Second Sight

Amanda Quick, Author . Putnam $24.95 (390p) ISBN 978-0-399-15352-5

Writing as Amanda Quick (Lie by Moonlight , etc.), Jayne Ann Krentz offers another spirited Victorian romance, light on Victorian, heavy on romance. Photographer Venetia Milton supports her brother, sister and maiden aunt while keeping secrets: her late father's bigamy, her paranormal gift for seeing people's auras ("like looking at a negative image of the world") and her more-than-willing ravishment by client Gabriel Jones. Heir to a generations-old clandestine association of alchemists, scientists and dabblers in psychic phenomena, Gabriel has a few secrets of his own. After his servants report his death to authorities to confound his enemies, grieving Venetia begins posing as his widow, with Gabriel soon showing up on her doorstep very much alive. Miffed, she consigns him to the attic, but their chemistry quickly reignites; while tracking down one murderous, blackmailing thief after another, they steal opportunities for fervent encounters in the garden, in the carriage, in the society's mansion and at home. But the evildoers still want Gabriel's family secrets—and now they want Venetia as well. Women masquerade as men and criminals masquerade as aristocrats in a society so full of disguise that not even second sight provides much protection. But with Quick's stylish dialogue, compelling secondary characters and near-operatic denouement, fans won't need or want it. (May 9)

Reviewed on: 02/20/2006
Release date: 05/01/2006
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