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After Dark (Harmony,  #1)After Dark by Jayne Castle

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Imagine there is a great Connection open that people on Earth can go through to another planet. Jayne Castle, aka Jayne Ann Krentz, has done exactly that in After Dark, the first full-length book in Castle’s Harmony series. Harmony was colonized by people who are later cut off from Earth and have created a very Earth like society on a strange planet once thought to be inhabited by aliens. After generations had lived on Harmony, people learn to use amber to focus their psychic abilities to control the strange energy that the former alien’s inhabitants left behind. Harmony’s planet is filled with catacombs that people are still exploring to learn about their alien predecessors.

Paranormal Romance

Lydia Smith is an expert tangler; she can unlock the traps set by the alien’s to protect the catacombs. However she had an “accident” during her last archaeological dig in the catacombs. Most para-archaeologist would have gone mad after such an experience, but Lydia has recovered mostly unharmed. Except that her career tanked as everyone assumed she would no longer be able to perform her talent without cracking. To support herself Lydia has taken a job in a third-rate museum and makes friends with a few characters who don’t always run on the right side of the law. Enter Emmet t London, rich businessman tracking a stolen family heirloom to Lydia’s city. Emmett needs a powerful talent, like Lydia, who has connections in the city’s underworld.

Reader’s immediately feel the spark that ignites between these two extraverted characters. Each has their own agenda, and yet they are forced to work around the strong sexual tension that pulls them toward each other.

Businessman or Mob Boss

Like any good novel by Castle, After Dark, is layered with subplots. Emmett has plenty of secrets that he begrudgingly tells Lydia as she works to untangle the mystery that they are unraveling. With each admission, Emmett struggles to keep Lydia’s trust and overcome her preconceived idea about Emmett’s life. While each character comes into this story with a solid understanding of who they are, there are many challenges they face as they begin to work together as partners and finally as lovers. Both Lydia and Emmett must come to grips with what it means to be in a relationship. Their beginning is filled with lies and intrigue that could undermine any chance they have of continuing their romance once the mystery is solved.

Untangling the Harmony Series

Krentz spends a great deal of time setting the stage for this new world, Harmony. So far she has written eleven Harmony stories (including novels and novellas) that intertwine with her Arcane Society, Dreamlight, and Looking Glass, and her newest Rainshadow series. The situation is complicated still by the fact that Krentz not only writes novels as Jayne Castle but also as Amanda Quick. Readers may have some difficulty locating the exact Harmony titles on the Jayne Ann Krentz official website as the site organizes books by author name with little reference to particular series. However so far, Harmony titles appear written by either Castle or Krentz.

The best reference I have found to locate series titles has been on Goodreads.com which allows users to sort books by the series name. However, there are also several fan sites that provide adequate series lists for Krentz’ work. Though it may take some investigation to follow this series, readers who manage to locate Harmony books will be rewarded with gripping romantic tale. Regardless of the pen name or time period, Krentz always provides strong characters with an emotional depth story.

1. Castle, Jayne. Harmony (Harmony, #1 & Prequel, #0). Berkley Trade. July 2, 2002 ISBN 0425184773.
2. Castle, Jayne.  Charmed (includes: Winston Brothers, #2 & Harmony, #0). Penguin Group. October 1, 1999 ISBN 0425171299.
3. Castle, Jayne.  Bridal Jitters (Harmony, #0). Berkley Publishing Group. September 27, 2005 ISBN 0425208648.
4. Castle, Jayne. After Dark, Jove. September 5, 2000. 9780515129021.
5. Krentz , Jayne Ann. After Glow (Harmony, #2). Jove Books. February 24, 2004. ISBN 0515136948.
6. Castle, Jayne.  Ghost Hunter (Harmony, #3). Jove Books. June 1, 2006. ISBN 0515141402.
7. Castle, Jayne.  Silver Master (Harmony, #4). Jove. August 28, 2007. ISBN 0515143553.
8. Castle, Jayne.  Dark Light (Harmony, #5).  Jove. August 26, 2008. ISBN 051514519X.
9. Castle, Jayne.  Obsidian Prey (Harmony, #6). Jove. August 25, 2009. ISBN 0515146897.
10. Castle, Jayne.  Midnight Crystal (Dreamlight Trilogy, #3; Arcane Society, #9; Harmony, #7). Jove.  August 31, 2010. ISBN 0515148369.
11. Castle, Jayne.  Canyons of Night (The Arcane Society,#12, Looking Glass Trilogy,#3, Harmony, #8). Piatkus. August 30, 2011. ISBN 0749956070

 

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