Oh, Jayne Ann Krentz. There was a time (the early 90s) when any book with your name on the cover meant an instant buy from me. I loved your historical romances, your contemporary suspense romances, your paranormal romances… ::sigh:: You had the golden touch, as far as I was concerned.
So, in memory of that happy era of Doc Martens, flannel shirts, and your books with sparkling heroines battling—and loving—wounded heroes I have to ask: What the hell happened?
Dream Eyes is the second book of the Dark Legacy trilogy, contemporary romances with paranormal aspects. The heroine, Gwen Frazier, is a dream counselor with psychic abilities. Gwen has returned to the strange small town where she briefly lived and is viewed with suspicion due to events from her past. Gwen quickly realizes that a serial killer who specialized in killing psychics seems to be back from the dead. As the one who foiled the serial killer in the first place, Gwen knows she is at risk. Enter security consultant Judson Coppersmith (brother to the hero of the first book in the trilogy) who is—quelle surprise!—tormented by traumatic dreams. But Judson won’t let Gwen treat him, because she must see him as A STRONG ALPHA MAN ::pause for chest-beating, Tarzan howl::, not a patient. While they seek the real killer, they deal with their overwhelming attraction and growing love.
The whole thing was… fine. It was overwhelmingly fine. I’ve just read what feels like THIS EXACT NOVEL so many times from her, with the details changed a bit. That Jayne, she’s a real NorthWesterner alright: she loves to recycle!
Examples (SPOILERS) :
- Odd little small town populated by misfits? Recycled.
- Relationship is salvaged at the last minute due to some meddling by a curmudgeon-with- a heart of gold father /father figure? Recycled.
- Hero/heroine has a strange psychic profile that has impeded a successful relationship with any one…until this perfect match comes into his/her life? SO Recycled.
- The hero and heroine “solve” the mystery but there’s a *SURPRISE* twist? Oh yeah. Recycled.
Krentz also has a habit of picking an image or metaphor and running with it throughout the book. This…this conceit has not withstood multiple uses. The hero as an Ancient Warriors. As dark water. As implacable granite. OH MY GOD, GET A NEW SHTICK In this one, she mixed it up slightly by not solely applying it to the hero. But as you might have guessed, dreams were referenced ad nauseam throughout the story including Judson referring to Gwen with the unlikely and, let’s face it, cheesy as hell nickname of “Dream Eyes.”
Blargh. The disappointing part is that Krentz is a talented writer with great descriptions and who can write entertaining banter. She’s no Shakespeare but she was near the top of the heap for light romance, in my opinion. So seeing yet another lazy and almost rote offering is just too much. I’ll be actively avoiding her stuff for a while.