I can honestly say that this book dragged from beginning to end. It was a chore to get through and if I hadn't been sick and not in the mood to skip to another book, I would have DNFed this thing after our heroine (Leona) for the umpteenth times gets a thrill at the fact that the hero (Thaddeus) has threatened to take her (rape her). Blech.
I can say that I do like Amanda Quick books for the most part because it allows me to shut my brain off so to speak. I know that the hero/heroine are going to get together in the end and thwart their enemies. We are even going to get a steamy love scene or two. But geez oh geez this series with the Arcane Society reminded me of why I didn't read the other books. Because it's boring reading again and again about people's psychical abilities. Reading how Quick tries to explain them started making me laugh after a while. I wasn't kidding in my update about this being the Uncanny X-Men set in Victorian times because it really is.
Everyone's powers are over explained to the point that I just started to gloss over those descriptions.
Leona Hewitt is out to get back her family's crystal that legends say can enhance or destroy. While dressed as a man in order to steal the crystal from a private home, she comes across a dead woman and Thaddeus Ware. Thaddeus Ware has also entered the private home in order to steal the crystal due to it being an important artifact of the Arcane Society.
Leona I have to say that I didn't warm to at all during this book. She was not that bright that I saw when she comes across a strange man who keeps saying how he will do her harm to her getting excited and flushed about it. I don't care how good you are at helping people through their dreams/nightmares (also how is that a psychical ability?) that you think you are not going to be harmed by said stranger.
I actually didn't like Thaddeus that much either. Probably because of the whole insta-love thing he had going with Leona. I mean I hate it when women do that in romance novels, and apparently I hate it just as much when men do it. There is no rhyme or reason for them to fall in love with each other so quickly after 10 minutes. I guess you can hand-wave psychical abilities yadda, yadda, yadda, but Ms. Quick does not do a good job of setting up their romance at all in this book. Instead we focused two much on the villains in this book.
One interesting aspect of this book, and the only reason why I gave it two stars is that Ms. Quick adds in a society of women who go about living and dressing as men. I wanted to know more about them and how they were able to find one another. Other than that, bah to every other character.
The writing was typical Quick but draggy as hell. As I said above, we are given way too much time to get into the civilians heads in this book and it made everything so freaking slow.
The ending seriously reminded me of parts of the Phoenix Saga, super powerful female kicking ass, but it also made no sense either. So just like parts of the Phoenix Saga.