Genre: futuristic paranormal romance
Cover: it looks kickass, but as usual for the Jayne Castle covers, it really is not our heroine and totally does not fit the story.
Even the mysterious world of Harmony has people who don’t quite fit in. They’re drawn to places like Rainshadow Island, a beautiful sanctuary where anyone can feel safe – and where secrets are closely guarded…
Schooled in an exotic form of martial arts, and with the ability to detect the auras of dangerous psychic criminals, Rachel Blake and her dust bunny companion have found peace and quiet on Rainshadow Island, operating a bookstore and café.
But her tranquil new life is thrown into chaos when Harry Sebastian, the descendant of the notorious pirate, arrives to investigate strange developments in the privately owned woods known as the Preserve.
Immediately drawn to the amber-eyed woman, Harry must tread carefully. While Rachel’s special talents can help him track down dangerous rogues who have violated the Preserve, they can also sense the heart of darkness within him. But desire can weaken the toughest of defences - and leave even the strongest man wanting more…
I have to admit, that I squeed when I opened the envelop containing this book. Jayne Castle is one of my very favourite authors, and I read it in one evening. Mesmerized by the story and the characters, as usual.
Rachel Blake was raised in an usual way, in something like a commune, where everything is geared towards balance. It is not really her thing, and so she sets out to find her way. She has two aunts living on Rainshadow Island, operating a bookstore, and she visits them. But something strange happens, and she looses 12 hours of her life, having entered the Preserve, and found her own way out again. Something that is a miracle in itself. Then she tried the life in Frequency City, first as some kind of old fashioned fortune teller, an aura reader, and later as a psychic connected to a well known clinic, where she tries to heal aura’s of psychically disturbed people. But when she claims one of her patients is not ill, but just a real psychopath, her boss doesn’t want to believe her, and she is fired again. Apparently not cut out for the corporate life, Rachel goes back to Rainshadow Island, where her aunts have left her their bookstore.
She likes her new and quiet life, and the friends she has made. Even a dustbunny came chortling into her life a few days ago, taking an instant liking to her childhood doll, Amberella. Rachel has named her dustbunny Darwina, a very fitting name.
But then her friend and the new police chief Slade introduces her to Harry Sebastian, here to research the strange happenings on the island and especially the Preserve. Everyone knows the Preserve is heating up, affecting the weather, and everyone’s psychic abilities. She knows Harry is trouble, but she cannot deny her attraction to him. So when he comes knocking on her door while a storm is brewing the next evening, claiming to need refuge as the road is impassable, she has no choice but to let him in.
Harry coerces her in helping him with his investigation. And if she doesn’t use her psychic powers of aura reading to find out the truth soon, he will have no choice but to order the island evacuated as the Preserve will become too dangerous. The energy is getting hotter by the day, and it has something to do with some old stones from Earth his ancestors brought over, and his grandfather, the infamous pirate Harry Sebastian the first has hidden on the island. The stones are missing, and he is sure some local is responsible for it.
Rachel doesn’t want to use her powers on her friends and neighbours, but he leaves her no choice. But Harry will have to understand that her unorthodox upbringing does not mean she sleeps around, he will have the choice of the sofa or the floor. Even though the attraction between them is sizzling, and her dustbunny flirts with him.
Harry went through a bad divorce himself, something very unusual on Harmony, and thinks himself a monster, not worthy of love again. But Rachel can read his aura, she knows what he is, a shadow talent, a hunter, and dangerous enough for criminals and those whom deserve it, but never to her. And so they work together, trying to find out what happened to her causing her to lose 12 hours. Bits and pieces are already coming back, she just needs to trigger more of those flashes. Her nightmares might also contain a clue, the sea monsters she is dreaming about, might be real. But where did she ever see them?
I enjoyed this story very much. Rachel has a lot of talents, most involving aura reading and healing. Which translates into brewing special teas and tisanes for her clients, helping them heal or relax, or whatever they need. But of course there is a dark side to her talent as well, from healing to hurting, and she knows how to protect herself. But to know she has a psychopath stalk her is very unsettling.
Harry was a very interesting hero. Not very much of his background was told, but perhaps the next book will reveal more about him and his family, as his brother will be the hero in that one. He has inadvertently hurt his wife with his powers, when she came into his study while he was practising control, after being told never to disturb him when busy using them. But she ignored it, got scared, and filed for divorce after a three week marriage. Harry took the full blame, and it also cost him a lot of money. Being a Sebastian, that was of little consequence, as the family is very rich, thanks to their successful pirate grandfather. Harry doesn’t like the corporate life either, he is not meant for boardroom meetings, talking and reporting, and all. Which is why he is head of security, and sent to Rainshadow to investigate. He is a hunter talent, and a very strong one, and knows that Rachel is the key to it all, and he is determined to use her. He never did anticipate of falling for her though.
The plot, the mystery, I enjoyed that very much, and it was never something I could figure out. It kept twisting and turning and never got predictable or boring. The whole book takes place in just a few days, and lots of action happens. I love Jayne Castle’s writing style, her sense of humor, and the world she has build on Harmony.
If you like it, you will probably also like Robin D. Owens Celta books.
The Lost Night is fast paced, the dustbunnies play their important part, both to bring some humor, and to defend their people. It is the first in a new series, and I really enjoyed reading it. Great characters, both the main and the secondary, a great plot and mystery, and some new discoveries about the world of Harmony and the aliens who lived there first. My kind of humor, and some nice lovescenes as well. I do recommend this author and all her books as I have read and loved them all.
© 2012 Reviews by Aurian