by Jayne Castle
Genres: Romantic Suspense
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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
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
I enjoyed this for the nostalgia and seeing Castle’s earlier works.
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.
I like that they combined them and they are full-length novels so that is a plus.
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 🙂
thanks Lindy is was neat reading a beloved author’s earlier works
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.
Enjoy and yes it is a trip to the 80’s!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Thanks! I will check out her site and see which ones I’ve missed.
🙂 anytime sweetie 🙂
slow romance ain’t so bad, but wow it’s been written quiet a while ago bet it’s quiet a bit different
It is different and it was fun to go old school..LOL
Sharon - Obsession with Books
I think I’d enjoy the suspense and slow building romance with this one and I’m curious about the 80s technology 😉
A great review Kimba!
thanks Sharon 🙂
I’m sort of drawn in by the lack of technology thing. I ♥ the 80s!
Yes high hair, no cellphones, and you used a typewriter to write your school essays..LOL
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!
These were fun, really PI with all the leg work when the men were men kinda thing 🙂
A Voracious Reader
Hmmm…I’ll need to add these to the TBR. I don’t think I’ve read anything under the Jayne Castle name yet. 🙂
Did you read the Arcane Society Novels? She writes the Harmony ones
A Voracious Reader
Nope, haven’t read those. *squeezes them onto the TBR*
oh lord there are a lot of books in that series written under Amanda Quick, Jayne Anne Krentz and Jayne Castle (all the same author) and one of my favorite series EVER!
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! 🙂
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
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. 🙁
I don’t think there is a tv show.
Melissa (Books and Things)
I just realized what I was thinking. I had several people mention Castle the tv show and had it mixed up in my head. LOL I think I may need more sleep. 🙂
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!
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 🙂
These are more dime store PI, but I enjoyed them and it was fun taking a trip back to the early 80’s
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!
thanks Heidi 🙂
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.
She usually writes the futuristic books and I adore her Arcane Society novels, this was old school PI and fun
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
I do too, especially the Arcane Society ones. I just bought River Road by Krentz and cannot wait to start it.
Yay for a slow building romance, they are so much fun.
thanks Brandi have a wonderful weekend:)
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:)
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.
It is nice to have a slower romance every now and then.
Happy Friday Kim!
Agreed, the cases where the main focal point and I enjoyed it 🙂
Sounds like a pretty good mix of suspense and romance. Great review.
thanks Jenea have a lovely weekend!
Melanie (YA Midnight Reads)
Guinevere seems like a brilliant and capable woman! In glad you enjoyed these, Kimba!
Lovely review! <33
thanks Melanie, she made me laugh because she is like a little terrier when she has a hunch or idea.
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.
It is old school Jo and brought back memories of old PI novel.
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!
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.
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!
thanks Chene, this was like those old PI stories and I enjoyed it 🙂
Hmm, not my cup of tea it seems like. And that cover, yuck. Happy it was good for you though.
LOL, well it fits the time period and as a fan it was fun to read her earlier work.
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.
When these were originally published only Castle’s name appeared and her use of different names present day distinguished her three types of genres…