Arcane Society, Book #1
By Amanda Quick
Author’s Website: http://www.amandaquick.com/index.html
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi
Second Sight is the first installment of The Arcane Society series by Jane Ann Krentz (some installments such as this one are written under her pen name Amanda Quick). This book takes us back in time to the reign of Queen Victoria; a time when an unmarried woman in her late twenties was headed to old spinster-hood and that she was unlikely to ever marry. Photographer, Venetia Milton, was resigned to that very fate, but when she was offered a job at the mansion of a secret society, The Arcane Society, she saw an opportunity that she couldn’t let pass her by.
Gabriel Jones was a handsome strong man and Venetia didn’t want to live her life not knowing what a night of passion felt like. Therefore, she decided to set out to seduce Gabriel. She could have a crazy night of sex and never have to think about it again. Then, she could go home and nobody would be the wiser and the scandal of what she had done would never come back to tarnish her name or her photography business.
Gabriel is accepting of her attempt at seduction, but he isn’t so fond of the one night only part of Venetia’s plan. With Gabriel’s paranormal senses, he knows that she is the woman for him and isn’t about to let her go so easily and he is determined to tell Venetia as much when two intruders are seen on the grounds surrounding Arcane House. Gabriel quickly shifts in to protector mode and sends Venetia away, promising to see her again, so that he can handle this new threat without the worry of her being hurt in the process.
Shortly after her return home, Venetia sees a news article that reports that Gabriel was killed in a fire at Arcane House on the night she left. She is devastated, but she must continue her plans to move her family (aunt, brother & sister) to London and launch her new photo gallery and studio. But to be successful they decide it would be better for Venetia to pose as a widow, she only needs to come up with her new last name. On a whim she decides to use Gabriel’s.
Three months later Venetia gets the surprise of her life when her dearly departed shows up on her doorstep alive and breathing and full of questions.
“There was nothing like having a dead husband return from the grave to ruin a fine spring morning.”
I really didn’t think I was going to like this book that much because I lost interest when I was reading the synopsis of the book. But I decided to read it anyway because I knew that there were other books later in the series that I did want to read and I’m obsessive about reading books in order.
I was amazed with how quickly this book took a hold of me and I just didn’t want to put it down. By the end of the first chapter I was hooked. But then sadly it took a nosedive into boredom.
I loved the passion between Venetia and Gabriel and with him staking an early claim of ‘mine’ like most male leads in paranormal books. I was expecting that same passion to return to the couple when he paid his grieving widow a visit, but it didn’t. He took a step back to let her come to him on her own and I felt the book suffered for it. So Venetia stuffed Gabriel in the attic of her house as they started their detective work and I was so bored and was asking myself when they were going to bang again and hoping it was soon because they were even making me sexually frustrated. I knew that the book wouldn’t improve until the passion came back to them so I almost cheered out loud when they finally gave in to their urges.
As much as I loved Venetia and Gabriel’s passion, I hated their detective skills. It often felt like I was in a middle of an episode of Scooby-Doo, especially after they discovered who the ‘villain’ was and they had that weird little family meeting telling everybody what happened. I kept expecting to hear someone say that infamous line…
“and I would have gotten away with it too, if it hadn’t been for you meddling kids,”
But I guess it’s kind of hard for that to happen when the culprit was dead at that point.
But even with the block of monotony in this book, it ended up being pretty good. The pace of the book picked back up and our main couple got their happily ever after.