DAWN IN ECLIPSE BAY
The second installment of Krentz's Harte-Madison trilogy (following Eclipse Bay) attempts to close the rift that formed several generations ago between the prosperous Hartes and the reckless Madisons. Lillian Harte plans to give up her computer matchmaking business to devote her life to painting, but she has one final client to "fire"—steely Gabe Madison. Gabe has already broken with his heritage by building a billion-dollar venture-capital company, and now he wants a wife, one who is financially independent, good-looking and definitely not an "arty" type. When Gabe learns that Lillian is closing her business, he insists that she fulfill her contractual obligation to him. He even follows her home to Eclipse Bay, Ore., supposedly to collect on their broken agreement. While they smolder in the usual Harte-Madison fashion, a sex therapist who is into bikini panties and submission tries to steal Lillian's database of high-end clients. This silly subplot detracts from the romance, and it's a shame that Krentz (aka Amanda Quick and Jayne Castle), who is such a master of sexual tension and intelligent banter, has weighed this romantic puff pastry down with such a leaden attempt at mystery. (May 1)
Forecast: Although the Romantic Times has claimed that romantic suspense novels are "out" and romantic comedies are "in," Krentz's romantic suspense novels have been, and still are, selling exceedingly well. This frivolous but entertaining romp should be no exception.