The Perfect Poison–Amanda Quick


I love these books. Amanda Quick does, in my opinion, the best historical romances with a touch of mystery. I appreciate the mysteries because it gives the story some bite, beyond just plain romance.

In this one, we enter into a bit of a crossover situation. The author has a series under the name Jayne Castle, which are futuristic and paranormal. This book is a historical romance but part of a series with paranormal aspects.

In this case, Lucinda Bromley is a gifted (psychically gifted) botantist and has recognized a rare fern that was stolen from her conservatory in a deadly poison. She teams up with Caleb Jones, who runs the detective agency for the psychical society and they track the poisoner, who is well known to the psychical society for various other unpleasant crimes.

It appears as though he is trying to create the “founder’s formula” which is a potion that should enhance and increase the psychical abilities of the person who takes it. Unfortunately the problem is that the founders formula, in every iteration, works briefly and then works as a poison, driving people crazy before killing them.

So it’s a bit of a race against time. The poison creator is working for some richer men, who are using their psychic powers to kill people and as they get more crazy from the formula, they will become exponentially more dangerous.

Meanwhile, sparks are flying between Lucinda and Caleb.

This is an enjoyable book. I recommend it.


The Lost Night–Jayne Castle


From Salman Rushdie to cheesy romance novels. At least no one can claim that I don’t have wide-ranging literary tastes.

Jayne Castle is one of the pseudonyms of Jayne Ann Krentz. She writes contemporary romances under her own name, historical romances under the name Amanda Quick, and futuristic romances under the name Jayne Castle.

I usually stick to the historical ones, but I somehow got started on one of the futuristic series and now here we are, reading futuristic romance novels with paranormal elements.

In this book, Rachel is an aura reader of unusually high skill and is let go from her job at a psychic mental hospital when her bosses didn’t believe that one of the patients was seriously scary and faking his metal health illness. She goes back to the little island she was raised on and takes over her family’s tea shop and bookstore.

Rainshadow Island has a huge unexplored section of land that is off-limits to people because of the strong and unpredictable psychic energy there. Most people aren’t strong enough to cross the psychic barrier but she did a few years ago. She lost twelve hours of her life and during that time managed to get into and then back out of the Preserve.

Now, the Preserve is behaving oddly and is creating weather disturbances. Harry Sebastian, a security expert from the foundation that owns the preserve, is on the island to figure out what the heck is happening. He targets her as either a suspect or someone who knows something about the Preserver, but her amnesia of that night is hampering him.

In typical romance novel fashion, sparks fly, sex happens, and they solve the mystery of the Preserve and defeat the bad guys together.

These books are fun, and if you’re a romance reader looking for something different, these are a good choice.