Zebra, $6.99, ISBN 0-8217-7514-6
Contemporary Romance, 2005
Jamie Creed is the occasional deus-ex-machina guy in the author’s previous books from Say No To Joe? to Just A Hint – Clint. No, I don’t know either why this book is called Jamie instead of Oh Blimey, It’s Jamie!. What is the world coming to when even the deus-ex-machina gets his own book, eh? Still, this book isn’t a bad book.
Jamie Creed is a psychic troubled by dreams that he cannot fully understand. This is why he keeps himself a recluse in the North Carolina mountains, although recently he has been making some friends in the town of Visitation (the main characters of the previous two books). He is not sure what to make of his new friends as he doesn’t trust them entirely yet. One night, when it is dark and stormy (of course, of course), he is awakened from another of his troubling dreams because he senses an injured person somewhere outside his cabin. He locates and rescues our heroine, Faith Owen. She claims to remember him from his days at a research center (that Jamie left when he realized that they were exploiting his gifts for nefarious purposes) but Jamie doesn’t remember her. Still, he is attracted to her in a way that he has never experienced before. Ah, but what exactly is the reason for Faith’s returning to his life?
Jamie makes an attractive tortured hero as he doesn’t dwell in self-pity as much as he often ends up playing the reluctant hero to the people around him. When Ms Foster is at her best, she knows how to make attractive loner heroes with baggages that make them come off as even more noble than usual, and lucky for Jamie and me, Ms Foster is at her best here. Faith is a familiar heroine of this author in the sense that Faith is yet another heroine who offers the hero warmth, love, and understanding when no one else seems able to. Faith will get on my nerves when she gets too caught up in keeping secrets but Jamie makes up for Faith’s more irritating moments.
I do wish that this book isn’t part of a series though because Ms Foster puts in nearly everyone else from her previous books set in Visitation to act as cheerleaders and allies to Jamie. Jamie’s loner status is diluted with the presence of these people. Jamie doesn’t seem that alone or that in need of human compassion, since there are at last count four couples ready to be his best friends forever. There is also another couple here who has their romance finally wrapped up here also count as Jamie’s allies. Jamie’s continuous “Ooh, I’m so alone, love me and understand me, people!” Noble Suffering doesn’t ring real now that he has an obvious support network to fall back on. Jamie is an example of a book that could have been stronger and the hero’s dilemmas and conflict more dramatic and sympathetic if I am shown how he has to win friends and allies in this story instead of having them handed to him by the author in the name of sequelitis unlimited.
Still, for all its strengths and flaws, Jamie makes a satisfying closure to the author’s first phase of publication with Kensington. Maybe Ms Foster will buy over Kensington next and finally change the name of Brava to something that doesn’t sound like a cruise ship party game, but for now, Jamie is more than amply suited as a fine kiss-off watch-me-next offering while she ponders over her plans for world domination.