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Crystal Gardens by Amanda Quick
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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 |
Quick read. ( )
  lindahallmann | Jul 12, 2014 |
I'm not sure where to begin with this book.

The quality of the writing is poor. The author might have reorganized the characters dialogue. There were redundancies of Evangeline's comments. The reader is left to feel anxiety in regards to the elementary and simple conversation. There is no thought involved and not much mystery. I would have liked to have "figured it out more" on my own rather than being held by hand. It was hard to maintain focus on the book. It was not engrossing by any means and I fould my mind was wondering on other things. I enjoyed some of the paranormal subject matter but constantly using the word "psychical" was irritating. I found the descriptions of the gardens nice. I felt I could visualize the flowers, the maze, and bath house.

It would have been more helpful to build up Eva's and Lucas' physical appearances and more of their intimate encounters.

Overall, the plot was okay but it wasn't something I'd recommend. I've been spoiled by Laurie R King and Jude Devereaux so it's difficult to enjoy other less thought provoking and intelligent writing styles.
  M_Sims | Jul 4, 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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