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Crystal Gardens [Hardcover]

Amanda Quick
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 27.50
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Book Description

April 24 2012 Ladies of Lantern Street Novels
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.

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Product Description

Review

Hearts will flutter. Spines will tingle People Magazine Paranormal fun Publishers Weekly --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Amanda Quick is a pseudonym for Jayne Ann Krentz, the author, under various pen names, of more than fifty New York Times bestsellers; there are more than 35 million copies of her books in print. She lives in Seattle.

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Customer Reviews

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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Great Amanda Quick May 28 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
To all those who follow Amanda Quicks books about the Arcane Society will love this book also. Waiting to get the next one in line.
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4.0 out of 5 stars One of her best. April 22 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I love this authors sense of humour, not to mention the mystery behind each story. I will continue to watch for more of her books.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Crystal Gardens Jan. 26 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I really enjoy these type of books. They are supernatural in nature and wouldn't appeal to all readers. They are not overly complicated stories and usually end in a happy way.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  220 reviews
134 of 142 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enchanting Arcane Romance very much like the rest of them March 23 2012
By A Book a Day - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
This is a new series for Amanda Quick and although the Arcane Society is not part of the storyline, it is easily a spinoff since the theme surrounds deep psychical powers of the Ladies of Lantern Street in Victorian era. If you're not a fan of Ms. Quick's arcane stories then this is not for you. If you do enjoy them, this story is one of Ms. Quick's better efforts and tells an enhchanting story with a decent mystery, light danger, and sweet and sensual romance, but through it all, it is very much like the rest of her novels.

Evangeline Ames has powerful psychic talents and works for an exclusive firm, Flint and Marsh, on Lantern Street, where she is hired out as a private investigator under the ruse of being a paid companion. She also dabbles on the side as an author writing serial romantic suspense stories. Many of the ton hire out her services to ensure their daughters are not being courted by fortune hunters and Evie is very good at her job, except her last assignment almost got her killed. Taking a break to spend more time on her writing, Evie rents a cottage in the country to get away from all the stress, only to find herself the target of another attempt on her life. As she flees from a killer, she runs to the mystical Crystal Gardens neighboring her cottage and straight into the enigmatic Lucas Sebastian.

Lucas Sebastian is a very misunderstood gentleman of the ton who carries a deep dark power. He's recently inherited his uncle's country estate and the enchanted gardens that go with it. Suspecting that his uncle's death was not merely a heart attack, Lucas moves to the Crystal Gardens to try and catch a killer, but he gets more than he bargained for when he meets Evangeline and realizes her life is in danger.

For the record, I gave the story 4 stars because I did, in fact, like it and if you're new to Amanda Quick, she's an excellent story teller with sensual romance and witty dialogue. Evangeline and Lucas are a great pair and have some really nice chemistry and work well together to take on murder, mystery and the most challenging of all, family matters. Lucas is one of her best written heroes in a while, but if you've read all of her books like I have, then you'll find they are all so similar that it's hard to distinguish one from the other. Rich, powerful hero who has a history of madness in the bloodline, check, adorably naive spinster heroine who's curious about passion, check. It's one thing when an author is churning out paperbacks, but these are annual releases at published prices over $25 and quite frankly, as much as I love her stories, it's not worth the value. If you can borrow this from a friend or the library, you won't be disappointed, but I wouldn't throw this into the pre-order pile and I can't see myself rereading it either.
65 of 72 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice story, but not great March 31 2012
By Orion - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I love the older Amanda Quick stories. A few years back I collected them and read them all. My favorites were Scandal, Mistress and Dangerous. The best part was the very cute heroines. They were more than just eccentric, they were funny! Even the men who loved them found them humorous. Evangeline is eccentric, but she isn't funny. Without the humor, the story seems a bit stale.

The paranormal aspect has been overdone, in my opinion. Everybody in this book seems to have some kind of psychic power. Even the plants. Even inanimate objects. Psychic power is everywhere. Which means it is no longer "paranormal" it is simply "normal". The cute dialog of the earlier books has been replaced with lengthy conversations about the same old thing -- who is using their paranormal powers to investigate what. It just didn't grab me the way her earlier books did.

Still, it's Amanda Quick, and she's awesome, so she deserves at least 3 stars, even if I didn't love this one.
35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly lovely historical and paranormal romance! March 21 2012
By Valerie Matteson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
First off, I will admit to being a big fan of Jayne Ann Krentz and all of her pseudonyms! This story I just really got into and enjoyed as we had a strong heroine, a strong hero, strong and funny and caring secondary characters and all of them involved in a murderous mystery!

Evangeline Ames was in bed asleep when she is woken by someone breaking into her cottage via the kitchen door. Good thing she is a think-ahead type of person so she immediately grabs her robe and slippers and opens her bedroom window -- squeak and all -- and even as she steps out the "burglar" is coming in her bedroom and threatening to kill her with the large knife he has. Evangeline runs as fast as she can and manages to stay ahead enough to get to a small entrance she had found to the abbey and Crystal Gardens. She is well aware of the "magical" dark mystery associated with the gardens and home but with her paranormal talents feels she will be safe and perhaps the killer after her she can trick into falling in a mysterious pond. As she runs and is closely pursued, she literally runs into the owner of Crystal Gardens, Lucas Sebastian and his assistant, Stone. Her would-be murderer runs into the maze trying to find her and that act is followed by horrible screaming until it stops.

Lucas escorts her home and orders Stone to keep watch on the cottage where Evangeline is living since she is renting from him. As the story proceeds we meet quite a few other characters such as Evangeline's maid Molly, her two friends, Beatrice and Clarissa, a bookseller, Irene, and the family of Lucas Sebastian include twins Beth and Tony and their mother Judith as well as Lucas' aunt Florence.

I don't want to give away any of the story but I just really loved the character development, the romance and the paranormal mystery and how Ms. Quick combined them all for a really enjoyable story! I read it in less than 12 hours. I just couldn't stop!
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bland Beginning To New Series April 2 2012
By Cherise Everhard - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product
Evangeline is a paid companion and a budding authoress. She is renting a cottage from the elusive Lucas Sebastian on an estate that is buzzing with paranormal vibes and rumors of things that go bump in the night. Most townsfolk are scared of the estate and the owner, but Evangeline finds herself attracted to both. When Lucas rescues her, Evangeline finds herself teaming up with her mysterious landlord.

The plot to this story sounded wonderful to me. I am not a huge fan of Ms. Quick and all her pseudonyms, that is to say I haven't' read all of her books, but I have genuinely enjoyed the ones that I have read. I usually like all things romance and all things paranormal. This one also promised to have plenty of mystery. So when I was offered this book I jumped at the chance. Unfortunately this book didn't live up to any of my expectations.

This book really fell flat to me on many levels. The characters were very one dimensional. I never got the feeling that they were ever fully developed or created. I never felt attached or any sort of connection to any of the characters. Usually in a book, especially in a series, I feel some sort of camaraderie to at least one character. The characters in this story were all interchangeable. No one stood out, no one made an impression on me. The main characters, especially, lacked personality and their romance lacked heat.

The storyline seemed to have all the necessary components of a bestselling paranormal romance/mystery, yet it never kept me on the edge of my seat. It really read like a rough draft. It had all the right ideas included, but it was missing the details. I didn't feel like we had a proper flow to the story, no real build up or climax. The tempo was just a lazy stroll through an underdeveloped story.

Honestly if this was my first book by this author, I wouldn't feel compelled to pick up another. I think hardcore fans will be a little more tolerant of this book, but I can't. Even if I have lukewarm feelings for a series my curious nature will have me wanting to read the next books. I can walk away from this series without a backward glance and without feeling like I am missing out on anything.

Cherise Everhard, April 2012
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I wanted to read Amanda Quick, not Amanda Castle June 21 2012
By E. Richards - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I have been reading Amanda Quick books since I was in high school. I always enjoyed them more than any of the other historical romances I read, because they were lively and fun and had a bit of mystery and the heroines and heroes were all smart-asses which I have a fondness for. When you read Amanda Quick, though, you knew what you were getting. They seem to be written on a template, with the same things happening at the same time in each book, relationship-wise. The only difference is names, hair-color and the setting. Like she has a computer program she enters some info into like names, descriptions and background info for the characters, a villain & his/her motive, then presses enter and the computer spits out a book. I like that though. They were different enough that I still enjoyed them. I did not like when she started writing the Arcane Society stuff and writing about metaphysical connections and all that junk. I could ignore a few British historian ninjas, it mostly amounted to the hero knowing martial arts and having a secret mentor and an interest in artifacts. But enough with the psychic crap. In this book it's more psychics with super powers manipulating paranormal energy. Many Amanda Quick fans know she is also Jayne Ann Krentz writing modern romances, and Jayne Castle. Jayne Castle writes about psychics and paranormal activity and psychic hunters with different talents and stuff. When I read Jayne Castle I am fine reading that stuff because I know it's what she writes about, she creates a whole world on an alien planet where people developed psychic talents. But when I read Amanda Quick I want the straight regular people with a little romance and danger. No psychics. No paranormal vortexes. No secret societies revolving around antiquities. I want what she used to write. Because if she makes Amanda Quick into Jayne Castle just set in olden times on plain old Earth, which she did with this book (and the last few), that means there is no Amanda Quick to read anymore. She was assimilated by the paranormal collective. As for the story, if you like Jayne Castle and Amanda Quick you should like the book okay. It's the same template she's always used -- boy meets girl in a precarious situation, boy falls instantly in love with girl but doesn't tell her, they fight the bad guys together while she decides to experiment with sex because she figures she'll never get another chance since she's older and has no social connections, etc. etc.-- just with psychic battles and glowing footprints and paranormal man-eating gardens. So if you aren't into that crap re-read one of her old books. If it won't bother you, or you like the paranormal stuff, read this one. And hope she segregates her pseudonyms again soon.
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