Desperate and Deceptive by Jayne Castle

January 17th, 2014 Kimberly Review 60 Comments

17th Jan
Desperate and Deceptive by Jayne Castle
Desperate and Deceptive
by Jayne Castle
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

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
One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

60 Responses to “Desperate and Deceptive by Jayne Castle”

  1. Berls

    For some reason I’m not really a fan of PI type books – I’ve never been a fan of the cop tv shows either. I’m glad you enjoyed it though 🙂 I think they need to do something about that cover though LOL

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I enjoyed this for the nostalgia and seeing Castle’s earlier works.

  2. aurian

    Great review Kimba, thank you. I have had these as ebooks for years now, and I really want to the paper versions, but for now, way too expensive. Someday I will read them though.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I like that they combined them and they are full-length novels so that is a plus.

  3. Lindy

    I always enjoy a good mystery. I like that the romance developed slowly, and that you enjoyed the characters. I love when a character can make me laugh, and am glad that you enjoyed this timeless read! Wonderful Review Kim 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      thanks Lindy is was neat reading a beloved author’s earlier works

  4. Dani

    I have these books I just need to read them. I have read a lot of her older works and while some of them need to be update a bit, they still have a nice easy way about them that makes them enjoyable and easy to read.

  5. michelle A - Novels On The Run

    I’ve not heard of this author or series and I am old school in age. Thanks for sharing. I have often wondered if it was feasible to update technology, tweak a series just a little that stood the test of time, like some of these badass long 13 year series with 25 books. Is it feasible to do that. The reason I am tangenting on this, lol, is because I started a very popular bad ass long series that started back late 90’s and they were wearing baby doll nighties and it seemed a bit twee, also the way they spoke. I felt like shaking the words and clothing up a bit to make it more modern. It wouldn’t have affected the story, but I was a tad bored. Yet a very popular long series.



    • kimbacaffeinate

      It would be interesting to see it done, but I wonder if it would just be easier to write new material? This had an 80’s vibe from their dress to mannerism but the case was a good one, and I enjoyed the trip down memory lane.

  6. Ginny

    I think I’ve read some of her Deception Cove series and really enjoyed them. I am going to have to set down and make a book list for this books written under Jayne Castle, Jayne Krentz, and Amanda Quick because I know I’ve read books under each of her pen names but get them all confused.

    Thanks for sharing this one. I haven’t read it but I think I would like the 80’s references.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      If it helps here is the breakdown. Jayne Anne Krentz writes contemporary. As Amanda Quick she writes historical and as Jayne Castle she writes futuristic. Which makes these kinda cool because they are straight romantic suspense. What I love about this author is that not only does she writes in all three periods but she writes mystery, suspense, romance and paranormal woo-woo…brilly right? I use to keep an excel spreadsheet to keep track of all of them..ha! Krentz’s website does a good job of breaking them all down as well.

  7. Lily B

    slow romance ain’t so bad, but wow it’s been written quiet a while ago bet it’s quiet a bit different

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yes high hair, no cellphones, and you used a typewriter to write your school essays..LOL

  8. Christy

    I think it’s fun sometime to read books from the 80s and 90s, and see difference in technology and stuff. These sound fun though!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      These were fun, really PI with all the leg work when the men were men kinda thing 🙂

  9. Lauren

    Oh wow, these were originally published in the 80’s? That makes me want to read them more to see how different the tech and mannerisms are. Glad you enjoyed these, and thanks for putting them on my radar! 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      thanks Lauren yep it was the early 80’s when the men where tough and didn’t express their feelings and the woman had high hair..LOL

  10. Melissa (Books and Things)

    I think I would want to read it just to see how far we’ve come technology wise. 🙂 I might enjoy these and I don’t have the tv show to compare. I just never caught an episode. 🙁

        • kimbacaffeinate

          Nope..a lot of peeps saw Castle and did the same thing…also the couple could be a younger version of Kate and Castle..hehehe!

  11. Felicia the Geeky Blogger

    I am not a fan of the covers but I was hoping these would be a little bit better. I was kind of hoping they would be like the Eve Duncan series by Iris Johansen. I am still going to give it a whirl as I might like it and I appreciate your break down. It let me get my expectations in line 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      These are more dime store PI, but I enjoyed them and it was fun taking a trip back to the early 80’s

  12. Heidi

    It is nice to see that these for the most part held up to the test of time. Another author I need to try sometime. Looking forward to your reviews of the new ones. Hope you have a terrific weekend!

  13. Pamela D

    I have been meaning to give these books a try. I only realized that this is the same author that writes the Amanda Quick romances that I love.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      She usually writes the futuristic books and I adore her Arcane Society novels, this was old school PI and fun

  14. Debbie Haupt

    Kimba, I love Jayne’s current futuristic romances under this name and I have to admit I haven’t read the original series and will have to look into them

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I do too, especially the Arcane Society ones. I just bought River Road by Krentz and cannot wait to start it.

  15. Jenny

    Glad these mysteries are so well done Kim! I like that you said they’re timeless, all good books are I think:) I haven’t ever watched Castle, but I have to admit I kind of want to now, and start reading these books while I’m at it! I do love a slow building romance:)

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Hmm, the Castle show is different and features a cop and a writer and I love that show. This is author Jayne Castle and is a PI investigation feature a PI and a woman who owns a temping agency.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Agreed, the cases where the main focal point and I enjoyed it 🙂

  16. Jenea

    Sounds like a pretty good mix of suspense and romance. Great review.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      thanks Melanie, she made me laugh because she is like a little terrier when she has a hunch or idea.

  17. Jo

    I saw Desperate and Deceptive at Barnes and Noble this week and wondered about the stories. Now that I have read your reviews I will probably but the book and give them a try. My poor TBR pile.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      It is old school Jo and brought back memories of old PI novel.

  18. Mary

    I’ve read a couple of these but didn’t fall in love — a good story but not something I wait with bated breath for. Nice mysteries, though!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      So cool you read the original versions..I could never get my hands on them. You are right while I enjoyed them they aren’t like her newer books that have me counting down till release day.

  19. Chene Sterckx

    This book sounds like a fun! I love a good PI Story, especially when it has some humor in it 🙂 Great review Kimba 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      thanks Chene, this was like those old PI stories and I enjoyed it 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      LOL, well it fits the time period and as a fan it was fun to read her earlier work.

  20. Maja (The Nocturnal Library)

    I honestly don’t get why authors write under a different name if they’re just going to put both on the cover. It makes absolutely no sense to me.
    That said, this sounds very entertaining, witty banter and all. I love old(er) mysteries so I might just read this one soon.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      When these were originally published only Castle’s name appeared and her use of different names present day distinguished her three types of genres…