Olivia Chantry may keep her desk in disarray, but she's a dynamo when it comes to business; her Seattle-based company - Light Fantastic - organizes dazzling events that create the flash her clients need to promote their products and causes. Her success almost makes up for a marriage that ended in disaster.
When Olivia inherits a large portion of her uncle's high-tech lighting firm, she butts heads with the co-owner - Jasper Sloan - a venture capitalist with all his ducks in a row. Sparkling with Jayne Ann Krentz's irresistible blend of sassy wit and sheer suspense, Flash explodes into passionate pyrotechnics as a beautifully mismatched pair finds that the bottom line isn't making it in the marketplace - it's the merger of hearts.
©1998 Jayne Ann Krentz (P)2012 Simon & Schuster Audio
Sassy dialogue, humor, and a great reader are important to me.
light hearted spirit of our heroine
This is the late great Ms Anna Fields, who does Susan E. Phillips reads. She could read a phone book
you have to be a fan of Krentz, so this was good
A trilogy. Say it in three. Done.
I enjoyed this stand-alone romantic suspense, set in contemporary Seattle. I first read it years ago. Now I've listened to it, narrated by Kate Fleming (aka Anna Fields). She's got a broad vocal range and portrays men well. Sadly, she passed on in 2006.
The POV is 3rd person, switching from hero to heroine, and occasionally to some mysterious chess player. Contents include a few sex scenes, a little violence, minimal swearing, minimal religious profanity, and no crude terms for female anatomy. Suspense includes murder, blackmail, etc.
Why do I read books by JAK?? It's typically not for the suspense, even though that is usually fairly interesting. The main reason I come back to this formulaic author is this: She writes about honorable men who are deeply alone. Misunderstood, misjudged, unwanted, and/or taken for granted. Whatever. I feel for these guys, even though they are tough, shrewd, sexy, and rich. I like them because -- true heroes -- they keep on doing the right thing, without fanfare, despite public opinion. I like the heroines, too. Krentz sells me on their HEA. It's heartwarming and satisfying, knowing the couple is going to take care of each other and contribute to the well-being of others.
Quibbles with this story: Some trivial dialogue did get a little wordy at times in audio format, where I cannot skim. The chess player's POV was sporadic and felt like a poor fit. Also, the big bad villain is a stretch.
The story begins with two prologues, running along parallel lines. In the first prologue, set 8 years in the past, the hero (Jasper Sloan) is burning some mysterious documents while tending to his newly adopted nephews, Kirby (age 10) and Paul (age12). Jasper's wife left him a year ago, when the boys moved in, after their father died. Their father was named Fletcher Sloan, Jasper's step-brother.
In the second prologue, set 3 years in the past, Olivia Chantry is also burning mysterious documents. Her artistic husband Logan Dane just died (gored, running with the bulls, haha! ). Olivia's cousin Nina and Logan's family blames her for driving him to it, by starting divorce proceedings. (His family includes Sean Dane, etc.).
Chapter One: Fast forward to the present, in Seattle, where young Kirby and Paul (now in college) think that Uncle Jasper is off his venture-capitalist game, and fast approaching a midlife crisis. "Take a vacation!" they insist.
Meanwhile, Olivia runs an event company called Light Fantastic. Using special lighting effects, she stages parties, conventions, trade-shows, etc. Her Uncle Rolly owns a lighting company called Glow. She uses his lighting equipment at her events, so it's a partnership. Jasper -- a venture capitalist -- is the money man, funding Glow.
Then Uncle Rolly dies (at the beginning of the book) and everything changes at Glow and Light Fantastic, because Jasper owns 51%, controlling interest.
Jasper is orderly, organized, and logical. Conservative. Reserved. Olivia is his polar opposite. He's fascinated and bedazzled, but can they work together at Glow? Jasper makes it clear that he's in charge, but Olivia resists. She worries that Jasper will be hard on her Chantry relatives who work at Glow (Aunt Rose, etc).
Jasper's father is Harry Sloan, a businessman. Harry has an adolescent daughter (cannot recall her name). Jasper's nephews are Kirby and Paul.
Andy Andrews is a journalist for the financial paper.
Eleanor Lancaster is a candidate for Governor. Olivia's brother Todd is Lancaster's policy consultant and speechwriter. Dixon Haggard is her campaign manager.
Aunt Zara works for Olivia at Light Fantastic. Aunt Rose works for Jasper at Glow.
Olivia's Uncle, Rolly Chantry, and his friend Wilbur Holmes were involved in a longterm intimate relationship.
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