The Hot Zone by Jayne Castle
The world of Harmony has its wonders, one of them being Rainshadow Island. Just beneath its surface, a maze of catacombs hides a dangerous secret…
Halloween—with its tricks and treats—is a dust bunny’s dream come true. Just ask Lyle, Sedona Snow’s faithful sidekick. But for Sedona, it’s a nightmare. Though her new job managing a small hotel and tavern on Rainshadow is helping her move on from her tragic past, a bizarre disaster down in the catacombs has brought a pack of rowdy ghost hunters to her inn.
And now, Sedona’s ex has arrived on the island, claiming he wants to get back together, just as a newcomer appears to have a strong interest in her. Cyrus Jones is the new Guild boss in town. He has his own agenda when it comes to Sedona, but even the best laid plans are no match for the passion that springs up on Rainshadow.
Sedona meets her dust bunny Lyle when he visits her while she is being held prisoner deep in the catacombs. She has been experimented on and is worried that a new talent seems to be emerging. Multi-talents do not have strong track record of maintaining mental stability and after the nightmares Sedona has been experiencing her own future doesn’t look that bright. Especially when she manages to escape the clutches of her captors and arrives home to find her husband has moved on, filing for divorce mere days after she disappeared.
Fast forward to Rainshadow Island, Sedona’s new home which is experience some unsettling events. New creatures are feared to be roaming the underground catacombs and a new Guild has been established to help explore and secure the sites so that alien artifacts can be researched. A new Guild brings a new Guild boss in the form of Cyrus Jones. Then things get really interesting when Halloween, new para-monsters, an ex-husband, and other characters both trustworthy and crooked emerge in a fast-paced race to the finish.
I loved so many things about this book; both Sedona and Cyrus were interesting characters. Sedona’s dust bunny did what dust bunnies do and stole almost every scene he was in. Cyrus and Sedona’s relationship developed quickly and I wish more time had been available to them, but their family histories made interesting connections to previous books and characters in the Arcane series. The one part of the story I was not enamored of was Sedona’s father’s family’s attempt to reestablish a relationship, it needed more time to develop and felt kind of tacked on as a result. While not much new ground was covered in this long running series, it was another solid entry which I very much enjoyed.
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I borrowed this book from my local public library