Series: Dark Legacy #2
Published by Putnam on Jan. 8, 2013
Genres: Paranormal romantic suspense, Romantic suspense
Source: the library
Also in this series: Copper Beach
Also by this author: Copper Beach, River Road, Secret Sisters, Eye of the Beholder, Lost and Found, Sharp Edges, When All the Girls Have Gone, Smoke in Mirrors
The death of her friend and mentor, Evelyn Ballinger, brings psychic counselor Gwen Frazier back to the small town of Wilby, Oregon, and brings back memories she would rather forget. Two years earlier, a killer stalked the members of one of Ballinger’s research studies including Gwen. And though she survived while two others didn’t, Gwen knows that Ballinger’s death is related.
Sent by a friend to help Gwen, psychic investigator Judson Coppersmith arrives in Wilby barely in control of his own talent and his own life, haunted by urgent dreams. His attraction to Gwen is primal, but there are secrets he must keep to protect himself from surrendering to her completely, even as their investigation draws them into dreamscapes, into decades of deception, and into the paranormal fires of a desire too strong to resist. . . .
Dream Eyes feels tighter and more cohesive than the first Dark Legacy book, last January’s Copper Beach, despite its two loosely-connected plots. Plot A, which bookends the main story, deals with Judson Coppersmith’s discovery of a body and his harrowing escape from an underwater cave. This experience has left him with frequent and disturbing nightmares. Plot B, the main part of the book, focuses on the mystery surrounding the death of Gwen Frazier’s mentor, which may be related to a series of paranormal murders which ended three years earlier… or did they?
If you’ve read Copper Beach, you’ll recognize Judson and Gwen; Judson is hero Sam’s brother, while Gwen is heroine Abby’s close friend and “sister.” At Abby’s request, Judson is sent to protect Gwen and help her solve the mystery of Evelyn’s death. Tying the two plots together, Gwen’s psychic abilities allow her to help Judson deal with his nightmares.
One of the things that irked me about Copper Beach was that it ignored the whole paranormal framework Krentz had built up through the Arcane Society series, yet the psychic or paranormal elements were surprisingly similar. I don’t want to give too much away, but I will say that there are hints in Dream Eyes that the Dark Legacy series may be more closely related to the Arcane Society books than I had thought. That idea shed a little retrospective light on some of the things that bothered me in Copper Beach, and made Dream Eyes feel a bit more grounded.
I like Krentz’s fast pace and tight suspense, and both are evident in Dream Eyes. The romance follows her usual formula: alpha-male hero and feisty heroine, irresistibly drawn together by danger. It may be formulaic, but it usually works, and this book is no exception, though the focus is a little more on the suspense and a tad less on the romance than usual. I liked also secondary character Nick Sawyer, gifted cat burglar and wisecracking “brother” to both Abby and Gwen. (Alas, Nick is unlikely to get his own book, since he’s gay and Krentz’s main characters are always strongly heterosexual. But he makes a great side character.)
All in all, I give Dream Eyes a qualified thumbs-up. It’s a quick and absorbing read, an enjoyable escape from everyday life.
Recommended for: fans of Jayne Ann Krentz and paranormal romantic suspense