There's little I like better than immersing myself in an Amanda Quick novel. There's just something about her novels that I have loved since the 80's when she was writing as Stephanie James.
Beatrice is a resourceful woman who has secrets, forced to rely on her wits and with the cunning equal to any man, she hides in plain sight as a paid companion. Safe, beneath the notice of the rich and powerful, underestimated ...until a mysterious stranger aids her one night and gives the firm impression that he knows a great deal about her.
Joshua Gage is a man who understands about keeping secrets. For years he was a shadowy figure who operated in the dark in order to protect his country. Now with his body battered and his face scarred, he no longer has the capability or interest in returning to being the man he once was. When he runs across Beatrice, he is indebted to her because she awakens something in him that has been sleeping. He doesn't believe in the existence of psychic phenomena but with very little effort he could believe in the existence of true love.
THE MYSTERY WOMAN is a classic Amanda Quick novel. A heroine who is the complete opposite of a timid and helpless Victorian miss, a hero who carries emotional and physical scars, the threat of evil, paranormal abilities and an unexpected physical attraction between the main characters. While this book was enjoyable and held my interest, I feel that it lacked something. A spark of originality or something that would set it apart from one of the author's many other novels. Reading this novel was like taking a sip of a delicious hot drink and having your pleasure dulled by finding that your drink was luke warm.
However, I did enjoy the gothic atmosphere of the book, the creeping menace of the threat to Beatrice alongside the solid romance between her and Joshua. The two of them made a great team.