Kernel Fi was feeling a little antsy so decided to get here 50 SHADES on and review a romance novel, never thought I would see this. SECRET SISTERS was her romance novel of choice. SECRET SISTERS is written by prolific romance novelist Jayne Ann Krentz, who also writes science fiction and historical romance novels. She is a book writing machine with over 120 novels published under multiple pseudonyms. I really got into the wrong line of work – Krentz has sold over 35 million copies. SECRET SISTERS is out now from the fine folks at Hachette Australia, it will be available in most bookstores or you can obtain it HERE. Enjoy Fi’s review………all the best…….JK.
Jayne Ann Krentz is the creator of the ARCANE SOCIETY world DARK LEGACY, LADIES OF LANTERN STREET and the RAINSHADOW ISLANDS series. She also writes under the pseudonyms Amanda Quick and Jayne Castle. SECRET SISTERS is one of her crime/romance novels. Not quite 50 SHADES OF GREY but certainly soft porn.
SECRET SISTERS SYNOPSIS:
Madeleine and Daphne were childhood friends who were as close as sisters. Madeleine’s parents were killed when she was a baby and she went to live with her grandmother at her grandmother’s hotel. Daphne’s mother was a single parent who also worked at the hotel as a cleaner. When Madeleine is brutally attacked by a guest, Daphne comes to her rescue and the two share a secret about the man’s fate.
Twenty years on, Madeleine returns to Washington after her grandmother is killed in a mysterious house fire. When the caretaker, Tom Lomax is also killed, Madeleine realises that she too is in mortal danger and the long buried secret has been exposed. Enter Jack Raynor, the hotel’s new security expert and former FBI profiler. Gruff, hard-core Jack is predictably screwed up and shies away from commitment. He quickly becomes Madeleine’s love interest and very conveniently Daphne returns to Washington only to fall for Jack’s computer geek brother, Abe and be reunited with Madeleine.
SECRET SISTERS is billed as a great read for those who enjoy Nora Roberts. Perhaps the fact that I don’t should have told me that this wasn’t going to be my favourite book of the year. Krentz has certainly been successful both with her fantasy series and her romance thrillers but in reality, this is pulp fiction at its worst. I don’t think I would even have enjoyed this back in the day when I was a fledgling reader.
The characters in SECRET SISTERS are two dimensional and mostly unlikeable. Madeleine is a hard-nosed business woman with an axe to grind against life in general. Daphne, as the name might suggest, is a vacuous air-head who just seems to be along for the ride. Jack and Abe are know-it-alls with arrogant streaks. Krentz also likes to throw in as many cheesy lines as possible. Infact SECRET SISTERS is rather like a book version of THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL. Spare us the cheese, please.
You can glean a lot about a writer’s ability from the way they construct sex scenes and the sex in SECRET SISTERS are cringe-worthy…….
“His jaw was as rigid as the rest of him”
“He moved his thumb against her clitoris and with that she was lost”
“His climax thundered through him. A low, husky roar of satisfaction ripped through the night.”
Hardly poetry. Closer to c-grade porn.
The one thing that can be said for SECRET SISTERS is that the plot is reasonable and Krentz makes an effort to include enough red herrings and twists to hold your attention even if the characters are jerks and they’re having creepy sex. Krentz’s ability to keep the reader interested is a positive and she has created other characters with a separate back-story that effectively merge with Madeleine’s. However, without the element of surprise and the abandoned hotel and its sinister neighbours, this would be great for wrapping fish and chips.
Kernel Fiona was a criminal defence lawyer in a former life and now critiques books and writes short stories. She can’t resist spending large tracts of time in libraries, book shops and at writer’s festivals. Hopelessly in love with the written word, she told JK when applying for a writing position that “I would rather read then breathe” – I knew I had my next reviewer right then. You can catch her and her tweets at @FionaJayneFyfe1
** All images courtesy of various sources on Google or direct from the publisher – credit has been given to photographers where known – images will be removed on request.