In Quick's (Jayne Ann Krentz's pseudonym) mediocre latest installment to the Arcane Society series, Leona Hewitt, a crystal reader, and Thaddeus Ware, a hypnotist, meet trying to steal the same relic-the aurora stone-from a private collection, but a murdered prostitute and a trap protecting the stone initially complicate their success. Thaddeus, hired by the Arcane Society to claim the stone, allows the plot's loudly grinding gears to ally him with Leona. Both Leona and Thaddeus are sensible and pragmatic, qualities that make for efficient sleuths but passionless lovers, and Quick has to try unusually hard to make their romance believable. The story fares better when it focuses on the crystal and its connections to secret societies, to the Midnight Monster (a hackneyed serial killer) and to Leona's personal history. When the plot threads finally pull taut and the villains' motives and schemes are completely (if clumsily) exposed, Leona is endangered in a suspenseful climax. This is unlikely to garner Quick any new fans, or even delight her devotees, but it will tide them over until the next episode. (Apr.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The Third Circle (Arcane Society Series #4)by Amanda Quick
"Leona Hewitt, disguised in men's formal evening clothes, has secretly made her way into Lord Delbridge's private museum to recover a relic stolen from her family years ago. But someone else is there in the dimly lit gallery, on the same errand: a tall black-cloaked man whose very voice is enough to put her in a trance." "Thaddeus Ware, a mesmerist with powerful… See more details below
"Leona Hewitt, disguised in men's formal evening clothes, has secretly made her way into Lord Delbridge's private museum to recover a relic stolen from her family years ago. But someone else is there in the dimly lit gallery, on the same errand: a tall black-cloaked man whose very voice is enough to put her in a trance." "Thaddeus Ware, a mesmerist with powerful psychic energy, is accustomed to fearful reactions from others women in particular. After all. a man who can control the minds and actions of others could rob a lady of her virtue without her ever knowing! But Leona shows no trace of hysteria in his presence. A force to be reckoned with as both a gifted crystal worker and a woman, she exerts a rather hypnotic power over the hypnotist himself. And she is determined to keep the crystal they recovered, by giving him the slip at a run-down London inn." Thaddeus, on assignment for the secretive Arcane Society, knows the menace Leona is courting by absconding with the crystal. It is a source of remarkable energy, and it holds the potential for great destruction. Lord Delbridge has already killed two men to acquire it, for it is his key to membership in the elite, shadowy group known as the Third Circle. And with the help of a seductive hunter of preternatural skill, dubbed "The Midnight Monster" by the press. Delbridge intends to find her. With the stolen crystal in their possession, the danger is only beginning.
Thrown together when they meet over a bloody corpse while hunting for the same elusive artifact, psychic crystal worker Leona Hewitt and powerful mesmerist Thaddeus Ware become uneasy, though mutually attracted, allies in their quest to retrieve the legendary aurora stone and keep it out of the dangerous hands of the Third Circle. A paranormal serial killer with deadly good looks and a ruthless, power-obsessed nobleman add to their troubles as Leona and Thaddeus struggle to complete their quest, reconcile their feelings, and stay alive. Before the end of the tale, bodies litter the streets, sinister secrets are revealed, and Leona's abilities are tested as never before. Fourth in the century-spanning "Arcane Society" novels written alternately as Quick and Jayne Ann Krentz depending on the time period, this fast-paced story resolves itself quite satisfactorily while adding to the ongoing story of the society and leaving the door open for the next installment. Quick (The River Knows) lives in the Seattle area.
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