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Crystal Gardens by Amanda Quick
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Sent to the remote countryside after using her gifts to kill a man in self defense, the heroine is awoken late one night to an intruder in her cottage. She flees for her life, chased by a mad man with the intent to murder her. She seeks shelter in the one place she knows will frighten off her attacker- Crystal Garden. The place is said to be cursed with black magic by the locals and is in fact quite eerie if not down right dangerous. Regardless, despite the uneasiness she feels surrounded by glowing carnivorous plants, she seeks shelter within it's walls. There, she encounters the hero, owner of the Gardens and her landlord. The man is a stern and powerful figure with his own aura of danger. He saves her from her attacker by using his gift to give the villain visions of horrible nightmares which cause him to flee into the deadly maze and to his death. From the moment he encounters the bewitching heroine, he knows he's well and truly hooked. She has abilities that rival his own and when she looks at him it's with desire and wanting, not the usual fear his presence typically causes. The heroine is captivated by the man, seeing within him that despite his initial off putting aura he is a good man. This belief is solidified when he takes it upon himself to act as her protector. Alone in the world for some time with only her co-workers at the agency to call friends, she is warmed by his protective nature. He insists she come to stay with him within the gardens, safe with him to guard her until they unravel the mystery of who wants her dead. Quickly enough the level headed, intelligent but curious heroine basically seduces the hero into becoming her lover-though he didn't in fact much seduction in the first place. When they are discovered, the hero announces they are to be wed. Spending time together, walking and working side by side they follow the clues and the intrigue in the pursuit of answers as to who is the killer of his uncle and who is now the culprit who wants her dead. Once again I found myself quite disenchanted with this book. The plot is just so damn similar to every other book by this author it seems to me that she's writing novels with a stamp. Once again, I enjoy the beginning. I like the characters. I like the passion and desire between them. Nothing is lacking per say but originality and unfortunately that encourages me to skip through pages as I know exactly what's going to happen. This book was a tad bit duller than usual and there was not as much of a spark between the characters but regardless it was an okay read. ( )
  Eden00 | May 14, 2016 |
I think it was a very very sloppy work even for Mrs Quick. I am quite disapponted. I don't even think I'll review the book. ( )
  kara-karina | Nov 20, 2015 |
Evangeline has rented a cottage in Little Dixby for a month, partly to spend some time writing and partly to be near the Crystal Gardens. It’s personal property with a great deal of energy and the plants in the gardens are dangerous. When a man breaks into the cottage with the intent on killing her, she escapes into the gardens knowing it’s the only thing that could save her. Lucas Sebastian is at the estate to find out who killed his uncle and upon meeting Evangeline, finally finds someone who understands him as both have pretty strong paranormal abilities.

There are 3 mysteries taking place in this book and that does lend more interest to the story; how did his uncle die, who wants Evangeline dead and why, as well as an ancient Roman treasure said to be hidden somewhere on the property.

But like most books written under this pen name, the heroine is smart, capable and her thinking is ahead of her time and the hero could care less what the ton thinks. That can get old if you read every one of her books, but it’s not bad if you just read an occasional story

An enjoyable read from the library. ( )
  dearheart | Apr 26, 2015 |
3.5* ( )
  Bugetta | Sep 29, 2014 |
I have read Amanda Quick’s novels since they were straight historical romances. Now she writes historical/romance/paranormal/mysteries and I still enjoy her books.

Crystal Gardens is the start of a new series based on ladies who use their paranormal talents for an agency who places them as paid companions. In reality these paid companions are really private inquiry agents. In this story Evangeline Ames has been sent to a village outside of London for the good of her health as there is someone out to kill her. Of course, the killer follows her but she gets away by running to the Crystal Gardens, a source of paranormal activity and the home of the handsome man who rescues her from the killer. Romance and mystery ensue.
  Familyhistorian | Sep 21, 2014 |
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For my husband, Frank
with all my love
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The muffled thud of the shattered lock echoed like a thunderclap in the deep silence that drenched the cottage.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Evangeline Ames has rented a country cottage far from the London streets where she was recently attacked. Fascinated by the paranormal energy of nearby Crystal Gardens, she finds pleasure in sneaking past the wall to explore the grounds. And when her life is threatened again, she instinctively goes to the gardens for safety.

Lucas Sebastian has never been one to ignore a lady in danger, even if she is trespassing on his property. Quickly disposing of her would-be assassin, he insists they keep the matter private. There are rumors enough already, about treasure buried under his garden, and occult botanical experiments performed by his uncle -- who died of mysterious causes. With Evangeline's skill for detection, and Lucas's sense of the criminal mind, they soon discover that they have a common enemy. And as the energy emanating from Crystal Gardens intensifies, they realize that to survive they must unearth what has been buried for too long.
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Moving to a country cottage where she seeks refuge in a paranormally charged garden, Evangeline Ames is rescued from a would-be assassin by the garden's owner, Lucas Sebastian, who taps Evangeline's detective skills to solve a buried-treasure mystery and stop a common enemy.… (more)

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