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Crystal Gardens Hardcover – April 24, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Adult; Book Club Edition edition (April 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399159088
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399159084
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (236 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #809,557 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* It is the second time in the last two weeks that someone tried to kill Evangeline Ames. Fortunately, when she hears someone breaking into Fern Cottage, she has enough time to escape through her bedroom window, and she immediately heads for Crystal Gardens. Evangeline had already done some “exploring” at the abandoned estate, and her plan is to lose her assailant in the gardens surrounding the house. What Evangeline hasn’t planned on was running into Lucas Sebastian, the new owner of Crystal Gardens. Nor does she realize that he will prove to be far more dangerous to Evangeline’s plans for a quiet rest in the country than any mysterious intruder. Crystal Gardens, the latest danger-rich, paranormal-spiced historical romance from best-selling Quick (Burning Lamp, 2010), is an absolute delight. From the entertaining battle of wits between the story’s intriguing heroine and mysterious hero to the botanically inspired plot and its deliciously gothic setting, all the literary components add up to a romance worth savoring. --John Charles

Review

Hearts will flutter. Spines will tingle People Magazine Paranormal fun Publishers Weekly --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

Customer Reviews

The characters were very one dimensional.
Cherise Everhard
I love the paranormal elements mixed in with the romance and suspense.
Muddy Rose Reviews
This book is true Amanda Quick ( Jayne Ann Krentz).
J. Smitj

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

136 of 144 people found the following review helpful By A Book a Day VINE VOICE on March 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a new series for Amanda Quick and although the Arcane Society is not part of the storyline, it is easily a spinoff since the theme surrounds deep psychical powers of the Ladies of Lantern Street in Victorian era. If you're not a fan of Ms. Quick's arcane stories then this is not for you. If you do enjoy them, this story is one of Ms. Quick's better efforts and tells an enhchanting story with a decent mystery, light danger, and sweet and sensual romance, but through it all, it is very much like the rest of her novels.

Evangeline Ames has powerful psychic talents and works for an exclusive firm, Flint and Marsh, on Lantern Street, where she is hired out as a private investigator under the ruse of being a paid companion. She also dabbles on the side as an author writing serial romantic suspense stories. Many of the ton hire out her services to ensure their daughters are not being courted by fortune hunters and Evie is very good at her job, except her last assignment almost got her killed. Taking a break to spend more time on her writing, Evie rents a cottage in the country to get away from all the stress, only to find herself the target of another attempt on her life. As she flees from a killer, she runs to the mystical Crystal Gardens neighboring her cottage and straight into the enigmatic Lucas Sebastian.

Lucas Sebastian is a very misunderstood gentleman of the ton who carries a deep dark power. He's recently inherited his uncle's country estate and the enchanted gardens that go with it. Suspecting that his uncle's death was not merely a heart attack, Lucas moves to the Crystal Gardens to try and catch a killer, but he gets more than he bargained for when he meets Evangeline and realizes her life is in danger.
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65 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Orion VINE VOICE on March 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I love the older Amanda Quick stories. A few years back I collected them and read them all. My favorites were Scandal, Mistress and Dangerous. The best part was the very cute heroines. They were more than just eccentric, they were funny! Even the men who loved them found them humorous. Evangeline is eccentric, but she isn't funny. Without the humor, the story seems a bit stale.

The paranormal aspect has been overdone, in my opinion. Everybody in this book seems to have some kind of psychic power. Even the plants. Even inanimate objects. Psychic power is everywhere. Which means it is no longer "paranormal" it is simply "normal". The cute dialog of the earlier books has been replaced with lengthy conversations about the same old thing -- who is using their paranormal powers to investigate what. It just didn't grab me the way her earlier books did.

Still, it's Amanda Quick, and she's awesome, so she deserves at least 3 stars, even if I didn't love this one.
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Valerie Matteson VINE VOICE on March 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
First off, I will admit to being a big fan of Jayne Ann Krentz and all of her pseudonyms! This story I just really got into and enjoyed as we had a strong heroine, a strong hero, strong and funny and caring secondary characters and all of them involved in a murderous mystery!

Evangeline Ames was in bed asleep when she is woken by someone breaking into her cottage via the kitchen door. Good thing she is a think-ahead type of person so she immediately grabs her robe and slippers and opens her bedroom window -- squeak and all -- and even as she steps out the "burglar" is coming in her bedroom and threatening to kill her with the large knife he has. Evangeline runs as fast as she can and manages to stay ahead enough to get to a small entrance she had found to the abbey and Crystal Gardens. She is well aware of the "magical" dark mystery associated with the gardens and home but with her paranormal talents feels she will be safe and perhaps the killer after her she can trick into falling in a mysterious pond. As she runs and is closely pursued, she literally runs into the owner of Crystal Gardens, Lucas Sebastian and his assistant, Stone. Her would-be murderer runs into the maze trying to find her and that act is followed by horrible screaming until it stops.

Lucas escorts her home and orders Stone to keep watch on the cottage where Evangeline is living since she is renting from him. As the story proceeds we meet quite a few other characters such as Evangeline's maid Molly, her two friends, Beatrice and Clarissa, a bookseller, Irene, and the family of Lucas Sebastian include twins Beth and Tony and their mother Judith as well as Lucas' aunt Florence.

I don't want to give away any of the story but I just really loved the character development, the romance and the paranormal mystery and how Ms. Quick combined them all for a really enjoyable story! I read it in less than 12 hours. I just couldn't stop!
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Cherise Everhard VINE VOICE on April 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Evangeline is a paid companion and a budding authoress. She is renting a cottage from the elusive Lucas Sebastian on an estate that is buzzing with paranormal vibes and rumors of things that go bump in the night. Most townsfolk are scared of the estate and the owner, but Evangeline finds herself attracted to both. When Lucas rescues her, Evangeline finds herself teaming up with her mysterious landlord.

The plot to this story sounded wonderful to me. I am not a huge fan of Ms. Quick and all her pseudonyms, that is to say I haven't' read all of her books, but I have genuinely enjoyed the ones that I have read. I usually like all things romance and all things paranormal. This one also promised to have plenty of mystery. So when I was offered this book I jumped at the chance. Unfortunately this book didn't live up to any of my expectations.

This book really fell flat to me on many levels. The characters were very one dimensional. I never got the feeling that they were ever fully developed or created. I never felt attached or any sort of connection to any of the characters. Usually in a book, especially in a series, I feel some sort of camaraderie to at least one character. The characters in this story were all interchangeable. No one stood out, no one made an impression on me. The main characters, especially, lacked personality and their romance lacked heat.

The storyline seemed to have all the necessary components of a bestselling paranormal romance/mystery, yet it never kept me on the edge of my seat. It really read like a rough draft. It had all the right ideas included, but it was missing the details. I didn't feel like we had a proper flow to the story, no real build up or climax.
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More About the Author

The author of over 50 New York Times bestsellers, JAYNE ANN KRENTZ writes romantic-suspense in three different worlds: Contemporary (as Jayne Ann Krentz), historical (as Amanda Quick) and futuristic (as Jayne Castle). There are over 35 million copies of her books in print.

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