My rating: 3 of 5 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.