Sweetwater and the Witch
by Jayne Ann Krentz writing as Jayne Castle
A Harmony Novel
Release Date: September 20, 2022
Reviewed by PJ
If there’s something Ravenna Chastain knows, it’s when to end things. And after she almost winds up the victim of a cult that believes she’s a witch, it’s easy to walk away from her dead-end career, ready for a new start. But where to find a job that would allow her to use her very specialized skill set? The answer is clear: she becomes a matchmaker.
But even a successful matchmaker can’t find someone for everyone, and Ravenna considers Ethan Sweetwater her first professional failure. After nine failed dates, Ravenna knows it’s time to cut Ethan loose. But Ethan refuses to be fired as a client—he needs one final date to a business function. Since Ravenna needs a date herself to a family event, they agree to a deal: she will be his (business) date if he will be her (fake) date to her grandparents’ anniversary celebration.
What Ethan fails to mention is that attending the business function is a cover for some industrial espionage that he’s doing as a favor to the new Illusion Town Guild boss. Ravenna is happy to help, but their relationship gets even more complicated when things heat up—the chemistry between them is explosive, as explosive as the danger that’s stalking Ravenna. Lucky for her, Ethan isn’t just an engineer—he’s also a Sweetwater, and Sweetwaters are known for hunting down monsters…
Harriet is my new favorite dust bunny. I know. I know. My favorite changes with each new Harmony book that's published but I can't help it. Krentz/Castle keeps upping her game with each book written. She's just that good, as are her stories, her characters, and especially her dust bunnies. If you're new to the Harmony series you should know that dust bunnies are cute, cuddly, mischievous critters who closely resemble a piece of dryer lint and can turn deadly in a heartbeat. They pretty much steal every scene they're in.
My eyes have been a bit strained lately so I decided to take my time with this book, reading a few chapters here and there over the course of a week. I finished it in one day. Could not put it down. Immersive. Compelling. Riveting. All the words apply.
What makes these books so special? First there's the setting of Harmony. It doesn't matter if this is your first Harmony book or your fifteenth. The author does an amazing job of describing this planet with its glittering cities, dark streets, deadly underground, glowing gardens, dangerous alien artifacts, and psi energy, making it all seem normal and incredibly easy to visualize, like a movie moving across your mind.
Buckle your seatbelts because once you're immersed into the other-worldly atmosphere of Harmony, Krentz/Castle takes you on a fast-paced, twisty, non-stop ride filled with action, danger, romance, and suspense. I spent much of the book on the edge of my seat, holding my breath, wondering what would happen next, while turning the pages as fast as I could to find out.
Then there are the characters. If you've ever read a Jayne Castle, Jayne Ann Krentz, or Amanda Quick book, you know that creating unforgettable characters is a skill in which this author excels. Ravenna and Ethan are two of my favorites, showcasing the banter, wit, and quirky humor for which the author is known. I couldn't get enough of them. She could make them the featured couple in her next five books and I still wouldn't be tired of them. Nope. I would just grab a cauldron of popcorn and settle in for the fireworks (you'll understand once you've read the book). ;-)
If you're new to Harmony, don't be scared off by the fact that this is the 16th book in the series. This is one of those times where you really can jump in with Sweetwater and the Witch and not miss a beat.
Warning: dust bunnies are addictive.
Jayne Castle, the author of Guild Boss, Illusion Town, Siren's Call, The Hot Zone, Deception Cove, The Lost Night, Canyons of Night, Midnight Crystal, Obsidian Prey, Dark Light, Silver Master, Ghost Hunter, After Glow, and After Dark, is a pseudonym for Jayne Ann Krentz, the author of more than fifty New York Times bestsellers. She writes contemporary romantic suspense novels under the Krentz name, as well as historical novels under the pseudonym Amanda Quick. Learn more online at www.jayneannkrentz.com.
Author photo credit: Marc von Borstel.