Jayne Ann Krentz returns to Whispering Springs, Arizona with her latest hardcover, Truth or Dare. The cast of characters introduced in Light and Shadow have all returned. Zoe and Ethan Truax are still adjusting to married life as they work on both their careers and their relationship. What started out as a Las Vegas marriage of convenience has become “the real deal” and they are both cautiously learning how to be a couple.
Zoe’s close friend Arcadia Ames has the feeling that she is being watched. Nothing concrete, just a vague sense of unease that is making her restless and edgy. Convinced that her husband’s death was just a ruse, Arcadia feels certain that one day Grant Loring will turn up to cause trouble in her new life.
Arcadia’s instincts are correct. Loring has hired an ex-military operative to investigate her new identity. Armed with a recent photograph of Arcadia and her friends, Loring is dismayed to discover that there is a private investigator in her inner circle. Ethan Truax poses a threat to his plans and must be eliminated.
While Truth or Dare does have elements of romance, the suspenseful plot is the primary focus. The exploration of Zoe and Ethan’s relationship is handled with humor and passion. The unlikely romance between Arcadia and Harry Stagg continues to simmer, and the budding interest between Ethan’s widowed sister-in-law and his best friend survives the anniversary of Drew Truax’ death. The threat to both Arcadia and Ethan hold center stage.
I suppose that I have come to expect a great deal from Ms. Krentz. Having read all of her books to date in several genres, I was surprised to find that this is just a “nice” book. The story is engaging and the returning cast has great appeal, but there was nothing special about it. No clear driving plot point that pushes it from being a good story to a great one. Fans of Ms. Krentz, myself included, will no doubt purchase this book in vast quantities and elevate it to best-selling status, but I wonder how many of us will spend hardcover dollars on the next one.