Love on a tropical island

A Coral Kiss - Jayne Ann Krentz

Before this book, I didn’t like Krentz’s male protagonists. They were too mucho and didn’t pay any attention to what their women wanted. This book started a new and excellent wave of her romance fiction, the wave that lasted for almost 20 years, from 1987 (the year of this novel’s publication) until about 2003. The author is at the top of her craft: clean language, fast and furious plot, a charming female protagonist, and a brooding, ‘wounded hero’ male lead. In addition to his other qualities – strong, smart, and brave – he is considerate of his mate’s needs and quirks.

The structure of the books is transparent; you could use them as textbook examples of how to write perfect romance. No silly misunderstandings mar these books. No unnecessary expositions. No info dumps. The hero and heroine are attracted to each other from the start, and while they figure out their romance, they are embroidered in a perilous suspense subplot. There is a villain on the loose, and our lovers must work together to thwart him, or else…

Someone said once that her books are predictable. I agree. Their formula is very tight, and the structure of all her novels is the same. But every time I open one of her novels written during this time, I could also predict that I will enjoy it. I read them all before, some multiple times, and I find them very relaxing and absorbing. The action flies, and the heroes jump from book to book, changing only their names and the locations of their next adventure. I also like that in most of her novels, at least one of the leads is connected to the arts. Among them is an actress, a writer, a gallery owner, a fashion boutique designer, a jeweler.

Her villains are sufficiently evil, and her protagonists always come to the start of the novel with emotional baggage that needs untangling. They all have a past. They all have families, and their loyalty is often at the core of their troubles. They all must learn to love and trust again. They are interchangeable, yes, but I love them all. This author, along with a couple of others, is my comfort read.

In this novel, the hero’s name is Jed. The heroine is Amy. Their story starts in a small town on the Pacific Coast and then moves to a tropical island. There are underwater caves in this story and diving and hidden treasure. And a couple of bad guys, of course. All in all, an utterly satisfying read, although not for literary minded. As always, I enjoyed it.

 

Note: I have been meaning to complain. I read romances, and in most romance novels I read, this one included, the heroes drop their clothes on the floor when they’re overcome with passion. Why the floor. This custom irritates me. Why can’t they fold their clothing on a chair? Or hang it in a closet. Or toss it on a sofa. Why make sure all your clothes are dirty the next day? I’ve never thrown my clothes on the floor, sex or no sex. Have you? Why did romance writers adopt this unsanitary behavior as an indicator of sensuality?