Friday, July 22, 2016

Review: Illusion Town

Illusion Town
Author: Jayne Castle
Series: Ghost Hunters, #13
Released: July 26th
Publisher: Piatkus
Length: 352 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository 

With its opulent casinos and hotels, the desert city of Illusion Town is totally unique—and will take you on a thrill ride you’ll never forget.
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…

Jayne Castle (also writing as Jayne Ann Krentz) is the queen of paranormal romance lite. Her Harmony books are wonderfully addictive, and the first one I read (not the first in this series since they can function as standalones) turned me into an instant fan. I always struggle a bit to find my footing in her books since I have to catch up on the worldbuilding I’ve missed along the way, but Castle makes it easy and her books just pull me in with no effort at all.

Illusion Town is Harmony’s version of Las Vegas – City of Lights with a magical underworld. There’s everything one could possibly find in Vegas, only amplified. Our two heroes, Hannah West and Elias Coppersmith, wake up married after a date neither of them remembers. It’s clear that they both expected to lose their memories and that they married to make sure they’d stick together until the danger passes, but the source of the danger is unclear and the actual events are coming back to them in flashes.

Both Hannah and Elias are powerful, both of them used to getting their way. Elias is the son of a very rich magical family, and Hannah an orphan with two loving, eccentric aunts. The two talked online for about two months prior to their date and marriage, but they are practically strangers tied together in very stressful circumstances.

As usual, the best thing about Castle’s books is the worldbuilding. Harmony, with its alien technology and many different talents, is a constant source of delight for the reader. There is still so much to learn about this world, so many possibilities for Castle to explore. But what I truly love about her books is that they are not primarily paranormal romances, or at least they don’t read as such. As an infamous hater of all things PNR, I tend to stay away from the genre altogether (with just a few notable exceptions), but Harmony books don’t focus primarily on the romance. The plots are always well planned and executed and not just a background for the romantic endeavors of the protagonists. And the romance that’s actually there is more or less angst-free, my favorite kind.

I jumped into this series somewhere around the middle, and so can you. The books really can function as standalones, and although it takes a little bit of time to understand the world, once you do, you’ll love everything about these books.

A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher for review purposes. No considerations, monetary or otherwise, have influenced the opinions expressed in this review.


  1. I love that you were able to jump right into this and not have any issues at all. Looks like a really fun series.

  2. Thanks for sharing! I like that it doesn't focus TOO much on the romance. Sometimes that drives me a bit nuts. haha


  3. I might have tried one of hers, book 1...perhaps

  4. I have never heard of this series (and author) before. Is she related to the other well-known Krentz? Oh gosh. #13 already?

  5. Book 13?? Woah! This series or author was not on my radar, but I'm quite intrigued about this one at least!

  6. I love this series, and quite enjoyed this one as well Maja. I like your cover :)

  7. So can all the books act as stand a lones? A PNR that's not bad? I might just have to check this author out!

  8. Who me? Jumping around in a series? *look of innocence* Me? LOL So glad I can do that here!

    I have to read a PNR by someone who isn't a PNR person. I do like it so I do think that this one should make my tbr. Off to the library to see if they have it and put it on my list.

  9. I haven't read anything by this author, or really much PNR that I've loved. It's a genre that is a real hit-or-miss for me, which is why I find myself sticking to UF, but I'm definitely going to give this series a try. Especially if I don't have to read them all in order! Thanks for putting this on my radar, Maja, and wonderful review, dear! :)

  10. It's been a while since I haven't read a novel by this author! I really should do that again!

  11. I've been wanting to pick up this series and with this being the first in a new setting, it might be the perfect time. I love the sound of it! I'm glad this was a winner for you - great review, Maja :)


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