A family tragedy has forced Venetia Milton to set up business as a photographer to support her aunt and her two younger siblings. But luck seems to be on her side when she is hired for a very lucrative assignment by the rather secretive Arcane Society and, while at Arcane House, meets the handsome and mysterious Gabriel Jones. Their night of passion is cut short, though, when two thugs appear and Gabriel sends Venetia away to safety. A short while later Venetia learns that the man of her dreams died that night and forthwith she calls herself "Mrs. Jones" and pretends to be his widow. Everything works out fine, until her dead husband returns from the grave and lays claim to his "wife".
"Second Sight" is the first book in a new series centering around the Arcane Society in Victorian England and modern-day America (written as Jayne Ann Krentz).There is certainly some potential here, but "Second Sight" is, at best, a shaky start. Venetia and Gabriel are a fetching pair and there is an undeniable spark between them, leading to some nicely steamy love scenes. The story itself, the search for a murderer who ruthlessly kills for the sake of an ancient and secret alchemist's formula, is quite interesting, though never really riveting. The major drawback, though, is the disjointed feel of the writing: The individual scenes are good, some even very good; but too much time and emphasis is given to repeated and repetitive descriptions of Venetia and Gabriel's individual psychic powers (she sees Auras; he can detect the psychic residue of evil deeds and thoughts). These powers might allow Venetia und Gabriel some deeper understanding of the people around them, for the reader, though, most of these characters remain two-dimensional as they seem to appear in a total vacuum. Which is a shame, as I would have liked to learn more about some of them, Gabriel Harrow and Mr. Pierce in particular. And maybe Miss Quick's oddest decision is to introduce a new character in the last act - thus breaking every rule in story telling and writing. And robbing the reader of any chance of having any form of emotional response to said character. But still, there are always Venetia and Gabriel, and they make up for a lot while they make out ... a lot..
"Second Sight" is definitely not the best book by Amanda Quick. But it has its moments which make it a very pleasing, if ultimately slightly disappointing read. And it also whets the appetite for further adventures of the Arcane Society. If you are a fan of Victorian Romances and, especially, if you are interested in the paranormal, you will probably not regret curling up with this novel.