas Amanda Quick or Jayne Ann Krentz. But, have seen some and they sound like good books. I think she has been around quite awhile.
I am a subscriber by email.
Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

Michelle Willms said...

I have read her work under the name Jayne Ann Krentz. She is a very talented author; I'm looking forward to reading this new romantic suspense series.