Thursday, September 8, 2011

Book Review: Canyons of Night by Jayne Castle

Canyons of Night
Author: Jayne Castle
Publication: Jove (August 30, 2011)

Description: The island of Rainshadow is home to the mysterious, privately-owned woods known only as the Preserve. Now, after fifteen years away, both Charlotte Enright and her teen crush, Slade Attridge, have returned. But will their psi talents and Slade's dust bunny companion be enough to keep them from getting drawn into the darkness at the heart of the Preserve?

My Thoughts: This is the conclusion of the Looking Glass Trilogy which began in the book In Too Deep by Jayne Ann Krentz and continued in Quicksilver by Amanda Quick. This story moves to the planet of Harmony and takes place on the island of Rainshadow. It is a small isolated island. Charlotte spent part of her childhood there with her aunt and now has returned to take over her aunt's antique store. Charlotte has a little-regarded psychic gift of being a rainbow reader. She can see people's auras and can tune some antiques to be just the right thing for a person. She has also recently inherited some things from a grateful client. She is busy organizing her aunt's shop and getting settled in on Rainshadow.

Slade Attridge has returned to Rainshadow to be the new chief of police. He has been forced to leave his higher profile career in law enforcement after an accident that the doctors and para-psychologists have said damaged his psychic gift beyond repair. Slade is determined to only stay on Rainshadow for a brief time while he makes other plans for his life.

Charlotte and Slade had met briefly fifteen years before and had been interested in each other but their lives led them in different directions. Now, the romance is rekindled. Slade is reluctant to make any sort of commitment to Charlotte, though, because of his very uncertain future. 

But, when Charlotte finds a dead body in her store, Slade's plans to lie low until he has has new life plans in place is derailed. Charlotte may be in danger and Slade's protective instincts come to the fore. They are both busy trying to find out who killed Charlotte's intruder and also what is going on in the Preserve. This privately owned area is changing and becoming more frightening and dangerous. 

Adding a lot of humor to the suspense and romance is Slade's dust bunny partner Rex. Dust bunnies are native to Harmony and occasionally adopt some of the humans. Rex looks cute and fluffy most of the time but he is a dangerous predator is there is a threat. Rex also loves zucchini bread which is a constant thread in this book since zucchini season has hit and one of the locals is constantly giving everyone loaves of it. He also has taken a fancy to an antique beaded evening bag from Charlotte's store and won't be parted from it. 

This one has all the elements of the most successful of Jayne Castle's books. It has romance. It has danger. It has cute dust bunnies. And it has crisp, snappy dialog. All in all, it was a very satisfying read, a great conclusion to the Looking Glass trilogy, and a great introduction to stories about the Preserve and Rainshadow.

My only quibble with the story concerns the cover. I have no idea who the cover is supposed to illustrate. Charlotte is not the kind to go around in tight leather. That aside, this one is well worth reading.

Favorite Quote:
"Are you saying that you can see something in my aura that none of the experts saw? Thanks, but no thanks. I can't afford to waste time with that power-of-positive-thinking crap."

"That's the spirit," she shot back. "Think negative. That way you're never disappointed."

The sharpness of her tone caught him by surprise. She was usually so cheerful, so sunny and warmhearted. Like a dust bunny, he thought. But dust bunnies had teeth. He thought about that night fifteen years ago when Charlotte had tried to fight off a bigger, stronger attacker with only a flashlight. Underneath all that sweetness and light, Charlotte was a fighter.
I bought this one as soon as it was released. You can get your copy here too.

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