Sunday, January 6, 2019

#BookReview – “The Third Circle” by Amanda Quick


Leona Hewitt, disguised in men's formal evening clothes, has secretly made her way into Lord Delbridge’s private museum to retrieve 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 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 coveted crystal they recovered, by giving him the slip at a run-down London inn.

Thaddeus, on assignment for the 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.


In this Arcane Society book, Leona Hewitt and Thaddeus Ware meet in the mansion of an eccentric Arcane collector while trying to steal the same rare crystal. He’s a handsome, protective, and somewhat controlling man from the respectable Jones family.
Leona has a shady background and has lost everyone she’s cared for. She’s a stubborn woman but often gave in too quickly when problems arose.
Their relationship bloomed fast (the book takes place in about a week), but the sexual tension felt believable. As with the first book, the heroine felt compelled to lie about her virginity, so the hero would sleep with her. I don’t mind virgin heroines, but I don’t like it when they claim to be worldly.
As for the side characters, the legend of Sybil the Virgin Sorceress sounds awesome, and I liked how Sybil infuriated the arrogant Sylvester Jones all those years ago. There were a few surprises about the villains, which I didn’t see coming, and I definitely like it when an author can shock me (that’s hard to do!). My favorite side character is Harrow (we met him in the first book), and I always grinned like a fool when he was in a scene.
I don’t remember noticing any typos—so that’s great—but the book was very wordy, which threw off the pacing. Unimportant scenes were told in great detail but could’ve been summed up in a few paragraphs. Likewise, other scenes were “told” instead of “shown,” and those particular scenes would’ve been very interesting had the reader been able to see them.
Overall, I liked the book, and I look forward to reading more the series.
3 Stars

Note -- Even though this book is considered number 4 in the Arcane Society series, it’s technically number 2 if you read the books in chronological order (not publication date). Personally, I read all of the Amanda Quick (historical) books first, then the Jayne Anne Krentz (contemporary) books, and lastly the (futuristic) ones by Jayne Castle. For readers who don’t know, these three authors are the same author, and she uses different names for each time period.

Disclaimer – I bought this book for my own enjoyment. I am not paid or compensated in any way, shape, or form for this honest review. I will not change or alter this review for any reason unless at my discretion.

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