Thursday, May 17, 2012

Crystal Gardens by Amanda Quick

Crystal Gardens
By Amanda Quick
Series: Ladies of the Lantern Street Trilogy #1
Publication Date: April 24, 2012
Genre: Adult/ Paranormal romance/ Historical fiction
Buy: Barnes and Noble / Amazon / Book Depository 

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.(synopsis from Goodreads)

Crystal Gardens is the first in a new trilogy by Amanda Quick called the Ladies of Lantern Street. It’s a historical romance laced with paranormal elements.  Quick delivers an action packed novel with characters that I quickly came to love. Filled with suspense, mystery, paranormal ability and a swoon worthy hero I was quickly swept up in the story.

The tale begins with protagonist Evangeline Ames. She is writer and ladies companion who has taken time off to explore the paranormal energy surrounding Crystal Gardens after she was attacked in London. When someone breaks into the cottage at night she instinctively runs to the Crystal Gardens estate and runs smack dab into swoon-worthy Lucas Sebastian. His uncle has recently passed and he believes foul play was involved. He and his trusted employee Stone are now residing in the home. The gardens are a dangerous place and Lucas has his hands full with his uncle’s botanical experiments. The tale that unfolds was typical Quick and while familiar it captivated me none the less.

Lucas Sebastian is a dark man who makes people uncomfortable. He has a strong psychical talent that he must constantly keep in check. While people fear him, Evangeline sees the hero under the wolf’s clothing. While he can behave like a boar, Evangeline begins to soften him. I found Evangeline to be delightful, witty and intelligent. She is a fictional romance writer, with absolutely no romantic experience beyond a kiss or too, so you can imagine the fun in that. We meet her best friends and the other ladies of Lantern Street when they come to visit. The three of them conversing had me giggling. We learn there is much more to these ladies. There were other characters that rounded out the cast and made the plot interesting.

The plot contains mystery, suspense, romance and a healthy dose of paranormal. While it isn’t original fans of Quick are sure to enjoy it. We have the mysterious death of Lucas’s uncle and someone is trying to murder Evangeline. Putting all the pieces of the puzzle together was fun and I enjoyed the ride. Throw in a lost treasure, some colorful characters and a well paced story-line and I was highly entertained. The romance between Lucas and Evangeline was hot. From the moment they encountered each other the tension and electrical current running between them was obvious even to an outsider. Evangeline decided to base her hero in her novel on Lucas and considers a romantic tryst with Lucas to conduct research. She sees herself outside of his social circle and cannot imagine anything beyond that. She may lose her heart but she will have the memories. Lucas has other plans. 

Fans of paranormal suspense and romance should enjoy this historical fiction.  I am looking forward to book two of the Ladies of Lantern Street. Amanda Quick is a pseudonym for author Jayne Anne Krentz who also writes as Jayne Castle. I adore her Arcane Society Novels written in the past, present and future. I encourage you to check out her other works.

I gave this novel 3.5 coffee cups out of 5.  

pseudonym for Jayne Anne Krentz 

Labels: , , , , ,


At May 17, 2012 at 3:08 AM , Blogger Ajoop. S said...

This is not the kind of book I usually read but I love the sound of the characters and the mysterious Crystal Gardens. Lucas definitely sounds swoon worthy! Awesome review, Kimba :)

At May 17, 2012 at 7:37 AM , Blogger Dalene @ A Date with a Book said...

I still have the Arcane Society novels on my bookshelf. Better read them quick so I can get to this series. Thanks for the review :)

At May 17, 2012 at 9:00 AM , Blogger Blodeuedd said...

I have read a few books by her..might only have been 2 when I think about it, but those were historicals and, oh it was 10 years ago ;) But I do think I enjoyed them. Still this one has something else in it than those had

At May 17, 2012 at 10:04 AM , Blogger Rebe said...

I love her books! I can't wait to read this one - glad you enjoyed it!

At May 17, 2012 at 1:19 PM , Anonymous Christy @ Love of Books said...

Oh this sounds fun. You know I like putting pieces together - lol.

At May 17, 2012 at 2:57 PM , Blogger Chrissie (Once Upon a Series) said...

I haven't read any of this author's work yet, but I have got one on my shelf that has been calling to me for a while. I'll have to make sure I pick it up soon!

Great review :)

At May 18, 2012 at 12:52 PM , Blogger Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings said...

Hi Kimba! Nice to meet you. I had this book on my blog a couple of weeks ago as part of my Friday Forecast, I thought it sounded like a fun read and after reading your review I am intrigued. I love mystery with a dose of paranormal! Thanks for sharing. Have a greaf weekend.

At May 19, 2012 at 12:22 PM , Blogger Melissas Eclectic Bookshelf said...

You've reminded me of another author that I used to devour when I was younger! This sounds like a promising series!

At May 19, 2012 at 1:49 PM , Blogger Chrissie (Once Upon a Series) said...

Yay! I received my review copy of this today! And my first thought when I saw it was 'ooh, I saw that on Kimba's blog the other day!'

Can't wait to get started on it :)

At May 19, 2012 at 3:10 PM , Blogger Bea said...

Is this an offshoot of the Arcane Society books?

I wasn't sure of this book at first, but after reading your review, I think I'll give it a chance.


Post a Comment

This blog is an award free zone..however your comments are welcome, needed and loved! I try to respond to all comments via email. Tell me what you think...

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home