Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Book and Audio Review: After Glow by Jayne Castle

After Glow

Jayne Castle
Narrator: Joyce Bean
Series: Ghost Hunters (Book 2)
Publication: Berkley (February 24, 2004); Brilliance Audio (July 1, 2009)
Length: 343 p.; 9 hours and 31 minutes

Description: Return to Harmony—where nothing is as it seems.

Life is complicated for Lydia Smith. She’s working at a tacky, third-rate museum, Shrimpton’s House of Ancient Horrors, trying to salvage her career in para-archaeology—and dating the most dangerous man in town. Just when she thinks she might be getting things under control, she stumbles over a dead body and discovers that her lover has a secret past that could get him killed. Just to top it off, there’s trouble brewing underground in the eerie, glowing green passageways of the Dead City.

Descending into these twisting catacombs, Lydia will learn just what it’s like to put her heart—and life—on the line…

My Thoughts: Lydia Smith is still working at Shrimpton's and trying to build her career as a consultant. She's dating Emmett London despite the fact that he's a former hunter turned business consultant. Lydia has found a rich new client who wants her to find artifacts to decorate his new development. But she is still trying to find out what happened during her "lost weekend" when she spent 48 hours lost in the catacombs under Cadence City.

When an old colleague contacts her saying he has some information about the time that she lost, Lydia is quick to go see him. Only she arrives too late and she finds his body. She immediately calls the police but there are suspicions of her involvement since she had recently found another body. When she and Emmett return to the scene of the crime, they find a carefully hidden clue but it isn't clear what the clue is supposed to tell them.

Then Mercer Wyatt is shot and Emmett is chosen to take over temporary control of the Cadence City Guild. This causes all sorts of conflicts between Lydia and Emmett because Lydia still blames Guild hunters for abandoning her in the catacombs which led to her lost weekend and losing her job as a para-archaeologist. 

Things get even worse when someone tries to kill Emmett by setting a large green ghost on him. And there is a plot that someone wants to challenge him to a hunter duel to take control of the Guild. This leads to Lydia proposing a Marriage of Convenience to Emmett so that she can protect him from being challenged to a duel. 

Now, Emmett wants to marry Lydia but he would prefer the more permanent Covenant Marriage and he would prefer that Lydia is marrying him because she loves him, not just because she wants to protect him. 

This story is science fiction lite. Twentieth Century Earth culture and most technology is just dumped onto the planet of Harmony. There are additions though. The residents are gaining psychic powers as the generations go on and there are alien ruins that provide all sorts of mysteries for scientists and treasure hunters to discover. And there are dust bunnies. Fuzz makes his second appearance in this story as someone who has adopted Lydia and who has a number of paranormal talents of his own including his psychic bond with Lydia which lets him find her when she's lost in the catacombs. Dust bunnies are small, six-legged and four-eyed creatures that look a lot like a ball of dryer lint. They are predators who are quite protective of the humans they adopt.

This was a fun paranormal romance which was also a mystery. I enjoyed it quite a bit. Joyce Bean did a nice job with the different character voices and the pacing of the story. 

Favorite Quote:
"Don't act dense."

"Sorry, but it's not an act. I feel dense at the moment. I'm also real tired of playing guessing games. Why don't you tell me why you're crying?  Keep it simple. Short sentences and no more than two syllables, okay? After all, I'm a hunter, remember? I don't do big words."
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

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