Gift of Gold
Verity Ames' father is a wanderer and jack of all trades, rarely able to settle down for any length of time. He raised her all around the world as he traveled around the world in and out of good places and shady joints. Now she is settled in a small town in northern California and runs a gourmet vegetarian restaurant. Her father, Emerson, had called her to meet him in a Mexican coastal town for help. When she arrives, he's gone. She almost gets attacked herself, but a stranger sees her plight and rescues her. She runs off and doesn't see who it is who helped her.
A couple months later Jonas Quarrel shows up at her restaurant and applies for her opening as dishwasher and handyman. She quickly realizes he's a man like her father, a wanderer. For the past five years he has been all over the world. She recognizes some of the names of his past employers from her father's more questionable vacation spots. Jonas is intelligent, quick, athletic, and hot. He carries a wicked knife at all times.
Yet Jonas has another history as well. He has a Ph.D. in Renaissance history and is an expert at authenticating objects from that era. He almost killed a man in an experiment. That's when he left academia and became a wanderer. Then he rescued Verity in Mexico. Now Jonas has come to California to meet the red-haired beauty who intrigued him when he saw her in Mexico. They have a mutal attraction that quickly ignites. Verity, though, knows it can't last. Jonas is like her father. How long before he is ready to move on?
The two find they are united by more than a sudden flare of feelings and lust. Jonas has a talent that sucks Verity in against her will. He is infamous in his left behind world of academia. Now he is the object of someone else's plan to use his talent destructively. Verity seems to be the key that will bind Jonas to the plan.
Gift of Gold is one of Jayne Ann Krentz's earlier romantic suspense novels. She also throws in an unusual psychic ability to the twist (long before her Arcane series started). It also plays off Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. Verity is a virago with a quick, waspish tongue. As her employee, Jonas already takes quite a bit from her. As a lover, she gets worse.
This romantic suspense kept my interest the whole way through. Admittedly, I had read Gift of Fire first, which is the sequal to Gift of Gold. I already liked the characters. I knew going into this novel that Verity and Jonas would get together. But that's true of 99.9% of the romantic novels written. The reader knows who's going to end up together almost from the beginning. The enjoyment is the trip getting there. And the trip getting there in this books is a good one, with some unexpected suspense twists to keep the reader from getting complacent.
Notice: Explicit sexual content, non-graphic violence
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Gift of Fire by Jayne Ann Krentz
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