How many pen names does an author need?
Ravished by Amanda Quick: Stars- 2.5/5: There was no doubt about it. What Miss Harriet Pomeroy needed was a man. Someone powerful and clever who could help her rout the unscrupulous thieves who were using her beloved caves to hide their loot. But when Harriet summoned Gideon Westbrook, Viscount St. Justin, to her aid, she could not know that she was summoning the devil himself. Dubbed the Beast of Blackthorne Hall for his scarred face and lecherous past, Gideon was strong and fierce and notoriously menacing. Yet Harriet could not find it in her heart to fear him. For in his tawny gaze she sensed a savage pain she longed to soothe…and a searing passion she yearned to answer. Now, caught up in the beast’s clutches, Harriet must find a way to win his heart—and evade the deadly trap of a scheming villain who would see them parted for all time.
It wasn’t a bad story, but I felt like it had been done before. It was very Beauty and the Beast, but boring. It was dull in that it was repetitive, but dull in that the author seemed to jump from one thing to another very quickly without any explanation. The only time it got at all interesting was the end.
Crystal Gardens (Ladies of Lantern Street 1) by Amanda Quick: Stars- 3/5: Evangeline Ames has rented a country cottage far from the London streets where she was recently attacked. Fascinated by the paranormal energy of nearby Crystal Gardens, she finds pleasure in sneaking past the wall to explore the grounds. And when her life is threatened again, she instinctively goes to the gardens for safety. Lucas Sebastian has never been one to ignore a lady in danger, even if she is trespassing on his property. Quickly disposing of her would-be assassin, he insists they keep the matter private. There are rumors enough already, about treasure buried under his garden, and occult botanical experiments performed by his uncle–who died of mysterious causes. With Evangeline’s skill for detection, and Lucas’s sense of the criminal mind, they soon discover that they have a common enemy. And as the energy emanating from Crystal Gardens intensifies, they realize that to survive they must unearth what has been buried for too long.
If you’ve ever read the Arcane Society by Quick/Krentz/Castle this was very similar to that. It’s about the paranormal/psychic being normal, though not completely accepted. The gardens were interesting, how they seem to have taken on a mind of their own. I was also kept guessing for a bit why someone wanted Ms. Ames dead, though it was easy to guess you were never really sure of the how.
Midnight Crystal (Arcane series 9, Dreamlight trilogy 3) by Jayne Crystal: Stars- 3.5/5: For many earthly centuries, a legendary curse has plagued the Winters family, stemming from the tumultuous founding of the Arcane Society. But now, on the futuristic world of Harmony, the curse’s final mystery will be unraveled… Head of the ghost hunters guild Adam Winters and dreamlight reader extraordinaire Marlowe Jones must break the curse, save Harmony’s entire underworld-and fight a passion that could destroy them both.
This book confused me a bit since I didn’t realize it was set in an alternate universe and another series (Harmony #7). I kept going back to see if I missed something. Once I finally realized what was going on I got into the story a bit more. I liked how in this world paranormal is completely normal, I’ll have to go back to book 1 in the Harmony series to see how this world came about. The only thing that really tied the 2 series together was the name Jones and the burning lamp. I’m not sure I would have crossed the 2 series, especially so late in the series, as it was very confusing.