Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Quick Series Thoughts: Eclipse Bay

Eclipse Bay

by Jayne Ann Krentz
Book #1:  Eclipse Bay | Goodreads | Rating:  4.0 Stars
Book #2:  Dawn in Eclipse Bay | Goodreads | Rating:  3.5 Stars
Book #3:  Summer in Eclipse Bay | Goodreads | Rating:  3.5 Stars

Average Series Rating:  3.67 Stars

I believe I first saw mention of Eclipse Bay in one of the several Arcane Society books--probably Running Hot, but definitely also mentioned in In Too Deep.  A specific character was mentioned as well, Arizona Snow, who is apparently a staple background character in this trilogy--a very eccentric background character, who honestly didn't really bring much to the table aside from helping the forward progression of our romantic suspense in a very deliberate fashion.

I would have really liked for Arizona's conspiracy theories to have had some truth in them rather than just being a part of her eccentric conspiracy theorist ramblings.  That would have probably given the books a bit more suspense.

Ultimately, these books are more romance than they are suspense, and meanders you through more contemporary scenes and tangents before sometimes remembering that there was either a murder or some other criminal act involved in the main conflict.

Anyway, I'm glad I finally got my hands on the Eclipse Bay trilogy, so I could see how it tied in with the Arcane Society books, or if it does at all.  These books definitely do NOT allude to the Arcane Society timeline, but they are certainly your typical Jayne Ann Krentz formula, in an enjoyable, yet forgettable way.

The characters were great, though I couldn't help getting frustrated with the continuous busy-body culture of the small town of Eclipse Bay.  I also started learning how to smell when someone was about to spout the words: "Nothing comes between a Madison and his passion."  The first time this came up, it was cute.  The second time, it was an interesting running gag.  The third, fourth, fifth, maybe twentieth time... well, might have been overkill.

Finally, I do believe that it was the presence of Winston, the high class, sophisticated Schnauzer, that ended up giving the first Eclipse Bay book an extra 0.5 star, because originally, I was thinking that this book was really only worth about 3.0 to 3.5 Stars based on my "meh" reaction to most of the book.

The characters were good, as Jayne Ann Krentz characters usually are, but they weren't great.  In fact, two of our three main male characters--Gabe Madison and Nick Harte--bordered on brooding, alpha, jackass.  So yes, some parts of the romance smelled of dated tropes, even if not all of it.  If that makes any sense.  Rafe came close to being a borderline broody, alpha male jackass... he gets points for steering clear of that stereotype... and also gets extra points for being a gourmet chef.

I actually have no complaints about our three main heroines--they were fantastic, standard, feisty, yet somehow not-so-standard characters.

Nonetheless, this was a fun, entertaining series to pass the time if you're looking for a great Jayne Ann Krentz to read!  As my BFF always says, "You can't go wrong with Jayne Ann Krentz."

Their grandfathers hated each other.

Their fathers hated each other.

And as the next generation of the Hartes and Madisons, Hannah and Rafe are expected to hate each other too.  But Hannah Harte, a successful wedding consultant with a skeptical view of marriage, remembers the long-ago night on the beach that revealed Rafe as much more than just "that disreputable Madison boy."  And Rafe remembers the heroic gesture that proved Hannah's fierce spirit was stronger than any feud and saved him from near-certain imprisonment.

Now reunited by a surprising inheritance after years of living their separate lives, Rafe and Hannah return to Eclipse Bay, and the hostilities that still divide, and bind, their families.  And they are discovering something that is at once delightful and deeply disturbing ...

They don't hate each other.  Not at all.

Nothing was ever simple between a Madison and a Harte.  The feud that had divided their families still simmered.  Now, only months after their siblings’ wedding, Lilian Harte and Gabe Madison are at each other’s throats.

Successful CEO Gabe had insisted on becoming a client of Lilian’s matchmaking service.  And after five disastrous dates, Lilian is at her wit’s end.  If she hadn’t already decided to close her business and move home to Eclipse Bay, Gabe would have been the final straw.  But when she finds Gabe at her door demanding she fulfill their business contract, the sparks between them suddenly turn personal.  Once again, Eclipse Bay will witness a showdown—between a relentless Madison and an irresistible Harte…

Return to small-town Eclipse Bay, Oregon -- where scandalous passions and decades-old resentments swirl with the relentless fury of a summer storm...

Word gets around fast in Eclipse Bay.  Nick Harte should know--his family's legendary feud with the Madisons fueled the local gossip mill for years before finally cooling off.  But people are still talking--and rumor has it Nick's involved with someone new...

Art gallery owner Octavia Brightwell doesn't take chances--especially on handsome, charming men.  But that's only part of the reason why she turned Nick down six times before--finally--agreeing to a date.  Octavia's related to the woman who sparked the long-running family feud--and fears that falling hard for Nick would only ignite the flames again.  Octavia knows her family's past is best kept hidden.  But her secret isn't safe in Eclipse Bay--and neither is her heart...

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