Delightful light paranormal romance. Some neat twists on the idea of esp abilities and uses.
From inside cover:
More than three centuries ago, Nicholas Winters irrevocably altered his genetic makeup in an obsession fueled competition with alchemist and Arcane Society founder Sylvester Jones. Driven to control their psychic abilities, each man's decision has reverberated throughout the family line, rewarding some with powers beyond their wildest dreams, and cursing others to a life filled with madness and hallucinations.
Jack Winters, descendant of Nicholas, has been experiencing nightmares and blackouts -- just the beginning, he believes -- of the manifestation of the Winters family curse. The legend says that he must find the Burning Lamp or risk turning into a monster. But he can't do it alone; he needs the help of a woman with the gift to read the lamp's dreamlight.
Jack is convinced that private investigator Chloe Harper is that woman. Her talents for finding objects and accessing dream energy are what will save him, if their sudden and powerful sexual pull doesn't overwhelm them both...
Plot Summary: Jack Winters is a direct descendent of Nicholas Winters, the madly brilliant 17th century alchemist who tinkered with his own DNA and passed on a curse. According to the myths, Jack will turn into a Cerebrus - a person with three psi talents - and then go insane. His only hope is to locate the Burning Lamp, one of Nicholas Winter's inventions, and a woman capable of working dreamlight energy. Jack believes he's found the right woman in private investigator Chloe Harper, and he hires her to locate the lamp.
It's been a while since I've read a Jayne Ann Krentz novel, and I thought she was in fine form for Fired Up, the first book in her new Dreamlight Trilogy. However, I do want to point out that I didn't buy this one. I've been waiting patiently to get my hands on a copy from the library, and I might feel a bit differently if I paid full-freight for a hardcover. I'd be willing to pay for the mass market paperback (when it comes out), but no, I don't think the story is worth $17, or whatever it's going for on Amazon right now. Alrighty, with that caveat in place, I'll continue.
If you're wondering how this can be book one and book seven at the same time, well, Ms. Krentz has come up with a complicated idea for this trilogy that only makes sense to her current fan base. Her Arcane Society novels are paranormal-mystery-romances where different couples use their various psi talents to solve mysteries. The Dreamlight Trilogy is being inserted in the middle of her Arcane Series, which is already six books strong. I enjoy them a lot. Things get complicated because Ms. Krentz writes under three different pen names, and each persona writes in a different subgenre. Krentz is reserved for her contemporary novels, Amanda Quick is used for her Victorian-era historicals, and Jayne Castle is used for her futuristic setting. From what I understand, she's split her trilogy so one book is set in the past, the present, and the future. It's a cool idea, but not exactly an easy concept for new readers to understand.
The characters in Fired Up conformed to Ms. Krentz's usual mold. The heroine was self-employed as a private investigator, she likes pets, and she's given up on men. The hero is a self-made, razor-sharp businessman whose frosty exterior is melted away by his lava-hot attraction to the heroine. Ms. Krentz uses these elements over and over in her books, but I cannot deny that it's a tried and true formula. Fortunately she also believes in strong female leads, and the heroine is always someone that I can admire.
Long-time fans of the series will enjoy some tantalizing glimpses into Fallon Jones's life, and I keep wondering when she'll devote a book to the head of the Jones & Jones agency. The next book in the Dreamlight Trilogy is Burning Lamp (An Arcane Society Novel), and since it's based in the past, it was published under her Amanda Quick name. It has just come out, and I'll try to get to it sooner than I did with Fired Up, since I particularly enjoy her historical settings.