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Wicked Widow by Amanda Quick

Wicked Widow (2000)

by Amanda Quick

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Vanza (3)

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663914,475 (3.54)9



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Wicked Widow
3 Stars

Madeline Deveridge cares little about the whispers and rumors that she murdered her husband. What does concern her is the disappearance of her maid and the possibility that she is being haunted by her dead spouse. Her only recourse is to seek the assistance of Artemus Hunt, the reclusive master of arcane Vanza talents. As Artemus and Madeline work together to resolve the mystery, they realize that the threat to their hearts is as dangerous as the threat to their lives.

Amanda Quick's books are always light and entertaining. That said, the Vanza theme is too similar to the Arcane society from her later books and it is particularly excessive, repetitive and tiresome in this installment.

Artemus and Madeline are virtually identical to every other Quick hero and heroine. This would not be a problem if their romance were more believable. As it is, what little chemistry they have feels forced and their sex scenes are awkward rather than sensual.

The twists and turns in the suspense plot are predictable as is the identity of the villain and the motive. The climax and resolution are exciting though and the secondary characters are sweet, especially Madeline’s aunt and Artemus’s steward.

All in all, not one of Quick’s better stories. Hopefully the series will end on a high note with the final book. ( )
  Lauren2013 | Nov 19, 2016 |
Scandal has followed the heroine for some time as everyone is sure that she murdered her husband. It's not until the end of the book when she admits the truth one way or another, but what's true is the fact that her husband was not a good man. He had been obsessed with power, marrying the daughter of a Venza master and spending their marriage psychologically torturing his new bride. If she did kill him, no one could really blame her. When her maid is kidnapped, she seeks out the help of the gentleman who ones the pleasure gardens where the act occurred. In her desperation to get the young girl back, she shows her hand and confesses she knows all about his trade and the fact that he belongs to her husbands club of the Venza. Disturbed by the prim and proper widow who seems to know far too much about his secrets, the hero agrees to help her, in return he gets the diary her father kept which disclosed the secrets of the Venza elite. The girl is quickly found, but soon there comes another problem. It seems that the heroine husband has come back from the grave to haunt her. The hero, enjoying the feeling of being someone's hero again after so many years of living in a fog, agrees to hunt down this 'ghost'. I can say that to categorize this book as a paranormal romance is severely stretching the definition of the genre. It barely qualifies but there indeed some ghosts and some mystical happenings on behalf of the Venza culture. This certainly is no where near the paranormal level of the Arcane Society series but there's enough to have it squeak in. I did like this book. I feared that the way the heroine is portrayed at the beginning would mean she was a stubborn, arrogant ice maiden but I was pleased to see her character develop. She's horribly unsure of herself and therefore is ignorant of just how attracted the hero is to her. As a defence mechanism she shrugs off any significance to their affair and keeps her feels buried deep down inside. Though it's plan and day just how the hero feels about her, he too never really openly admitted his affections until the end. Sure they sleep together and have a comfortable enough bond, they still spend some scene unsure of what the other was thinking. I found it amusing. Every conversation had to be a struggle, unless they were discussing the case. My only complaint is that this is the 3rd novel I've read but Amanda Quick and I'm starting to see a patern. There are quite a few repeated things in all 3 books that I hope don't continue in the novels to come. I hate cookie cutter novelists and it would be a shame to discover she is one of them. Overall I liked this book. ( )
  Eden00 | May 14, 2016 |
A bit too much 'Vanza' after a while, but for the remainder this is a pleasant enough read. It even gets slightly exciting towards the end.
Grade: C ( )
  Marcella1717 | Jan 22, 2016 |
re-read in 2001
  surlyspice | Jan 10, 2010 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Amanda Quickprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lavedan, DeliaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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a librarian's librarian at the
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They said she'd murdered her husband because she'd found him inconvenient.
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Book description
Madeline Deveridge is aware of the whispers behind her back, the rumors that she dispatched her husband to the next world and concealed her crime. But she has a far more pressing problem than her reputation as the Wicked Widow. It's impossible to believe that her late husband is haunting her and her aunt, but something odd is happening, and Madeline doesn't dare take chances. Summoning the brilliant, reclusive Artemas Hunt, secret owner of London's favorite pleasure pavilions and master of arcane talents, she blackmails him into providing help. As soon as the bargain is struck, Artemas and Madeline find their arrangement complicated by searing desire, and the frightening recognition that the ghost poses a very real danger. Now they must plunge into a world of intrigue and ancient mysteries, where a calculating killer--and a tantalizing passion--will not be denied.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553574116, Mass Market Paperback)

Setting: London, Regency period
Sensuality Rating: 7

Award-winning author Amanda Quick weaves a tale of a man and a woman who understand just what it means to be haunted. Artemis Hunt, the mysterious master of a secret society, has been obsessed by the knowledge that he was unable to protect his mistress from a brutal death, and has spent the last five years plotting her revenge. Madeline Reed Deveridge, known as the infamous Wicked Widow by polite society, is rumored to have murdered her husband. But now Madeline is afraid that her dead spouse has returned from beyond the grave to terrorize her. In fear for her life and that of her beloved aunt, Madeline blackmails Artemis into aiding her by threatening to expose his ownership of the Dream Pavilions, London's premier pleasure garden--an association, if revealed, that would destroy his reputation and put his long-held plans of vengeance at serious risk. The two are drawn together at first by necessity, but Artemis soon finds himself intrigued then intoxicated by the confident woman known as the Wicked Widow. Madeline, who is inclined to distrust men after her disastrous marriage, falls prey to the unfamiliar feelings Artemis inspires in her. Their burgeoning passion may save them each from an empty future--if their secrets don't kill them first. Another Quick masterpiece! --Alison Trinkle

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:34 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Nicknamed the Wicked Widow for her suspected role in her husband's death, Madeline Deveridge has a bigger problem in her late husband's ghost, which annoyingly haunts her into vowing to get rid of him once and for all

» see all 5 descriptions

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