Second Sight (Arcane Society Series #1)

Second Sight (Arcane Society Series #1)

4.1 78
by Amanda Quick, Anne Flosnik, Anne Flosnik
     
 

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In financial straits and on a sure path to spinsterhood, Venetia Milton thought her stay at the remote, ramshackle Arcane House, far from society’s prying eyes, would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to engineer her own ravishment. She was there to photograph the relics and artifacts collected by a highly secretive organization, founded two centuries

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Overview

In financial straits and on a sure path to spinsterhood, Venetia Milton thought her stay at the remote, ramshackle Arcane House, far from society’s prying eyes, would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to engineer her own ravishment. She was there to photograph the relics and artifacts collected by a highly secretive organization, founded two centuries earlier by an eccentric alchemist. And the alchemist’s descendant - her employer, Mr. Gabriel Jones - had the eyes of a sorcerer . . .

After a night to remember, Venetia is prepared to cherish the memories of her romantic encounter and move on, but she is shattered when, shortly after their night together, she reads of Jones’s death in the papers. As a private tribute to her one-time lover, she adopts the name “Mrs. Jones” and the guise of a respectable widow, and embarks on a new career as a fashionable photographer in London, where her unique ability to “see” beyond her subjects and capture that quality in her photography makes her photographs highly prized.

But her romantic whim causes unexpected trouble. For one thing, Mr. Jones is about to stride, living and breathing, back into her life. And the bonds that tie them together include more than just the memory of passion; Venetia’s special “double vision” has caught the attention of someone Mr. Jones is tracking - someone who will go to any lengths, even murder, to possess an ancient, extraordinary secret that has been lost for centuries. Someone who believes that as the “wife” of Mr. Jones, Venetia is the key.

Now, as she introduces Gabriel about town as her miraculously back-from-the-dead “husband,” Venetia must join him in a perilous quest to track down a dangerous opponent who manages to stay one step ahead. As they explore the darker, wilder underbelly of the modern, scientific Victorian world, they must see through society’s illusions - or this time, Gabriel Jones may not be coming from the dead, and neither may Mrs. Jones.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Writing as Amanda Quick (Lie by Moonlight, etc.), Jayne Ann Krentz offers another spirited Victorian romance, light on Victorian, heavy on romance. Photographer Venetia Milton supports her brother, sister and maiden aunt while keeping secrets: her late father's bigamy, her paranormal gift for seeing people's auras ("like looking at a negative image of the world") and her more-than-willing ravishment by client Gabriel Jones. Heir to a generations-old clandestine association of alchemists, scientists and dabblers in psychic phenomena, Gabriel has a few secrets of his own. After his servants report his death to authorities to confound his enemies, grieving Venetia begins posing as his widow, with Gabriel soon showing up on her doorstep very much alive. Miffed, she consigns him to the attic, but their chemistry quickly reignites; while tracking down one murderous, blackmailing thief after another, they steal opportunities for fervent encounters in the garden, in the carriage, in the society's mansion and at home. But the evildoers still want Gabriel's family secrets-and now they want Venetia as well. Women masquerade as men and criminals masquerade as aristocrats in a society so full of disguise that not even second sight provides much protection. But with Quick's stylish dialogue, compelling secondary characters and near-operatic denouement, fans won't need or want it. (May 9) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Venetia Milton is an extraordinary photographer because she has some extraordinary senses. But unmarried women cannot go into business in society, so Venetia concocts both a marriage and a widowhood to Gabriel Jones, her one-time lover. Rumors of his demise are greatly exaggerated, however, which brings a whole new set of complications to Venetia's life. Anne Flosnik skillfully narrates this historical romance; her voice is deep enough to make Gabriel clearly male, with all the strength and fortitude that implies, but light enough that Venetia is definitely a young woman, capable but bound by societal strictures. Flosnik's range of British accents complements the characters nicely, from housekeepers and tradesmen to members of the upper class. She handles the earnestness of children with sweet innocence, and the villains, if not obvious, are certainly not sympathetic. A typical Quick novel that is only enhanced by Flosnik's reading.-Jodi L. Israel, MLS, Salt Lake City Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Quick (Lie by Moonlight, 2005, etc.) takes us to the waning days of Queen Victoria's reign, adding some clever feminist touches and a dollop of premarital sex. The theft of a notebook from the newly discovered, 200-year-old laboratory of Sylvester the Alchemist lies at the heart of this nimble historical romance. After the theft, Gabriel Jones, a member of the Arcane Society founded by Sylvester, transports his other relics to the society's isolated headquarters for safekeeping. Comely photographer Venetia Milton is invited to Arcane House to record the top-secret objects, and handsome Gabriel seems the perfect partner for her private plan to rid herself of her virginity without jeopardizing her social standing in Bath. A spirited virgin in her late 20s (and she's psychic too!), Venetia has no hopes of marrying, charged as she is with supporting her siblings after the death of their parents. She has no problem seducing Gabriel, but he fully intends to marry her, in order to tame an atavistic brutality he's afraid he harbors. Some menacing thugs lurking in the bushes outside Arcane House temporarily separate this unlikely pair; whoever stole the notebook is also a killer, and in order to elude him, Gabriel goes underground, faking his own death. He hadn't counted on Venetia taking advantage of this death to claim status as his widow and becoming a hit in London as a portrait photographer. Things turn sticky when Gabriel re-materializes, and the couple has to make awkward appearances together as man and wife. As part of this cozy ruse, Gabriel is installed in the attic of the Milton residence, thereby ensuring the acquaintances of Venetia's 16-year-old sister Amelia, winning younger brotherEdward and well-intentioned Aunt Beatrice. Polished, proficient romantic suspense.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781423314820
Publisher:
Brilliance Audio
Publication date:
05/09/2006
Series:
Arcane Society Series, #1
Edition description:
Abridged
Pages:
4
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 5.50(h) x 0.37(d)

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