Sunday, February 24, 2019

#BookReview – “Running Hot” by Jayne Ann Krentz


Ex-cop Luther Malone, lifelong member of the secretive paranormal organization known as the Arcane Society, is waiting to meet Grace Renquist. Hired as an aura-reading consultant in the quest for a murder suspect, she’s got zero field experience. She’s from tiny Eclipse Bay, Oregon. She’s a librarian, for heaven’s sake.

As for Grace, she’s not expecting much either from Malone, who walks with a cane and isn’t so good with a gun. Nice résumé for a bodyguard...

But even before they reach their hotel in Maui—where they’ll be posing as honeymooners—Grace and Luther feel the electric charge between them. Problem is, they need to remain vigilant day and night, because it soon becomes clear there’s more going on here. Rogue sensitives—operatives for the underground group Nightshade—are pouring into the luxury resort like there’s a convention. Grace recognizes those dark spikes in their auras. She saw the same pattern in someone else in another life—a life she hasn’t revealed to Luther or anyone else. And she understands how dangerous these people can be... especially with those para-hunters at their sides.

While the pair’s employers at Jones & Jones scramble to get them backup, Luther and Grace have to think on their feet. The criminals in their midst aren’t just high-level sensitives: They’ve enhanced their talents with a potent—and unpredictable—drug. And as Grace knows all too well, if you don’t control your powers, your powers will control you....


In this Arcane Society book, Grace Renquist is a level-ten aura talent with a skin-sensitivity problem, and she’s hiding in plain sight with a new identity and a good job within the society. She’s absolutely stoked when the head of the West Coast branch of Jones and Jones (the society’s official paranormal investigation agency) sends her on her first mission, but there’s one problem. Her assigned J&J bodyguard used to be a homicide detective, and he’s damn good at discovering secrets.
Luther Malone doesn’t want to babysit anyone on this low-key, routine surveillance job. When he meets Grace, however, his libido and his need to protect kicks in. The problem? His leg’s busted after a mission-gone-bad, and he walks with a cane.
While identifying a suspected killer, Grace and Luther stumble upon a Nightshade convention. Nightshade, the arch nemesis of the Arcane Society, has developed a dangerous drug, and they’re experimenting it on their own members. There’s also an insane opera singer who fixates on Grace and proves to be a heap of trouble all on her own. Needless to say, Grace and Luther have their work cut out for them.
This is a really good story. Both the H/h have difficult back stories, especially Grace, and they bond through their shared pain. Their romance blooms quickly but it’s believable. It’s also nice to have a hero that’s not a member of the illustrious Jones family.
Petra and Wayne, Luther’s friends, are total badasses even though they’re in their sixties. They’re retired J&J agents and bring a lot of flavor to the book. Fallon is back, the J&J head, and he’s more stressed out than usual. With each new book, the reader learns more and more about this mysterious Fallon, and he’s quickly becoming my favorite character in the series.
Despite the use of passive voice and repeated taglines, the story is well-written and fast-paced. I wished the loose ends from the previous book, “Sizzle and Burn,” were tied up in this story, but nope, didn’t happen. Unfortunately, there are loose ends in this one too (the reader doesn’t even learn what Grace’s real name is), but at least I wasn’t confused about anything.
The story definitely kept my attention and I’m happy I read it.
4 Stars

Note -- Even though this book is considered number 5 in the Arcane Society series, it’s technically number 6 if you read the books in chronological order (not publication date). Personally, I read all of the Amanda Quick (historical) books first, then the Jayne Anne Krentz (contemporary) books, and lastly the (futuristic) ones by Jayne Castle. For readers who don’t know, these three authors are the same author, and she uses different names for each time period.

Disclaimer – I bought this book for my own enjoyment. I am not paid or compensated in any way, shape, or form for this honest review. I will not change or alter this review for any reason unless at my discretion.

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