by Jayne Castle
Published by: Penguin
Genres: Romantic Suspense
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 Times bestselling 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: The Guinevere Jones Collection Volume 1 by Jayne Castle brings us the first two books in the Guinevere Jones series previously published as a four book series. As a fan of Castle, I was delighted to see these books republished since they have been out of print for some time, and my library didn’t have them. I have come to love Castle’s futuristic books but loved these romantic suspense stories. Mini review: Gritty PI stories with a dynamic duo that made me laugh and stole my heart.
The Desperate Games– Introduces us to business woman, Guinevere Jones, a gutsy entrepreneur who owns a temp agency. She meets security consultant Zac Justis when he blackmails her into helping him on his current case. She goes undercover at a firm to determine who is stealing shipments. I immediately loved their interactions from the nickname she gave him to the heat that slowly developed. The case was an interesting one that included of all things a computer video game. Even secondary characters like her depressed sister and the computer geeks added to the tale. The tale had a nice flow and slowly built to the climatic ending. The novel ended on a good note with the promise of more interaction between them. Castle wove in suspense, danger and some delicious heat.
The Chilling Deception-Guinevere is temping as an executive secretary and is convinced her client is in trouble. She convinces him to allow Zac Justis to provide security during a meeting set on the wintry San Juan Islands. Zac isn’t interested in guarding a briefcase, but the idea of a long weekend with Guinevere entices him to accept. Guinevere cracked me up; she is enjoying this little game of amateur detective, and I laughed at some of the things she does. She leaves poor Zac exasperated, but her instincts are good. The romance between them is still new, and they set out to define it. Their banter made me laugh and Zac at times is such a guy with his thought process that you cannot help, but want to smack him. The mystery in this was interesting and slowly grew in intensity.
Overall I enjoyed Desperate and Deceptive. I appreciate how Castle is taking the romance slowly, and this novel is relatively clean yet still gives you moments of heat. These have an older feel to them, and their original 1980’s publishing date shows from lack of technology to Zac’s mannerism. Having said that, theses mysteries were timeless, and I quite enjoyed them. Sinister and Fatal: The Guinevere Jones Collection Volume 2 will release February 4, 2014 and I look forward to reading them.
Three and half cups of coffee out of five
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