Flash, by Jayne Ann Krentz

March 20, 2024 Book Reviews 4 ★★★½

Flash, by Jayne Ann KrentzFlash by Jayne Ann Krentz
Published by Pocket Books on 7/10/2010 (Kindle edition); first published 1998
Genres: Romantic suspense
Pages: 433
Format: Kindle or ebook
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible | Chirp
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three-half-stars
Also by this author: Copper Beach, Dream Eyes, River Road, Secret Sisters, Eye of the Beholder, Lost and Found, Sharp Edges, When All the Girls Have Gone, Smoke in Mirrors, Falling Awake, Hidden Talents, All Night Long, Untouchable, The Vanishing, Sleep No More, The Night Island, The Golden Chance

Sparkling with Jayne Ann Krentz’s irresistible blend of sassy wit and sheer suspense, this sizzling bestseller explodes into passionate pyrotechnics as a self-made millionaire and a charmingly disorganized entrepreneur team up to corner a killer. Soon, they find their unruly partnership has the power to set the night on fire….

Olivia Chantry may leave her desk in disarray, but she’s a business dynamo: her Seattle-based company, Light Fantastic, creates the promotional flash her clients need. Her marvelous success has almost made up for a crumbled marriage that has left her wedded to a career instead of a mate. But all that may change when Olivia inherits 49 percent of Glow, Inc., her uncle’s high-tech lighting firm, and she butts heads with the interloper who bagged the other 51 percent: Jasper Sloan, a venture capitalist and deal-maker known as an orderly man with all his ducks in a row.

From the start of their feisty business dealings, the so-called partners nearly crash and burn—and barely keep control of the sexual energy crackling between them. But when they discover a blackmailer is hard at work uncovering secrets inside Glow, Inc., Olivia and Sloan’s steamy joint venture faces the acid test of truth…and a need for absolute trust. For when extortion turns to murder, a union of their minds—and hearts—might be their only chance to stay alive.

This book contains mature content and may not be suitable for younger readers.

Fun, but not memorable

3.5 stars. I enjoyed Flash, but I don’t think it’s going on my list of favorite Krentz books. I had read it 12 or 15 years ago, and had forgotten literally everything about it, which tells you something right there.

That said, there were plenty of things that worked for me in the novel. The main characters, Jasper and Olivia, have different — you might even say opposing — personalities and management styles, which leads to some entertaining clashes between them. At the same time, they both hold certain bedrock values (family, protecting those they care about), as well a shared purpose: the survival and growth of Olivia’s family’s firm, Glow Inc., now controlled by Jasper’s 51% majority share. Their commonalities make their developing relationship believable; their differences keep it interesting.

Krentz always injects some humor into her books, and there is just the right amount in Flash. Characters (particularly Olivia and Jasper) engage in witty banter and the occasional dryly ironic comment. Krentz also tosses in a few quirky side characters, like an aunt who starred in a soap opera for 20 years and an annoyingly persistent business journalist, whose interactions with Olivia made me chuckle more than once.

So why did I give the book 3.5 stars instead of 4 or more? Flash is a straightforward romantic suspense novel set in the corporate world. (Unlike many of Krentz’s more recent novels, there are no paranormal elements.) But despite a multi-villain plot , at least one death, and several confrontations with various opponents, I didn’t find the book particularly suspenseful. On the one hand, I never even suspected one of the villains (not seriously, anyway), so kudos to Ms. Krentz for keeping me in the dark. On the other hand, I missed the intensity of my favorite Krentz novels. The only time I was really concerned was in the first chapter, when Jasper’s car is nearly run off the road. All in all, the suspense fell a bit flat for me.

There are ways to immerse a reader in the story and in the characters’ own feelings of fear and awareness of danger, keeping the reader focused on the scene at hand — in effect, pushing the the genre’s promise of a happy ending to the back of the reader’s mind. Krentz is usually pretty good at this, which is one of the things that makes her books so much fun for me. I can enjoy a frisson of suspense in the moment, while that back-of-the-mind knowledge keeps my anxiety at bay. But that magic rarely materialized for me while reading Flash. I often felt more like an observer than like I was immersed in Olivia’s or Jasper’s experiences.

I’m glad I reread Flash, and I think most of Krentz’s fans would enjoy it. But I suggest that newer readers begin elsewhere — perhaps with River Road or All Night Long if you prefer contemporary romantic suspense, or with her Arcane Society series if you like a hefty dose of paranormal elements (psychic abilities, not vampires and shifters) along with your romantic suspense.

Challenges: The Backlist Reader Challenge (note: read over 10 years ago and completely forgotten, so it counts); COYER Unwind Chapter 1

three-half-stars

About Jayne Ann Krentz

author photo of Jayne Ann Krentz (2018 photo by Marc von Borstel)

The author of over 40 consecutive New York Times bestsellers, JAYNE ANN KRENTZ writes romantic-suspense, often with a psychic and paranormal twist, in three different worlds: Contemporary (as Jayne Ann Krentz), historical (as Amanda Quick) and futuristic (as Jayne Castle). There are over 30 million copies of her books in print.

She earned a B.A. in History from the University of California at Santa Cruz and went on to obtain a Masters degree in Library Science from San Jose State University in California. Before she began writing full time she worked as a librarian in both academic and corporate libraries.

Ms. Krentz is married and lives with her husband, Frank, in Seattle, Washington.

Pseudonyms: Jayne Ann Krentz, Amanda Quick, Stephanie James, Jayne Bentley, Jayne Taylor, Amanda Glass.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

  • COYER Unwind (2024) - Chapter 1
  • The Backlist Reader Challenge 2024

4 Responses to “Flash, by Jayne Ann Krentz”

    • Lark_Bookwyrm

      I think the Arcane Society novels are more suspenseful than Flash was, and they definitely pull you deeper into the story. If you try them, be aware that it’s a crossover series involving all three of her pen names, so it jumps around in time. The titles by Amanda Quick are set in the Victorian era; the books by Jayne Ann Krentz are set in the 2000s and 2010s, and eventually she also set some in her futuristic world, Harmony (those are written as Jayne Castle, and tie into her Ghost Hunters/Harmony series.) Each book features a different couple. The connecting threads between the books as well as the timelines are the Arcane Society itself, various criminal cabals opposed to it, and aspects of the Society’s history (including a drug and certain artifacts) that resurface in the contemporary and future plot lines. The first book is Second Sight by Amanda Quick. If you decide to read them, let me know how you like them!

  1. Katherine

    I’d like to go back and read the older Krentz books. Even the ones that aren’t amazing are fun reads. They’re nice palate cleansers after a heavy book I think. I might make a list and make that my project for next year. Even though this isn’t a favorite it does look like a fun read.
    Katherine recently posted…A Deadly Affair – Classic Mystery ReviewMy Profile

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