cover image Copper Beach

Copper Beach

Jayne Ann Krentz. Putnam, $25.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-399-15787-5

Bestseller Krentz (Fired Up) describes a world where people will kill to get their hands on a book, but this disappointing series starter is unlikely to inspire such fervor. Abby Radwell, a rare book dealer with paranormal talents, likes to keep her business in the shallow end of the underground market. After she’s held at gunpoint, she uses her abilities to escape, only to have a blackmailer threaten to reveal her talents. Sexy mad scientist Sam Coppersmith offers to protect Abby and track down the blackmailer if she’ll hunt down a dangerous encrypted book in exchange. But Sam is interested in more than a business relationship, and the way their auras resonate makes sparks fly. Unfortunately, the contrived story is peppered with character inconsistencies, romance clichés, and plot twists that fail to surprise. (Jan.)