Author: Amanda QuickPublisher: Putnam
Date of Publication: April 2012
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 rumours 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...
I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed Crystal Gardens. It is the first in a new series by Amanda Quick (AKA Jayne Ann Krentz). If you have been following this blog, you know that I haven't been thrilled with the latest Arcane books that have been coming out. They were enjoyable, but not her best work. Crystal Gardens looks like it is the start of a great new direction.
While the Arcane society isn't part of the book, the paranormal aspect is still present. Evangeline works for the Marsh and Flint agency which employs women with a certain amount of talent. They use their talents to fix problems in families. They often pose as a lady's companion. In addition to Evangeline, we also meet her 2 best friends who also work for the agency. I assume the other books in the trilogy will involve these two women and their adventures.
Evangeline and Lucas both possess certain levels of paranormal talent. I loved Lucas and his instant attraction for Evangeline was very sweet. It just took her a bit longer to figure it out. I liked their banter and they worked well together. The other characters, mainly Lucas's family, were really interesting and entertaining. I hope we get to see see more of them in the other books. I liked the mystery in this one and I didn't call the end. Yay! If you were debating on trying this one, I say give it a shot. I'm glad I did.