Monday, May 29, 2006

Second Sight by Amanda Quick

I find that most books by Amanda Quick are a bit formulaic where if you read on you have read them all but I enjoy the formula too much to really complain.

In this one we meet Venetia Milton who has been commissioned to take a few photos of some rare artifact collection at the Arcane House, the home of a highly secret society that was first established by an Alchemist. Venetia takes the job with hopes of accomplishing two things. The first is to earn the high fee that the Arcane Society has promised her for the photos. This fee will help her open her own gallery, which in turn, will help with her families expenditures. The other reason to take the job is to have the chance to seduce Gabriel Jones, her current employer.

Both tasks are accomplished within a few days, but she is forced to leave Arcane House suddenly (after her seduction) when two men are found trying to break into the house. She flees the house on Gabriel's order while he stayed behind to see if the criminals could be caught. When she next hears of the Arcane House it's to read that it was burned to the ground and Gabriel was lost in the blaze.

With the small fortune she was paid for the assignment at Arcane House, she moves and sets up her gallery. She does this all by trading her own name for that of Mrs. Jones (in honor of the only lover she had ever taken) and posing as a widow.

The deception appeared to be working fine since her gallery was receiving abundant commissions and she was making a name for herself among the artists' communities. But her husband refuses to stay dead and when Gabriel arrives at her doorstep she is unsure to be delighted that he is still alive or desperate to kill him herself for the aggravation he is causing in her life.

Gabriel needs Venetia's help in uncovering the villain that stole a journal from the Arcane Society and since she has decided to pose as his widow she has placed herself in the path of a man that will stop at nothing to prove his theories on evolution. It seems that the madman knows of one of the many secrets Venetia holds close to her heart and her 'talents' have made her a prim catch as mate.

I enjoyed the tale as I do most of Quick's work. The slant on the paranormal abilities that Venetia and Gabriel share added a little twist to the story and the inclusion of several secondary characters (Venetia's brother and sister as well as Gabriel's parents) made this one a decent read.

Grade: B


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