She's Got the Jack: The Kate and Robert Chronicles
by Suzanne Eglington

"He sighed as I looked at the screen full of photos of me. 'What's this?' He answered very monotone, 'My wife in another man's eyes."

At the end of the previous book, Kate and Robert's near-idyllic, passionate whirlwind romance and marriage was struck with family tragedy at the car accident her pregnant sister and brother-in-law were in. This story opens with the joint funeral of this crash that claimed the life of Kevin and Stacey. Just when the situation seems like it can't get any worse, the dark twist that Kevin has been spying on Kate and taking photos of her, chasing after his unrequited love, comes to the surface. Kate and Robert must come to terms with this information in their own ways, while also dealing with Kate's eccentric Uncle Jack, who has seemingly appeared out of thin air. Robert loves Uncle Jack for his wealth of training and combat knowledge, while Kate loves her uncle but thinks him to be crazy and somewhat of a nuisance.

Things carry on as normally as possible for the couple for a while, but Kate begins to have suffocating nightmares about the deceased men who loved her in the wrong ways. Uncle Jack and one of his three brides, the quiet yet confident Yoshiko begin to suspect supernatural forces at work, and after using holistic medicine and meditation discover that Kate is a spirit walker, capable of communicating with the deceased and having essentially psychic premonitions. Kate is reluctant to accept this as part of her reality, but her decision to be skeptical could stop her from seeing information that could save Robert's life in a critical moment.

The first three books in this series each had their moments of conflict, danger, and action, but this story draws on those elements even further. Haunting nightmares, a terrorist plot, family drama, and the enigmatic Uncle Jack and his unorthodox lifestyle all add mystery and tension to a story which in previous books has been largely about wish fulfillment. Those elements make this a more balanced story, create a large amount of tension in the final acts, and also set the stage for more non-sexual excitement in the books to follow. As far as the more typical romantic and erotic content that this series has excelled at in the past, this story hearkens back to the first book in the series, taking a greater focus and attention to detail to the passion between Robert and Kate. There are even some humorous moments where the details of Kate's bedroom activities become more public knowledge to her friends Pepper and Dallas, with mixed results.

There's a delicate balance that the author walks with this series, while introducing the new characters, situations, and conflicts, yet also presenting readers with the familiarity of expected constants: Kate and Robert, sex, and romance. In a lot of ways, this feels like a transitional point for the story, where characters that are no longer relevant are being phased out or having their situations resolved, and characters with a more pivotal role to play in later books are taking center stage. Kate's new role as a spirit walker and Robert's re-established role as her guardian could move the story in interesting and creative ways, as well as shape the established qualities of this series to new expectations. That delicate balance of old and new will keep readers of this series satisfied but still hungry for more.

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