So, in my attempt at shaking up my reading list a little bit I purchased Crystal Gardens – A Ladies of Lantern Street Novel by Amanda Quick the first in the trilogy.
Crystal Gardens By Amanda Quick
I had never read any Jayne- Ann Krentz novels before and was intrigued to learn she regularly writes under the pseudonyms Amanda Quick and Jane Castle depending on the genre of her writing, Crystal Gardens is paranormal fiction and my first real taste of the genre. I am a regular reader of fantasy novels and thought this would be an easy transition.
Crystal Gardens is set in Victorian England; the main character of the novel is Evangeline Ames a paid companion, with ‘special talents’. Evangeline is a young woman past the age of marriage for her time with no other way to support herself finical she joins the companion agency who, it turns out only take on woman with special physic ‘gifts’ with these gifts the agency goes about solving cases for its clients, mostly regarding extra marital affairs. Evangeline is paid well, a lot higher than the usual companion rate as are all the girls because the risks they take, It is during one of these cases that a threat is made on Evangeline’s life and is she and her friends decide it is a good idea for her to get away for a while to the small town of Little Dixby. While there another attempt is made on Evangeline’s life and, in an attempt to escape Evangeline runs to the nearest and largest and coincidentally the most supernatural house in the area Crystal Gardens.
She is saved by the mysterious Lucas Sebastian who immediately takes an interest in her, and her abilities, of course Lucas and Crystal Gardens have their own secrets which Evangeline is just dying to discover.
All in all Crystal Gardens is all right, it was a very easy ready but personally I didn’t think the paranormal side to the book was done particularly well. The romance between Lucas Sebastian and Evangeline Ames was the only thing that I really liked about the book; I guess I found it all a bit predictable.
This was the first Jayne- Ann Krentz novel I have ever read and, I have read reviews from long-time fans saying her other books are much better than Crystal Gardens so I haven’t been put off I’m all for second chances but I won’t be buying the rest of the trilogy any time soon!