by Jayne Castle

May 1998
ISBN: 0-671-56902-3
Reviewer Graphic Button Pocket Books
Mass Market Paperback

For a third time Jayne Castle (aka Jayne Ann Krentz) invites us to the world of St. Helens, a far-off space colony where men and women can experience the ultimate romantic coupling - a mind merge! On this colony humans have developed extraordinary psychic powers - in fact Orchid Adams has developed quite a following for the novels she writes about psychic vampires! Of course, everyone knows such creatures don't really exist, but Orchid begins to doubt her own convictions when she meets enigmatic Rafe Stonebraker, the black sheep of the fabulously wealthy Stonebraker Shipping family.

Rafe is a talent - a person with a psychic skill - and Orchid is a prism - the person who can help a talent focus and use his skills to their greatest advantage. Together, Rafe and Orchid explore a world of sensual heat and psychic surprises. A mismatched couple from the start, they still can't avoid the passion that sizzles between them. Orchid, who expects never to marry, is not really what Rafe thinks he wants in the way of a wife, but emotions have a way of sneaking up on the unwary and Rafe and Orchid are no exception to the rule. Orchid's unusual skills as an ice-prism (trust me, there aren't many of those around) lead her into a situation where she must rely on Rafe's off-the-chart strat talent (think panther crossed with James Bond) and together they confront the danger that threatens Orchid.

Interspersed with the main story are subplots involving characters introduced in Krentz' earlier St. Helens books Amaryllis and Zinnia and it is a pleasant reunion with old friends. Also, some of the philosophies followed by the citizens of St. Helens are explored more thoroughly in this book including a delightful visit to the Northcroft institute where lofty ideals and philosophical goals are blended nicely with humor and underlying passions. Jayne Ann Krentz fans will definitely not be disappointed by this book, all her classic elements are in play: a vivid and sensual love story, wonderful dialogue, likeable characters and a believable plot. Each novel can be read as a stand-alone story, but as readers become familiar with the world of St. Helens, the enjoyment of these three stories is enhanced. Truly a sparkling series with more than a dash of originality - we can only hope to revisit St. Helens some day in the future.

Reviewed in June 2001 by Celia.

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