Thursday, August 18, 2016

Illusion Town

Illusion Town (Illusion Town Novel, An) by [Castle, Jayne]

Illusion Town (Harmony #13) -Jayne Castle
Penguin Group
Release Date: July 26, 2016

Rating (out of 5):

Synopsis: Hannah West isn’t the first woman to wake up in Illusion Town married to a man she barely knows, but she has no memory of the ceremony at all. For that matter, neither does Elias Coppersmith, her new husband. All either can remember is that they were on the run…
With Hannah’s dubious background and shaky para-psych profile, she could have done much worse. The cooly competent mining heir arouses her curiosity—as well as other parts of her mind and body. And even her dust bunny likes him.
But a honeymoon spent retracing their footsteps leads Hannah and Elias into the twisting underground catacombs, where secrets from both their pasts will come to light—and where the energy of their clashing auras will grow hot enough to burn…

The newest addition to Jayne Castle's Harmony series introduces us to Illusion Town- Harmony's version of Las Vegas.  A desert town full of casinos, it's an easy place to get a quick marriage.  Problem is, Hannah West and Elias Coppersmith don't remember getting married.  They remember going on a first date and then . . .  ? Their problems quickly become less about regaining their memories and more about trying to figure out who's trying to kill them- and why!

Hannah and Elias travel through mysterious Alien catacombs, the Rainforest, and Illusion Town in search of answers, accompanied by Hannah's delightful dust bunny companion Virgil.  Long time Harmony readers will not be disappointed by Virgil, who steals every scene simply by being himself (and having a fondness for cupcakes and Arizona Snow). Hannah and Elias are both great, strong characters who work well together.  I especially liked Elias.  His dry humor, understated strength and talents, and engineer's views of life (like always bring a toolkit on a date and make sure your car can take care of itself) made him a lot of fun to read and another great Castle hero. Elias never makes the mistake of treating Hannah as anything less than an equal.  Despite a rough start to life, Hannah is a confident woman who doesn't let "expert" opinions of her para-psych profile and unusual dream light talent question how she views herself or affect her confidence   It was fun watching Hannah evade thinking about the marriage and brushing it off as temporary while Elias was confident almost from the beginning that he quite liked being married to Hannah and plotting how to make it permanent.  

Castle fans will enjoy Illusion Town's referrals to previous Amanda Quick/Jayne Ann Krentz books: the Midnight Carnival's way of keeping Arcane Society history alive, Mrs. Bridewell's mysterious clockwork toys/weapons, and Arizona Snow.  We get to explore new areas of the underground tunnels and new paranormal talents.  Readers new to the Harmony or Arcane Society series won't feel left out, or like they are entering a world they can't keep up with, but hopefully by the end of the book they'll be hooked and go on to read at least the rest of the Harmony series, if not all Amanda Quick's and Jayne Ann Krentz's books as well.  

Full of passion, suspense, and dust bunnies, Illusion Town is a great read for Jayne Castle fans and a great introduction to those only now discovering the world of Harmony.  I hope we'll continue exploring this new aspect of Harmony in future books.

Welcome to Illusion Town, the thrills are real. 

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