Reviewed by Tori
Favorite Quote: “A second honeymoon on a damned island. What could possibly go wrong?”
As a light-talent, Alice North has the rare ability to make things disappear, including herself—a gift that comes in handy during her magic act with her dust bunny Houdini.
Business mogul Drake Sebastian is day-blind, since his sight was nearly destroyed in a lab accident. But he’s the one man who can see Alice when she disappears—and he needs her.
On Rainshadow Island, two dangerous Old World crystals are missing, igniting a paranormal storm. Drake thinks Alice is the key to finding them, and proposes they head there, but only after a Marriage of Convenience.
Alice’s honeymoon on Rainshadow is guaranteed to be memorable, as the island—and the passion between her and Drake—is about to explode…(Goodreads)
Deception Cove is the second book in the Rainshadow series. It picks up right where Lost Night left off. The Rainshadow series is a spin off of the Harmony series but is still considered part of it. Rainshadow is an island which is home to those who don’t fit or want to fit into Harmony society. People with unusual psi talents tend to gravitate to the island, happy to be left in peace. On the island is a place known as the The Preserve; a very hot psi (energy) spot thought to have once been an alien laboratory. Owned and guarded by the Sebastian family, only a few can get through the fence that encircles the Preserve and not many do because those who go in have a nasty habit of never coming back out.
Alice North is one such individual who has made in and out of The Preserve with no real harm done to her. Taken to the Preserve on her honeymoon by her first MC (Marriage of Convenience) husband, Fulton Whitcomb, she soon realises that Fulton was using her for her family connections to the Sebastians. Fulton wanted a set of psi keys which are suppose to unlock great wonders. Fulton and Alice found the keys, but fate intervened and Fulton met with an untimely end. The keys were stolen by his killer and no one has seen them since. Since then, Alice has been tormented and stalked by Fulton’s mother, Ethel Whitcomb, who is convinced Alice murdered her son. When Drake Sebastian appears offering her a job and the means to get Mrs. Wainwright off her back, he seems like the answer to her prayers.
Drake Sebastian is the CEO of and heir apparent to Sebastian Industries. Injured in a lab accident, Drake is considered psi blind. He is unable to tolerate any light and is forced to wear sunglasses 24/7. His brother Harry works on The Preserve and feels the entire Rainshadow island is becoming unstable and the missing keys are the culprit. Drake’s research into the Sebastian family history shows the connection between his family and Alice’s and he feels if anyone can find those keys, it’s her.
Drake convinces Alice to go into another MC, with him, in order to afford her some protection from Mrs. Whitcomb. Once they reach the island, they get a first hand look it’s unstability. When they come across a frightened young woman wandering around, Drake and Alice figure out exactly who took the keys and what they are planning to do with them. Once they reach the town, Drake and Alice, long with the town’s remaining residents, try to bring the island under control before they are all killed.
I’ve always enjoyed reading Jayne Castle, who also writes as Amanda Quick and Jayne Ann Krentz. Her fantasy paranormal books are a wonderful blend of paranormal romance and suspense with dollops of humor. Quick witted characters, intriguing plot lines, and vivid world building makes each series an interesting unique read. It’s a comfort read for me that can be picked up years down the road and it’s like I never left. I particularly love how Castle has joined her Arcane series with the Harmony series. I wouldn’t recommend starting with this book as an introduction to this particular world. Many readers recommend starting with Amanda Quick’s Arcane series as it crosses all three series. If you don’t want to go that far back, Canyon’s of Night gives a good brief look into the Rainshadow world and characters.
Both Alice and Drake are interesting characters. Strong, intelligent, and practical, they have both suffered tragedies in the past but have risen above their circumstances. Alice grew up in an orphanage, not knowing till she was much older that she was a descendant of the Norths, which were a Harmony first family. Even with her mistake in marrying Fulton and his mother’s life threatening animosity, Alice has adapted and adjusted. Alice’s psi talent helps her with this. Alice’s talent is light-bending. Her particular talent allows her to give the illusion of disappearing which she works into a magician act with her dust bunny, Houdini.
Drake has had to live with his particular blindness for three years after his former fiancee attacked him. We later find out she manipulated their matchmaker applications to ensure they ended up together for the very reasons affecting Rainshadow Island now. Though Drake can’t tolerate any light, he is able to see psi talent light and when he see’s Alice’s, he knows she’s the one for him.
The romance starts rather fast on Drake’s end. He’s instantly attracted to Alice and does what he needs to ensure she stays by his side. Alice, on the other hand, has trust and self esteem issues due to her ex husband and her upbringing. She refuses to see their relationship as more than a business arrangement. They are fun together as they both have a dry wit that sparks the chemistry between them.
“…As I keep explaining to people, Drake and I are in an MC, not a CM”
It dawned on her that Fletcher and Jasper were not looking at her. Instead, they were focused on something over her shoulder. She heard boot steps approaching behind her.
Drake came to a halt and looked at her. The gray light glinted somewhat ominously on his mirrored glasses.
“Did I hear my name?” he asked very softly.
She raised her brows, refusing to be intimidated.
“Jasper and Fletcher were just reassuring me that my second honeymoon on Rainshadow would end on a more upbeat note then the first one did.” She said.
Drake studied her for a long moment. [...] Her intuition warned her that he was recalling hot sex and damp sheets.
“Oh yeah,” he said “this honeymoon will be different.”
One aspect I love about this series is no games are played romance/relationship wise. Though the heroes in here are often broody, they aren’t jerks. And the women are no pushovers. The sexy times are satisfying towards solidifying the attraction and romance though not overly explicit. A lot is left to the imagination. Seeming random villains are wreaking havoc on all fronts though Castle slowly brings them all into the storyline and show that ties that bind them together.
The ending is climatic and action packed with resolution of main conflict. Some plot lines are left open to assure us another book is coming to wrap everything up. Castle continues to expand her world and draws on an engaging cast of characters to make it come further alive for her readers. Deception Cover certainly lived up to its name and I look forward to my next visit to Harmony.