The Hot Zone by Jayne Castle
After escaping from the hands of a mad scientist, Sedona Snow moves to Rainshadow Island. It’s remote and lightly populated – a place where she can recuperate from the experiments run on her. She can be on her own and away from ghost hunters and their Guilds.
But alien caverns have been found under Rainshadow. There are strange monsters appearing in the Preserve that may have come from Underground. A new Guild is founded on Rainshadow. Now the island is brimming with macho ghost hunters. The new Guild Boss is Cyrus Jones – a man of mystery with an unusual psychic talent.
Sedona knows she can’t trust everything a Guild Boss says. She’s had proof. But she believes and trusts what Cyrus tells her. When someone tries to attack her in her own home, Cyrus is the person who rescues her. He quickly becomes her protector. She is able to use her paranormal talent to help him with as well.
Someone is hunting Sedona. Is it the mad scientist? The Guild Boss who betrayed her when she was working for him Underground? Is it her ex-husband who didn’t look for her after the disappeared (aka was kidnapped)? Or is it the family who rejected her when she was 18?
The Hot Zone is Jayne Castle’s (aka Jayne Ann Krentz) newest Harmony novel. Harmony is a planet that was colonized by humans, then was cut off when the space portal closed hundreds of years earlier. An alien race who had abandoned the planet before the humans came left behind a vibe that gave humans psychic powers over the years. Now almost everyone has some psychic power to some degree. Some, like Sedona and Cyrus, have very strong psychic talents.
With The Hot Zone set on Rainshadow Island, some of the characters from the recent books have a significant role in this one as well. Sedona and Cyrus are believable, but some of the characters are over the top. Brock? I ask you – that is Sedona’s ex-husband. The name just screams “jerk” and little else is seen of him besides that.
I’m glad to see the Arcane Society is more heavily featured since Krentz left it behind this past year for two non-psychic novels (River Road by Jayne Ann Krentz and Otherwise Engaged by Amanda Quick). Castle/Krentz/Quick is one of my favorite romance authors. My plot complaint is that once again the romantic couple end up sleeping together within two or three days after they meet. The whole story line takes place in less than two weeks. I was easily able to identify the brains of the bad guys. At the same time, Castle doesn’t pull in any vulgar language to make her people sound more realistic. I appreciate that.
The Hot Zone is a fun, hot romantic read despite its plot problems. It’s a great bit of escape into romance fantasy land.
Notice: Strong sexual content, Non-graphic violence