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Second Sight (The Arcane Society, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – March 27, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Writing as Amanda Quick (Lie by Moonlight, etc.), Jayne Ann Krentz offers another spirited Victorian romance, light on Victorian, heavy on romance. Photographer Venetia Milton supports her brother, sister and maiden aunt while keeping secrets: her late father's bigamy, her paranormal gift for seeing people's auras ("like looking at a negative image of the world") and her more-than-willing ravishment by client Gabriel Jones. Heir to a generations-old clandestine association of alchemists, scientists and dabblers in psychic phenomena, Gabriel has a few secrets of his own. After his servants report his death to authorities to confound his enemies, grieving Venetia begins posing as his widow, with Gabriel soon showing up on her doorstep very much alive. Miffed, she consigns him to the attic, but their chemistry quickly reignites; while tracking down one murderous, blackmailing thief after another, they steal opportunities for fervent encounters in the garden, in the carriage, in the society's mansion and at home. But the evildoers still want Gabriel's family secrets—and now they want Venetia as well. Women masquerade as men and criminals masquerade as aristocrats in a society so full of disguise that not even second sight provides much protection. But with Quick's stylish dialogue, compelling secondary characters and near-operatic denouement, fans won't need or want it. (May 9)
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From Booklist

Photographer Venetia Milton is a spinster by Victorian standards. Economically strapped, she's also the sole support of her aunt and younger siblings. Things start to look up when she is chosen to photograph a collection of artifacts belonging to the Arcane Society, a 200-year-old clandestine organization founded by an alchemist. The collection is housed in an isolated gothic mansion, and Venetia finds herself there in the company of handsome and mysterious Gabriel Jones. Deciding that it's now or never for love, Venetia seduces him, only to lose the man of her dreams in a fire set by a nefarious enemy. Venetia resourcefully moves on, opening a portrait shop and assuming the persona of Gabriel's grieving widow. The talented Mrs. Jones becomes the toast of London, a surprising turnaround, but not nearly as astonishing as Gabriel's reappearance, and the danger she finds herself in. Quick's latest is a clever and entertaining tale about secrets, from a secret society to secret powers to a secret theft. Quick also slips in serious observations about the status of women, debunking the all-too-common assumption that feminism isn't alive and well in the romance genre. With her witty dialogue, multidimensional characters complete with eccentricities and psychic abilities, clever plotting, and generous humor, the perennially popular Quick has penned another surefire winner. Shelley Mosley
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Jove; Reprint edition (March 27, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0515142808
  • ISBN-13: 978-0515142808
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 0.8 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (113 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #188,082 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 16, 2006
Format: MP3 CD
Jayne Ann Krentz is nothing but amazing. She turns out riveting bestsellers published under her name and also finds time to pen intriguing Victorian romances writing as Amanda Quick. Now, following on the heels of "Lie By Moonlight" we're treated to another return to the 19th century when men were handsome and mysterious and women submitted to their "ravishment."

Heroine Venetia Milton not only submitted, she planned it. A photographer with paranormal gifts she is pleased to be away from those who know her and at Arcane House where she is employed to photograph a collection of relics. She was retained by Gabriel Jones, a gentleman with many secrets. Fans of Amanda Quick know that it isn't very long before Venetia and Gabriel are in each other's arms.

Venetia is stunned when she reads of her paramours death. Then, for reasons which were not quite clear she pretends to be his widow. As any widow would be, she's shocked to find her supposed late husband living and breathing. Please note that the breathing on both their parts is heavy as their attraction to one another is renewed.

Nonetheless, there are those who would do them both harm in order to discover the secrets that Gabriel possesses.

Romance, mystery, intrigue all set in Victorian England and given voice by stellar actress Anne Flosnik. What more could a listener want? Enjoy!

- Gail Cooke
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52 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Sharon Wylie on July 20, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I really love Amanda Quick, but this one just didn't work. We don't even get to see the hero and heroine meet and spend time together; the action starts after they've already spent a week getting to know each other. Very disappointing from a romance novel.

And I don't really expect tightly woven mysteries in my romance novels, but the plot in this one defies belief. It's never explained why the first murder even occurs. The hero's fear that the murderer will focus on Venetia because she's using the last name "Jones" is beyond ludicrous. If that was going to be a major plot point, at least make it an unusual name that would link the hero and heroine together. But JONES?!

All would be forgiven if the romance were compelling, but it wasn't in the slightest. I will probably choose to wait for the next one in paperback or at the library.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By tregatt on August 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
After a night of passion with Gabriel Jones (the gentleman who had hired her to photograph his collection), photographer Venetia Milton is saddened to read that Gabriel has lost his life in a fire. Deciding to make use of this opportunity, Venetia poses as Gabriel's widow and moves her family to London, where she opens a new portrait shop. Imagine her surprise then when Gabriel walks into to drawing room many months later, very much alive. Apparently, someone wants access to some papers that they think Gabriel has, and he had pretended to play dead in order to discover who had tried to kill him. But now, with Venetia pretending to be his widow, Gabriel is afraid that the killer will come after Venetia. Venetia is stunned, and a little miffed that her plans have come crashing down around her; after all a live husband was the last thing she expected to have to contend with. But with her life, and potentially that of her loved ones at stake, Venetia will have to put her ire behind her and work with Gabriel. But can she? For Venetia has secrets that she'd rather not share, esp with the man she's so terribly attracted to...

I know that the last few novels by Amanda Quick haven't exactly been stellar ones --esp when one compares them with her earlier work "Seduction," "Scandal, etc. But there's always been something, even in her less than stellar works for one to grab onto -- a good storyline, good chemistry between the hero and heroine, suspense. This time around, however, everything seems very flat and very formulaic.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Elaine C McTyer VINE VOICE on May 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Amanda Quick aka(Jayne Ann Krentz) never lets us down. And Second Sight is wonderful, full of zest, wit, and wonder. The first in a series about the Arcane Society, I can hardly wait for the next.

Gabriel Jones hires Miss Venetia Milton to photograph the Arcane Society's collection of metaphysical and pyschic objects. He is the son and heir to the Master of the Society. Gabriel has his own sixth sense in that he can get emotions from objects that have been touched. Somewhat of a recluse he finds himself enchanted by Venetia and she finds him fasinating and seductive. Because of his abilities Gabriel doesn't go about in society very much. He and his brother do the undercover work for the Society. At this time they are trying to find out who stole the notebook they found in an ancient wizards tomb.

Venetia is the sole support of her family, she sees auras, and uses this ability in her photography. Using the money from her job for the Arcane Society she sets up a shop in London. Two weeks after Gabriel has whisked her away from the Abbey because of a break-in she sees his death notice in the paper, shocked and full of grief for the man she briefly felt connected to, she uses his last name as hers when she goes to London, as a widow has more cachet in the sight of the ton. Imagine her surprise to learn he is still alive.

Gabriel returns to protect Venetia, and fully intends to exploit the good fortune that she has used his name as hers. Her picture of the lid of the strongbox is very important to the man who stole the notebook and he will do anything to get that picture. As in any good mystery by Ms Quick they are quickly involved in the muddle of events that unfold. I read it in one sitting, lately I have started to debate on my hardback purchases. So many have not been worth the money. This one is. A very good read.
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