Evangeline Ames has escaped from London to recover from a recent attack and get some inspiration for her writing. Having some psychic abilities, she is drawn to the town of Little Dixby, where paranormal energy leaches from the nearby Crystal gardens. When circumstances force her into the Crystal Gardens at night, the owner Lucas Sebastien cannot ignore her and the danger she faces. Having some psychic ability himself he recognises it in Evangeline and finds himself intrigued and drawn to her in a way he has never been to any woman before.
I have never read anything by Jayne Ann Krentz before in any of her guises (I believe she writes as Amanda Quick and Jayne Castle too) but I enjoyed this one as it combines my three favourite genres – history, romance and paranormal, whats not to like? Being set in Victorian England made a nice change for me as the historical novels I usually read are set earlier than this. There was not as much historical description as I would have liked, but there was enough to get an idea of how things would have been.
The story started with a bang – no gentle lead in, and as such it grabbed me immediately. The author was also quite clever with how much she gave away; I actually had to check this was not the middle of a series as initially it felt like I had missed huge chunks which would have been described in a previous book. It soon became clear however, that this was Krentz’s way of making sure I did not put the book down, because I needed to know the answers! As the story unravelled we gained those answers but maybe not in as much detail as I would have liked.
While the main characters had psychic abilities, there were no paranormal creatures like vampires and werewolves. There was of course suspicion surrounding psychics which I imagine was very appropriate to the time period, but I did find it strange that neither character delved into the others abilities more, and also that the other members of the village seemed to accept it.
Lucas and Evangeline were likeable characters, Lucas clearly had a darker side and it would have been nice to have seen this teased out a bit more but we did gain enough insight into his past to get the gist. This book was much more about the romance than the sex – but never fear there was a small dose of sex to whet your appetite!
In summary an enjoyable story with a good dose of romance and mystery, I would have liked more detail and depth to both the characters and the story, but this may well have lengthened the book to the detriment of the fast paced plot. As it is, it is easy to read, the plot is not so complicated that your brain hurts but it has enough facets to keep you interested.
This is the first in a new series and I will definitely be looking to read the next ones.