“Promise Not to Tell’ 

By Jayne Ann Krentz. Coming Jan. 2: An artist who paints her secrets throws herself into the sea, and her friend must find out why.

I am so excited to review this upcoming novel by best-selling author Jayne Ann Krentz. They say a secret is only a secret if just one person knows, but that seldom happens.

Hannah Brewster is a talented artist and loner who lives on a cliff in the woods. She is haunted by a traumatic past that won’t let her live the life of a normal person. When she’s confronted with her greatest fear, she reacts in dramatic fashion, leaving her friend, Virginia Troy, wondering why.

As children, Hannah, Virginia Troy, Cabot Sutter, and Max Cutler all survived a horrific barn fire that was meant to kill them. Even worse, cult leader Quinton Zane, who had locked the children in the barn, then killed their mothers. Thanks to the heroic efforts of Detective Anson Salinas, they and the other children trapped in the burning barn survived. However, they’re all still dealing with the past, especially since there’s no definitive proof that Quinton is dead.

Here’s an excerpt from Hannah’s perspective:

She was surprised to see that her hands were once again steady, just as if she held a brush and stood in front of an untouched canvas. Tonight she would paint a picture with fire.

Afterward, they would say she was crazy, that she had finally gone over the precarious edge that separated sanity and madness. But the truth was that her mind had not been this clear in a very long time. She knew exactly what she had to do.

When Virginia shows up at the private investigation firm owned by Cabot, Max, and Anson, they are immediately ready to help solve the mystery surrounding Hannah’s death. This book follows the story of “When All the Girls Have Gone,” which featured Max and Charlotte Sawyer.

Virginia believes there are hidden messages in Hannah’s dark and somewhat frightening paintings. As she and Cabot get further involved in the investigation, they are convinced Quinton has come back or someone else from the cult is looking for money that legend says Quinton had hidden.

As they delve deeper into the mystery, things become more dangerous and chaotic. Jayne Ann Krentz has a true gift for keeping the tension going and tightening the suspense so you want to keep reading until the end. She seldom disappoints in her romantic suspense novels, and this one is no exception. She always brings her characters to the brink in every situation and leaves you breathless with what happens next.

When a murder occurs at Virginia’s art gallery, the group must double its efforts to comprehend the message in Hannah’s art. In the midst of an investigation that leads them from one peril to another, Cabot and Virginia are finding that both of them still have to cope with the nightmares and post-traumatic stress of surviving the fire. As a result, their romantic involvement is tempered with patience and understanding and an edge of knowing there’s no promise of tomorrow—the perfect recipe for a tingling romance.

Though I haven’t read “When All the Girls Have Gone,” I do plan to do that. However, this book stood well on its own, and I don’t think I missed any elements by not reading the first one. I also believe there may be another one coming, and that would be just fine with me.


About the author

Jayne Ann Krentz, née Jayne Castle, is originally from Cobb, California, and has written books under a variety of pen names, including Jayne Taylor, Jayne Bentley, Stephanie James, Amanda Quick, and Amanda Glass. She now writes under only three of her pseudonyms; the name Jayne Ann Krentz means the book is romantic suspense; for historical romantic suspense, she uses Amanda Quick; and when the book is written by Jayne Castle, it’s futuristic/paranormal romantic suspense. She began her career with category romances before moving to single-title contemporary romance novels. She earned a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a master’s in library science from San Jose State University. She and her husband, Frank, an aeronautical engineer, live in Seattle.