Night Of The Magician
by Jayne Ann Krentz writing as Stephanie James (2000, 1984 reissue)
Harlequin, $4.50, ISBN 0-373-80694-9

I think I've really outgrown my Jayne Ann Krentz fan phase when I saw these Stephanie James rereleases in the bookstore and didn't immediately max out my credit card buying them all. I actually thought of grocery bills and actually browsed through the books. A far cry from the old days when I would buy anything by this author without much hesitation.

And since this is a 1984 book, do be aware that this book is written when the author is a bit too partial to the exclamation mark key on the typewriter machine for her own good. An old witch of a primary two schoolteacher of mine, Mrs Mary, had brainwashed me into reading in such a way that I will pronounce the last word in a sentence ending with a "!" a little louder. So I find myself doing just that in my mind, and end up surprisingly weary and irritated at the end of the day.

Anyway, the plot. Ariana Warfield is a practical lady who isn't at all pleased with her inventor brother's eccentric riffraff buddies. But among these buddies is Lucian Hawk, a dark-haired strong thigh-muscled (the usual) magician whose help she needs in exposing a fraud who has been fleecing her beloved auntie dry. They kiss a chapter or two after their first meeting, and Lucas decides "he wants her", she realizes she's in love with him, he proposes, she keeps saying no because she's in love and is sure he isn't... vintage JAK stuff, albeit a really tired one.

It can be enjoyable, after all, the suspense part is barely there, and at the centerstage are the author's trademark fun banters. But these banters more often than not ends with an exclamation mark. How could you! You don't say! How dare you! I don't believe you! and on and on. It gives me this impression that these guys are either permanently pouting and stomping their feet in annoyance, or someone has stuffed caterpillars down their underwear but they are trying hard not to show it.

Anyway, strictly for die-hard fans who can't get enough, or the occasional reader who wishes to read something that is almost free from the author's rather incompetent suspense mysteries.

Rating: 64

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