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on 11 July 2006
I like Amanda Quick¹s books (and also the books she writes as Jayne Castle). I think they¹re fun, lighthearted, amusing - even if they can be rather samey and a bit, well, cheesy.

Second Sight seemed a little different to her other Regency/Victorian books.

Although the basic story is the same -¬ romance mixed in with a murder mystery and a bit of psychic/mesmerism included as well, like Wait Until Midnight and some other books, this one felt a little... well... stale.

It started off a little differently, with the requisite giving up of virginity to tall, dark, handsome rugged stranger at the beginning of the book rather than halfway through, and somehow the rest of the book didn¹t quite ever catch my attention fully.

Our heroine Venetia is a photographer and she has a special talent in that she is able to view people¹s auras. Gabriel Jones, the tall dark rugged man, is a secretive chappie who takes her virginity and then gets himself killed. Venetia pretends she¹s his widow so that she can make her way in her photographic business more successfully than being a spinster ¬ but then Mr Jones turns up alive and they start investigating murders and missing relics. It¹s all similar stuff to that which Amanda Quick has churned out before, but it doesn¹t quite have the magic that some of her other books have.

It¹s noticeable that the chapters are shorter in this book and that there aren¹t any real cliffhangers ¬ things resolve quickly, moments of scary fighting only last a page or two, and the resolution trundles along as expected.

Some of the vocabulary in this book is remarkably similar to that in Amaryllis that Jayne Ann Krentz wrote as Jayne Castle. The `hunting', `primitive', `throwback' descriptions of Gabriel Jones seem very like Rafe Stonebraker in that other novel;¬ is she running out of ideas?

Overall this book is a perfectly acceptable read, and none of her novels are great literature, but I usually find them better than this and Ghost Hunter, her latest Jayne Castle, was way better. This is still a step up from the Lavinia Lake books she wrote as Amanda Quick, though.
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on 1 June 2007
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.
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on 22 June 2007
Having been a little disappointed in a couple of Amanda Quick's latest novels, I was really pleased to see that she is back to her creative best in 'Second Sight'.

The story centres around a hero and a heroine of the Victorian era, who both possess a degree of psychic ability. The hero Gabriel is part of the Arcane society, a secret assembly whose members all have special powers, though he is a little afraid of his own strong and often predatory abilities. Venetia, donning the pretence of being a widow so that she may pursue a controversial career in the newly developing (pardon the pun!) world of photography, gets embroiled in the mystery and danger surrounding Gabriel, partly through her own fault. She has adopted his surname as her own after meeting him and attempting to seduce him at his ancestral home, which she is hurried away from when intruders threaten the safety of those in residence.

This tale is fast paced, original, passionate and fun, with the kind of beginning that makes you want to read on. Not only is the angle of the romance different because of her career and of course, their strange powers, but the added element of mystery they have to solve makes this a really good addition to your bookshelf.
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on 30 May 2007
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.
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on 12 May 2007
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 (written under the name of Amanda Quick) and modern-day America (written under the name of 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.
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on 12 February 2010
I found this a bit slow to get going, but then the plot unfolded. Good research of the period gone into this book, detailed family living, and morals at the time. Got me believing in aura's. Really good read
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on 26 July 2011
having read the 6th book in the series i have now gone back to the beginning to enjoy the whole series. set in victorian london which is a period very overlooked by romance writers and a lot of research has gone into the detail of the period. great starting plot as the 2 lovers seal their fate with a night of passion and are then split apart. venetia is looking for 1 night that she can dream about for the rest of her single life but she chose gabriel jones to seduce and he is making her his. great chemistry between them and they also have some fun and laughs with each other, couldnt put it down, read it in about 3 hours i got so hooked. bring on the next one!
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on 7 March 2014
Venetia Milton is a photographer (and aura reader) and is to catologue a private arcane society collection. Her new employer is Gabriel Jones. After a romantic encounter she later reads in the paper he has died and as a personal tribute she takes on the name Mrs Jones a respectable widow and starts a new career in London as a fashionable photographer. Mr Jones returns from the dead and then the adventures begin...
I like this book and it is a way of finding out about the beginings of Arcane.
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on 12 December 2012
I had already read some of her books so it was great to finally get the start of her Arcane Society books. The Amanda Quick ones are set in Victorian England and although she is obviously an American writer (phrases like "gotten" and "off of" give her away) she set the Victorian scene very well.
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on 14 March 2014
another well written book from this author i'm so plesed to be able to have these on my kindle. it takes less space that the books on the bookshelf!
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