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review 2017-07-24 01:02
Quick Thoughts: Burning Lamp
Burning Lamp (Arcane Society, #8) - Amanda Quick

Burning Lamp
by Amanda Quick
Book 8 of Arcane Society
-- Book 2 of Dreamlight Trilogy



The Arcane Society was born in turmoil when the friendship of its two founders evolved into a fierce rivalry.  Sylvester Jones and Nicholas Winters each sought to enhance their individual psychic talents.  Winters' efforts led to the creation of a device of unknown powers called the Burning Lamp.  Each generation the Winters man who inherits it is destined to develop multiple talents - and the curse of madness.

Plagued by hallucinations and nightmares, notorious crime lord Griffin Winters is convinced he has been struck with the Winters Curse.  And the instincts that have helped him survive the streets and rise to power are now drawing him toward Adelaide Pyne, the bothersome social reformer.  But even as he arranges a meeting with the mysterious woman, he has no idea how closely their fates are bound, for Adelaide holds the Burning Lamp in her possession.

A dreamlight reader, Adelaide should be able to manipulate the Lamp's light to save both Griffin's sanity and his life.  But their dangerous psychical experiment makes them the target of forces both inside and outside of the Arcane Society.  And though desire strengthens their power their different lives will keep them apart - if death doesn't take them together.

I hate to admit this, since I DID enjoy Burning Lamp and found it a nice, easy, breezy read, witticisms and interesting characters included, but it didn't escape my notice that Burning Lamp was just a pretty repetition of Fired Up, but in an historical setting.  Dialogue and actions and some of the scenes were very similar, and while I applaud Amanda Quick's smooth connections between contemporary and historical (as well as all that foreshadowing that we already know occurs since the contemporary time line came first), it just wasn't as memorable an experience as I would have liked given that Fired Up came first.

Not the entire book is the same, of course.  I do love the interactions between all of our characters, Adelaide and Griffin, Mrs. Trevelyan and Delbert, and even with Jed and Leggert, and the inclusion of Caleb and Lucinda Jones.

Burning Lamp is a nice bridging connection between the first book in the Dreamlight trilogy, and the last, but I can't help but realize that not much occurs in this book that we don't already know about.  Very little forward progress is made, and it makes me feel that the next and last book in this sub-trilogy will really need to step it up in order to bring the story arc of the 'Winters Curse' and the 'Burning Lamp' to a close.

Frankly, given my love for the Harmony series, obviously my hopes are pretty high; although even if things don't turn out the way I want, I'll still enjoy myself.  Seeing as how Midnight Crystal will involve not only the cursed Winters man, but also a dreamlight reader who's last name is Jones, I'm feeling that a lot of things will come full circle into a nice wrap up.  After all, the Winters and the Jones are supposed to be enemies, according to legend.

All else fails, Harmony books always play up the dust bunnies to make everyone happy--I'm not above swooning over dust bunnies if the book itself doesn't entirely entice me.




Roll #29:
Book takes place in England (counts as an island).

Page Count:  328
Cash Award:  +$9.00

Updated Bank Balance:  $219.00













Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/07/quick-thoughts-burning-lamp.html
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review 2017-07-14 01:57
Quick Thoughts: Ravished
Ravished - Amanda Quick

by Amanda Quick



From the cozy confines of a tiny seaside village to the glittering crush of the a fashionable London soiree comes an enthralling tale of a thoroughly mismatched couple . . . poised to discover the rapture of love.

There was no doubt about it.  What Miss Harriet Pomeroy needed was a man.  Someone powerful and clever who could help her rout the unscrupulous thieves who were using her beloved caves to hide their loot.  But when Harriet summoned Gideon Westbrook, Viscount St. Justin, to her aid, she could not know that she was summoning the devil himself. . . .

Dubbed the Beast of Blackthorne Hall for his scarred face and lecherous past, Gideon was strong and fierce and notoriously menacing.  Yet Harriet could not find it in her heart to fear him.  For in his tawny gaze she sensed a savage pain she longed to soothe . . . and a searing passion she yearned to answer.  Now, caught up in the Beast’s clutches, Harriet must find a way to win his heart–and evade the deadly trap of a scheming villain who would see them parted for all time.

Really, the best part of this book was definitely Harriet!

While Harriet doesn't stray far from most of Amanda Quick's typical heroines, there's just something about her attitude about life, about her priorities... just her entire style is so, so great!  She's unconventional, like an Amanda Quick heroine, but she goes a step further by almost being an absentminded professor.  She's so obsessed with her fossils that something life altering could have happened, she reacts appropriately, but then gets distracted pretty easily with thoughts of fossils.

It's a little disconcerting, and while many might find a trait like this a bit annoying, I actually find it kind of amusing.

In comparison, Gideon, the Viscount St. Justin, is also the typical Amanda Quick broody male alpha.  He's a good man, but he's got all the broody alpha frustrating traits you can think of.  Of course, he's also misunderstood, and has endured a blemish on his reputation without anyone to stand by his side for the past six years.  It's no wonder he behaves the way he does at present, because, as Gideon explains, when no one will believe you, no matter how many times you try to explain yourself, you just give up and let people believe what they want to believe.

To be honest, while I didn't really like the way that Harriet and Gideon end up together intimately, the rest of their relationship is just lots of sweetness and fun.  I loved how Gideon would keep trying to intimidate Harriet, and she would just blow him off like an obstinate child; and the amusing thing was that he knew she wouldn't be cowed by his behavior, but he kept trying anything, probably to get her fired up or something.

The story of the Beast of Blackthorne Hall wasn't as much like the 'Beauty and the Beast' story as I had expected.  Instead, I loved the direction that this story went, because even despite not quite following in the fairy tale it is said to be a retelling of, it still holds an almost fairy tale like flow and ending.

Harriet is a wonderful and sweet person who never once strays from her belief in St. Justin's character.  And I love how she continuously defends his honor, constantly becoming outraged on his behalf whenever others try to make him look like the beast they think he is.  She has no restraint in her reactions.  She is so straight forward about herself, innocently responding without any qualms, without any underlying motives.

I loved when Gideon's mother asked her if she'd received any social polish after being in London for some time, and her response was a very unhesitant, "Well, no, not really."  Meanwhile, her thoughts kept straying back to fossils.

It was great being able to predict her responses, but then being pleasantly surprised when her thought process went in a different direction.

The main conflict of the story was pretty predictable, to be honest, which is not to say it took away any from my enjoyment.  In fact, I think I spent more time having fun with Gideon and Harriet's relationship and bickering dialogue.

Side characters were also fleshed out and very likable, though they didn't get as much book time as I would have liked.  Harriet's sister, Felicity, is lovely and fun; Aunt Effie was stern, but also amusing.  Mrs. Stone, what little we see of her, was frustratingly annoying, but comedic in a way.  I loved the introduction we get of Gideon's parents, not the arrogant upper crust stiffs I'd been expecting, but quite open, honest, and readily likable.

And even the young group of fossil organization members were cute.  The drunken kidnapping to Gretna Green was actually kind of fun.

All in all, Ravished is a wonderfully enjoyable book, with a few quibbles that I chose to ignore.  And as I'd stated already, Harriet is probably my favorite of the entire book!



Free Friday #4:

Page Count:  418
Cash Award:  $10.00

Updated Bank Balance:  $185.00






Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/07/quick-thoughts-ravished.html
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text 2017-07-08 01:57
Starting: Ravished
Ravished - Amanda Quick

It was a scene straight out of a nightmare.  Gideon Westbrook, Viscount St. Justin, stood on the threshold and gazed into the cheerful little anteroom of hell.


There were bones everywhere.  Savagely grinning skulls, bleached ribs, and shattered femurs were scattered about like so much devil's garbage.  Chunks of stone with teeth and toes and other odd bits embedded in them were stacked on the windowsill.  A pile of vertebrae littered the floor in one corner.






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review 2017-06-24 16:02
The Girl Who Knew Too Much - Amanda Quick

Romance fell flat for me but the mystery kept me reading, secondary mystery also fell somewhat flat and was resolved very quickly at the end, almost as an afterthought.

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review 2017-06-12 09:27
All Night Long by Jayne Ann Krentz
All Night Long - Jayne Ann Krentz

Seventeen years ago, Irene Stenson found her parents corpses in their kitchen. The crime, ruled murder-suicide, has scarred her for life, since she couldn’t come to grips with the fact her father could’ve killed her mother, and so unable to put it all behind.

Now, Irene, an investigative reported with a small newspaper, receives an e-mail from her once-best friend, the one who was with her on the night that had changed her life, inviting her back into her hometown with promises of explanations about the past.

But instead of explanations, Irene finds more questions, when she finds her friend dead of a supposed overdose, while the very next day her friend’s house burns down. Something’s not right, but the local police denies any suspicions, yet Irene isn’t alone in her little investigation. Luke Danner, the owner of the resort Irene’s staying in, feels not all dots are connected, and knows Irene is right in the middle of the emerging picture.

Oh, wow. This is how you write romantic suspense, and this is what I’ve been missing lately in Ms Krentz’s novels.

Great characters, both scarred, both with issues not many people can understand or relate to, but they’ve each managed to find someone who does.
Both Irene and Luke (although we can only imagine what he went through) went through horrible experiences, and yes, those experiences have marked them, but didn’t put them out of commission, they’ve come back swinging and stronger for it.
And in the end, against all odds, both their diagnoses (hers confirmed, his not so much), despite his meddling family (which was the “weakest” part of the story, if you ask me, since it didn’t really “connect” with the overall plot), despite everything they found each other, that someone who can understand, who can relate, and who can help battle the demons when they struck.
Their chemistry was sizzling, and almost palpable, their romance rather believable, if a bit rushed, their communication both serious and funny...Boy, howdy, I loved them to bits.

But romance, no matter how strong the characters are, isn’t enough to make a romantic suspense novel. You also need suspense, and this one had it in spades.
Gripping, intense, edge-of-your-seat, keeping-you-guessing-until-the-last-page suspense. Nicely paced, well-written, well-plotted out, with many red-herrings along the way, and when the big reveal came (well, both of them), I just couldn’t. I absolutely didn’t see it coming, but in the end, the villain, the motive, everything made perfect sense.

This one truly had it all; wonderful, layered characters, great chemistry and romance, a good supporting cast, gripping suspense with loads of misdirection, and the main villain you won’t see coming.

More, please.

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