|Jayne Ann Krentz: Soft Focus|
(Hardcover), ISBN 0060198346
Femme-fatale-in-training Elizabeth Cabot runs the Aurora Fund, which invests venture capital in small companies and innovative projects. Leading man Jack Fairfax temporarily heads the small high-tech company Excalibur, one of the Aurora Fund's investments. Jack seeks to get the company back on track following the financially catastrophic decisions of his predecessors. Toward that end, Excalibur plans to release Soft Focus, a crystal that will revolutionize the high-tech industry. Unfortunately, Excalibur's head scientist Tyler Page stole Soft Focus and vanished.
Fade in to six months earlier at the elite Pacific Rim Club restaurant. Because Jack has unforgivably deceived her, an enraged Elizabeth dowses him with a pitcher full of ice water in front of the crème de la crème of Seattle's business community. She freezes their budding romance, which culminated with an unsatisfactory one-night stand, into an impasse thicker than an iceberg. But Elizabeth couldn't deep-six Jack so easily from her life since she sits on Excalibur's board of directors.
Fade out to the present. Can Jack and Elizabeth cut a deal to work together long enough to find Tyler Page and recover Soft Focus? The elusive Page leads them to Colorado where they suspect he will turn up at the Mirror Springs Neo Noir Festival. A besotted devotee of film noir, Page invested heavily in a new triple-B grade film, Fast Company.
The film stars seductive sexpot Victoria Bellamy. Think Hollywood's real Veronica Lake. But unlike the successful Lake, Victoria never quite made it in Hollywood. Fast Company is no Casablanca. It doesn't even approach the second-rate Lauren Bacall/Humphrey Bogart efforts Warner Brothers made to cash in on the popularity of The Big Sleep and To Have and Have Not.
As Jack and Elizabeth pursue Page, they unravel a plot full of unexpected twists and turns. In between attending boring film noir seminars and chasing down leads to Soft Focus, the iceberg separating them begins to crack.
The sex steams; the dialogue sparkles. The pace rolls along as fast as a Hollywood action flick. Jayne Ann Krentz creates up-beat heroines and the emotionally controlled, take-charge kind of guy you hope to meet in real life. Until such a hero comes along, pop some popcorn, open up the Milk Duds(r), and snuggle up with Soft Focus.
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