Jayne Castle also writes as Jayne Ann Krentz and Amanda Quick. I enjoy all of Arcane series books no matter what name they are written under. She has a fun way of writing with Amanda Quick being the historical book, Jayne Ann Krentz the present day book and then Jayne Castle following up with the futuristic book. It makes for some clever and interesting trilogies. She also has series that are standalone under each author. I don’t know how she keeps track of all the Arcane series but it never fails to impress me that she does. Her books are not part of an ongoing arc however they are all connected by terms and by the overall storyline of the Arcane Society so if you are not familiar with the her writing you might be a little lost just starting out with this book.
The Lost Night is the first book in a new series set in a place called Rainshadow Island. Rainshadow Island is a place for people who just don’t quite fit in anywhere else. It is a collection of the misfits and rejects of society. It is also place of strong psi energy particularly in a place called The Preserve. The island is owned by the Sebastian family and The Preserve is closely guarded. People generally do not go into The Preserve because they usually do not come out alive.
Rachel Blake is one of very people to go into The Preserve and make it out alive however she has no memory of what happened the 12 hours she was lost in the area. All she remembers is coming out of The Preserve and finding the closest house for help. She has been termed to have been in a fugue state and everyone treats her very carefully thinking she might have some trauma from her lost time. Rachel is used to being treated differently because she was raised in a Harmonic Enlightenment family. The outside world has some very interesting views on Harmonic Enlightenment one of those ideas being they are a very promiscuous group. That idea happens to be false.
Harry Sebastian has been sent to the island to figure out why the energies of the are are out of whack. Everything is going crazy causing major storms and fog to take over the area. He suspects it has something to do with The Preserve and when he investigates he finds out he is correct. Many years ago his grandfather hid three stones in The Preserve. They are some sort of beacon or energy holder for the area. Upon arriving Harry finds out the stones have been stolen and knows only a powerful psi personality could have survived entering The Preserve and taking the stones. It is up to him to find the stones or he will evacuate the island to save everyone from what is coming.
Harry’s first suspect is Rachel simply because of her 12 hours lost. After meeting her he feels an instant connection and knows she cannot have possibly taken the stones on purpose. There has to be another reason she would have done it, if she is the one, – whether to help a friend or blackmail. Harry enlists Rachel’s help and talent as an aura reader to interview the town and find out who could have done the crime.
I am always a little bit in love with the heroes in these books. Krentz/Castle writes the most brooding, angsty men you can read about. They feel they are beyond redemption and are usually high end talents. I have to giggle because each of her heroes are also generously endowed. Can you go wrong with generously endowed and brooding all wrapped up into the same package? Harry Sebastian is just such a man. He has recently had a CM (covenant marriage) dissolved, an normally impossible task, because his wife was afraid of his talent. He ran too hot one night and scared her off. Now he feels he is a walking nightmare and not something any woman would want to be with.
Good thing for him Rachel is an aura talent and is able to withstand the full force of his hunter abilities. She is also able to calm him after he burns too much of his talent. This is a huge help for Harry because he cannot normally be around anyone during his burn off time. Harry is convinced Rachel is the true woman for him because she matches him perfectly.
The villain is the book is pretty straightforward. He is someone we are introduced to fairly early in the book and they do not hide the fact it is him. He does have a partner on Rainshadow Island that we do not know about. I wouldn’t say figuring out who the partner is was too tricky but I have never thought these books were really about the suspense but more so about the world and the relationships.
The ending is left open with Harry and Rachel only finding one of the three stones and Drake, Harry’s brother, off to find a woman who might know where the other stones are. I assume with three stones this might be another trilogy in the making. Overall this was a good book for Krentz/Castle. It was a quick read with some engaging characters. I look forward to the next in the series. Final grade- B-
“I sensed almost from the start of this thing that you’re the key. Until I find out exactly what lock you can open, I’m not letting you out of my sight.”
She winced. “Always nice to feel needed.”
His eyes heated a little. “I need you, Rachel. Don’t ever doubt that.”